Sunday, 30 August 2015

Reclamation, part 2

Well, the previous reclaiming of the blog didn't come to much, did it? I realised that it was mainly because the blog didn't really feel like me any more, I have moved on quite a bit since I started it. As you will know, if I have any readers left!

So yesterday I finally decided to do something about it; I hope you like the new look. The menu now links in to my main website so I'm not having to keep up with 2 separate sets of pages - and now my website links back to here too - a definite incentive to post more often! I did think about moving the whole thing over to wordpress (which hosts my website) but I felt I had too much history here to leave behind. So I'll see how it goes. I hope the transition from one to the other doesn't feel too clunky.

But enough of the tech talk... in the meantime the 'Reclaimed' exhibition I spoke about last time is up and running, still plenty of time to see it if you are anywhere near; for more details see the TX Creative Textiles website. It really is an excellent exhibition, well worth a visit, though I say so myself! There are two other exhibitions running at the same time in the arts centre and a rather nice cafe on site - perfect for a day out.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015


Lately I have been thinking it was about time I reclaimed my neglected blog. Especially after a good friend recently left a (pointed?) comment on my last post, which admittedly was written just over a year ago...

And coincidentally, 'Reclaimed' is the theme of a group exhibition I will be taking part in in the summer. Although I already use reclaimed materials in my work wherever possible, not wanting to repeat myself I was struggling to come up with a direction for new pieces that I was satisfied with. Until, I came across a job lot of damaged vintage linen on ebay, a bundle of pieces not fit for anything else; some stained, some fraying and some quite simply falling apart.

At first I thought I would disassemble the linens and combine individual motifs with the reclaimed picture frame glass I like to use for my glass work.  But while the samples I made were pretty things in themselves they still didn't feel quite right.

So I decided to turn the concept around and try to 'mend' the damaged linens with my reclaimed glass. I'm much happier with this idea, with the strange mismatch of the materials, the idea of trying to effect a repair with something intrinsically fragile, and the way the glass magnifies the damage to the linen while at the same time covering it up.

Here are the first couple of pieces:

If anyone happens to have any tatty table linen they'd like to get rid of, do let me know.  And as you can see from the first piece above, the tattier the better!

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

A room of my own, at last

Looking back at my last post, it has been quite a while.  And it was quite sunny then, looking at the beginnings of the base for my new studio.  Of course it didn't stay sunny, most of the country had appalling weather and although ours wasn't as bad as some, the construction of the studio did take rather longer than expected.

But it is finished now (bar a few extra coats of paint) and I am beginning to settle in.

I did have to move a lot of 'stuff' in rather faster than I expected, due to the unexpected collapse of a ceiling in the house.  But I am working my way through the clutter now, getting rid of things I don't need and rediscovering things I'd forgotten I had.  It is strange, but it does takes time to settle in to a new workspace, to find places to put things where I can access them easily and, more importantly, remember where I put them!  I'm still waiting for help to move my main kiln in, but that should happen in the next couple of weeks.

My desk in front of the window, printing press,
print rack on the wall
Baby kiln, storage, lovely big sink!  The big kiln
will go to the left of the baby kiln.

I suppose part of the reason it is taking me so long to settle in is that I am having to take time to reflect on the direction I want my work to go.  I have come so far in my journey and have learnt so many different techniques, and I have the collection of tools and materials to show for it.  And even though my studio looks enormous from the outside, it really isn't, I need to be disciplined if it is not going to disappear under piles of 'stuff'.

Plus of course I have been trying to organise yet more builders to come and sort out the ceiling in the house.  And once that is done there will be decorating to do... I only wish the lovely people who built my shed did ceilings as well.  Busy times!

Thursday, 16 January 2014

There's something at the bottom of the garden...

Remember this?  Now we have this...

Something is definitely happening at the end of the mudslide that used to be our garden.

I'm just beginning to allow myself to get excited about it.  Just a little bit...

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Exhibiting here...

Some of my work will be on show at the Society of Design Craftsmen 'Designer Crafts 2014' exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London, from Friday this week. As we have been hanging the exhibition I have been stunned by the quality of the other work and feel really honoured to have been selected. I can't recommend a visit to the exhibition highly enough if you can possibly make it.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

A patch of blue sky

I dusted off my sewing machine (and I mean dusted!) for the first time in a very long time today, to patch and piece together the beginnings of a corner of blue sky.

I dyed the fabric in my usual haphazard 'chuck it in and see what happens' way at the beginning of the week and it just so happened that the resulting colour of the fabric perfectly matched this morning's sky.

Now, shall I add clouds, or shall I not?

Tuesday, 3 September 2013


Did you see this?

I think I posted it on Facebook, maybe not here.  But this is what the bottom of our garden looked like a few weeks ago.  Very green, overgrown, and not much space for anything.  The poor old garden has been rather neglected while I was doing my degree (and, if I'm honest, for a while before that, I'm not much of a gardener at the best of times, and the summers have been so miserable for so long I rarely had any desire to go out there... )

Today we have this.

There is still more to do, the buddleia on the right needs to come out along with various other shrubs, and beyond that there is an apple tree that needs a serious haircut once we've picked the apples (a bumper crop again this year!).  Behind me is a pile of hedge trimmings that need to be carted to the tip, but believe me, it is less than a quarter the size of the pile that was there.

Maybe, just maybe, there will be space for a shed...


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