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I’ll be taking part in this exhibition and Sale at the very beautiful Marchant’s Hardy Plants.  In addition to all the arts and crafts there will be high quality plants for sale and delicious organic lunches.  Why not have a day out in Sussex and enjoy a feast for the senses?  Hope to see you 🌺🌼🌸☀️🥗

Christmas Sale and Workshops with Women of the Cloth & Guests

This is the fourth year in a row that I’ve taken part in the Women of the Cloth pre-Christmas event at Sprout Community Arts in the Furzedown area of Streatham.  This year, as usual, we have invited a new and different set of guest artists & makers to join us and provide variety, new interest and different workshops for our regular visitors.  Take a look at the Women of the Cloth website News & Events page for all the details, but below is a taster and brief guide to workshops on offer:-

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Dulwich Festival Artists Open House

 

Avent Gallery 2014 015 I will be with Women of the Cloth’s Kim Winter at Dulwich Artists Open House during the weekend of 10th & 11th May at 28 Worlingham Road, London SE22 9HD.

We will be exhibiting as ‘Cloth and Camera‘, alongside members of the South London Photography Group in the home of one of our guest artists Dianne Brown, whose colourful upcycled t-shirt rag-rugs were much admired at our recent Avent Gallery residency.

Do come along and have a look at Kim’s beautiful shibori-tied, Indigo-dyed scarves, my nuno-felt scarves, cushions, small tactile gift items, felt wall panels and Dianne’s gorgeous rugs!

There will be plenty more Open Houses in the surrounding streets, so you can have a lovely day wandering around popping into different houses to see an array of artworks, with coffee or pub breaks in between.  What could be nicer!

      raw silk shiboriDianne rug 3

Next event with Women of the Cloth in Dulwich

JEANNIE AVENT GALLERY

14 North Cross Road, East Dulwich London SE22 9EU

Following on from last year’s residency at Jeannie Avent Gallery, which was a great success and a lovely place to be, we will be back there for two weeks from 3rd April 2014

As usual, we will have a variety of work on show and for sale, with various guest textile artists adding yet more choice of work and techniques to see and to buy.

We will be running workshops, a few of which are listed below, more to be added soon. Email us at womenofthecloth2012@gmail.com to book places:

Sat 5th April – 10.30 till 16.00  Feltmaking Day: make some colourful felt using sheeps’fleece, soap & water

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Sun 6th April – 11.00 till 15.00  Creative Weaving with Joan

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Mon 7th April – 10.30 till 16.00 Needlefelting: Garden birds

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Weds 9th April – 18.45 till 21.00

Felt balls for necklaces & bracelets

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Thurs 10th April 14.00-17.00 and Sunday 12th April

Lino block printing with Robyn Archer

Create your own carved lino block using traditional carving techniques. Print your design onto a tote bag and greetings cards.

Robyn lino

Sun 13th April 14.00 – 17.00 – Beginners’ Embroidery

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Mon 14th April – 11.00 till 16.00 Needlefelted Dogs

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Mon 14th April – 18.45 till 21.00 Shisha Mirrorwork Embroidery

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Full day workshops £50.00 including materials, half day or evening workshops £25.00 or £30.00

Cloth & Memory

Cloth and fibre hold all sorts of memories for me, having a Scottish mother who knitted and stitched all my clothes during childhood, including a matching summer dress for my precious doll, Mary, every time she made one for me.  Favourite quilts from various stages of life will never be ousted when clutter-clearing as they act as visual triggers of past events, and I have kept particularly treasured articles of my childrens’ clothing which will always remind me of significant moments in their childhoods.  I was, of course, drawn to the title of this exhibition immediately and made sure I got to visit soon after it opened at Saltsmill in Yorkshire.

It is set in the disused Spinning Room up in the roof of the immense building, which is unrestored and still has the original flaking wall finishes and rusting steel fittings.  The room is longer than a football pitch and originally contained 16,380 cap spindles for spinning yarn.  Raw alpaca fleece, imported by Titus Salt from Peru, arrived at the top of the building and was processed down through each floor to emerge as finished cloth at the bottom.  The space is incredibly atmospheric and holds the feeling that the the workers have just left, but are still there in spirit.

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23 textile artists from the UK, Germany, Norway and Japan have installed works in the eerie space, capturing the memories of the former toil which took place there for so many years.  Jeanette Appleton, one of my former tutors at West Dean, uses the ‘silencing’ context of felt as a metaphor for the absorption of sound and memory.  She has made feltworks based on the mill’s ledgers and sample books and placed them in the wall recesesses which originally held bobbins.

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Caren Garfen’s installation uses vintage wooden reels , each with its own ‘memory plaque’ to commemorate women who worked in the mill and lived in the neighbouring workers’ cottages built by Titus Salt to house his workforce.  Caren has attached hand-embroidered names and addresses on tape drawn from the 1891 census, along with familiar cloth-related sayings such as ‘Tied to her Apron Strings’.  Seeing this installation makes a walk around the surrounding streets all the more poignant.

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Yoriko Yoneyama has suspended from the ceiling a web of fine cotton threads onto which are pressed thousands of individual grains of rice  representing the elements which are essential to our survival and cultural heritage :  food & clothing – rice & fibre.  Kari Steihaug’s unravelling knitted jumper represents a dialogue between the body and the room, stretching from floor to ceiling.  Reminded me of all the jumpers I have knitted for loved-ones over the years, as well as the ones which are waiting to be finished in my work room!

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Koji Takaki has made a diptych which brings together memory of past textile works in Japan and Manchester with the beauty of the passage of time (wabi sabi) and a materialisation of cloth and memory.  This work particularly highlighted the beauty of the setting, with the play of light on its different elements throwing haunting shadows across the space.

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I loved Masae Bamba’s large-scale ‘sea’ of cloth dyed with indigo and printed with the first attempts at writing made by her daughter as a means of capturing the moment before it becomes memory for both mother and daughter.  This work was influenced by the recent tsunami in which so many mothers, daughters and others became just memories.  Incredibly moving piece of work.

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I can’t do justice to all 23 artists’ work here, although I could just go on and on with my memories of Cloth and Memory

Such a moving and inspiring exhbition – You’ll just have to go and visit yourselves – it’s on until early November and a MUST see for textile lovers everywhere.

Needlefelting is flavour of the workshop month!

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This week the needlefelting needles have been prodding away at a furious pace.  People seem to love it – it can get quite addictive when you begin to see the possibilities for adding detail to your creations.   Between 10 am and 4 pm on Saturday, 24th August with Makerhood at the Southbankcentre’s Village Fair by the River Thames in central London some 40 people (could have been more as I lost count) sat down at my table to make needlefelted ladybirds.  They all had great fun and couldn’t believe that a little barbed needle could turn a pile of dyed sheeps’ fleece into a solid object.  It just takes a bit of patience and concentration – anyone can do it, even those who feel they have no creative ability.  You do have to watch your fingers though, as the needles are very sharp!  8 year-old Lewis found this to his cost, but he carried on bravely and happily completed his beautiful Ladybird.  It was a moment to savour as he was so proud of his creation.

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Another workshop this week involved local craft group Crafternoon at Serendipity Tea Room in Streatham, who make a flock of needlefelted robins, all with their own individual quirky characters!

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Finally, not technically a workshop, but at a large Bank Holiday family gathering at the home of keen kitchen gardener Penny, I found myself teaching the family’s youngsters needlefelting and not only was a Ladybird and a fieldmouse produced, but also some needlefelted carrots!!

Next needelfelting workshop will take place on 6th October at my Lambeth Open House weekend with Women of the Cloth.  Details of all Open House weekend workshops to come.

A summer of Workshop Fun!

This summer has been full of workshops – Indian embroidery, in my home studio and at Serendipity Tea Rooms , always sets people a challenge.  We have concluded that it takes an average of three tries before the technique of sewing on a shisha mirror actually sinks in, then the fun can begin.  Embellishing with beads, coloured threads, buttons and sequins – it’s all very absorbing.  Time flies …

Choosing colours & eating biscuits!

Choosing colours & eating biscuits!

Then there was a felt fish workshop at Streatham Festival’s Make your own Fete at the Railway Pub, with Crafty Pint and Flaming Nora  organising such a brilliantly creative day for what seemed like millions of local kids on a hot sunny day!

Kids' felt fish drying in the trees, Make yr own Fete @TheRailwaySW16

Kids’ felt fish drying in the trees, Make yr own Fete @TheRailwaySW16

Needlefelted garden birds is always a popular workshop and this summer has been no exception with workshops at the Railway Pub and another two coming up NEXT WEEK at Serendipity Tea Rooms on 22nd August and then with Makerhood at the Southbank Centre’s Village Fair on 24th Aug

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A flock of happy needlefelters and their birds

I even got to take part in a workshop myself learning Willow Weaving with Crafty Pint tutor Geraldine.  I absolutely loved it and took home four different finished items, all set to experiment with incorporating willow weaving into my feltmaking or vice-versa.  Can’t wait to have some time to do that- I think my needlefelted birds are going to like the willow bird feeder!

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Willow bird feeder

In between workshops, Kim Winter of WordPress blog Flextiles and I joined forces as Women of the Cloth for the Lambeth Garden Museum Summer Tumblr, which was a treat of a day spend in the knot garden in brilliant sunshine with lots of other artists/makers demonstrating our crafts and selling our wares.  What a relaxing day we had in a beautiful place chatting with like-minded souls and interested visitors.

Women of the Cloth, Kim & Carol, @GardenMuseumLDN Summer Tumblr

Women of the Cloth, Kim & Carol, @GardenMuseumLDN Summer Tumblr

When the summer of workshop fun is over, we Women of the Cloth will be taking part in the Lambeth Open studios weekend on 5th’6th October when we’ll be joined by several other textile makers for a housefull of colourful cloth activity.  Watch this space for more details to come.