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Foundation Degree Show

It was a delight to be invited to the Bournville College / Staffordshire University Foundation Degree students end of year show preview night on Thursday 12th May. This was especially so as one of my mentees, Rachel Faulkner, was exhibiting her wildlife inspired needle felted work.

Rachel’s textile work “The garden, a keepsake in a jar”, explores the idea of collections and keepsakes, and examines our ongoing [sic] ” need as humans to keep mementos of the past and preserve them for future generations“. Her work investigates the Victorian obsession with collections, moments mori and the impact of collecting, cataloguing and displaying taxidermy collections.  This contrasts with a desire to preserve and encourage species and ecosystems today, and I think, asks; what and whose idea of the garden & nature is it, a real or imagined one, ours or one of the past, that we wish to preserve?

Rachel piece is a keepsake of memories of her garden; featuring two terrariums, a tree and specimen plants. One terrarium contains a rose – representing the idea of the quintessential English rose garden, and the other houses a frog and insects on a log pile – purposefully placed and designed to attract wildlife. The tree at the centre of the two terrariums has an ecosystem of its own, in which a bird resides alongside a human’s treehouse with a window box of flowers!

 

Rachels’ work and more can be seen at Cohesion, the Bournville College / Staffordshire University Foundation degree Contemporary Art Practice show.  

Cohesion: 9am – 5pm 12th – 26th May Prirory Square, Queensway, Birmingham, B4 7LJ

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Joseph Franks Exhibition

I visited the London Fashion and Textile Museum last week to see the Joseph Franks Textiles screenprints and paintings.  A wonderful display of colour and pattern, it was like spring had arrived both outside and inside the museum. Here’s a flavour of my visit…

 

As well as a display of printed fabric lengths there were a number of Franks’ watercolours.  I particularly liked theses two for their use of colour.

 

The exhibition displayed full length fabric prints from the ceiling giving them a real impact. The printed textiles were applied to interior design and shown off with a mock up of a sitting room….almost like a visit to ikea…..without the crowds!

 

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Inspire Stitched Textile Group 10th Anniversary Exhibition

I’m delighted to share the Inspire Textile Groups invitation for their 10th Anniversary Exhibition, please do come along to support the group and see their wonderful work.

The exhibition will be held on Friday 16th & Saturday 17th June 2017 between 10am to 4pm each day in St. Swithins House, Barston, B92 0JU. Follow the link below for the invitation.

 

 

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A Birthday Treat!

I was approached a couple of months ago by a group from Devon wishing to organise a Feltmaking day for a friends’ special birthday.  The aim of the day was to have fun together, experimenting with a range of techniques to make samples and a couple of small projects. These included trying Cobweb felting and Nuno resists, making a flower brooch and learning how to make a Felt purse fitted with a glue in metal kiss lock frame.

We met up at my home studio workshop in Birmingham on the morning of 25th January, with the group having had a very early start driving up from Devon! We began the day after teas & coffees, with the sampling of the Cobweb and Nuno resist processes.

In the afternoon we created three dimensional felt flowers with stamen to make a brooch with. Then using the felt pieces the group had made and dried prior to the workshop, everyone learnt how to sew a felt coin purse with a lining before seeing how a glue in frame was added.

Sandy sent me these photos of the cushion she made on her return home, using the Cobweb felt process learnt during the workshop and her completed flower brooch – love the colours!

Two projects and two samples in one day was ambitious, so I was delighted the group, who had some felt making experience, were able to achieve all their goals. This was especially important to me with the knowledge they had travelled such a distance for a birthday treat, so it was great to receive their feedback – thank you!

“Just wanted to thank you for the fantastic day you did for us on Wednesday. We all enjoyed it and appreciated your relaxed but through teaching style. I was particularly pleased that Sandy had a lovely birthday treat.” Angie

“An excellent day. Well prepared, with materials and notes to hand. There was a good balance of demonstration and clear instructions which enabled us to make 4 samples during the day. Emma’s willingness to share her knowledge and help us along the way, in a relaxed atmosphere, was refreshing. Brilliant – well worth travelling from Devon!” Sandy

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Baby Bootie Commission

I was delighted to be asked to make these tiny baby booties for a friend of Sally Harper- Kenn’s new born baby boy.

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Felt Clock

I recently had the pleasure of making one of my Felt Clocks for the consulting rooms of Jane Arden Pschology Services, and thought I’d share a few images with you here. The clock is made with merino wool and machine stitched using free motion embroidery to create the circular textures around each raised dial numerical point.

Felted Clock

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Felt Pod Vessels Worksop

Lesley Stewart – Sea inspired pod

The Seamless Felt Pod Vessel making workshop which ran on Saturday 18th February was a great morning. It was rewarding to be working with new and returning students who created these pods, all so unique and beautiful.

Group laying out their designs

 

 

 

The pods were made using a combination of grey Norwegian and coloured Merino wool tops with hints of additional silk and dyed Teeswater locks.

 

 

 

 

Everyone used the same process, but varied how they designed their Pod vessels. This was achieved by working with the wool to create different shapes, deciding where to place the openings and the selection and combinations of colours and fibres.

If you are interested in future Pod Vessel workshops with Emma you can visit the www.silversoles.co.uk / www.craftcourses.co.uk or call 07753366795.

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Inspire Group Felt Shibori Sampling Day

Cracked Mud sample

It was lovely to spend the day with the Inspire Group members in the old rectory of St. Swithin’s church situated south of Solihull in the beautiful village of Barston, Warwickshire at the beginning of February. The day workshop was focused on sharing how to adapt shibori techniques to felt making. We began the day looking at the samples I brought along, illustrating a selection of felted surface reliefs and textures that can be achieved by using stitch, clamping and binding.

The mornings sample making started with the group members choosing to create either a Ripple effect or the Coral Wave peice. The Ripple is similar to smocking, as they are stitched and gathered. It was great to see these samples being made with varying stitch lengths and patterns worked into them before they were gathered. The Coral Wave samples, adapted from the Ori-Nui shibori of stitched and gathered pleats, looked wonderful on both sides.

Next the group members opted to try sampling either the Spikes (Kuno stitch, gathered and bound) or the Pebbles (Kanako, resist bound objects) effect.

Following a well earned lunch rest, in the afternoon we moved on to creating Cracked Mud samples. This involved working with a resist to build layers of wool and then cut back through the layers. This process creates textured edged shapes rising out from the base layer of felt, sometimes revealing contrasting colours beneath.

Finally , those still with some energy left, began to make a Nuno resist sample combining wool, cotton fabric and resist shapes to form a contrasting texture relief surface. it was a highly productive day and everyone came away with new ideas to develop from their samples.

Cracked mud contrasting colours

The Inspire Group are celebrating their tenth anniversary this year with an exhibition to display some of the work members have created over the decade. Exhibition details  to follow, it should be a good one to visit.

If you or your group would be intrested in participating in a Felt Manipulated Sampling Day or a different Felt making course, please email me at info@silversoles.co.uk or call 07753366795.

 

 

 

Cracked mud contrasting colours

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Felt Flower Workshop, Saturday 28th January 2017

Come and join us to learn how to make your own felt flower in this relaxed half day workshop. You will learn how to lay out the wool and silk fibres to then wet felt it to shape the wool into a flower shape and add stamen. Each stage of the process will be covered from design to completion with accompanying notes to take away as a guide for future flower making. No previous experience is required as complete novices and more experienced feltmakers are all welcome.

Workshop Date: Saturday 28th January 2017, 10am – 1:30pm.

All materials and light refreshments included. Small groups with a maximum of 5 to guarantee plenty of one to one tuition. £40 per person. Booking is essential, bookings can be make online at www.silversoles.co.uk ( see the link at the bottom of the Workshop page). Alternatively you can book by contacting Emma via email (info@silversoles.co.uk) or telephone 07753366795.

All abilities welcome – Beginners and Beyond.

Venue: Silversoles Studio, 129 Hazelhurst Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham, B14 6AG


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Cobweb Bag Making Course

Cutting out

Cutting out

 

 

I recently worked with three wonderful students sharing how to make cobweb felt and transforming it into framed bags.

 

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Stitching the felt and fabric

 

 

 

 

We worked over two days, initally laying out the wool and making it into cobweb felt. The group then learnt how to measure, draw up and create their chosen bag patterns.

 

Securing the glued in bag frames

Securing the glued in bag frames

 

On the second day, once the felt had been washed and dried, we backed the felt by stitching it with velvet. The felt fabric and gorgeous linings were cut and then stitched to make up the bags. Once the bodies of the bags were sewn they were glued in to their metal frames.

 

These are the wonderful finished bags made by Janet, Pam and Jane. If you would like to take part in a bag making workshop or an alternative feltmaking course please contact me on 07753366795 or email via info@silversoles.co.uk

 

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