Tag Archives: textiles

Fashioned From Nature

In May I visited the Fashioned from Nature exhibition in London at the V&A with my great friends Anjum and Jane. The exhibition left us inspired and stopped us in our tracks, making us question our shopping behaviours.

‘Bird-witched’ shoes, Masada Kushiro (Japan 2014)

The exhibition examines how nature has inspired and influenced our tastes in fashion and the impact we have on nature to satisfy our tastes over time.  Fashioned from Nature begins on the ground floor with historic costumes and the raw materials used to create them, it then progresses to the late 20th and 21st century fashion on the first floor.  There are many beautiful, nature inspired designs, textiles and garments…but Beware! This may at first seem like an gentle exhibition of historic garments, it’s not!

The exhibition curators have devised a show that lulls the viewer into a smug revery at our ancestors extraordinary tastes in fashion and their silhouettes. In reality it takes us on a journey, exposing our ever changing tastes and relentless drive for new fashions. Scratch below the surface and they expose the impact our thirst for raw materials has on the animals, ecosystems and our fellow humans. All of whom become victims in one way or another to supply our ruthless appetite for immediate gratification and fast fashion.

Fashioned from Nature challenges our purchasing habits and how we source our clothes and tries to offer solutions to change our reckless consumption.   The lifecycle of a typical garment is examined, and we are asked to question our use and aftercare of garments too. How often a garment is worn, washed and disposed of, are just as valid questions as becoming informed about the garments source, materials and production process.

The exhibition concludes with a glimmer of hope, showcasing some of  todays designers searching for sustainable ways of working with innovative new processes, techniques and materials. Natural dyes, wearable ‘paper’ (see above) and mushroom fabrics are just some of the innovative materials on display.

Fashioned from Nature leaves the visitor with plenty of food for thought, demanding we think and question before we buy, and nudges us to seek out a more sustainable fashion cycle.

Fashioned from Nature is on in Gallery 40 at the V&A, London until 27th January 2019.

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Vision for the Future – MA Fashion & Textiles Show

 

It’s been show time! This month is the end of the academic year for the MA Fashion and Textiles students at BCU (Birmingham City University) – a stressful but exciting time!  I have enjoyed seeing my fellow students work come to fruition, (…I have all this to come next year as I’m studying on the part time route). This has given me a great behind the scenes insight into the work that goes into preparing for and organising Vision for the Future, the MA Fashion & Textiles Shows.

The Textiles Show was  @parksidegallery on Cardigan Street, Birmingham from 11th – 13th July, with the preview night and Fashion Show held on the 12th at 6pm.

Amy Sweeney, (Fashion Promotion), did a fantastic job planning the fashion show, directing the designers’ models, and curated a fabulous evening. Congratulations on your award too Amy!  To assist Amy’s direction, I helped out backstage, overseeing the smooth running order of designers and models. A special thanks must be given to the course tutors, Rebecca Russell-Turner, Heather Orr & the technicians, for all their patience and assistance.  Everyone worked so hard to make it a great success; the designers, the artwork & marketing team [Amber Leigh Prescott, Sophie Jacks, Ilaris Di Gasparro & Gaia Pomelli], the makeup artist [Miriam Besrat Nedash] and all the models. It was a long day & such a hot July evening, but a very rewarding experience!

Congratulations to ALL the designers and modelsthe exhibition and garments looked wonderful. Good luck everyone with your results and your future plans!

 

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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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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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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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Made in Kings Heath 2016 Invitation

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Autumn has definitely arrived with falling leaves, frost and beautiful blue skies and so has November. That means this month also welcomes the return of our annual Made in Kings Heath open studio Christmas fair. We would love to invite you to come along on Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th November to share a glass or two of mulled wine and festive nibbles. This year we have expanded to include two open studios and yet more Kings Heath linked artists, designers and makers for you. You can find out more about the artists participating this year and and the event at www.madeinkingsheath.com

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The Stitched Figure

 

During the spring term the Paper, Fabric & Stitch group have been exploring the formal elements using the figure as our theme. I am loving the stitched interpretations created as stitch samplers to explore mark making with line, shape and pattern.

As the term has progressed we have worked with laminated paper, hand and mono screenprints using dyes. Stitched collages have been worked up using appliqué with hand and machine stitch; see below for some work in progress.

Pop down to mac, birmingham to see ‘Made @mac’ which is currently exhibiting work created by students who have attended the Paper, Fabric & Stitch course and runs until the beginning of May 2015.

 

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Christmas Events 2014

Silversoles will be exhibiting at a number of events in the run up to Christmas 2014, it would be great to see you…

Arts & Craft Fair at Coustis – 16th November

Celebrating 30 years in business and supporting All Saints Youth Project, Coustis Salon are hosting an arts & craft event with Kings Heath Artists. Coustis Salon, 57 Alcester Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham; 10am – 6pm Sunday 16th Noember 2014

MADE in Kings Heath

Artist Open Studio / Christmas Fair Event showcasing the work of four artists with a Kings Heath connection; Melanie Keevil Ceramics, Fiona Humphry –  Inky Print Originals, Andy Millicheap Jewellery & Emma Jackson – Silversoles Felted Textiles. Venue: Silversoles Studio, 129 Hazelhurst Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham, Saturday 29th November 11am – 5pm and Sunday 30th November 11am – 4pm

mac Christmas Contempoary Fair

Silversoles will be showing at the Midlands Arts Centre, Cannon Hill Park, Edgbaston, Birmingham on Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th December. 11am – 6pm. Check out link for a full list of artists exhibiting at the mac fairs. http://macbirmingham.co.uk/event/christmas-craft-markets/

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Screenprinting at Guthrie & Ghani

Last Sunday I held a Screenprinting workshop at Lauren Guthrie’s beautiful shop & workshop Guthrie & Ghani  in Moseley, Birmingham. It was a pleasure to spend the day with Grace, Heather and Linda and show them how to prepare and print their designs onto a length of fabric. I’m sure you’ll agree they produced some fantastic prints.

If you would like to hear about future workshops  you can visit my website www.silversoles.co.uk, subscribe to my blog or visit Lauren’s website at www.guthrie-ghani.co.uk

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