Monday, November 9, 2009

Buy handmade Christmas presents this year.....

Have got several new pieces of work in this years Christmas exhibition at Craft in the Bay 'Seren Arian' ('Silver Star') here in Cardiff.

There is also a great range of work from the other Members of the Makers Guild in Wales alongside a select group of other invited designer-makers.

The show will be opened this Friday by Nick Capaldi, the Chief Exectutive of the Arts Council of Wales this Friday the 13th November at 6pm. The show then runs until the 3rd January 2010, opening every day from 10.30-5.30pm.

This show also coincides with the 25th anniversary of the Makers Guild in Wales, so it'll be a double celebration.

Makers Guild in Wales
Craft in the Bay
The Flourish
Lloyd George Avenue
CF10 4QH

Tel: 029 2048 4611


Hope to see you there!

More overdue photo's.....

Ok, so I thought my overdue blog update regarding the Architextiles workshops in April/May was so late that it was verging on the embarrassing..... but I've just found these pictures that I forgot to share, erm, last year! I won the 2008 Wesley Barrell Award for Interior Textiles which was presented to me at Origin (2008)

Anyway, decided I really ought to share them not only because it was a fine Award to win but I'm also wearing my favourite red shoes!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Second week in residence at Ruthin Craft Centre during October.....

I spent my second week in residence at the Ruthin Craft Centre during the last week of October.... and the time went scarily quickly!

I spent the first day getting one of the small hand looms at the Centre threaded up for a public participation project. Visitors to my studio will be invited to choose a favourite colour from a selection of yarns and then weave a stripe before finally tying on a label with their name, date and a few words explaining why they chose that yarn. Over time we will build a long stripey piece of fabric which will serve as a colourful visual record of visitors to my studio.

I was delighted that idea was immediately well received by those that came into my studio.... my youngest weaver so far was just 4 years old but so competent I offered her an apprenticeship!

So if you find yourself visiting Ruthin please do call in to see me and weave a stripe! I'll next be there from the 28th Nov to the 1st Dec.

The yarns to choose from to weave a stripe:

The loom to try out weaving on, complete with the labels recording the weavers name, date and the reason behind the yarn colour choice:

I then spent some time rationalising the work I had done during September when last in residence. Picking out the preferred pieces, these were 'exhibited' so that my visitors could glean a better idea of the 'story' I'm working towards.

The key area of exploration for this week was repeat pattern using isometric graph paper. I seem to be very preoccupied by angles and oblique lines at the moment! The colour exploration is continuing, but this time on a much smaller scale and in a more controlled fashion. These sorts of patterns could of course be very quickly explored digitally, but I find I use colour in a far more sensitive and less predictable way when I actually mix paints and apply it with a paintbrush rather than a mouse click. Its great to have the luxury of time to do this kind of work.

And I also did a little triaxial weaving on a tapestry frame......

Finally I was also busy making lots of warps ready for a free 'round robin' weaving workshop I am running at the Craft Centre on the 28th November. Again on the theme of stripes, participants will have 3 minutes to weave a stripe on their loom before moving on to their neighbours loom. They will then be asked to reflect on the colour of the first stripe and to choose a complimentary colour for the next stripe which they'll have another 3mins to weave, before moving on to the next loom and so on. The purpose of the workshop is is to explore perceptions of colour as well as giving novice weavers to chance to try out a new craft. It's also a celebration of the spirit of collaborative working and sharing ideas.

The warps ready to be put onto the looms:

Creative Wales Ambassador Award at Ruthin Craft Centre

Earlier this year I was the recipient of a Creative Wales Ambassador Award from the Arts Council of Wales. This Award is supporting the development of several new bodies of work over the next two years. Ruthin Craft Centre in North Wales was my nominating 'host' organisation for the award and as part of developing my working relationship with them, I am spending approx one week per month 'in residence' at one of their studios.

I'm using this opportunity to get away from the day-to-day distractions of 'normal' life here in Cardiff to get on was some uninterrupted thinking, planning and designing and to formalise the structure of my planned projects.

I spent my week in residence during September working in a very uninhibited way primarily exploring colour proportions and relationships. Its was also interesting to reflect upon the fact that it became a great deal easier and more natural to think on a bigger scale in a large, white, empty studio space - quite a contrast to my dark, crowded studio here in Cardiff!

Anyway, here's a few pictures from that first week in September.....

.... I got through a lot of paint that week!

Online exhibition from Brown Grotta Arts '10th Wave III'

Brown Grotta Arts recently launched their first online exhibition entitled '10th Wave III' featuring 125 works from over 60 international artists. Amongst the exhibits are a couple of my Resonate sculptures.... Please do check out the exhibition and the accompanying publication

'Archi-textiles' at the Cardiff School of Architecture (the most overdue blog post in the world....... )

This has probably got to win an award for the most overdue blog post......

In April/May this year I was delighted to be invited to contribute to a 'Vertical Studio' module at the Welsh School of Architecture, where first and second year students work together in groups of ten on a short 'out of the ordinary' project.

I worked with Dr Wayne Forster to devise a 'mini-Bauhaus' series of workshops whereby the students were encouraged to analyse the cornerstone's of textile design - colour, texture, pattern and structure. It was hugely interesting to see how well they responded to the briefs and they produced extraordinary work of real quality. It was particularly heart-warming for me to see how much they enjoyed the weave workshop! Half thought I might have recruited a few to switch to the textile degree I teach on in the West Wales School of the Arts as some of them were so enthusiastic!!!

After the four workshops the students had just a few days to each complete a 'wonder wall' conceptual structure for a final exhibition. They were asked to consider transparency, opacity, reveal/conceal, and the various structure/colour/texture/pattern elements covered in the workshops. I was blown away by what they produced in such a short space of time without compromise on scale, ambition and conceptual weight. Amazing stuff.

I took a huge number of photo's recording their progress. Its hard to edit them down to share with you on this blog, but anyway, here is a small selection showing what they produced in just four weeks....

(NB: please respect the creators copyright of the work and remember to not reproduce any of the images without asking permission - thank you)

The Architextiles team, sitting in front of the first body of work exploring colour theory.

Textural studies:

The weave workshop:

The final exhibition of the ten 'wonder-wall' structures.....