Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Retro/Prospective: 25+ Years of Art Textiles and Sculpture, Brown Grotta Arts

I was delighted to recently have the above new work included in the Brown Grotta Arts exhibition entitled Retro/Prospective: 25+ Years of Art Textiles and Sculpture  A subtly gradating palette of about 20 different yarns in cotton, silk, rayon and lurex was used in my trademark 'Loose Threads' arrangement. The threads are encapsulated in acrylic resin and cast into a gently curved arc. The exhibition can now be viewed online - do go check out the inspirational gallery photographs and, as ever, I'm rather humbled to have work seen alongside some seminal names in the world of fibre art.

With thanks to the Arts Council of Wales: this work was made as part of my Creative Wales Ambassador Award.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Open Studio this coming weekend

Hope to see you at Model House this coming weekend! Mince pies and chocolates available as extra temptation in my studio......

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Made by Hand, Tredegar House, Newport

Just wanted to share some photographs with you of my stand at the Made by Hand craft fair in Tredegar House, Newport. Its been rather frenetic making lots of new work over the last few weeks in time for this show, but very much worth it as its such a good event for me. I've created a new collection of jacquard woven framed works, all based on photographs on the Welsh landscape, meadows, trees and hedgerows. There are also lots of new Resonate sculptures and some brand new turned wooden vessels, wrapped with silk, cotton and linen threads: a new way to transform threads into something three dimensional.

Tomorrow (Sunday 2nd Dec) is the final day of the fair, so hotfoot it down there if you can! There is so much inspiring and affordable work to treat yourself or loved ones this Christmas. Its open from 10-5pm and there is a lovely on-site cafe selling tempting food. Hope to see you there.....

Adult Day Ticket £6
Accompanied children under 14 FREE
Concessions (aged 15-18, students, unwaged & OAPS) £5
Family Day Ticket (2 Adults & 2 Children aged 15-18) £16

Monday, November 19, 2012

House Beautiful Best of British Awards

Was delighted to learn that my Heals Discovers collection won a silver award at the House Beautiful Best of British Awards last week.  Lovely news - thank you House Beautiful!

Open Studios at Model House, Llantrisant, 8/9 Dec

Do come and visit Model House Craft and Design Centre on the 8/9 Dec for our Christmas Open Studios event (although you can visit any time!)  I'll be weaving away in the studio that weekend, and will have some festive nibbles for you to sample as well!  Lots of the other tenants will be there too AND its also the Llantrisant Parish Church Christmas Tree Festival that same weekend.

(Please note that unfortunately we don't have a cash machine in Old Llantrisant - the nearest is in Talbot Green. Most of the individual artists and makers resident in Model House don't have card payment facilities  so please bring cash or cheques to finish your Christmas shopping.)

Look forward to helping you 'shop local' and support independent makers and retailers this Christmas :-)

Warp & Weft by Jessica Hemmings

Oh, am sooooo delighted to announce that the latest book exploring contemporary woven textiles by Jessica Hemmings has now been published, and yes, it features some of my work. I got my copy last week and its brilliant - lots to inspire and intrigue for all interested in textiles. Put it on your Christmas wishlist!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Made By Hand, Tredegar House, Newport. 30 Nov - 2 Dec

Tis that time again...... for the third consecutive year, I'm delighted to be exhibiting at Made by Hand in Tredegar House, Newport. I'll have lots of new works to share with you which I'm finishing making as we speak.... some photos to follow very soon!

As an extra incentive to visit, you might be interested to know that I'll be giving a talk about my work on Saturday at 1pm.

Very much hope to see you there :-)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

'Beauty is the first test', Pump House Gallery, Battersea, London. 12 September - 25 November 2012

Am really honoured to have had two pieces of work selected for inclusion in this brilliant exhibition exploring the links between craft and maths that has just opened in the Pump House Gallery in London. Curated by craft specialist Liz Cooper, this is a thoughtful and elegant exhibition which will intrigue and delight in equal measure.

From the website:

A group exhibition that will explore how mathematical concepts underpin craft techniques and artistic development, in an attempt to demystify a subject that intimidates both adults and children, by showing unique and stimulating works of art. ‘Beauty is the First Test’ will draw together existing and new artworks to invite in-depth consideration of contemporary craft practice in this wider context. Beauty and playfulness will be evident in the exhibits to illustrate what delights craftspeople and maths geeks alike.

Leading US mathematician Keith Devlin’s recent publication ‘The Language of Mathematics’ describes maths as ‘the science of patterns’ , a description which hardly seems terrifying given that many patterns have pleasing and decorative elements. Yet mathematics is so often the subject that pupils most dread and adults express discomfort with, despite extensive 21st century use of technology based on mathematical models. Perhaps the friendliness of current technology has not only permitted but in fact acerbated this distance from a subject that frightens and overwhelms people. Beauty is the First Test will show that the arts and mathematics are more closely bound together than many perceive and that the enjoyment of one can enhance the understanding of the other.

Exhibitors: Michael Brennand-Wood, Suresh Dutt, Janice Gunner, Lesley Halliwell, Lucy McMullen, Janette Matthews, Peter Randall Page, Ann Sutton, Laura Thomas

There is also a very full programme of accompanying educational activities.

The Beaney, Canterbury

The Beaney windows

And so after being awarded one of the Museumaker commissions in 2010, the resulting triptych windows for The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge are finally unveiled.

The windows were commissioned by The Beaney in Canterbury as part of the Museumaker programme which was supported by Arts Council England, the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, and the Renaissance programme. Whilst most of the Museumaker commissions were temporary site specific works, I was invited to make something permanent to be integrated into the building as part of its extensive refurbishment and new extension. Having seen my ‘Resonate’ work whereby seemingly loose threads are encapsulated in acrylic resin to make wall panels and sculptures, I was encouraged to think about scaling up this principle for a triptych window. Practical needs meant that I also had to translate the aesthetic from cast resin into laminated glass.  

The selected design sees a transition from deep dark reds densely packed at the bottom of the window, gradating into scarlet then finally very openly spaced orange threads at the top of the panes. A combination of cotton, silk and linen threads of varying thicknesses and twists were used so that the interaction of light varies with the fibres, and to so give a greater sense of visual tactility. The unspun silk filament in particular seems to positively glow, whilst the slubbed linen gives a sense of weight and density.

I was delighted to work with Innovative Glass Products to realise this project where I was able to be very hands on in the workshop, literally ensuring each thread was positioned as I wanted. The largest pane in the triptych measures 210x90cm, and remains the largest work of the ilk I have made to date. 

The Beaney reopened to great fanfare on the 5th September. The windows mark the juncture between the old building and the new extension, and so can be viewed from either side in different contexts – the cafe/shop is on the old building side, and the information and reception desk is on the new building side. I am particularly delighted that the colour palette of the windows has been used as a basis throughout the building – from the staff uniforms to the upholstery on the library seats.

Love the red light highlighting the desk to echo the windows

Staff uniform colour has been choosen to pick up on the orange threads in the windows

Information desk in the new extension

From the cafe side of the window in the old building
Gratuitous baby picture :-)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Open Studio, Textile Extravaganza - this weekend!

I'll be having an open studio this coming weekend as part of the Textile Extravaganza at Model House Craft and Design Centre in Llantrisant, South Wales. You'll be able to see the loom in action, and there will be 25% off all purchases of my work for this weekend only. Very much hope to see you there :-)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Open Studio / Textile Extravaganza, Model House Craft and Design Centre, 30th June - 1st July

On Saturday 30th June and Sunday 1st July there are a host of textile related activities and events happening at Model House Craft and Design Centre in Llantrisant. My good friend and fellow Model House tenant, Michelle Griffiths is hosting a 'Textile Extravaganza', and inaugural event for her soon to be launched Resist Studio and Gallery, which will specialise in textiles.

The main focus of the gallery/studio/study centre will be exhibitions featuring shibori/tie-dye, batik, ikat, cyanotype resists and eco resist printing. A strong focus on natural dyes as well as textile artists living/working in Wales will also be made, whilst also bringing international textiles to the locality.

The suite of rooms (which are currently going through a period of renovation turning them from graphic design offices into bespoke exhibition and workshop space) will host full and varied workshop programme plus a reference library, talks, lectures, masterclasses, and sewing for pleasure classes.

I'll be having an open studio all weekend, and will be offering 25% off all purchases. Other confirmed exhibitors / demonstrators and retailers include:

Susan Bowers - Patchwork & Quilting Demonstrations
Susan Briscoe - Sashiko/Quilting Japanese Textiles
Joan Gordon - Couture Dressmaking techniques with the sewing machine.
Michelle Griffiths – Tie-Dye/Shibori Demonstrations
Ruth Harries & Lisa Porch of Fibre Art Wales – meet the artist
Felicity J Warnes - Rare, out of print, and second hand textile books. Including books on embroidery, spinning, weaving, dyeing, patchwork, and quilting.

Michelle will also giving tours of the new gallery space and discussing her future plans for exhibitions etc.

Hope to see you there!

Model House Craft & Design Centre, Llantrisant, CF72 8EB
Llantrisant is located between Cardiff and Bridgend – just off Junction 34 of M4.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Cynon Valley Hospital commission

Above are pictures of a recently completed commission for a series of nine panels that grace a corridor of the newly opened Cynon Valley Hospital in Mountain Ash, South Wales. Vivid cotton, silk and linen threads which gradate in colour over the nine panels, have been laminated in toughened, low iron glass. Each panel measured 85x85cm. With huge thanks (as always) to Innovative Glass Products who I worked with to make the panels.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Flourish: Continuing Professional Development for craftspeople’ at Craft in the Bay.

Below are the details of the final 3 professional development workshops and seminars for crafts that I've organised for Craft in the Bay, Cardiff. Hope to see you at one (or more) of the events....

Make craft pay! Jules Mallory Skinner

30th May 2012, 11-4.30pm

Jules Mallory Skinner will present a one day workshop covering all aspects of managing a sustainable craft business. He will present ideas and methodologies for creating a sales package; creating sales platforms and relationships; market research; targeting key customers; pitching via the phone or in person; pricing; closing deals and getting paid; range building; and online sales as well as in person sales.  Be prepared for an energetic and inspiring day which will ask you the hard questions about your business and leave you full of ideas for moving forward.

Jules Mallory Skinner has been actively engaged in the Cultural Industries as a creative practitioner and entrepreneur since 1977 and as a creative industries educator and mentor since 1983 when he started an innovative advisory service for musicians and creative entrepreneurs in London. He set up Creative Enterprise Consulting in 1994 becoming an independent advisor to creative businesses, universities, colleges, professional associations and industry initiatives working in this capacity alongside his own creative and business projects to the present day.

Jules will also be joined by Tom Beardshaw who is a social media expert and who owns Native HQ based in Cardiff.

Cost: £55 for non members, £49.50 for members and friends of the Makers Guild in Wales

NB: lunch is not included, but there is an on-site cafe where you can buy food and drinks should you wish. 

 To book, please phone Craft in the Bay on 02920 484 611

‘Thinking Big – exploring the opportunities for craft in public art’

15th June 2012, 1-5.15pm

Are you curious to find out more about how you could scale up your craft practice to work to commission in the public art arena? Need some inspiration / information / confidence to apply for large scale projects that could stretch your practice into exciting new areas both in terms of scale and concept?

Five high-profile speakers will make inspirational presentations about the various facets of craft in public art.

·         Sue Lawty is an internationally renowned tapestry artist who also works with lead, stone and other materials. She will discuss the many and varied public art projects she has undertaken, as well her major residency at the Victoria and Albert Museum.  (NB Sue will be running a 2-day tapestry master class at Craft in the Bay on the 16-17th June – please see the Craft in the Bay website for further details.)

·         Brigid Howarth is an established art strategy consultant with extensive experience across the cultural industries. Brigid will discuss her role as the Co-Project Director of the Museumaker programme managing a £1 million programme connecting contemporary crafts with museums and heritage centres across England resulting in 18 major craft public art commissions. Brigid will discuss the diverse Museumaker projects in detail along with the associated community engagement events. She will also highlight what makes a good application for commissions such as Museumaker.

·         Rodney Bender, iGP (Innovative Glass Products) has produced inventive architectural glass artworks and interventions to major buildings and sites across the UK and further afield. iGP also offers a unique service working with artists and other developers to realise their designs in glass. Rodney will discuss his own practice in the public art and architectural field alongside the services and processes he can offer to makers to help them realise their own projects.

·         Nathalie Camus, is the Senior Officer for Applied Arts with the Arts Council Wales (ACW). Following a major strategic review of the Arts Council of Wales, Nathalie will present the new public art strategy for Wales highlighting its key priorities, partnerships and the opportunities for makers based in Wales.

 Cost: £35 for non members, £31.50 for members and friends of the Makers Guild in Wales

 To book, please phone Craft in the Bay on 02920 484 611

Internet Strategy, Pete Moseley
12th July 2012, 11-4.30pm

Want to learn how to take advantage of the internet to promote you and your business using no-cost or low-cost options?  Are you somewhat bewildered by Twitter, Facebook, Blogging, RSS Feeds, Flickr, LinkedIn, etc?  This workshop will demystify these topics in clear and accessible language, examining the various pros and cons, and how these online tools can be put into practice as part of your marketing strategy.

·            Arts websites – the good, the bad and the ugly!

·            The use of directory and ‘aggregator’ sites – how the ‘long tail’ works

·            Blogging – and how Blogs and websites work together synergistically

·            RSS and  social bookmarking

·            The use of Google Analytics to measure traffic

·            Keyword testing techniques

·            Getting visible on Google and other search engines.

·            Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and social sharing

·            Flickr, YouTube, Behance, Pinterest – and other useful social sites.

·            Email applications e.g. Constant Contact and MailChimp

·            How to set up an email database and use it effectively

·            A/B email testing, subject lines and CTA’s (calls to action)

·            Email etiquette

Pete Mosley works exclusively with artists and arts organisations. His primary focus is providing bespoke coaching and mentoring to artists and makers, either face to face or through training sessions and seminars.

Pete is a strong advocate of the internet as a powerful tool for artists and makers to market their work using traditional media such as websites and email newsletters or through social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

Pete is also Business Editor for craft&design magazine, writing regular articles and features for the printed magazine, website and e-newsletters. He also maintains the magazine’s Facebook and Twitter presence and has grown the Twitter fanbase to over 4000 in the space of 12 months.

What to bring: a laptop, although it is fine to share one with another delegate.  Pete will bring the workshop presentation on a CD which you can take home with you.  This will enable you to follow up elements of the workshop on your own computer.  Also bring a pen and paper to make any further notes. 

Cost: £55 for non members, £49.50 for members and friends of the Makers Guild in Wales

 NB: lunch is not included, but there is an on-site cafe where you can buy food and drinks should you wish. 

 To book, please phone Craft in the Bay on 02920 484 611

The latest creation :-)

Well, things have been rather quiet on the blogging front recently, as I've had a baby! Evan Jay Rees was born on the 11th April weighing 8lb 1oz. Its been a whirlwind since then as life adjusts to rather different routine! Managing to do a smidgen of work around the feeding and changing..... but its going to be a little while before I'm working full time again. The cuddles and smiles make it all worthwhile though :-)

There'll be a couple of posts following letting you know about a couple of things, but in the meantime, here's a picture of my beautiful baby boy.....

Evan on the way home from hospital, 5 days old.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Crafters' Clearout, 11th March 11am-4pm, Model House Llantrisant

This Sunday you can find me at Model House Craft and Design Centre selling some of my yarns, papers, frames and other bits and pieces that are surplus to my needs. There are lots of other interesting makers also having a clearout of their 'stuff' - do come along to pick up a bargain (and help me make some space in my studio!)

Model House Craft & Design Centre
Bull Ring
Rhondda Cynon Taff
CF72 8EB