13 December 2011

SewHip magazine feature

Very excited to say I'll be busy over Christmas, working on a project to be featured in SewHip magazine in the spring. Watch this space ...

15 November 2011

Pictures of Dublin

Here are pictures of Dublin ... a few more can be found at the end of the album to be found on my Make Something of it website

Thank you everyone who joined me for a fantastic couple of days, really inspiring to see what you all achieved in such a short space of time. And thank you for the positive feedback - it was great to feel that you got something out of the workshop and will be taking it on to more creations.

For a more leisurely approach to exploring your creativity with recycled fabrics - join me in Burgundy for a workshop retreat with the Really Big Dream Company from 6-12 May.

12 November 2011

Recycled workshops at Knitting & Stitching Shows, London & Dublin

Phew, such a busy time! Just back from Dublin and with Alexandra Palace over too, I've had a great time and met lots of lovely ladies who joined me for my recycled notebook covers, and lettering applique workshops. I'll post some piccys as soon as I can.
Can't wait for Harrogate K&S ... I'll be there on 25th and 26th November, where I'm doing 6 workshops. Lucky there is no weight limit on suitcases on the train. I bearly scraped on my Dublin flight with 20.2kg with enough materials for 4 workshops.
Hope to see you there!

24 September 2011

Having a Really Big Dream!

“Do you dream of making accessories for yourself or things for your home?

Would you like to express yourself in art textiles?
Do you want to create your own designs and discover or develop your creativity with textiles?

If ‘YES’ come and find inspiration and fresh ideas in beautiful Burgundy ....

I am teaming up with Janice at The Really Big Dream Company at her wonderful 18th Century farmhouse where we are offering week long residential craft retreats. The aim of the workshop is to loosen up and start creating – sewing, stitching and constructing - with recycled fabrics. Recycling builds creative skills offering endless possibilities and unexpected results. You will be encouraged to create things from recycled fabrics and old clothes (yes, it’s environmentally friendly) and make something more of your creativity. Find out more here.

15 August 2011

Make something of it website

I'm very excited to have launched my new website: http://www.makesomethingofit.co.uk/
Its all about being creative with recycled fabrics - building confidence, being experimental and learning to upcycle. There are lots of pictures in the galleries, and I'm going to add an online shop soon.

18 July 2011

Art in Action

I'm helping out on the Crafts Council / Craft Club stand at Art in Action on Thursday in Oxfordshire. With other volunteers I'm going to be showing people how to knit and encouraging others to pass on their skills through the Craft Club and Knit 1 Pass it on schemes run by the Crafts Council.

28 June 2011

At the Private view - Slough Museum

We held our Private View towards the end of the exhibition for 'Whatever floats your boat ...'. I was very pleased with how the exhibition turned out on the whole, with very few glitches considering the time we had to plan and install the exhibition.
My piece was a series of 5 hangings inspired by Ellimans Embrocation - a medicine invented and originally manufactured in Slough.
We were very pleased to have Nigel Bird photograph the event, and the Mayor of Bracknell Town as a VIP guest.

26 May 2011

Whatever floats your boat ... exhibition in Slough

The group textile exhibition I have organised and curated for the Thames Valley Contemporary Textiles and Quilt group is up and running until 11th June. Hooray! As a group we took inspiration from Slough and the collections in the Slough Museum as a starting point to make our pieces and find the thing that 'floated our boat'.

The results are fantastic. We had 28 artists participating in the project who made 42 pieces to display. Wow! What a variety in so many ways. There were big pieces, tiny pieces. Big 3-d and tiny 3-d. Lots of quilts and lots of other things. Colourful pieces and muted pieces. Etherial pieces and solid pieces.

A huge range of techniques are on display - hand stitching, machine stitching, painting, printing, cyanotype, trapunto, applique, patchwork piecing goldwork,silk paper, and many more ...

And the work represented a very wide range of inspirations too - from mammoths to power stations, and dolls shoes to comets. 

Due to circumstances beyond our control, the time between the submission of the pieces and the installation of the exhibition was contracted from 2 months to 2 days. It gave me a few scary moments, but we did it. And, we're hoping that we can tour the exhibition and show it again. A few leads are in the pipeline.

My piece is based on 'Elliman's embrocation', a medical and veterinary preparation that used to be manufactured in Slough. The ideas were simmering on the back burner for a long while and I couldn't get it to materialise. But finally I just went for it and I'm very pleased with how it came together. It's a series of five free machine embroideries, using paper, wallpaper, and layers of muslin.

I was worried by how it would hang on the Museum system as the paper layers were very light (and the hanging system really suits heavy framed pieces). Talk about making life difficult for myself as curator - but luckily it wasn't as much trouble as I feared.

Thank you to everyone who helped on the installation day - Chris, Sandy, Jane O'S and Vicki.

10 May 2011

At Play 3 - up and running

 Guests playing with my installation at the Opening event and creating an SAS style assault with the toy soldiers and the string.
Me and the sea of heads that is 'Silicone Boys' by Tom Hackett, and feeling a bit like a lost head myself. There was much brain-ache putting my piece together, and heart-ache when I was forced to make last minute changes, that on the night I was left feeling a bit confused. But I had some lovely comments and great feedback from  Jenny ('Knitted Room' seen in the picture behind heads) Kiehn's husband (sorry forgot your name!). Thank you - I was relieved that at least one person 'got it'.

And thanks for photographs: At Play 3, South Hill Park Arts Centre, 2011. Photos by Sarah Jane Wilson / Emma Albery

The exhibition runs until 19th June. More information on the South Hill park website.

02 April 2011

Fashion fixers day

Great fun at Fashion fixers at South Hill Park. Some really creative work by the students - using heat transfer printing (top) with the other Jane to transform a lacy underslip, and building up an exciting mix of colours and textures (above).
My skirt  - made from a man's knitted cotton pullover, with box pleat and frilled edge. Very pleased with how this turned out, with the raspberry pink polkadot underskirt.
A quick and easy denim bag to go with it.
The full outfit, with a recycled t-shirt scarf. Needs a bit more work to make the scarf more exciting - some printing would be great because the edge didn't go as wavy because the t-shirt wasn't quite stretchy enough. And some customising of the Betty Boop t-shirt. But the glitter print of Betty's dress is a perfect match for the raspberry scarf and polka dot voile of the skirt - so I love it.
And now its over to the Fashion Fixers for more work before the show on 16th April and the pop-up shop coming soon in Bracknell.

30 March 2011

All that remains exhibition

The opening night at the 'All that remains' exhibition. Thank you to Gemma for the pics, because I forgot to take my camera.

I went back with my camera to take pictures of my new piece 'Stalks' because I haven't got anywhere handy to hang them at home. But it wasn't very easy to photograph in the window. Difficult light, or difficult positioning of window frames, doors and bollards out in the street!

I like the silhouette view of the knobbly texture, but a view where you could see the structure of the whole wasn't easy. Here is a detail.

19 March 2011

Fashion fixers

Looking forward to supporting the Fashion Fixers event which is happening next weekend (26/27th March) for young people with the Missed Out youth forum at South Hill Park in Bracknell. The weekend is billed as 'The Apprentice meets Scrapheap Challenge' while upcycling fashion to raise money for the 125 Project from the Kerith Centre, a charity set up to build a dormitory for young girls in Zambia to keep them safe while they finish their education away from home.

09 March 2011

ReOrsa Project No 5 - Wokingham

"ReOrsa, an artist-led initiative, are pleased to announce that they will be exhibiting a selected group show at the More Arts space in Wokingham town centre. The exhibition curated by Tonia Maddison, a Bracknell based artist, is a selection of work of artists from across the Thames Valley who have responded to the theme ‘All that Remains’. Tonia explains, "All that remains suggests a residue, something left over or abandoned, the remnants of time passing, of erosion, decay; it also suggests the changing form of things, transformation of something that seemed transient or even something that once seemed permanent, immutable"
 10 - 26 March 2011,
Wednesday to Saturday, 11am - 4pm
More Arts, Wokingham
43c Peach Street

In my new work old clothes and remnant materials have been transformed into new structures, seemingly solid and tangible. Yet they are also hollow, set to unravel and wither away. What were these materials in their past lives before they became waste? Have they become more or less than they were? Pictures to follow when the exhibition opens on Thursday...

02 March 2011

At Play 3 - South Hill Park

I have been selected for At Play 3 in the Bracknell Gallery at South Hill Park, Bracknell, Berkshire. My proposal is a complete change for me in that it is's going to be an installation piece. It explores the obsessive side of a child putting together a scrapbook of old photographs dating from WWII.

Previous At Play exhibitions in 2009 and 2010 have been successful and popular shows at South Hill Park, and I'm looking forward to being part of the 2011 event from 17th April to 19th June.
Images of the previous shows can be seen on Cally Trench's website - the curator of the exhibitions, along with Outi Remes of the Bracknell Gallery itself.
In the meantime, best get busy ... I've got lots to do to develop my piece ready for show!

21 February 2011

MoreArts - Wokingham

The MoreArts venue at 43c Peach Street in the centre of Wokingham is hosting the next ReOrsa exhibition, entitled 'All that remains'. It opens 10th March and will run until the 26th.

I am exhibiting, and am working on 'stalk-like' structures that will hang in the window of the venue. I have been busy experimenting with my ideas. Inspirations include the experimental piece of giant French knitting I made a couple of months ago, and stalks of cow parsley. I like the way cow parsley is so green and pliable when its new, and then stiff and hollow when it withers. Or is it just that I used to love to wrench them from the hedgerow and fight with them. I probably still would, but it doesn't seem to grow much around here.

15 February 2011

Structure workshop - Baylis Court School

I'm getting ready to be 'Artist in Residence' for a day at Baylis Court School in Slough. I am excited to be working with two groups of GCSE level Art and Textile students, looking at lots of techniques and ideas for their project theme 'Structures'. We are going to work with the embellisher machines, Bondaweb fusing, weaving and stitching, and look at all the ways in which these techniques can be combined using fibre and fabric scraps.
I've been working on a few new samples.