Thursday, 30 June 2011

ArtWorks Kids Exhibition

Last weekend, we held the second exhibition of art made at the Saturday morning art classes I run with Dawn.  When we got the boards out on the Friday evening to set it up, we were a bit worrried that there was not going to be enough work to fill them up.  We need not have been concerned.

We kept finding more and more work and had to make some tough decisions about what actually got shown as there was so many good pieces, we wanted to show it all.  In the final week of classes (although I am not meant to call them that as it puts some kids off!), we made folders and all of these were on display for visitors to look through, so even the work not on the walls could be seen.

I was really pleased at the variety of work: there was our 3D totem pole sculptures, textile faces, prints, pictures using sticky back plastic, others using found objects, charcoal, brown paper and tissue paper.  And then there was the pottery.  I am a sucker for pottery and I'm thrilled at how the pots turned out.  When I have some more time, I want to have a go myself!

Speaking of time, I haven't been writing much recently and it all seems to be about other people's work.  Well, I have been really busy with mine, especially as the Festival of Quilts seems to creep closer and closer.  I've got lots to show and will start revealing it soon...

There was a lovely write up of the exhibition in the local paper, the Stirling Observer, along with some nice photos.  I think there would have been over 70 people in attendance, which was a nice number and not bad for any art exhibition.  We had laid on a couple of activities that people could try out, just as the kids had done in class.  One of them was using straws, clay and silver foil to make little sculptures.  These got more and more elaborate as time went on.  R really got into it and made several, including a ski jumper about to take off (or crash land?) which is now on top of our piano.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Frieda Oxenham's fantastic exhibition

Last month I was really lucky to have the opportunity to go and see my friend Frieda's solo exhibition of quilts in Peebles.  It was great.  It was a horrible day outside, but the lovely room was filled with bright, vibrant, uplifting colours.  She spends a lot of time repeating designs, playing a form of a 'what if' game, seeing what happens if you alter the colour scheme or shape of a piece.

This results in a coherent group of work, all linked by a love of colour ... and beading!  Frieda must have spent years of her life just sewing beads on to quilts as they enhance her layouts and designs.  Wow - the patience!  Frieda also has a great sense of humour and this appears in her work too.  You can see more of it at her blog.  

These photos here are some close ups of some of her works.  I've written an article about the show for Popular Patchwork, which will be appearing later this year.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Dyeing fabric

Although I have been quiet on the blog front, I have been very busy working.  My new studio is up and running and is a godsend.  Just as well for the amount of time I have been spending in it.  I have been dyeing fabric to make my principal pieces for my Festival of Quilts gallery.  I had five buckets set up in my studio and used four different colours of procion mixed together.  I know that many people want to dye precisely, but I love the random effect, so the buckets had too much fabric in and gave a great patchy effect.  I didn't have any soda ash, but our fabulous local ironmongers, McFarlanes, which has everything, had washing soda.  I had help from two of my monsters with stirring the fabric in the buckets.

I started rinsing it out my hand, but eventually just bunged it straight in the washing machine to rinse out any excess dye.  I brought a drying rack into the studio as it was raining (it rained every single day in May - we're feeling rather soggy) and got it all dried.

Of course, the downside of doing all this dyeing is all the ironing it creates.  This was the bucket of some of the fabric waiting to be pressed.

The fabric is all pressed now and I'm cutting it up to make my figures.  Having used scraps for so long, it feels rather strange to be cutting into large pieces of fabric, but I don't have enough scraps to make a 2m high person.

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