Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Telos Art Publishing have a sale on. Books in their Portfolio collection (1 - 30) are only £7.50 with free international shipping if you order fast. Bargain! Early series (pre 2003) Art Textiles of the World are also heavily discounted.

Saturday, February 24, 2007


Some more samples. I'll show you why I'm making them next week.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

22nd February

I'm still plastering...

I read a transcript of a lecture given by Archie Brennan the other night. He described tapestry weaving as " crazily labour intensive as a process. It's economically suicidal I think. .... an obsessive, compulsive activity" He says he still weaves 10, 12 sometimes 16 hours a day. He's clearly got a lot more stamina than I do - and what about his eyes? One of the features of the run up to Origin last year was 12 sessions with an orthoptist!

"One of the other aspects of tapestry that is extremely powerful, particularly today with the quality and permanence of modern dyes, is the nature of colour in tapestry." This rings so true to me and for intense, heart stopping colour you should look at Jo Barker's work. Seen in the flesh the large pieces have an astonishingly physical effect, you feel the colour in the pit of your stomach.

I would post a photo of Jo's but being new to blogging I'm not sure whether that is allowed. Maybe someone could let me know?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


I have no progress to report today. The samples on my loom are still there. I have been working hard though - that's me plastering the joins in the plasterboard of our new upstairs. There is over 100 metres of join up there, with 3 layers of plaster on each join and my initial delight at being able to do it and therefore save us lots of money has faded somewhat. I am officially very bored now!

People often say how patient I must be to weave but the sad fact is that almost my entire patience quota goes on weaving and there is precious little left over for anything else...

Ophelia left a comment to say that she is looking for a tapestry course in London. I am sure there are evening classes but another possiblility is Tapestry for Beginners at West Dean in Chichester on March 30/April 1. It will be taught by Caron Penney who is the head of West Deans tapestry studio. See some of their recent work here The course includes a visit to the tapestry studio.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


Well I did manage to get some collages made (for such simple images they take me a long time), and also these samples with more still on the frame. I'm not there yet though. I need to do some where I vary how much I beat down the weft and cover the warp. I'm enjoying not knowing how things are going to turn out.

Re. the leaflet - I was accepted for this years Brighton Craft Fair. It's on the 23rd, 24th and 25th of November at the Corn Exchange.

This is the shop where I buy my threads. It is dark and slightly musty smelling and reminds me of shops from my childhood. In our local postoffice and grocery everything was on shelves behind the counter and you had to ask for what you wanted. Miss Mead the postmistress acquired a calculator at some point but still checked her sums on the back of a paper bag. Mme Fournac doesn't bother with the calculator, just goes straight for the bag! This week I was admitted to the back room and it is, as I thought it might be, full of treasure.I wasn't in there long, but long enough to see lots of lovely old DMC drawers with embossed paper coverings which I coveted. I speak reasonable French but don't feel up to asking Madame if I can have a root around the old stock. Yet...

I saw this door knocker on the way back to the car and just couldn't resist posting it. The hand door knockers in Ireland and England all seem to be clenched fists. I loved the delicacy of this one.

Friday, February 9, 2007

back to the drawing board

This week I've been thinking about a new set of tapestries for an exhibition I'm taking part in later in the Spring. Woven tapestry is a slow process - it takes the time it takes and there's nothing you can do to make it any quicker. Incidentally that is one of the things I like about it, you just have to apply yourself and settle into the rhythm of it. Preferably listening to Radio 4! I start by making simple pencil drawings

followed by a collage using magazine papers which I then weave on a very finely (16") set warp.

Cotton has a lovely sheen and vibrancy. It makes for a taut, defined fabric which I love but I am feeling the need to try something different as well. I recently made some felt collages, for a change really, as a contrast to the weaving, the restrictions it imposes, the eyestrain! But now I'm planning a big collaged tapestry - lots of small elements, slightly overlapping, mounted at varying heights. I have just made a small overlap piece but for this next one I want to play around with textures more, make it looser. That means making samples and playing with combinations of yarn and set, so that and making collages are my tasks for next week. The vacances d'hiver start on Tuesday though so progress might be a bit slow...!

Sunday, February 4, 2007

working space

This is where I work at the moment and very nice it is too, but it is a very shared part of the house.

This is where I am going to be working before too long (I hope). The ex-henshed at the top of the garden.

It needs a bit of work I know but it will be wonderful. White walls, bookshelves, a big pinboard and a woodburning stove with a comfy chair beside it. Oh yes and insulation, plasterboard, a new window and door and electricity!

Thursday, February 1, 2007

here I go...


Today is the 1st of February - almost as good a day for starting things as the 1st of January! I've been dithering you see. Will I, won't I...?
I first came across maker's blogs last year when I was accepted for Origin in London. I googled Origin and found Karin Eriksson's blog which in turn opened the door to Camilla Engman, Abigail Percy and Diana Fayt among others. Living as I do in the middle of a field, I really enjoy a virtual glimpse into someone's studio and working practice. It's almost like popping your head around the door and saying "Hi, what are you up to today?"
So I guess I'm opening my studio door too.