Monday, January 28, 2008


After a week lost to sinusitis I'm just starting to weave the spoon tapestry. Choosing colours is much easier now that Mme Fournac has given me a spare copy of the DMC colour chart.

See tapestries by Valerie Kirk and Sara Lindsay here

Monday, January 21, 2008

spoon collage

I found Cal Lane's plasma cut metal via ceramicist Bibbi Forsman. See Bibbi's website here and her blog here.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A list

Market Day

Just back from Villefranche market where you can buy, amongst other things, bread, cheese, veg, wine (in bottles, boxes or dispensed by pump) plants, meat, live fish, hens, rabbits, kittens (not for culinary use - I hope!), clothing new and second hand, house plans and while your're at it have your knives sharpened and your sewing machine repaired!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Gosh, craft must be an even dirtier word than I thought. Collect at the V&A is so keen to distance itself from it that it styles itself 'The International Art Fair for Contemporary Objects'. Given that it's organised by the Crafts Council, does that mean that we're going to wake up one day to the Contemporary Objects Council?
West Dean Tapestry Studio is exhibiting on stand 16.

Monday, January 14, 2008

I'm approaching this new work somewhat differently. For now I'm doing no drawing. Rather I'm making lots of patterned collages and will use these to 'draw' or make or cut images out of later on.

I've been dipping into the books on that shelf on the right as I work. One is the Batsford book of tapestry weaving by Alec Pearson. It's a very good technical manual if you should want to learn to weave. There is also a useful section on designing for tapestry. Although I think it's out of print Amazon has second hand copies (which vary wildly in price). I can't find any images about Alec Pearson on the web, anything at all in fact which is a shame. He was a painter turned weaver and made tapestries based on the Cumbrian landscape. He drew and designed very well for the medium. I wrote to him when I was 17 asking for advice and he sent me the kindest letter which I had for years. I used to keep it in his book but I've lent it many times and somewhere along the way the letter dissappeared. I still remember quite a bit of what it said.

My old friend, sculptor Ludovik Boden has a new website - see it here.

I've just come across the V&A's current artist in residence Sian Bowen's blog.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

close up

Else, here's a close up of Max's tapestry (with a ghostly me!). It's not very good but the frame is sealed with gumstrip so I can't take the piece out.

Bartholomew Street West

I am embarking on some new work to show at Jilly Edward's BSW Gallery in April. The exhibition is called 3D Tea Party and coincides with Exeter's food festival. This means revisiting an old theme and ongoing obsession for me. I love everything about food, growing it, buying it, cooking it, looking at it, reading about it, photographing it, sharing it. Did I miss out eating it?! I love the vessels and utensils used for cooking and for serving food. I love the term batterie de cuisine! These two tapestries were made in 1995 - I found the images in the Crafts Council's archive. The stripey cup is the first tapestry I ever sold in a gallery - it was at Roger Bilcliffe's

The embarking is taking place in my usual way which is to hoover, launder, cook a great deal (3 loaves of bread, garlicky pea dip, cupcakes and trifle before breakfast today) ride my bicycle and drink tea. But you know this time I am not beating myself up about this as I've finally recognised that it's not useless procrastination as I've always thought it was. It is how I get back into designing and making after a period of inactivity. During this flurry of activity a switch gets tripped in my head and my thinking and focus alter and by the time I'm sitting down with a piece of paper I will, with a bit of luck, have something to put on it.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

new year's day

Here are some photos from our New Year's Day walk. Everything was clean and white and crisp. Now the rain is pouring down and everything has reverted to brown. It was nice while it lasted!
We had a lot of fun over Christmas and New Year with friends old and new. Today there was an aperitif in the village hall to celebrate the new year and everyone in the commune was invited. I was amazed how many people we knew to a greater or lesser extent and how many kisses were doled out! 3 is customery here.
There's no doubt that having a child has made it easier for us to become part of this community. A lady who I vaguely know wished me Bonne Année, Bonne Santé saying 'You're Max's mother aren't you?' Yes I said that's me!

It's back to school and back to work tomorrow. I shall let you know soon what is first on my agenda.

Happy New Year!