Bridging Arts

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Love this! Rough sewing ....

What's She Like?: D.I.Y Make Up Bag: I think it has something to do with the time of year, but I keep having hankerings for making things. Most recently, I made this make up ba...

A wonderful piece by Josie Harris.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Loose covers with a twist

Back in London on a Saturday for the first time for months, after many weekends in Cornwall - while having a coffee with a friend, spot these loose covers tacked on to hard and unappealing office chairs in the cafe at the Bush Theatre, Shepherds Bush. Almost Liberty lawn, but not quite. Love the contrast between the corporate chair structure and the familial feel of the fabric - and this effect is easily attainable. Even I could do it!  Tack on the vague shape, then cut roughly before sewing, I imagine.

Of course this is not a durable answer to anything - the fabric is only light weight - nowhere near suitable for upholstery. But that's not the point. Will get to work on a sofa that I have in Cornwall - an ancient Parker Knoll two-seater upholstered in the most depressing fabric ever (consigned temporarily to the shed, out of sight). There is hope for it yet.
Interesting how fabric can soften and personalise to such an extent.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Such an ingenious way of presenting can buy them by the crate here....

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Lily of the valley

Am always taken by surprise by the flowers. This is a late May Day ....welcoming spring.

Flora Day

An early start to catch the 7 am dance that starts Flora Day in Helston, Cornwall.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Street art

Almost walked straight past this on the way to work....and it's extraordinary.

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Embroidered pillowcases

LOVE this embroidered pillowcase by Tessa... This one inspired by a Schiele drawing. Another  - inspired by EastEnders Dot Cotton - (no pun intended) on her blog...
Keen Stitch blog readers will remember our previous pillowcases...which included this one...

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Shifting focus slightly...

Off to Cornwall for a couple of weeks to explore our new project around worklessness, which will build on 'I Packed This Myself' which looked at the experience of migration, and interaction between migrant workers and local communities in Cornwall.
So posts on this blog may be few and far between for a day or two - but lots of news on the I Packed This Myself blog.

Our volunteer Katrina Williams has told me about something that I've only peripherally been aware of -
It's a site where you sign up and register your areas of interest. Then you get to know about relevant groups meeting locally. Katrina has been to a few needlework and sewing gatherings and says they've been brilliant.
Her theory is that is soaring in popularity because Adult Education classes are so expensive now.
Meet-up gatherings are usually free or have a nominal fee. Katrina has met some very interesting people, exploring all sorts of different stitch related work, in the needlework groups. I will have to ask her to send me some photos.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Young woman in a boa

Love this watercolour by Henry Somm (Jeune Femme au Boa)...

Thursday, 1 March 2012

The prophet Joel

"And rend your hearts, not your garments." Joel 2:13
Know little of the prophet Joel, but this is an interesting thought for the start of Lent. Have been thinking about clothes and self image - and the way style choices are linked to levels of inner confidence.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Paint and embroidery

A good tip from What's She Like?  - Michael Raedecker exhibition at Hauser and Wirth on Piccadilly features huge canvases sewn together and thick white paint...
"Best known for his subtle and unsettling, enigmatic works combining muted tones of paint and embroidery, Raedecker’s paintings explore and push the boundaries of his medium. He goes beyond conventional methods of representing formal elements such as texture and perspective. Through his layering of thread, paint and small, yet aggressive punctures to his canvas, Raedecker imparts an unexpected physicality to his two-dimensional works." Hauser and Wirth press release

Hauser and Wirth is such a strange place  (once a bank - in the basement you can still see the safe) and has interesting exhibitions. And the last one I saw, too, in the summer had a fabric theme. It backs on to Jermyn Street with its many gentlemen's outfitters and tailors....

I like white paintings. Something about photos of the Raedecker work reminds me of Cy Twombley (above - though of course no embroidery involved there..).  But need to go and see them to be sure. Open until 5 April 2012.

So many tiny stitches

Somehow they have a resonance with the tiny leaves and fronds of the ferns.....

Maidenhair fern

And on the windowsills

Sunday lunch

Roast pork at my parents. On the way upstairs notice some framed embroidery - finished by my mum last year.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Clinging on

Ivy keeping a pretty tight grip on this thorn tree.

A sad day for my sewing machine

The man doesn't think it's worth servicing....I only ever asked it to sew straight lines but after 23 years even this is getting a bit too much for it.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Moving forward

Just - thanks to the heroic James Jensen, boyfriend of the genius behind One Off Style and a man with a VERY sharp mind -  I have got the Bridging Arts accounts off in the nick of time.
So it's a moment to reflect on where next? All the work with embroidery, fabric, colour - and related issues of pattern and place - has been so important. Where does it lead?
In the Annual Report and Accounts we identify three areas of future activity. The first is 'the new pastoral' i.e. the reality of life in rural England. (After a visit to Redruth this morning, I can report that away from Cornwall's coastal crust - where tourism is drifting upmarket - things are tough. )
The other two, though, stick with the theme of pattern:       

-         embroidery for the isolated specifically people with Alzheimer’s, disabled people, people in care homes and people in prisons
-         the relationship between pattern, place and self image. In particular we will look at the ways in which identity is defined by clothes, fabric and fashion.

 Our original funding streams, of course, have long come to an end. So it's a question of deciding whether to apply piecemeal for the odd course of workshops here and there. Or to develop something - the next step - rather bigger. A thought for the weekend. 

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

More summer colours

Such a grey week. This cake in a cafe window on Shepherds Bush Green cheered me up. Kiwis and pears on a fake cream gateau....

Monday, 20 February 2012

More photo scarves

Photo prints

Photos of blossom, buds and leaves printed on silk scarves. My photos don't do them justice.

Jaffa orange

Really summery....spring far more pastel.

Mediterranean tutti frutti

Or the fantastically rich colours of these beads... Almost as if summer is lived more richly and intensely than winter (not actually the case)

Colours of summer

It seems to have been such a grey winter. Have seen the odd daffodils in window boxes. But nothing like this blast of summer yellow on the jewellery counter at Fenwick.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Stitch and Craft Show

It has taken a meeting with Katrina Williams - who's helped so much with our embroidery and needlework projects - to prompt a first post in 2012. How did January slip by so quickly?!
Katrina has picked up a flyer for the Stitch and Craft Show - 15-18 March 2012 at Olympia.
This is run by Twisted Thread - the same organisation that runs the Knitting and Stitching Show every year at Alexandra Palace.