Many thanks to the National Trust staff at Newark Park for allowing me to run a silk painting workshop alongside Brunel Broderer’s current exhibition, ‘New Worke’. We used the sunny book room on the top floor and were able to enjoy the wonderful panoramic views as the inspiration flowed.
I have finished my free machine embroidered drawings of small, inconsequential details of damaged corners of buildings on Park Street, Bristol. I like the fact that details that we normally ignore can have a new meaning when their original identity is removed. But the new meaning is now about memory; days enjoyed with my boys in Bristol frequenting places that will now play an important role in the recollection of the years we have shared together before they venture off to a university in a new city. I think this is true for many of us – the importance of detail that once we may not have noticed until it becomes an inherent part of our past.
I now have to decide how to present my drawings for Art in Action, 2016.The original plan was to use the small drawings for gift cards, but I am now wondering if they could form series as above, or be individually presented, floating in frames?
On Sunday 26th June I will be leading two silk painting classes at the National Trust’s delightful and curious setting, Newark Park, Ozleworth, Gloucestershire. All materials will be supplied on the day and the class will guide you through the fun of designing an image on silk that may be inspired by the wonderful objects on display at Newark Park or simply an idea that you hold.
Here are some examples or work made by children at previous workshops…
Materials used – medium weight silk habitai approx 24cm square, clear gutta and pebeo seta-silk iron fix paints.
The class costs £9 and is aimed at children aged 10 and over. the morning session will start at 11.30 and the afternoon at 14.00 for 1 and 1/2 hours. Numbers are limited to 10 per session.
Adults who are new to silk painting may also enjoy the class…
Please contact Newark Park on 01453 842644 to book a place.
Here are some pictures of my card designs being made for ‘Art in Action’ 2016.
My tendency for the unusual in embroidery themes is happening again: damaged parts of shops and cafes that are alive and bustling on Park Street in Bristol. I think my son was slightly unsure when I started kneeling on the ground to take photographs of damaged wood and brickwork and then suggested that the images would be stitched and used for cards designs.
The only problem I now have is the time that it takes to make each image – possibly over an hour for each one. Are they too expensive for small gift cards? Perhaps I could mount on pieces of white card and then people can choose wether to give as a gift or place in frame. More images to follow.
On Wednesday, Brunel Broderers’ new exhibition started at the lovely National House called ‘Newark Park’ in Ozleworth, Gloucestershire. This is my first exhibition with this well established group.
I chose to make work that reflects on the occupation of young people’s hands. My artist statement explains the concept behind this project…
The faded beauty of the Stuart Casket instantly made me want to draw it: whilst very enjoyable, it was a slow process and after 315 hours of free machine embroidery, only the front was complete. How skilled the young female embroider had been: the excitement of buying the kit sold by a travelling pedlar, followed by many hours of stitching with bone needles and candle light.
I also loved to work from kits as a child – I learnt many skills and filled many a creative hour.
Today, hands continue to be occupied, but what will this generation have to hold in reverence of their childhood?
I have decided to stop using ‘Blogger’ and come back to ‘WordPress’. My old blog can be found here; please visit for information about past projects such as Knit and Stitch 2015, Art in Action 2015 and New Worke at Newark Park with Brunel Broderers, 2016.
I am an interdisciplinary artist and mainly work with stitch and photography. I am particularly interested in creating beauty from the ordinary thing that may be lost, damaged or simply forgotten. I work in an obsessive manner with attention paid to the smallest detail, but the magic happens in the final process when the supporting structure for my stitches drawings is washed away. I work in this way so that I am made to explore my feelings when a project that strives for perfection, looses all control and finds another questionable meaning.
This is a new thread drawing for Art in Action, 2016. The drawing is made with the same technique, obsessive stitching with marathon embroidery threads on vilene solufleece (a dissolvable fabric) which is removed in the final stage.
At first I had mixed views about this piece; the drawing resembles a softer image, perhaps more typical of an embroidery theme. However, the reasons behind the work still play with my ideas of obsession and control, my need to make sure that everything is ok for my boys growing up without their dad. After he died we would visit Spain and stay with my in-laws, Grandad would take then the boys to the local churros cafe where they would dip into luscious cups of thick chocolate with crispy strips of sugary batter. We would always take some bars home, and when difficult issues were being resolved or simply sharing news of a busy day at school, we would make and enjoy large mugs of luscious hot chocolate, topped with marshmallows and cream.
This week I discovered Michelle Hamer in ‘Embroidery Magazine’. Hamer’s documentary photographs are recreated with wool on plastic grids in a painterly way. The images have an architectural sense and are not typical for the medium. Hamer states that she enjoys capturing messages from ‘the in-between spaces’.
A few weeks ago I was on walking down Park Street in Bristol. My aim was to collect images from one street location and use them for inspiration for some small embroidered drawings for cards to sell at ‘Art in Action’. I prefer urban decay and damage, not evident to passer-byes; the interesting patterns and the unexpected material that can be used for embroidery.