Saturday 31 March 2012

Beautiful Buttons!

Lots of buttons

A little while ago I bought some little shaped cutters for fimo (polymer clay) and this week I have been using them to make pretty buttons. I believe that most things can be improved by adding buttons so it made sense to start making some of my own. I'm very pleased with the results and if you like them I've put some up for sale in my folksy shop. Some of them I pressed lace into to see whether I could get a nice texture and whilst they didn't come out quite as I expected I do rather like the result, I can see myself getting a little carried away with button making!


Lace Hearts

Lace Hearts, detail

Swirly Hearts

Swirly Stars

Sunday 25 March 2012

Life Drawing #6

1 minute pen sketch

Thursday was the last of the current set of life drawing sessions, the next set starts on 26th April. It was a little bit on the chilly side so we had to cut a couple of the poses short. We did eventually find the thermostat but by that point it was almost time to finish! Never mind, I know for next time. Martin gave us some excellent poses but I couldn't seem to find my drawing mojo and I wasn't very pleased with my drawings but that's just the way it goes sometimes. If you'd like to come to any of the next lot of sessions you can drop me a line or just turn up!

Pen drawing, continuous line

2 quick sketches of the same pose

Continuous line drawings

Sketch done using a permanent marker

Large charcoal drawing

Wednesday 21 March 2012

The Lace Space Revisited

The new and improved Lace Space

Last summer during Universal, our community arts festival up at The Heathlands Project, I created, with one of my groups, the Lace Space; made of knitted, crocheted, woven and melted plastic bags. You can find the original post and pictures here: It took a bit of a battering during the high winds of winter and I was never totally happy with the top of the piece so over the past few weeks (months) I have been improving it. I've added a top tier and re-hung it outside on Monday. I'm really pleased with the new section, I think it looks a lot better and it also works better when you stand inside it. Many thanks to all the folks who helped me with the sourcing, cutting, knitting and crocheting of the plastic bags!

Looking up and out the top of the Lace Space

Seen through the trees

Swaying in the breeze

From the side

At the top

Looking up

Crochet detail

Crochet detail

More crochet detail

Lace detail

Looking out through the Lace

Through the Lace

Sunday 18 March 2012

Mushrooms...the start of something?

Felted Mushroom

Today I have typed up a proposal written by my friend Helen and I for a piece of performance/installation art involving felting and mushrooms and Kendal. I do not wish to give too much away suffice to say that if our proposal is accepted I think it will be one of the most fun, and random, projects I've worked on, and I've worked on some strange projects!

I have also made a small felted mushroom from Jacob and Shetland fleece to get into the spirit of things. I think it's really quite sweet. I used a seamless felt method where a plastic resist is used to form 3D shapes, in this case a bell shape and tube shape. The Jacob, used for the cap and mixed with the Shetland for the stalk, is quite a coarse fibre and the resulting felt is still quite hairy which gives the mushroom a rather fuzzy texture and appearance. The spots are merino which felts much more easily and is a much softer fibre which I think works well as the spots kind of melt into the cap.

Tuesday 13 March 2012

4x6 Exchange

4x6 Exchange piece

I've just finished my piece for the 4x6 exchange, run by Brooklyn based Art House Coop (find out more here.) I did several ball point pen drawings of my hands, all overlapping and in different positions and then cut out my favourite bit to the required size (4x6 inches.) I then pleated and insertion stitched some tracing paper over the top and then backed it all with a piece of plain white paper and blanket stitched the whole lot together. I find it quite difficult and a little restrictive to work on such a small scale and I like the way the blanket stitch acts like a barrier, making it feel enclosed and trapped. I also like the layers and how the tracing paper slightly but not totally obscures the drawing. I hope whoever gets my work likes it! I'm really looking forward to seeing what work I get in return, it could be anything from anywhere which is very exciting.

Stitching the tracing paper

The cut up drawing

Tracing paper over the drawing

Blanket stitching the edges

Corner view

Sunday 11 March 2012

Life Drawing #5

Grey pen, quick sketch

We had a new model for this session, Martin Rowe who's blog you can find here. He had some excellent poses and it was good to draw someone different. I think I've been really lucky with the models I've found; they've all been excellent at choosing and holding poses and have always been punctual and reliable and to top it off they're all nice people! I was really tired on Thursday and I struggled (as usual) with the longer poses, I couldn't get into to doing any detailed drawing so I resorted to my favourite pen and continuous line style. I think Martin was quite surprised at the size of my drawings, they do seem to be spreading over increasing numbers of pieces of paper, it makes photographing them quite difficult but it's fun whilst doing the drawing.


Pen, 4 sheets of A2

I've also booked the community centre for the next set of sessions so if you're in the area and fancy giving it a go come along!

Saturday 10 March 2012

Melty Lace Flowers

Crocheted Plastic Flower Decoration

As some of you may know I love to knit and I love to melt stuff. I have also been known to combine these two interests to create pieces such as The Lace Space which I am currently doing some more work on. The basic process involves cutting plastic bags into strips, knitting or crocheting them and then melting them, this creates quite a rigid piece of fabric which is, of course, waterproof. On a smaller scale my friend and colleague Helen T and I along with help from Susan have been crocheting a flower garden using the same technique. We intend this to be a beautiful outside 'curtain garden.' We also thought that these pieces would make beautiful hanging decorations, either inside or outside. This pair of flowers was made using a discarded plastic poncho and a sandwich bag. I made the pattern up as I went along!

Big flower

Little Flower

Little flower detail

Large flower detail