an artists' view

an artists' view

Sunday, 28 December 2014

'The Infinite Contained'

 The fabric collages hanging in the space of Westgate Chapel
 'For No-One'
 'My Family'
 'The Other Half of the Sky'
 'Holding (for PSM)'
 'My Garden'
Visitors to the exhibition
It was quite a scarey evening. The work is far more 'autobiographical' than any other I've ever made, so I felt very exposed, and 'on view'. The feedback was entirely positive though. Friends who knew the background to the work, came and expressed their delight. And even complete strangers came up to me and told me how much they liked it.
I have been taken aback by the comments.
And now; I'm spending the holidays having a proper break! No work (re; job) and not thinking about creating ANYTHING! I've decided I'm going to 'absorb' for a while. Spend time looking; at things around me, and at other artists.
Ideas are ghosts in my mind; I want to use the mangle for printing with, so that's one thing I'll experiment with....later. And I want to do some more weaving...that I can then print onto. For now; rest. It's been a very intense few years; and now is the time for consolidation, and resting.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

'the Source: Nornes; Urd, Verdandi, & Skuld'

This is the weaving, completed; attached to hawthorn, and beautifully framed up by Carl Hardwick, based at Westgate Studios.
The thread that creates the pattern is hand dyed.
It's ready for the exhibition on Wednesday.
More than I am!
Stitches to complete yet!

Saturday, 15 November 2014

spring and autumn silk

Silk, coloured by honeysuckle berries, blackberries, amongst others. The silk folded, with the berries amongst the fabric, then hammered into pulp!
VERY therapeutic!
A close up view. I left it for ages; just sitting there folded. Then put it on top of a pan I was boiling pomegranates in. Steamed the silk. I'll iron it, to try and retain the colour, though it may prove fugitive?
The silk before the hammered berry process. In spring I picked bluebells and random blue flowers, and folded them into the fabric. Then steamed them. Left it all for months, before adding the berries. The blue had faded some.

Saturday, 8 November 2014


The weaving has been completed; and went up to the framers yesterday. I'm looking forward to getting it back nicely framed up. I'll attempt a photo, though the glass might reflect....see how it comes out.

My exhibition at Westgate Chapel is called 'The Infinite Contained'. It's part of the Wakefield ArtWalk.

Friday, 31 October 2014

happy Hallowe'en

Time Bakery in Wakefield, celebrates Hallowe'en by baking a pumpkin out of bread! Lovely!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

My friend Jean has moved to Scotland. She and Steve have bought a house, but she was down in Yorkshire to try and empty her polytunnel.....well....she's got hundreds, nay, thousands! of plants in there! So she's invited her mates round to take away whatever plants they want. On Friday I drove over, and filled my van with plants! Needless to say it hardly made a dent in her collection!
But it will make a significant difference to MY garden! Above is a selection of the plants she gave me. So this is my job for the autumn/winter. Clearing space/s to plant up. I have never had enough money to go buy this many plants; so to have them GIVEN to me, is an absolute joy! I'm so grateful to Jean. Such generosity.
And the twisted hazel has the catkins already. I've been out chopping it back; letting some light into the garden, and cutting out the straight growths to maintain the twisted branches. The pyracantha has to be massacred once the berries have been eaten; and there'll be more space and light in the garden; that will allow me to have a sense of the structure of my garden, and allow me to make better decisions about where to plant up.
 Just love the sculptural forms of these seed heads!
And writing of gifts; this is  gift to my 14 year-old self! Who wanted to learn guitar; and never had enough money to buy one; and my parents couldn't have afforded to buy this for me. I've spent some of my redundancy money on this beautiful guitar. Went to the local music shop, and asked their advice. Have been strumming it for the last week or so; but I'm going to see about lessons.
Because I realised if not now, then never. Time slipping away.   

Saturday, 4 October 2014


This is it.
I need to stitch a couple of loops onto the back, so I'll be able to hang it for the exhibition in November's Artwalk in Wakefield.
It has plant-dyed fabric (brown=walnuts; blue=woad; green=existing commercially dyed); hand printed, and hand-stitched, elements. And a lot of running stitch, which you can see better in the earlier posts. I think I've just got 2 more 'samples' to complete now. Best get on with it! 

Saturday, 20 September 2014


It's almost completed, this one! Just the final few stitches to add, and then it'll be already. The exhibition I'm having will be in November, so I shall be busy completing everything for that. At the bottom, is a photo of the Chapel where I'm exhibiting.

I was in Westgate Chapel last weekend, when they were open as part of the Long Division Festival in Wakefield. Lots of bands to see; and some, performing in the Chapel itself. Here are some pews, and stained glass windows. Oh yeah...and some people! 

Saturday, 30 August 2014

'bandaged heart'

 Close up; the 'heart' with loose threads.
 The complete piece. It's turned out like a small for the exhibition in November, I'm thinking to put it onto a chair, and just hope no-one sits on it!
I printed onto a bandage, and stitched the fabric/s together.
Layers; and stuffed with quilting fibre.
Then stitched onto denim, as the background fabric. 
This was one day in spring, in the very early stages of making, when the sun shone in through the studio door, and illuminated the procian dyed polyester! You can see the texture of the bandage more clearly in this photo.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Anglesey Stone

 Wrapped a stone with grasses.
 Quartz on the campsite grounds.
 Windmill querns to grind the flour. Here set into the floor of the windmill. 
 Stones set into the centre of the labyrinth.
 Holed stones used as weights for the reconstructed Iron-Age
loom in the recreated hut. 
Cottage walls, of what used to be the community baker. People would bring their loaves to be baked in the big ovens.
In the 17th century we didn't have our own individual ovens. We'd have an open fire on which to cook, or later on, ranges. 

Friday, 22 August 2014

Experimental Printing

Machine stitching onto blown plastic; with organdie fabric laid over it.
Inked up with fabric paint, and printed onto;
Above; printed onto an old road map.  
 Same print, on water-colour paper.
 Same print; onto fabric
Close-up; of fabric, with additional stitching.
I took this away with me this week, when I went off to Anglesey camping in my van. Sitting in the sun, beer in hand, stitching away.
Just playing, and seeing what happens.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

What July brought.....

My niece, Helen, married Tim. Emotions ran high. We toasted Pam, her mum, my sister, who died in 1998. Helen looked beautiful; it was a fabulous day. We all cried! It was a wedding!
 I visited Sharon, my friend from art college days, who now lives in Milton Keynes. We visited the 'Breathing Room'.....and it really did 'breathe'!
Spookily so.
Sharon and I went to London for the day, to visit Tate Britain, to see the Folk Art exhibition. We were both slightly underwhelmed. The exhibits were fascinating; but they lacked any real context. It felt that it didn't live up to the promise. Ah well, glad I went.
And now; August. The evenings seem to be drawing in. Getting darker, earlier.
And tomorrow I'm away to Wales.
Spend some time beside the sea; spend some time in good company; spend some time in my camper, in a field. And ponder the future.
July has been a very intense month. A rollercoaster of emotions. Big changes.
It will be great to simply be.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

'hands' #2

The stitched hands.
Used 2 different thicknesses of thread.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014


This collagraphy print is on silk dyed with cow parsley. Since I dyed this, and printed onto it, I've added more fabric; and am stitching onto it. There are no hands in this photo, but the hands are emerging out of the stitching. More photos will be added as I work on it.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

plant dyed silk......

Tie-dyed green silk; popped into a pomegranate dye-pot. It's a bit paler than in the photo. Not quite so good definition.
White silk tie-dyed in the pomegranate dye-pot. This looks more 'metallic'; the reality, is greyer.
White silk with blue flowers pressed between it. Seems the bluebells created this blue. I wonder how long it will last? I used no mordants; the pomegranate is mordant enough, most of the time. The blue (bells) I fully expect to fade and disappear. I'll leave it a while, before I use it in any samples.
I've completed another of my samples; mounted it onto a stiff piece of denim. I'm considering using some final stitching on it; to really finish it. It's a relief piece; I used quilting batting for that effect. It's the only sample that has this. So far, anyway!
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