‘Threads’ and the design process

A break in posting as I have been on holiday and also very busy! I managed to complete and mount two additional pieces of work for the local Threads exhibition. A bit last minute as I was actually stitching the final work to its canvas half an hour before going down to setup. Still, I always work more effectively right up against a deadline.

There seems to be a growing interest in textile-based art; this is the second exhibition in Wivenhoe this summer. The six of us had very different approaches. Eliza’s art features simple appliqué and stitch; Lesley is a fantastic milliner; Annie’s landscapes shimmer and glow; Beth’s fabrics are bright and enticing; Janet creates her life drawings in machine line and transparent appliqué; and my pieces feature hand embroidery and machine piecing and quilting. It was very exciting to be asked to be part of this, and a challenge.

On Saturday there was Design to Stitch in Swaffham, the Embroiderers’ Guild Eastern Region’s annual get-together. Well worth the long drive. There were exhibited embroideries  to enjoy, many traders to patronise and two great lecturers. Jane McKeating explored for us the design processes of several established, and not so established, artist/makers. A fascinating insight into the many different ways it’s possible to move from idea to finished piece. Sian Martin continued the theme in the afternoon by asking us if we were ‘sat-nav or road atlas’ designers. Sat navvers have a starting idea and a definite end point, following a thought out route to their destination. Road atlasers take the opportunity to explore side roads, alternative routes and places of interest (and their destination may change as well!). We had all written our names in bright fabric pens on a sheet at the beginning of the day and now each was handed a random small square from this to stitch on in any way we felt. A fascinating exercise in trusting one’s intuition when stitching and responding to all the ‘what-if’s’ that come to mind. The final array was impressive and will be stitched into a banner to be used in campaigning for the restitution of creative arts and textiles in schools. A great idea.