Friday, 29 May 2020

A look ahead and behind!

Contemp Textiles Fair 2020
As 2019 comes to a close, I look forward to new events for 2020. On the horizon from 20-22 March is the annual Contemporary Textiles Fair at the Landmark Arts Centre, Teddington  which is always a great fair for the textile lover.

Over the past year, I’ve been making textile pieces of all sizes and budgets to sell at this event. If anyone is interested in coming along, I will have 2 for 1 tickets to give away nearer the time. Some of the pictures I will be taking with me are shown below.

Textile picture with bird

Textile picture with flower and butterfly

Textile picture featuring a flower


Earlier this month, I took part in my first in person selling event in two years. After having a “tidy up”, I found many cyanotype prints that I had made so looked for a Christmas fair in my area. I took part in the EtsyLocal fair in South London at a lovely venue in Peckham that had lots of natural light and a cafe/bar! Above is the display of my table. It was interesting to see the difference in visitor spending habits with the recent economy in the UK and events affecting it. I have been selling at fairs and markets since 2010 and have definitely noticed the change, the exhibiting fees go up but customer spending has gone drastically down!

For any budding artists and designer/makers looking to sell their work this way, I would visit first and really think if it is the right audience for your work. You will find it, just investigate and that will save time and money in the future. There is definitely an audience for textile art but not every event is right for it which is why I chose to only show my prints here.

I want to thank you, my audience for your continued interest and support. It is very much appreciated. Textile lovers are niche lot but our reward is great!

Have a wonderful festive time and peaceful New Year where ever you are in the world. 
See you next year for more textile adventures. 

Anatomy of a textile piece

Nice and holey!
Hello again! 

My next blog posts will be about my latest textile artwork which I am currently making while on a enforced break from my full time job. While it is worrying times and an uncertain future, I can’t help but see this as an opportunity for personal development. A chance to work on and explore areas that interest me though never quite found the time including a regular exercise routine! 😆

I thought it would be interesting to post about the making of a textile piece and the thought process that goes with it. I like to see other artists working and the progress of what their making, it’s interesting to see the stages, what works, what doesn’t and the idea behind the work.

I keep a little book, not even a sketch book as such, that has ideas, designs, things that interest me even shopping lists of what materials I need to buy! From a seed of an idea through something I read or seen, I do a little research. 

My latest piece came about from a number of sources. With some exceptions, my overall work is influenced by a interest in cosmology and have always had a fascination for the night sky.  I was rewatching the recent version of the science documentary Cosmos, a spacetime odyssey (I loved the original Carl Sagan version!) and there was a episode called "A sky full of ghosts" a poetic description of stars. The episode was about the speed of light and how the light we see from stars are from billions of years ago when we observe them on Earth. It is amazing to know that the light we see now is like looking into the past. A spark of an idea formed...

Detail of the Furoshiki cloth.

I looked through my extensive fabric stash and picked one bought a few years ago that's been waiting for the right purpose. It is a antique Japanese Furoshiki wrapping cloth originally to bundle belongings together before plastic bags became more the norm. Dyed in deep indigo it is pieced together from three strips of cloth and has wonderful sashiko stitching in a fan design on each corner. The stitching would have originally cumulated into a plaited braid to then tie together to make a bundle. These have worn away as has one of the corners. 

There are rips, holes, patches, fading and stains, lovely! I do not want to hide these elements, they are highlighted and used in the design, the textile's history is part of the finished piece. This is what attracted me to it in the first place so why hide it? The final design was dictated by the dimensions of the textile and the sashiko stitching in each corner that is quite dominant. 

My next step was to try sampling some ideas which will be my next blog post.

Close up of sashiko stitching.

The whole background fabric.