Thursday 31 July 2008

Summer Time at last

The first day of my hols and I've added stitching to this piece which I started at the PSG Summer School recently. I've used acrylic wax to build up layers of wire rubbings, stitched lines on tissue paper with trapped wire 'drawing'. The acrylic wax allowed for greater transparency of the layers. The stitching was done by machine to add shapes of vine leaves and grapes to this group of bottles. I then unpicked a lot of it to make broken lines as I thought the continuous red lines were a bit too dominant.

'Threads of Meaning' - PSG Summer School 2008

Resolved piece by Una Smith
Three workshops under this banner title were run by Jan Evans, Dorothy Tucker and myself. I optimistically called my workshop 'Seeing the Light'. Using transparent materials and basing ideas on drawings of glass shapes, students rose to the challenge of 'learning their lines' to create a series of experimental and very sensitive pieces in stitched, drawn, rubbed and wire lines.
I was fortunate to work with 16 extremely hard-working and imaginative students. The five days passed quickly and was full of fun, friendship and (I have to mention it) food. We were treated to three 'feasts' per day by the extremely helpful staff at Harper Adams. After such a lot of concentrated work, we almost fought to be first in the queue for the dessert trolley! I hope you enjoy the selection of photos below. If you have any you'd like to contribute, I'd love to include them if you would attach them to an email to me at .

Students - Valerie, Una, Jane and Julia hard at work.

Below - Valerie then Sandra

Lots of wonderful work was produced developed from drawing of continuous lines from the bottles still life. Transparent and translucent layers of papers and fabrics were built up, sometimes trapping wire shapes and sections of soluble stitching.

The three tutors, Jan, Dorothy and myself spent each evening in serious discussion of the day's work and planning the complexities of the rest of the programme.

Monday 14 July 2008

'Pfaffing' around in France

The Art Textiles exhibition sponsored by Pfaff is now showing during the summer at Chatelaudren in France after its appearance at the Knitting and Stitching Show at Ally Pally. Two intrepid travellers, myself and fellow exhibitor Janice Myers set out on the over-night ferry from Roscoff last Wednesday evening to attend the opening ceremony on the Thursday evening. Two short train journeys took us to the nearest town, Guingamp, where we were met by a Tourist Bureau official and driven to the attractive little town of Chatelaudren. The exhibition had been set up by Jacqueline and Monsieur Govin in an extremely spacious and light gallery, which was used as the regions council chamber outside the holiday period.
The opening was attended by many people including press and Minister of Culture and Tourism dignitaries. During the many speeches (in French) Janice and myself were welcomed as 'exotic artistes' and presented with a couple of books as gifts. Janice and I discovered that we could speak a bit of French after the glass of champagne and exquisite 'nibbles'. The dinner afterwards in a local restaurant was a jolly affair as several of our company discovered they could speak a bit of English too!
These photos are just a few 'snaps' taken by ourselves. We've been promised the official photos that the press took so will add those later.

Saturday 12 July 2008

Summer School 2008; friendship ribbons

Julie's friendship ribbon forms a rosette marking her success at her first Distant Stitch Summer School.

Friendship ribbons hanging from the stairway at Urchfont Manor.

Summer School dessert!

The Urchfont Manor lunch buffet, especially the desserts, are known as the 'disappearing waistline'. Has Maggie's dessert disappeared as well?

Enjoyable evidence

Everyone produced the most amazing pieces which you can see here. I don't seem to have everyones. Please send me an image if your's isn't here or if you have continued to work into it.

Cas Holmes, guest tutor

Cas has set up her own blog which she's asked me to pass on to you all.
Cas inspired everyone to stretch beyond their perceived ability level by enabling and challenging our ideas. The intriguing methods of momigami, layering and stitch. Cas encouraged everyone to 'accept the challenge, follow their instincts and enjoy' the process.

Group pics between the rain!

Just a few pics to be getting on with to help us recall the stimulating workshop with Cas and the exciting pieces created. The group photos might have missed one or two people, but reflect the fun that was enjoyed both in and out of the studio. Cas Holmes is sitting on the right on the bottom step and Sian on the top step, second from the left. I hope those queueing for their final Urchfont dessert will succeed in disguising their expanded waistbands at home! Please send me your own photos so I can add to this 'cavalcade' and to replace those of last year's Summer School on the website.