Thursday, 26 September 2013

Shops & Trades

A couple of days ago we had an exhibition in Kings Lynn of this project  - Shops and Trades - which I worked on with the Norris Museum in St Ives.  The project was a collaboration between the Norris and the Ivo School and within the school it was a collaboration between the history and the textiles departments.

The project started with Gilly Vose from the Norris Museum briefing the girls and taking them on a tour of Houghton Mill where they had the opportunity to handle some very old tools of the trades and to start developing scrapbooks on their topics.

Meanwhile I was predying lots of different fabrics and threads, using natural dyes to get the soft vintage colours that form the backgrounds - there were lots of simmering pots and steam going on here for a couple of weekends.

All in all we created 6 banners.  The girls selected images of shops and trades gathered from local museums and transferred them onto textiles. They used various methods- inkjet transfer paper, diazo print and photocopy transfer. Then they added frames, stitch and other embellishements according to their particular theme. They came in over their lunch hours to do extra work and they did a really wonderful job.

As always, we had to add in a screen printed element - and that's how they did the titles.

My wonderful mother arrived just in time to work with me sewing all the lovely patches to the banners.  We decided to do it all by hand - in keeping with the old fashioned craftsmanlike ethos of the banners and so, many hours later, here they are:

Here they are at the exhibition before the exhibition - hard to explain.......but it gives you some idea of scale

And here are some close up details:

And just to end with a word of thanks to Di and Claire - the 2 wonderful teachers who made this whole project possible and kept the young people inspired by their enthusiasm.

The banners will be touring round various local museums over the next 2 years- look out for them in your area!

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Fun with Felt: Hats

Felt is fun!- what more can I say?  Winter is coming and I've been making hats.  

Thanks to Kate for being a very loyal and beautiful model and for never complaining about all the ridiculous things I asked her to model over the years!

I'll be running a 5 week course in felting  at Cottenham Village College.  If you are interested click on  Felting - the next step.  It is aimed at those who have done some beginner felting before and who want to try some new things but it is open to absolute beginners as well. It will be on Wednesday mornings from 6 Nov 2013.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Big Feet Little Feet

Introducing the Thongsley Giant!!!

Waiting anxiously for his big entry to the carnival parade....

And after the applause!

In repose after the event

   And here are some details of the felted landscapes made by the children and their parents which made up the giant's cloak:

And this is his skeleton :

 He has become a much loved member of the school!

I worked with Key Stage 1 children and their parents over several weeks to make our gorgeous giant  and other carnival costumes.

Sandra and Mel Scott also made lots of wonderful costumes with the families including tie dye and tasssels and other sparkly things and Jo ran the  Samba section. See  sandra's blog for our 'team portrait' 

 In preparation for the Giant's carnival we did lots of research on giants, we read books about giants; we made books and wrote our own giant stories;  we drew tiny giants, projected them up on the wall and measured them; we  created great big giants on the floor with strips of fabric and the children lay down next to them to compare sizes.  

This was all part of the wonderful Big Feet Little Feet family learning project  at Thongsley Fields Primary School.  

Big Feet Little Feet is a Natural High project .

Screen Print Workshop Cambridge Botanic Gardens

Well I have neglected this blog for a very long time...........but now  the weather has finally forced me out of the garden and back to the computer.  I have a big backlog of work to show and I can't think how best to start - so I might as well begin with  last week and work backwards over the next few posts.  

So here is a sample of some of the  work made by the learners who came on the workshop at the  Botanic Gardens in Cambridge.  The gardens were beautiful and, as you can see, a great source of inspiration for the lovely textiles that people printed. Well done to all who took part !
Link for other events at the Gardens Botanic Gardens