Monday, 30 September 2013

Fresh Take At Burghley House

We were delighted by international exhibiting textile artist Anita Bruce on Saturday at our branch of the Embroiderers Guild. Anita is well known for her sculptural forms knitted in wire, and came to share her new work and the work of five local artists in the Fresh Take at Burghley exhibition.

Fresh Take is a contemporary art exhibition with artists responding to the history, interior decoration and collections at Burghley House in Stamford.
Burghley was built by William Cecil, Lord High Treasurer to Queen Elizabeth I. He hoped that Elizabeth I would visit Burghley but an outbreak of smallpox prevented this from happening. This event has been depicted as a wonderful pair of shoes by sugar craft artist Kathryn Parsons. Kathryn has also made another pair of shoes full of delicately crafted flowers

Anita was influenced by the bird imagery found throughout the house and blended photographs of tapestries and paintings with feathers she had drawn. The result is a beautiful heavy silk fabric with rich feather designs.This has been used to create the silk Trophy Birds which hang at the top of the Hell Staircase. 
Jason Duckmanton's Danse Macabre zoetrope, 
Lindsey Holme's the Little Bedlam Club 
Sue Shield's delicate narrative fragments 
And Street Artist, Stuart Payn's innovative cabinet all make for an exciting new Fresh Take on Burghley

Anita brought some fabric remnants to whet our appetites

Certainly not an exhibition to miss and with the Burghley Flower Festival starting this Saturday (5th October) there is even more reason for a day out.


Friday, 27 September 2013


Hello everyone

I haven't deserted my blog, just been busy catching up on marking. Lot's of time spent at the computer and not enough in the studio, so not much creativity to report. I have been busy making the Blue John #1 block for the International Block Swap, but it has been decided by the group not to publish photos until December, so I will have to keep you in suspense. 

I have received my new flyers for the City & Guilds courses which I am pleased with as they are so colourful. 

Also the Calico group have an exhibition at John Clare Cottage in Helpston starting next week. 

Normal posting will be resumed soon, Bev

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Blue John Blocks #3

Development of the 7 piece block 

Having explored the 6 piece block I then turned to the 7 Piece block. As I said in the earlier posts I was thinking of marble floors and tile patterns.

Taking the tracing of the picture and simplifying the block and adding in tonal values gave some striking block designs. 

As each block has 4 sides different larger blocks can be created.
I haven't mirrored the image yet and have only used 2 or three different tonal values. 

Putting two of the larger blocks together, it is starting to look like tiles.

I really like this block but it didn't work in this form for the quilt so back to the drawing board.


Sunday, 1 September 2013

The Pencil Museum

The Summer is nearly over and there certainly is a slight snap in the air. Things have been busy on the home front with sorting out some of the clutter accumulated over many years. There has also been time to catch up with family further afield. Being from the Lake District I do miss the mountains and I can feel myself relax when I catch sight of them. The weather was beautiful and there's no better place to be than Keswick, for me anyway.

Every time I go back 'home' the town has changed. We seem to play spot the new shop. It is almost a relief when the new shops are not more outdoor clothing. There is a lovely new interior shop called Poets Interiors which is in the old dining room of the Royal Oak Hotel. The wonderful listed stained glass windows with portraits of Lake poets and some of their verse makes this shop unique. 

Another first for me this trip, was that we had time to visit the Pencil Museum. The factory is long gone but the museum is on part of the factory site. There is a feeling of nostalgia in this visit, as my mother was a book keeper at the pencil factory and the managers secretary at the Royal Oak Hotel. 
The story behind pencil making is fascinating and I hadn't realised what goes into something that I take quite for granted. The science behind the production of accurate colours, makes this humble everyday item something really special.

One of my favourite Derwent Pencil products has to be the Inktense Range and I was lucky to be given this wonderful set last Christmas. They are vibrant water soluble ink pencils. The full depth of colour is not revealed until water has been added. They can be also be used on fabric.

This is a idea sample for a fan. The leaves are applied and then trapunto quilted for a 3D effect. I used the Inktense pencils to add shading to the plain green fabric. 
Lots of potential for this art material I feel.