Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Adventures and Experiments

Recently I've been experimenting with lots of new materials as well as honing my freehand machine embroidery skills. 

I've always had a thing for seedheads and the shapes and silhouettes they create. I finally started creating work using them as inspiration in May. I then took a break from the work due to various craft fairs, but have recently just got back into experimenting again. 

The work above is called Umbels and is one of the first pieces I created. I started by using a Thermofax print for the colour printed background and then used a bold black thread for the seedheads. I really enjoyed sewing the seedheads as it truly was drawing with my sewing machine. From their I developed the background and created more layers; experimenting with new materials, paints and dyes. Below are the results. 

The three pieces above are on display inf Square Umbrella Gallery, opening this Saturday (24th October), along with 2 more of my works and a whole host of works by other artists. Square Umbrella Gallery is a new venture I have entered into with other artists from my studio group at Commercial Square Studios. See the website for more details, www.commercialsquarestudios.co.uk. 

My most recent work is a further development again from my previous seedhead pieces. I have made the scale larger and used different materials in the background to create alternative textures. It is still a work in progress but here are a few pictures. 

I am looking forward to getting back to stitching this piece and can't wait to see how it turns out. I will obviously keep you updated. 

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Towersey Festival 2015- The Craft Fair

A week ago I returned from a very successful Towersey Festival where I had a stall in the craft fair. This was my first experience of having a stall for longer than a day, I had an absolutely fabulous time and have learnt a lot from it.

Towersey is a 4 day music festival set in the heart of the Oxfordshire countryside. I have been attending the festival for a long time and so I am familiar with the way it works. This in part was a reason I chose it to break my 'weekend stall virginity'.  I have thought about having a stall in the craft fair for the last few years and this year I took the plunge.

Me manning my stall. Photo courtesy of Corrie Berry of Plutonium Muffins. My wonderful craft fair neighbour. 

I enjoyed spending my day in the midst of the festival, chatting to the campers as they walked around enjoying the music, soaking up the atmosphere and sampling the wide selection of ales.

I will definitely consider doing more weekend craft fairs in the future as a result of my experience at Towersey. I enjoyed talking to and getting to know the other traders. They are wonderful crafters and inspirational business people, who gave great advice and it was nice to have other crafters to bounce ideas off of. Many of them had been around the festival circuit and this is something I may look into for next year. I will definitely consider doing more craft fairs over Christmas and into 2016 as a way of continuing to expand the business since opening my Etsy shop in April.

Since returning from Towersey I have added my hoop art and brooches to my Etsy shop and looking to add prints of my work in the future. You can visit my Etsy shop here and keep up to date with my progress by visiting my Facebook page here.

I'm hoping to return again next year. Until then I will keep you posted.


Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Time to reflect

I have recently returned to life drawing for the first time in a long while. It has now become a regular class I attend roughly every 5 weeks. Returning to the discipline has made me realise how much I miss some of the materials I used to use a lot.

While at university I did a lot of drawing so attending the class is a sort of reunion for me with something I used to be very familiar with. 

It didn't take long for me to get back into a rhythm, although I still have off days like any artist does. Not only have I got back into my drawing but I have started to embrace new materials and even started painting, however this is still a technique in progress!

It is also a lovely opportunity to interact with other artists, view their work and talk about ideas. Although I am part of a studio group, I find we can all be ships passing in the night what with all our commitments elsewhere. Spending a whole day drawing is such a brilliant way to spend a day (although totally knackering!)

The human form is a beautiful thing and no two are the same. I enjoy drawing the curves of the body and experimenting with different materials. 
I shall keep you updated with the painting progress. 

Friday, 13 February 2015

Another new year

It seems like only yesterday we were celebrating Christmas and suddenly it is the middle of February! I have, however, so far this year made a positive start towards setting up an online shop. Hoorah! 

I have been working on new designs for samplers for a variety of occasions. Weddings, Christenings and Birthdays will all be catered for. This had been a wonderful experience playing with fabric and getting back to sketching. 

I have thoroughly enjoyed being in the studio a lot more due to a change in job to a part time position. Back in October I made a big decision to leave a full time job I had been in for 7 years, to pursue my passion and to build a business around something I love doing. This goes back to my motto of 'do what you love and love what you do.' I am pleased to say I haven't regretted this decision at all. I went on a lovely long holiday to Australia and came back to a part time job in an art gallery, a very good place to be! 

Hopefully I will have an online shop up and running by Easter, a prospect I am extremely excited about. Here is a sneak preview of what you might see in the shop.


I apologise for the photo quality (they are not the best!) but they hopefully give you an idea of what I've been up to.

Here's to 2015! Onwards and (hopefully!) upwards!