I was delighted to receive an award from SIT Select for 'taking part in the Trail and providing an insight into the creative world of the designer makers in Stroud and surrounding areas.' Here is a view of my 'posh shed'.
Annie Hutchinson and I are hoping for more visitors again this weekend, 16th and 17th May.
Visitors seemed happy to walk along the lane which is looking lovely with its border of cow parsley. Annie Hutchinson's wonderful animals sit well in the dining room, especially on the piano and I am showing more of my work on the stairs and landings.
Theo the Bedlington met Watson the whippet too and had a good romp in the garden.
I do hope the weather is fine for this weekend. My Banksia rose has taken a bit of a battering in the wind this week but is still hanging in there. I've never seen it in such bloom.
This is my latest hanging of wild arum, arum maculatum, using organzas and polyesters on a velvet background. They have interesting names- starch root, cows and bulls, snake head, jack-in- the - pulpit, lords and ladies.
I've hung it in my shed ready for the Trail that starts on Saturday 9th May.
The bumpy lane has had some bags of road stone, the driveway a sweep and my gorgeous Banksia rose is approaching full bloom. I do hope the weather improves, it's really cold and windy at the moment.
This afternoon I gave a talk to Worcester Embroiderers. They are a large, very friendly group with 80 members with a waiting list to join, which is wonderful.
Annie Hutchinson is coming tomorrow to put her work up. I can't wait to see it.
Newark Park was busy on Bank Holiday Monday. The views from the house across towards the Severn are stunning and there is a lovely walk through the woods with banks of wild garlic. We've got our own crop at home and it makes a tasty pesto.
The wallpaper exhibition in the top floor of the house is small but fascinating. The hand embroidered wallpaper on silk was extraordinary and I also liked the digitally embroidered designs.
This is the final collection of small Journal Quilt pieces made as part of the Contemporary Quilt Group challenge. I made one piece a month. Each piece is 8 inches square and my aim was to sample different background textures and line techniques. Soon I will make a limited choice of stitching methods to make a new large wall hanging. I now need to come up with a way of displaying these pieces - maybe on a linen background.
I made two of these faux chenille rugs as Christmas presents. The first had a more complicated stitched pattern but I have run out of time with this one so it is simpler.
The technique is easy but the stitching and cutting rather hard on the fingers. I used two layers of denim and four layers of other fabrics including some plain coloured curtain lining and some cotton batik. Dyed rather than printed fabric works best. The fabrics are layered up then stitched diagonally on the bias of the fabric. The layers, excluding the base, are cut through. Then comes the fun bit - you shove it in the washing machine on a long wash then tumble dry. Unfortunately you need to tumble dry it to bash up the fibres. Some people attack the fabric with a wire suede brush. With luck, the fabric fluffs out to make a really lovely soft textured surface. It is a great way of recycling fabric and the rug just gets softer the more it is used and washed.
There is a down side!
Cutting the fabric puts a lot of pressure on your thumb joint, however I invested in a new pair of Fiskars Servo cut scissors and they are brilliant. You need less pressure to cut.
I haven't been posting on my blog recently as I've finally got my Liz Brooke Ward stitched textiles Facebook page underway.
https://www.facebook.com/LizBrookeWardstitchedtextiles which you may like to look at as well.
(However, hopefully I am making up for the lack of posting today.)
One of the visitors to the Cotswold Edge Exhibition at Westonbirt last October told me about a British Lichen Society Photography competition. Although I am not a member I had posted some of my earlier lichen appliqués and embroideries on it a couple of years ago so I decided to submit some more photos of my work in category C) Abstract ."An artistic or expressionistic photograph - what do lichens mean to you? "
This photograph of my work, (which has already been sold) has been commended and will be displayed at the British Lichen Society AGM held at Kew Gardens on 15th January 2015.
The British Lichen Society www.thebls.org.uk/
I am really delighted - especially as under no circumstances could I be described as a scientist or even much of a photographer - just an inspired stitcher!
On the same subject of stitched organisms, I have also been asked to submit some of my lichen embroideries for an exhibition at Noyes Museum of Art, New Jersey. This isn't until Spring 2016 so I have plenty of time to stitch around 40,000 French knots.
Noyes Museum of Art - Oceanville, New Jerseywww.noyesmuseum.org/
Work planned for this year? Stitching resolutions?
Make my new bodies piece and also a companion for the Hellebore I made last year - a Wild Arum. it's another plant that I find very intriguing - not least because it is carnivorous.
That will do for starters!
These are my favourite lichen appliqués made for the exhibition at Westonbirt.
The negative shapes have been applied with a variegated thread on to some heavy madras cotton and the spaces heavily quilted.
I think the design and colour palette is reminiscent of Clarice Cliff.
I seem constantly drawn back to this design.
Here are some details of the hangings. The fabric was dyed while I was artist in residence at Nature in Art, Twigworth, Gloucester, earlier on in the summer.
I've had a break from landscapes and have now completed four more journal quilt pieces. They are based on figurative sketches and I am trying out different techniques for textured backgrounds and line.
These are little eight inch squares with a thin wadding between the layers. Eventually there will be twelve of them which together will make a whole design. In this piece the background is machine stitched then small squares of cheese cloth and scrim are attached using french knots.
Here the background is stitched with a free machine swing stitch and then embellished with knots and a hand seed stitch in a darker coloured thread.This gives a bit more contrast.
The legs are machined with straight lines and a couched thicker thread and they do line up with the piece which will finally sit above it.
The figure is appliquéd calico and machine stitched.
The background fabric is linen. It is machine stitched with a twin needle and then with a programmed blanket stitch. The line of the central figure is cable stitched by putting a thick perle thread in the bobbin and stitched from the back. The top thread keeps it in place. I wanted more definition in the central area and also needed to lighten it for more contrast so it was filled with bullion knots in a light thickish thread.
This drawing was quite sketchy and complicated so it was digitally printed on to calico. The stitching is all by hand - running stitches and knots again - must be my favourite stitch!
Occasionally I have one of those early mornings and on this morning I woke about 3 am. The good news was that I was in time to see the most spectacular dawn sky across the valley. Armed with a cup of tea and my camera I took this photograph. I had been trying to make a decision about the subject matter for the Cloths of Heaven Exhibition at the Weaver's Gallery, Church Lane, Ledbury. This view clinched it. This year the theme is W.B. Yeats poem. My favourite line is "--- of night and light and the half -light" so this is what my piece is called- The half-light.
This is the landscape piece I made in response. It is appliquéd, machine stitched and embellished with wool fibres. The words "Tread softly because you tread on my dreams" are also stitched in the background. I have had a frame made for it and mounted the piece on a lovely soft, slightly faded, old cotton velvet. It is a gorgeous colour.
The exhibition runs in conjunction with the Lebury Poetry Festival from 1st to 13th July.
The Inspired by Slad Valley opening in Slad Chuch was very jolly and very "Stroud!" There are beautiful flowers in the church, a great exhibition, bunting, speeches, straw hats, sunshine and cider.
There were over 300 visitors to the exhibition this weekend and Open Gardens as well.
Next week I will be at Nature in Art, Twigworth, Gloucester as artist in residence. The current exhibition showing is
Extinct Boids Paintings by Ralph Steadman June 10th - July 20th
I've just delivered three pieces of work to the church in Slad where this exhibition is being held. It is commemorating the centenary of Laurie Lee's birth It opens on Saturday 21st and runs until 29th June. I will be stewarding there on Sunday 22nd in the afternoon. There are a variety of media represented and I'm sure it will be fascinating. A percentage of sales will go towards the Church.
Next week I shall be artist in residence again at Nature in Art, Twigworth, Gloucester. Tuesday 22nd until Sunday 29th June. I am intending to do some fabric dyeing ready for some more lichen hangings for the exhibition in October at Westonbirt Arboretum with Cotswold Edge. I am really looking forward to it. It is such a lovely place and great fun meeting lots of different people - a bit like the textile trail.
I also have an online interview with so-glos. There is a link below.
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