Taking a Stand

Commingle: “To mix or be mixed: to blend”

Well that was the title of my demonstration stand at the NEC. I actually do think that is a very good word for how I approach my art-making. I’m a commingler. Yes, it is a word.

I have spent a very happy few days with friends and colleagues, talking to folk and helping out with the Vlieseline workshops. It has been a wonderful end to a year of making and preparing in which I have learned a lot. I was royally teased about becoming a ‘proper’ artist from a few cheeky buddies but I enjoyed every moment really.

I took a little Bower House with me that I finished recently. You may recall the green walls of this one travelling to Ireland and back; it took me hours to stitch and wrap the colours of May’s bluebells. They were made by wrapping small pieces of art-straws which I discovered I could poke dowel down. A pair of pliers cut them but half of my art group were fired at during a meeting as they pinged everywhere!

I also took a little cabinet of butterflies made from lichen images.

And these small collages.

I also took my Atlantis pieces, and these are where I started my blog a few years ago, making the three panels for Ebb and Flow in my beloved shed.

Sketchbooks and samples…

I took apart Life Flight a few months ago as it was so big. However, a lot of work went into the little feathers so I made some of them into small cards to sell. One of two visitors realised that they had seen the piece before and I treasure the fact that it had been something that they had particularly remembered, it was about dementia which is a subject touching most of us in one way or another.

The other feathers are lying in state, waiting to become small landscapes. I have played around with them, trying to see how they could be used and I have settled on this idea, partly just to have something to stitch in spare moments so maybe more about them later.

I was demonstrating some of the techniques I use with teabag paper, and these are little scrap edges of things commingled into small woven designs which I have been hand-stitching over the days.

I also led a workshop each day demonstrating Vlieseline’s Decovil 1, and folk made their ‘House on a Hill’ brilliantly. In fact, we chatted about all sorts of variations and ideas. I had made some ‘Down the the Sea’ kits as an alternate design for the other end of people’s mantlepieces!

I spent a happy few days chatting through the show with my emergency Freddos hidden under the table. (Small chocolate bars, in case you are thinking I was harbouring a couple young men under my drapery). Thank you to those friends who let me out on good behaviour to look around or pay a visit elsewhere! A table was booked at The Boat (which I would recommend) and a few of us went out for a meal together which was lovely. You may recognise a face or two.

I shall be arranging a couple of workshop dates later in the year, but I’m going to give myself a present of time to start playing again so I dare say the next post will be back to my mad experiments, which it feels about time for. 😀

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5 thoughts on “Taking a Stand

  1. A really interesting post & lovely to see the work on your stand. Great to learn about your plans for repurposing a large piece so that it lives on in different formats. I look forward to your next blog.

  2. I was one of the people who remembered your Life Flight – it made a huge impression on me at the time, and remained with me as my mother also has dementia. It was lovely to see that since doing the course you have become a ‘proper’ textile artist! Good luck with the new career.

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