Just over a week ago two friends and I set off on an adventure to Cornwall to take a workshop with Anne Griffiths who teaches embroidery, amongst other things. I had booked the course way back in March and thought the months would never pass but finally the day arrived and Wendy, Tina and I set off.
The terrible duo enjoying a free day in St Ives :-) (I was there too).
The venue was a beautiful farm complex on the hills above Mevagissey.
This was our working (and living) space, with a lounge area at the far end and the kitchen behind me. If nothing else I got plenty of exercise over the course of the week going backwards and forwards between the various areas.
Unfortunately the week didn't go quite as planned as bad weather stopped us getting onto the beach as planned on the first day, so we had to resort to existing experiences of the beach and finds we had brought with us.
Our first task was indigo dyeing, which I hadn't tried before and I've got some interesting results.
A previously procion dyed orange and blue piece from Wendy overdyed in indigo using rubber bands for resists.
A dip-dyed doilly that I was going to cut up but now I'm having second thoughts.
I was delighted with this silk velvet piece above that I used bottle tops and rubber bands on to create resists.
I intend to use the piece above in a vertical orientation to suggest waves or movemnet underwater. Horizontal lines were stitched across it and the threads pulled up firmly to make the resists.
It's difficult to show you the fabric above. It's silk organza that was first dyed in onion skins, again with rubber band resist, and then unrolled and re-rolled, rubber banded and dyed in the indigo. The marks I have got are very subtle and fade out across the fabric.
The marks above were made with Fast Black K (a type of potassium) which leaves a reddish tint when washed through. Anne has made extensive use of this in her work. I havn't yet washed my piece at all.
Sketchbook work followed spurred on by Anne's own work and ideas garnered from being in a group situation.
Collage fishes with a dorset button sea creature,
Wing needle stitching on silko fabric using some pre-programmed stitches,
My favourite, suffolk puff-style pebbles in pre-dyed fabrics.
Self explanatory, scallop shells used as stencils,
Spirally sea-creaturish stitching which merits more work,
My very own sea monster made with a wing needle in scrim and trapped sequins.
A hessian weaving above which I loved doing and will work with further, given time enough to play. I pulled out threads on the warp and weft to make room for my threads and fabrics.
This weaving was made before I went, on a peg loom, and is just a very small sample. Lots more potential here too.
This piece is about 12" tall and incorporates a piece that I started with Shelley Rhodes (how long ago was that!). It still needs a little tweaking, maybe at the bottom to balance the bulk at the top but I really like it. It feels a bit American Indian in a dream-catcher kind of way. (Or should that be Native American?).
If you know anything about me you'll know that my heart is in a certain town in Cornwall and the wonderful Wendy whisked us off for a day of fun and frolic and not a little laughter on our day off. It was a wonderful sunny day in St Ives and yes, we did manage to get in a little beachcombing (and a pub lunch).
You may be wondering how much stuff three textile artists can cram into a Honda car and above is part of the answer, not to mention 3 suitcases, coats, cardigans, wellies and shopping! Not forgetting us! lol
The week was challenging, informing, educational, fun and sometimes frantic and we all made new friends and renewed old ones. The venue was Bodrugan Barton and the studio is available to hire for workshops or retreats (or even for family holidays).