5 December 2017

December meeting

A walk into St Ives is always a treat, and we are lucky enough to hold our meetings in Porthmeor Studios, where the view through the salt stained windows is ever changing - from calm to choppy seas and from grey to blue skies - an inspirational view to start our December meeting.

view from Porthmeor Studios window

view from Porthmeor Studios window

New Theme, New Work...

Our new theme, 'Fur, Feathers and Fish' has already sparked off a number of ideas for work, and below is a close up of a piece by Minnie Rapley featuring shimmering fish and a number of different techniques.

image © Minnie Rapley

image © Minnie Rapley

Tanya has also made a start on a larger scale piece inspired by the migratory journey of swallows.  Living on a farm, Tanya sees many swallows return to their nests each year after an epic journey back from South Africa, and a children's book which follows their flight has given further inspiration.

She has made a start in a new sketchbook with a small sample of the idea for a textile piece.

Following on from this, a background of textured, handmade felt is gradually being embellished with needle felted swallows - the intention is for this to be a mixed media piece and Tanya hopes to include maps and stitch into it.

image © Tanya Rogers

Also on the theme of feathers, Minnie has been trying out some needle felting - or painting with wool as it's sometimes referred to - and a delightful robin is emerging  on the surface of her own prepared wool.  Robins hold such a special place in many people's hearts, and at this time of year appear more often in our gardens, staking claim to their territory with their beautiful birdsong - we look forward to seeing how Minnie's robin looks when it's finished.

image © Minnie Rapley

Jo and Sandi both have some fish inspired work in mind and it will be interesting to see how their very individual styles lend themselves to that subject in the weeks to come.

The Year Ahead

During our meeting, we discussed plans for the forthcoming year and working towards our next exhibition.  We are looking at really trying to expand and improve our techniques and plan on more workshop sessions where we hope to share our individual skills within the group as well as experiment with new ideas.  We have already made a list of potential sessions to last us for 6 months, so we have plenty to be getting on with and we'll share what we create with you along the way.

The idea of our group was always to grow and improve our individual skills, and perhaps push ourselves outside of our comfort zone with the aim of creating fresh, original work of a high quality - we are really looking forward to trying new things over the coming months and exhibiting as usual in September 2018.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

As our next blog post will probably be in the New Year, may we take this opportunity to wish all of our followers a very 'Merry Christmas' and thank you for your continued interest and support in our textile adventures!

29 November 2017

Lino Printing Playday

This week, we have had a very enjoyable 'in house' play day discovering the joys of lino cutting and printing.

The session was led by Minnie Rapley, who did a wonderful job of teaching us the basics and allowing us to use much of her equipment to explore this medium in a nice relaxed environment.

We brought our own sketches, photographs and design ideas to transfer to our pieces of lino, and took our time getting used to handling the tools (thankfully with only one minor injury!).

Due to time constraints, we kept our designs fairly simple so that we had time to cut and print more than one design with the emphasis on getting used to the process.

Sandi brought a flower and fish design to use, and transferred these onto small pieces of lino which resulted in some very delicate cutting.  Her usual fine eye for detail resulted in some some great results once the blocks were inked and printed.

Jo had her own fish and jellyfish designs which looked fabulous printed onto the hand painted fabric she had brought.

Sue chose some christmas themes, which turned out wonderfully - especially on the tea bag paper with two-toned colours.  These would make lovely card toppers.

Tanya had a couple of bold, simple designs to use, which again printed well -  particularly on the linen  which can subsequently be embellished with stitch.

A makeshift line was put up to help dry our samples in time for going home!

Everyone left the session having very much enjoyed experimenting with lino cutting and printing, with some members trying it for the first time.  There are so many ways this method can be used within textile art and it will be interesting to see if any printing will present itself in work for this year's 'Fur, Feathers and Fish' theme!

Thanks to Minnie for running this session, a great time was had by all!