The beautiful man

The beautiful man

Friday, 27 August 2010

Inlaid Patchwork

Attended a conference at Leeds City Museum based on the 'Inlaid Patchwork in Europe from the 1500 to the Present' on show at Leeds Art Gallery at the moment. It was led by one of the German curators and conservator Salwa Joram, who was a passionate speaker and full of  so much enthusiasm for the topic it was infectious. Inlaid patchwork is made of wool cloth (plain weave wool which is then felted, which is reminiscent of the felt hoods we use in millinery), usually from the offcuts from tailoring, as there was no fraying there was little wastage. The earliest example in the exhibition is a 17th century horse blanket created for the christening of a Saxony prince, really beautifully made and shows counter change. Lots of the pieces that survive were alter cloths from Silensia a renowned wool production area in Germany, also Scandinavia and Switzerland. The Berlin Museum has been sourcing the pieces around the word since the 1980's.

Traditional Altar Cloth
The journey of this form of patchwork then moved to England where they were made by tailors and the hours to make them would be recorded,  one stated it was 18 years in the making, they would then be toured around a region for an entry fee. The quality of manufacture was much higher and used to promote the skill of the tailor. Leeds City Museum has an exceptional example of this as does Biggar Museum outside Glasgow. All very fascinating and enlightening.

I particularly loved the modern version made by a German textile artist Ursell Arndt based on the Berlin Wall and Graffiti around the city, some nice Banksy as well. The work was so intense that she had to create a co-operative to help her, it took 20 women 4 months, it is exquisitely made and difficult to comprehend pulling it all together as the pieces are so random.
Detail of Graffiti piece

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Hat Works

Lynne Young

Spent a few hours at Hat Works on Tuesday to say farewell to Hannah the curator who is leaving to follow her passion for Victorian Paintings at Manchester Art Gallery, quite sad, and also to look at the exhibition from the competition that we devised together. It is a beautiful exhibition well worth a visit, laid out perfectly and shows a full range of the potential that can be garnered from millinery skills on such a small scale and with a wealth of enthusiasm. The amateur work did seem to shine more than the professional pieces, it made me feel very happy for the successes that had been achieved.
Lorna Muir
Sue Daniels
Linda King

Happy Thought

My happy thought for the month is the expression on my son's face when he looked at his results and came rushing out to hug me as all his hard work had paid off. Maybe I will be able to fly like Wendy.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

The Book of Tea

The 'Hedgehog' book again...

When tea becomes ritual, it takes its place at the heart of our ability to see greatness in small things. Where is beauty to be found? In great things that, like everything else, are doomed to die, or in small things that aspire to nothing, yet know how to set a jewel of infinity in a single moment?

 I had put an old teaching aid by the bin ready for the bin collection and when I looked at it today I was amazed at the patterns that the snails and slugs had made on the images, really quite beautiful in their simplicity and randomness.

Reservoir Skies 2

Different reservoir, same windsurf mum. Off in the camper for the weekend at Derwent Reservoir,  sunny skies and a bag of books to read,  it was quite idyllic.

Managed to do quite a bit of context reading whilst sitting in the campervan, Methodologies Of Art, I interspersed it with 'The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, which strangely followed the work that the text book was talking of including Plato and Hegel. Though this may sound like I am suddenly seriously high brow (obviously that is not the case) it is a truly brilliant book really inciteful and beautiful.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Buttons & Buttonholes

The bits that I loved most were the buttons and buttonholes, I would like to take them through to a series of hats as they have a definite poignancy and the form, lines and structure are appealing as well as the fact of human touch.

Leeds City Museum

House of Eliot Costume
Went to the 'Heroes and Heroines' exhibition at the museum today which is a collection of costumes from movies alongside a range of items from the museum collection from similar eras represented by the film costumes. Beautiful exhibition, interesting to see that Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom are quite small and Keira Knightly and Nicole Kidman have seriously tiny waists! On a more textile footing, the contrast of a machine embroidered silk waistcoat which cost £1500 to buy and an original 1700 silk waistcoat, immaculately hand sewn with no silk puckers and the purity of colour.
Machine embroidered waistcoat
1700 original waistcoat
Heath Ledger's costume from Casanova                                             

Reservoir Skies

My sons were windsurfing up at Halifax Reservoir a place I always find really humbling and inspiring, the skies were so beautiful as ever, that I tried to capture some of the magnificence. I would like to do a project using such images, though realise that that is something many artists have done.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Workroom update

Yes I said it would be tidy but then my son came home..........
Anyway it makes everyone feel better as their workroom will never be this bad!!


A week away in sunny Weymouth intended to do a lot of reading but sat on the beach and read Girl with the Dragon Tatoo, it was very good! Some inspiration courtesy of the Dinosaur Museum in Dorchester on the one rainy day of the week, everyone else did it as their rainy day activity too, lovely.

Always look where you park

Shade maybe tempting but not if its courtesy of a bird cherry tree, especially when your son cleaned your normally dirty car the day before........

Hat production

Holed up for three days manically completing a hat for Ebor tomorrow! I have decided that either my time management is appalling or I am very bad at assessing how long a task will take or possibly both. Quite a bit of the hat was complete before I went to Weymouth so had hoped to complete in a 15 hour marathon hat construction, but not the case and the client wanted some changes. Anyway here it is.


Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Lace Crin

Not as glamorous a process as it sounds.

Using lace layered over crin and using a mix of dark cream and chocolate acrylic spray, not environmentally sound at all. Smelly and messy.

hat number 3

Most I have made in ages, just posted off one hat for Ebor, a simple silk and straw number.
Next to be made is a little more grandiose, and on the large scale, sinamay layered with pleated and lace crin, set on a crown embellished with embroidery, silk and sequins. Still in the middle of the process and a deadline imminent before I go to see my son race in Weymouth.........