The beautiful man

The beautiful man

Monday, 29 March 2010

Competition Judging

An exciting and exhausting day judging a hat competition I look forward to the hat show on 20th April.

Feltmakers' news

My HNC students work was sent off to Luton on February 28th for the annual Feltmakers Awards, I did hold high hopes but then I usually do and am disappointed when the news is sent out. So on Tuesday when I checked out their web site it was with trepidation. But good news Marisa Groom got a 2nd place and Rhian Kempadoo got the prize for Innovative use of Felt. See all the winners on

Cliffe Castle

Wanting to keep developing the Ruffled Feather design work from Lotherton so I finally made it to Cliffe Castle to do some drawing, my last planned visit was when it was deep mid winter and snow was all around.... The glass cases are just as haunting, scary and beautiful as when I brought the children here when small.  What was most inspiring were some machine embroidered work done by an artist in residence, absolutely stunning.

Student work

Hat Trick

Sometimes the week just gets better as you progress, and this was one of those weeks.....
11.03.10 Lotherton Hall Tea Party to open Ruffled Feathers exhibition. Great cake wonderful hats.

Then the 12th a trip to The Royal Armouries, Leeds and the awarding of a Medal For Excellence to my student Jayne Mulqueen, very well deserved, a really lovely afternoon.

Then the 13th and the opening of Platt Hall, Manchester, I had completed the hat as mentioned earlier for the student exhibition work I wasn't too happy but at least it was a good experience and I learnt a lot.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Whitworth Gallery Manchester

Lynn Hershmann Leeson:The Complete Roberta Breitmore

Really inspiring and conflicting thoughts as to how you would create such a different persona. We all perceive that we are different in different circumstances yet to take an alter ego and produce a total life story around that and live it whilst following ones normal path, seems quite dangerous. People have been put in mental institutions for lesser. 

M&S archive

Marks and Spencer are building an archive for their collections at University of Leeds, the purpose built building will open next year. At present they have a small exhibition in the Parkinson building which is really interesting and has a lot of materials relevant for contextual studies work. i took a group of my first years and we had a talk from an M&S employee which was highly informative especially looking at the changing uniforms and the lovely cream polyester one that i wore in the 80's!!

Working in school

Involved in Revival project for Lotherton Hall hat competition with local secondary schools. I have really enjoyed the process thinking up ways to deliver an introduction to millinery and then techniques to  be explored within 2 hours to enable the students to develop their own ideas. I have loved the way that rules were broken and new ideas created. 

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

End of half term, serendipitous trip all round, from seeing the catalogue for Rob Ryan at Salts Mill as i hadn't realised that the exhibition was on to seeing the name slates which mirror the ideas that I had created in my sketch book around the word hat. Inspiration all around.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Platt Hall

Whilst one deadline was completed another loomed a mere three days later with the piece based on historical hats for Platt Hall, Manchester. I had chosen the 1900-1910 era for the style and the political issues of suffrage and women's movement, as many suffrage ideals had developed in Manchester and the Pankhursts lived there. Time was again an issue and the realisation that you need to spend more on thinking to get the answers you seek, and more time on sampling to get the results that you dream of.

I started with the idea of representing the women and their voices by embroidering their names on the silk which would sit under the brim of the hat. However my machine at home wasn't as efficient in its stitching as normal so i had to take it to work to do some, almost hoping that Andrew would be there to help me on the multi head....he wasn't. However he was the next day so the fabric is an amalgamation of both techniques which I like. Threads have been left loose to show how many thought suffrage would lead to the unravelling of society, threads are also used to join the women together.

The lining

Oops forgot to show the lining created on the multi head machine at work, lots of potential i look forward to working on it at University soon.

Finished Lotherton hat

The finished hat Sunday 14th February after much deliberation in sampling, It has the option to be twisted in many directions dependent on the wearer.

lotherton hall

The snow arrived again back in January so the opportunity arose to catch up, though still undecided as to what i needed to do for the piece. My sketches were the starting point so I had three variants to work from. The blue beret was my starting point wanting to mix feathers and felt feathers, but unsure about the exact end image. 

The second one was similar to the red felt piece I have created before however it wasn't feeling as inspiring to create a replicate.

The final design is based on wings and I am excited about doing this as its a technique that I haven't tried, yet do I have the time to do this when it requires a lot of sampling.
Whilst doing this a bird flew into the window and sadly died so it seemed symbolic with the rest of the ideas I was creating


I have been without my laptop so been a little remiss about up dating so all catch up. I have been creating hats for Lotherton Hall and Platt Hall, working with schools creating hats in school with Revival project.
So the work room has gone a little remiss and lots to catch up on