Friday, 30 March 2012

A workshop with Julie Arkell

I was very very excited a couple of months ago when I spotted a listing in Craft Magazine for a solo show of Julie Arkell's work. I rang up the gallery straight away and asked if any talks or workshops were planned, it turned out they were running a brooch making workshop for just £20. I booked it there and then - before they'd even put it on the website!
I'm a big fan of Julie's work, it's charming, funny, a little dark in places, and best of all it's mostly made with paper and glue.
The only problem was the workshop and exhibition were in Liverpool, which meant a very early start, on the Sunday that the clocks changed which made it feel even earlier!

I arrived at Bluecoat Display Centre a little bleary, and was stunned at what a lovely place it is, a real community arts space. It's been there since the 50s and is fabulous, I'd LOVE a place like it near me!

And the exhibition of Julie Arkell's work was just utterly charming.

After a little talk by Julie we went to the workshops space to get making. 
The brooches were in a style inspired by one Julie had seen at the Imperial War Museum, and were made in a wonderfully simple and effective way. 

We cut a shape from cardboard, wrapped it with wool, then stitched fabric to it. Then embellishments could be added.

The results were really lovely.

With the workshop over I headed back for another wander around the exhibition, and found what is my favourite little bit of Arkell embroidery so far - 

I throughly recommend paying the Bluecoat a visit!

Monday, 19 March 2012

A new cuddly doll

This young lady was a commission, she needed to have some removable clothes, different textures and some crinkly sounds...

Her wrap and skirt can be taken off to reveal a cotton romper suit underneath, every piece of fabric has a different texture and her wrap makes a lovely crinkly sound which will hopefully please the little girl who's birthday present it is.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

On my table today...

Today I'll be mainly giving these guys some skin, and cutting out a fabric doll....

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

A rather good idea

Make stencils out of paper plates, it works fabulously for little ones.

Monday, 5 March 2012

A paper cut from start to finish.

This weekend I finished a commissioned piece, a paper cut of Hampton Court Palace to be used as a projection for a theatre show.
I was given a set of pictures, and told that the director liked the chimneys, I chose to work from these two images.

So I then did some rough sketches, which I refined into this design

I then placed the design on top of a sheet of watercolour paper and drew over every line, pressing down so it appeared underneath like this.

Then I spent a very very long time cutting it all out.

I cursed myself for putting so many tiny windows in the design, but eventually I finished every little bit, and it was done.

and I just had to sweep up ALOT of this...

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Pinner Craft Club is go!

Tonight was the second meeting of Pinner craft club - a group for boys and girls aged 8 and over who'd like to learn crafty skills. To start with we're learning to knit, everyone's working on making a very simple little teddy. Come along to Pinner Library on Thursday at 6pm if you'd like to join in.
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