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!