F

F

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Latest Workshop News...

An exciting new craft shop opened this week on the island... OLIVEN, The Patchwork Café, situated in Newport High Street, right in the centre of town.

As the name suggests, the shop stocks everything you could possibly need for patchwork, quilting and felting, plus it's a café… How brilliant is that! You can browse amongst the fabrics and also enjoy coffee and delicious home-made cakes & pastries, all prepared by Olivier, a French pastry chef.

Also there's workshops taking place on the premises. Patchwork & quilting classes for all skill levels, with expert tutors Anne Bodemeaid & Vendulka Battais (the other half of the OliVen name). And I've been invited to run some feltmaking classes...


 
































There's workshops for beginners (and this photo collage shows felt made at similar workshops held recently in Freshwater)

'INTRODUCTION TO FELTMAKING'  Tuesday 14th June. 10 - 4pm.
Simple felt making techniques will be explained, with everyone making one or more pieces of flat felt, experimenting with blending colours & textures. Plenty of ideas & examples of interesting projects will be on display.

'FELT JEWELLERY'  Wednesday 22nd June. 10 - 4pm
Creating felt flowers brooches & corsages - perfect for those summer weddings! Making felt beads & bangles using a variety of simple felting techniques, with lots of ideas for decoration using needle felting, beads & embroidery.

Due to demand we've changed the programme slightly...  We've combined the workshops for those that have some felt making experience and wish to learn how to make a 3-D project, so now you can choose whether to make a bowl or a bag, and we now have another workshop date for beginners : 

'SOFT POTS & BAGS'  Tuesday 28th June. 10 - 4pm
Felting a soft pot, bowl or a bag around a mould, with ideas for incorporating handles and decorating with textures, threads & beads. Lots of bowls & bag designs will be on display for inspiration!

'INTRODUCTION TO FELTMAKING'  Saturday 2nd July. 10 - 4pm
Details as above.

 
All the workshops are £20 for the day, plus the cost of materials which are available to buy in the shop. To book your place please contact Vendulka on 07724 616390 or call into the shop. There's plenty of photos of my previous workshops on this blog and my Flickr pages.

Seeing all the fab examples of quilting & patchwork at OliVen set me thinking about machine stitching onto felt - something I'd never really tried before. So I've been practising on a couple of pieces…



… and I can see the possibilities...

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Following Rupert (Part 1)...

A small diversion from felting, and it's back to the day job...

Around this time of year I make a start on the artwork for the Followers of Rupert Annual get-together that takes place each summer. My pieces of artwork are used for all the printed matter for this weekend event - from T-shirts and badges, to programmes, menu cards, committee badges & lunch tickets. Here are some from previous years, click on the photos to enlarge…


I've already discussed ideas with Tony Griffin, the Annual organiser, and this year we're using one of Tony's favourite Alfred Bestall illustrations  "Rupert photographing The Chums" from the 1964 Annual. I've used it for the button badge design and now I'm drawing it up for the programme cover. I'm also using the 1964 cover as a starting point for the second piece of artwork.

 
I only draw Rupert once a year, and then just copy and re-work Alfred Bestall's existing illustrations. I start by working out a rough sketch for the new design and try and capture the style as best I can. It's not an exact copy as I have to alter and move various elements to fit the new A4 formats, plus leave space for headings & text. As you can see it's just pencil and rubber at this stage.


When I'm happy with this sketch I then trace it down, onto a smooth Fabriano watercolour paper, refine the pencil line and then ink in with Rotring pen line. The drawing is then coloured in using Dr Martins watercolour inks.  My colours are much brighter than the original, after all I'm copying an old printed book cover that is faded and discoloured with age. 


As a child I was bought up on Rupert annuals and they are very much a part of my visual memories. I have a sizeable collections of the old annuals going back to the 1930's and this particular 1964 annual was mine as a child. All the Magic Paintings have been done I'm afraid - and not very neatly - first steps towards a career in book illustration! Years later I studied AB's drawings & pen work with a different eye, marvelling at his imagination, skill and continuity in drawing Rupert for almost 40 years. I even wrote to him to tell him of my admiration, and received a very shaky reply, written on Boxing Day 1985 two weeks before he died. It's one of my most treasured possessions.  


With this particular cover the more you look into it, the more bizarre it seems, even for the 1960's!  Rupert rock climbing with The Chums, most unsuitably dressed in formal jackets & bowties, although Rupert is looking remarkably casual in his red 'sweatshirt' . Poor Edward Trunk just hasn't got the paws for climbing, nor has the Fish! But I love the colour and the elements of design - the elegant Japanese style trees, the blossom and the rock formations.


You might notice that my Rupert has a white head as opposed to the brown headed version on the 1964 cover. Why? Well Rupert and The Chums are traditionally drawn with white faces, hands and boots in all the story strips and incidental drawings throughout the annuals, and only appear completely coloured in on the covers & endsheets - so I've decided to keep them white in keeping with these drawings.  


These pieces of A/W will now be scanned before I send off the originals to the Followers. (They have been used as Raffle prizes in past years!) We will use the scanned images to create the designs for all the printed material, which will be put together in a couple of months time. With items like the committee & guest badges and the table place cards I will be handwriting all the names…  so I'll be practising my calligraphy! 

And you can catch up with the next stage of the production here

in the meantime there's more info' on the Followers of Rupert website and if you want to join the Followers there's a fantastic offer at the moment for new members - in the price of a year's membership you will get over £30 of extra Rupert goodies for FREE…

For more details contact the Membership Secretary : agriffog@btinternet.com           

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Happy Birthday! Weavers, Spinners & Dyers...

The Isle of Wight Guild of Weavers, Spinners & Dyers was founded in the 1980s by a group of like-minded people, who shared a common interest in these traditional crafts. This year the Island Guild is celebrating it's 30th Anniversary and has organised an exhibition of members' work at Ventnor Botanic Gardens taking place this week. "Twined Threads" is a marvellous display of hand-spun yarns, knitted & woven textiles, dyed fibres and felted designs as you can see here... 


































Not being a spinner or weaver I felt a bit of an interloper when I first joined the Guild about 6 years ago, really as a way of keeping in touch with other feltmakers on the island - but I was made so welcome. It is a wonderful, friendly group and I really enjoy being amongst enthusiastic like-minded ladies, all sharing their amazing knowledge & skills. Monthly meetings are held at Rookley Village Hall and members enjoy a varied & interesting programme of events and workshops, covering all aspects of weaving, spinning & dyeing, plus related textile crafts such as feltmaking. 
  
Practical workshops are held regularly throughout the year and the Dyeing Days are a particular favourite. We all get-together, usually on a very hot summer's day and boil up pots of natural dyes over open fires. Brilliant coloured skeins are left hanging to dry in the trees and bushes, and ladies sit spinning in the shade waiting for the dyes to brew - it really is a magical day!  Not having hand-spun wool I take along small skeins of Jamieson's unbleached Shetland 2-ply to add to the dye pots and I now have a wonderful collection of natural dyed wools.

































One of the highlights of the last couple of years was taking part in the Medina yurt project, which involved a number of schools and community groups island-wide. The Guild was invited to produce a 6ft square felt panel for the yurt and my design was chosen. We all worked together on this huge panel, making prefelts, cutting out and positioning the felt shapes onto layers of Blue Face Leicester fleece and finally rolling and felting it all together. A high percentage of Island fleece was used, all hand dyed by Chris Lines, the co-ordinator of the project and Guild member. It was great fun to be involved, hard work and an amazing achievement. Here are some photos and there's more if you follow this link …
The "Twined Threads" exhibition at Ventnor Botanic Gardens is on for this week, 1st - 6th May, in the Echium Room and if you are interested in textiles it's well worth a visit. Admission is free and it's open from 10 - 4pm each day. There will be Guild members on hand to give you more information... 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...