Floating and flaky

Well flaky is how I describe myself quite often these days, and the proof of this condition was evident yesterday when I went to teach a workshop at the Cherwell Valley Branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild.  I was expecting to teach Design from Nature, they were all prepared for Beautiful Birds. They were a brilliant group in that no one cared at all, and I had some bird pieces in my work that I took to talk about anyway; later on my husband brought the textile Stone Bird book so the group could see what I usually take to a Birds workshop.

It was only a day workshop but everyone worked really hard on their piece, and without exception everyone produced some excellent work. It’s a slowish technique I teach to construct the bird or birds, so none of the pieces are finished of course, and several were developing into triptychs and larger pieces as ideas evolved. It was a lovely day, and the view from the workshop was wonderful, which you will just have to believe as for some reason I didn’t photograph it. Well, the reason may be in the title above. Scroll down for images of the work.

I did some more work on Floating Gardens, my piece for Orientation, last week, so it’s ready to be stitched now. Here’s the view of it so far, pinned to the wall. I’ve also been wrestling with the finishing of The Moth Pages, which is a demanding piece to say the least. When it’s done, I’ll post an image or two, and may even buy a bottle of champagne…It has to be ready for Quatrefoil’s big show at the RBSA in Birmingham, which starts in May. And lastly there is a small embroidery I have just finished, probably the last hummingbird I will do for a while, as I have made a few during the last couple of years. I like the shape though, so that may appear in a pattern based piece of work in the future.

Floating Gardens, 2m x 1.5m, approximately. Each piece is an A3 sized sheet of 320 gsm khadi paper.

Shade and sun. This embroidery is around A3 sized.

Cherwell Valley workshop…

Clare, with her work which will be developed into a triptych. The nest was exquisite, constructed in tiny pieces of fabric.

Ann’s brilliant bullfinches.

Jane, working on what will be a vivid jungle piece.

Rosemary’s tern. Loved the shape and use of fabrics.

Alice started with one picture, which then became three, very fresh and textural.

Ann makes artist’s books using mixed media; her work is wonderful, check her blog annmiles.blogspot.co.uk

Karins swooping buzzard. I find this shape inspiring, and the use of her own marbled fabrics suits the bird so well.

Julia is making this green woodpecker as a gift for her husband. The subtle fabrics and colours were beautiful.

Margaret’s pheasant is a large chap, and my image doesn’t do justice to the great mix of fabrics. He doesn’t have his tail yet, but he will look wonderful against the rich green background she is making for him.

There we are then. I’m not teaching for a couple of weeks, so hopefully I can enjoy getting on with some work in the studio. I have a large piece on the table there, in a very early and confusing stage, as it features pattern, scale change and printed images. I can feel my poor brain crankling just thinking about it, so it’s time for a small sherry.

6 thoughts on “Floating and flaky

  1. Oh well done you Stephers!! – all part of the artistic temperament we can say. I taught yesterday too, and was a bit bozzy, having been munched repeatedly by a viscious mossie overnight, resulting in a need for anti-histamines, which knock me out really. But as you so rightly say – students are wonderful creatures and seem to cope with whatever dreadful tutors chuck at them. I love your piece for Orientation – I must scroll back through your blog for the last few weeks + see what I have missed …. masses no doubt. Off to see hockney tomorrow, but will the e-mail + catch up _ Hils xx

  2. Well as I have emailed already, Steph, your class at Cherwell Valley was inspirational and I loved every minute. Thankyou, too, for saying such nice things about my work, and for mentioning my blog – I have a new follower already, thanks to you. (Oh and I love your ‘Floating Gardens’ piece and wonder what words you have written.) Ann.

  3. Hils, anti histamines, what can one say? Necessary, especially when teaching, but they make me feel zomboid, especially Sainsbury’s non-drowsy variety. Didn’t have them in the old blood stream on Saturday though, so no excuse. Yes, students are wonderful, the times I’ve thought that. I think they just feel sorry for us really. Hope your course went ok. Lucky you, going to Dave’s show, wish I was. I’m hoping some of it will travel. It should go to the North, really. Saltaire would be good. Get in touch soon you old sausage. xx

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