Some more mess and thank you for the window.

I’m working here in one of the few windows of opportunity allowed us by BT, who are still not managing to get our broadband sorted, and indeed have even added landline breakdown to their list of incompetences. Considerably worse things can happen in life however, so let’s get on with it.

I’ve been finishing and moving on with several pieces of work this week; samples and work for a show next year, as well as some pages for my new book. I admit to not finishing my Summer book, started last year, but I think this is probably because I have changed my mind about some of the pages, and after writing this I’m aiming to get it all out and sort exactly which pages I will use in the new book. I have made some new pages already, so something has to go!

The new book is called ‘From the Bright Sky’, and will feature aspects of the natural world, and a bit of the Universe too, so not much work to do there then. Where’s Brian Cox when you need him?



So here we are at the start of a couple of pages for the book. So far it is in absolutely no order whatsoever, mainly because soon I will be teaching a few courses on pattern and the use of patterned surfaces, and one in mixed media, so whilst I have been making examples, using as wide a range of materials as possible, these have also been real work. For the pages I had in mind I wanted to use a pattern of squares, in a variety of materials, in monochrome. Above are some of the materials, a mix of fabric, paper, printed acetate and photographs.



And all sorted and in the process of being cut up. I drew a Baroque style apple and pear, and used the bird I have used in an autumn piece recently, which is at the end of this post, too.


Deciding what paper/fabric/whatever to use with what image is always involving, and it’s good to use material you already have too.


The two pages. They are about 75 x 55 cm each, so it’s another of those big books. It will have to be the last one of this size, as we have a small house with no more room!


There are metallic fabrics, photographs of bark and a little ceramic chap I made ages ago, dragonfly images, and a beetle drawing on acetate, amongst other things.


Now they need to be stitched, and find their place in the book.


Another book page, laid down and ready to finish, using a mix of fabrics printed with thermofax screens, anaglypta wallpaper and blocks.

Below are a two finished pieces which will be in an exhibition next year, at the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists galleries.


This one is untitled as yet. It’s 70 x 45 cm.

And the one below has already been featured, but now has additions. This is because I have many frames I want to use, and although I am now making some new work which will fit them, this one was made before I decided to use these frames, so I added a predella, and some gold leaf. It’s about 75 x 55 cm in size.



I’ve just been doing a blog cruise, a catch up, and have noticed via Laura’s [ Kemshall ] blog that she has set up a blog for Through Our Hands, which features loads of information about textile matters, shows etc, and also the Through Our Hands Portfolio, which is gorgeous, so go and have a look!

6 thoughts on “Some more mess and thank you for the window.

  1. Oh. My. Word! That work is glorious! I especially envy the orange and green piece…so one of the Ten Commandments has been well and truly broken by me! I will keep an eagle eye out for stray bolts of lightning…

    1. Thanks Bonnie. I think a bit of envy is good for us, gets you going, stops us being lazy. I often envy and admire, and as long as the admiration is the bit that stays, that’s ok, isn’t it?
      Hope there’s been no lightning, or plagues of locusts, etc.

  2. I’m now sat here thinking ‘what is a predella? Something else to go off and find out about. It will take my mind off trying to take all the above information into my tiny brain. I cannot keep up with your many ideas and work rate Steph. Where do you get the energy? Those very large pieces are fantastic and I love the list of all the materials combined within them. You have a talent with colour but I’m always drawn to the monochrome when you work with it.

    1. I think you have more energy than I do Lesley, the amount of things you do! I’m trying to concentrate on one or two projects now though, the new book and some work for a show next year. I want to experiment more with the thermofax screens too, having just bought some 100 mesh.

  3. I do love seeing how you bully that pile of stuff in to wondrous sheets – I’ve lost track completely with which book is now in which/what/where – as I’m sure you ahve really …. but love the look of this one. Love From the Bright Sky too – dashed clever old bean .. and those baroque fruits look good enough to eat too xx

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