The usefulness of winter.

Whilst I have become more of an advocate of summer, winter has its uses, in terms of getting down to some serious work. The garden and outdoors is far too enticing when the weather is decent.

So this month I’ve started a convoluted mixed media project. It’s in my head, mostly, and as I work through various aspects of it it’s becoming clearer and more resolved.

Last year I made a large metal and paper stitched nest, which was in Art Textiles: Made in Britain’s gallery at the festival of Quilts, and is now between dates on a tour of the show, which was called Wild.

I really enjoyed making this nest, and my latest project is, basically, making some more nest pieces. I’m going to try to make them a little smaller. This may not succeed.

I’ve started by making some ingredients, and I’m apparently working on several nests at the same time. This is usual as the ideas unfold. Mixed media can drive you slightly crazy, you just have to stay calm and enjoy the ride.

Below, some ingredients.

These are fabric butterflies on lutradur which will be used in a mixed media nest. I plan to use chicken wire to construct the basic nest, aluminium wire, a stitched fabric interior, and other media which will include acetate, plastic milk bottle, paper, sea glass, pebbles and who knows what else. I’m stitching the butterflies, of course, and there will be beads…

Above, moths in progress for another nest, the moth nest. This will include porcelain and sea glass, and other as yet unchosen materials.

Above, some leaves that I have preserved in glycerine, mainly as an experiment, but I’ve made the interior of another nest, to be called the golden nest, using some ginkgo leaves, which were very nicely preserved.

And above, some materials gathered for the golden nest.

Also this month, a short but jolly exhibition here in Birmingham with the Gallery 12 group of artists. Below, some of my work on the wall.

My old school friend and I had our annual pre Christmas trip to London last week. This also included a meeting with all the Art Textiles: Made in Britain bods, which was fun. It’s always great to see them. A great deal of our work is off to Japan shortly, to be shown in our own gallery at the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival in January. This is quite an honour.

My friend and I tend to concentrate on art and shopping, well, mostly browsing rather than purchasing, as we like Fortum and Mason and Liberty’s, for starters. First off, Anthony Gormley, fabulous stuff. Now there’s a mixed media chap. Love the sketchbooks.


Bread. Wonder if I should use that too?

Great piece, one stone was missing. Was that meant to be so, one wonders. The blutack remained.

At Tate Modern we went to the Olafur Eliasson exhibition. Amazing stuff, worth a visit if you enjoy a thoughtful mix of subjects, approaches and some interesting interactive pieces.

This is his piece Model Room, right up my street.

And above, me photographing How do we live together?

Below, a view from Tate Britain, no rain for the whole 3 days!

We also went to Tate Britain, to see the William Blake show. This was fascinating, and huge. He was very productive, we had to have a break halfway through, involving cake. I did particularly like his hand written and hand drawn books, interested as I am in book making and page layout.

To finish, Kara Walker’s fountain, Fons Americanus, at Tate Modern.

6 thoughts on “The usefulness of winter.

  1. Sooo…enjoy you posts! Love the nests they are fascinating, looking forward to seeing the end results.
    Thanks for the photos of exhibitions too.

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