Sunday, 23 April 2017

Stitched textiles and accessories. Open House Studio, Hummingbird Studio. Brighton Festival 2017

It's festival time again and I'm pleased to be presenting some new work to the Hummingbird Studio Open House at 107 Havelock Rd. Brighton BN1 6GL from May 6th -28th [weekends only] 11-5pm.

 I have a lifelong love of textiles and embroidery and have developed a fascination with mixed media techniques. I'm also studying for the Distant Stitch Certificate Embroidery Certificate Level 3.and have enjoyed attending several of their Summer Schools.

 Altogether these have provided me with fabulous opportunities to experiment with exciting texture and colour effects alongside my hand and machine embroidery skills [a match made in heaven]!
I've used them to create my handcrafted accessories, handmade books and jewellery.

 You can access my previous artist statement for 2016 on

Some examples of my recent work:

Machine embroidered necklace with beaded finish

 Machine embroidered / mixed media Sunflower brooch with decorated box

Flower in a box. Mixed media and machine embroidered flower in decorated box.

Sketchbook with mixed media cover

Butterfly in a box. Machine embroidered butterfly brooch in decorated box.

 Vanity/ evening clutch bag. Mixed media background printed onto silk with hand and machine embroidered finish

Evening bag. Hand dyed silk with embroidered floral detail.

I'd  like to thank the following textile artists for their expertise and support.
 Sian Martin
Wendy Dolan
Kim Thittichai

Friday, 13 January 2017

Amendment Module 4 chapter 12.

Cas Holmes is one of the three artists we had to profile for this chapter and she  has kindly left a comment on my blog advising me that she has not taught at Middlesex University some fifteen years ago.

Module five. Chapter 3. Texture and relief in paper.

I have looked at my textured surfaces and photographs in chapter one to observe the textures and relief surfaces.

The following 9 samples correlate with those in chapter one; I’ve used suitable papers to achieve the desired effects:

ch 3 1ch 3 2

ch 3 3ch 3 4

Module five. Chapter 2. Relief paper investigations.

This chapter looks at using a collection  of white papers with which to experiment by ripping, tearing,  folding, scrunching and pleating in different ways.

1. Ripping and tearing;  tearing on or against the grain produces a controlled or random effect respectively.

Then by folding and pleating with different weights and textures of paper I could create further interesting effects.

The examples below are arranged from the top left hand corner down to the bottom of the page and then 2nd row from top to bottom and so on:

ch 1 1

2. Rip, fold and scrunch:

Nine different papers have been scrunched up to fit into a specific shape. Each paper started as an A4 size which has been scrunched up to fit a space one ninth of the original and mounted onto an A4 size piece of black card.

Different weights and textures of paper yield in various ways:

ch 2 2

3. Manipulated tissue paper:

The translucency of tissue paper produced some fabulous effects:

ch 2 3

4. Gathered and pleated samples of tissue paper which have been manipulated differently. All samples have been worked using a long stitch length on a sewing machine:

ch 2 4ch 2 5

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Chapter 1 continued

This is a small collection of items collected to represent texture in landscape, here they are in colour and black and white. I thought it would be fun to texturize them too!

ch 1ach 1a bwch 1a bw br

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Module Five Chapter 1


The first task for this fascinating module is to make a collection of textured items and / or photographs of textured surfaces in landscapes.

The topic is huge so I’ve decided to select a particular aspect of textures in landscape and concentrate on hedgerows and ditches. I love cow parsley which can be seen along the hedgerows and ditches on the Somerset Levels in early summer and I have spent many a happy hour looking at and photographing these beautiful, fairy like wild plants. I was born and spent my childhood on a farm near Wedmore in Somerset, which is actually above sea level, but spent a lot of time  either helping my father herd the cattle between pastures or riding my bike across the moors.

Ivy is another favourite plant and I have this in abundance along the hedge in my town garden in Brighton and sprawling wild in wild abandon along ditches and hedgerows on my allotment which serves as my bit of ‘countryside’ in the city. It’s beautiful!

I’ve used photos, some of which I took sometime ago when the cow parsley was in flower  and others for which I’ve set out on a special trip in search of hedgerows and ditches which I feel fit the bill!

I have then downloaded them onto the computer and found ways to create beautiful and interesting textures. Sian suggested we work in black and white to accentuate textural qualities of the images.

Sample 1

Ivy, stick and undergrowth:

The first is a simple black and white image which has then been rotated 90 degrees to give a different slant on it. The 3rd is the result of photoshop using the filter icon and scrolling down to sketch and then to bas relief.

Hedgerow 1 copy

Sample 2:

Seed heads in a hedgerow.

1.Black and white first and 2.filtered with the texturiser tool 3.  filter and photocopy tools plus an adjustment of brightness and contrast.

hedgerow 2 copy

Sample 3

Ivy in hedgerow [ one of my favourites]

1. black and white image 2. Filter tool and texturizer plus adjustment of  brightness and contrast 3. The filter icon, sketch and photocopy tools

hedgerow 3 copy

Sample 4

Cow parsley

1. Black and white only 2. filter icon and texturizer 3. Filter tool and graphic pen and 4. filter tool and charcoal

hedgerow 4 copy

Sample 4b

Cow parsley

1. Black and white and 2. filter and stylise  and find edges tools

hedgerow12 copy

Sample five:

Ivy clad ditch

1. black and white 2. filter and texturizer and 3. Filter and photocopy tools.

hedgerow7 copy

Sample 6

Ivy berries

1. Black and white 2. Filter, texturizer and photocopy tools and 3. Filter and bas relief tools

hedgerow6 copy

Sample 7

Ivy roots

1. black and white 2. image rotated 90 degrees to add a different dimension and 3. filter, stylise and find edges tools

hedgerow 9 copy

Sample 8


1. Black and white 2. image rotated 90 degrees and 3. Filter, bas relief tools plus brightness and contrast adjustment

hedgerow10 copy

Sample 9

Fern and ivy

1. Black and white 2. Filter and find edges tool

hedgerow11 copy

I’m particularly pleased with the textural effects especially the photocopy tool and the bas relief effect. The texturizer was pleasing but not very clearly defined.

I have some items to add to this blog but they will be added tomorrow – right out of time now!

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Chapter 12. Study 3 artists

Cas Holmes

Cas Holmes is one of UK's most renowned textiles artists who works as a paper-maker and stitcher. She uses embroidery and textiles to create visually rich narrative artworks and personal stories which are sourced from her everyday encounters and the world around her.

She is interested in links between land, place and the environment.

During Cas' upbringing her Romany grandmother encouraged an interest in reclaimed objects which would then be put to good use rather than being overlooked and her father taught her how 'to look', observe and ask questions during their walks together. A love of storytelling was also inherited from her Grandmother.

She graduated as a painter and fine artist but soon became drawn into the world of stitching. She works without defined boundaries using cutting, tearing, painting and stitching to produce a personal reaction to the historical, environmental and social heritage of a place.

I'm lucky enough to own a couple of her books Stitch stories and The found Object in Textile Art which look closely at how the everyday and familiar can be a starting point for developing ideas. She uses drawing to inform her ideas and uses journals and sketchbooks to research and record her experiences.

In Stitch Stories she describes her use of Stitch Sketching to record daily observations which may then be developed into textile pieces

A self confessed 'magpie' Cas is renowned for her use of found objects in her work. She encourages the reader to view the everyday object with an artist's eye. Found objects may range from the humble to the opulent and may be small, natural or man-made. These can be used to convey meaning or add decoration.

She states that with making comes meaning and that our exploration of everyday events and objects can bring meaning as we reflect upon the world we live in.

Cas trained as a painter and fine artist at Maidstone College of Art and continued her studies during fellowships to Japan.

She teaches at Middlesex University, exhibits widely and runs courses hibits widely and runs courses at West Dean college, West Dean college, Sussex.

cas holmesfound objectscas holmes stitch stories

In relation to Module 4:

Cas is renowned for her paper making which as demonstrated above she uses to construct beautiful book structures in which to record her observations and Stitch Stories.

Information from:

Stitch Stories. Cas Holmes published by Bashford 2015

The Found Object in Textile Art. Cas Holmes published by Batsford 2010

Lois Walpole

Lois Walpole was born in London of Anglo Scottish heritage. She graduated from Saint Martins School of Art, London with a B.A.(Hons.) in Sculpture in 1975 and obtained City and Guilds qualifications in Basket Making from the London College of Furniture in 1982. In 2003 she completed a Doctorate in the Design department at the Royal College of Art in London.

Since 1982 she has worked full time as an artist/ basket maker taking part in and curating national and international exhibitions, working to commission, designing for production, teaching and writing.

From 1972 to 2005 she lived in London. Now she divides her time between the Shetland Islands and the Charente, in south west France, where her studio is based.


Lois is one of Britain's most influential basket makers known for her creation of innovative designs from hand painted recycled cardboard and recycled packaging. She enjoys making use of everyday objects such as ring pulls, mine corks and wire as well as using the repeat of a graphic design to make her eye catching objects.

She uses traditional methods to produce unconventional items in that they are not created with a purpose in mind.

In relation to module 4: 

I can see the use of grids through weaving in Lois' work which relates to work in this module as well as the more delicate pieces where I can see patterns discovered in my Drawn Threadwork. In her woven items I can see the patterning I achieved when experimenting with different ways of lettering.

Information taken from

I'd like to include Alice Fox as my third artist for this exercise.

Her fascination with the natural world and all things organic are recorded and embodied into her textile pieces. Although I have worked to brief  for this module and included aspects relating to the media, grids, letter pattering and drawn thread work I feel there is a further element involving the natural world where I have represented my observations of the Fall in New York and the forest floor

I'm particularly drawn to her work with leaves and the handmade book both shown in photographs below. Whilst her work embodies rather than directly represents the natural world and mine offers a more stylised look I feel a connection with her work.

Alice graduated in Contemporary Surface Design and Textiles at the School of Arts and Media, Bradford and has been a finalist in the Craft and Design Selected Maker Award 2015.

Alice is a member of The Textile study Group and The Society of Master Craftsmen

Alice fox Artist statement - taken from The Textile study Group website:

My practice brings together recording, collecting and interaction with the landscape.  I have always been fascinated by the detail of organic things and the work that I produce celebrates and carries an essence of what I experience in the natural world. I aim to draw the viewer in, invite them to look closer and notice things they might otherwise have overlooked.

Much of my work is based on experiences of coastal landscapes. The beach and its hinterland can be the richest source of experience and discovery. Through the cycle of tides and weather it collects daily treasures and detritus by turn, providing a visual and tactile adventure. My starting point is usually walking, recording my experience through words, sketches, photographs and collected items. I notice lines, patterns, shapes and textures. I try to capture small changes: the way material is moved about by the elements. Wherever I am I take a beach-comber's approach, found objects providing a tangible link to the places I've walked.

I work with natural fibres (paper, cloth and thread) and use natural dye techniques, print, stitch and weave in different combinations. My work develops through layering up marks and textures, building up subtle surfaces and structures that combine the textural qualities of textile and printmaking processes. Found items, their identity often a mystery because of the action of the elements, form the focus of my response to a landscape.

I am concerned with embodiment of the landscape rather than direct representation. Each piece can be seen as a small record of a walk: a journey or moment from a journey. The works I produce are contemplative and quiet, but look closely and you'll discover there is complex activity; patterns can appear both random and organized. Look again and there is something new to discover.

alice fox  leaf quilt


alice fox