Telling Tales – Bath Textile Artists’ New Show at Bristol Guild

It’s an exciting day today – the Bath Textile Artists’ exhibition at Bristol Guild ‘goes up’.  I have to drop off my my work at 10.00 am.   This is our first big exhibition for a while, and features all sorts of beautiful textile work.  It will be a feast for the eyes and a temptation for the fingers.

One of my problems, though, is that there is a not unreasonable expectation that we will produce work for sale.  I very rarely sell anything, although I do give things away.  Up to now if I sell cards I give the proceeds to Medicins sans Frontieres.  But I agreed to produce some things for sale and decided to make some more of the Laura Ashley purses.  I used scraps of Laura Ashley fabric on a plain base and added bits of silk, brocade, and a lot of bits of Liberty fabric that I found in the great clear out.  Over the top I put a remnant of a polyester curtain which isn’t exactly a net but isn’t that sheer either.  It had tiny polka dots all over.  Then I went a bit mad with the machine embroidery on the sewing  machine my mother gave me, which is a fancy Singer.  She passed it on to me because it weighs roughly the same as a chieftain tank and she hasn’t got the strength to heave it about.  Compared with the tiny IKEA special I mentioned in a previous post it is like something you would weight down a washing machine with.  But I had a lot of fun trying out all the stitches, some in metallics, some in boring beige, some motifs, some repeat lines and so on.  Then I took the hot air gun to the top layer for the antique look.  The curtain fabric melted in a very interesting way, which got a bit lost when I did the hand sewing but is still visible in parts.  So, some hand embroidery and a fair smattering of beads later then were finished.  I really liked adding beads to traditional embroidery stitches like fly stitch:

I used a lot of old jewellery that I found in the great clear out as well, and once I had broken it up it came in very handy for the trims such as on the last piece I made:

This piece was made by patching together the leftovers from the other purses, so was particularly satisfying to make, and I think it has a Victorian crazy patchwork kind of feel.

Here are the other purses.  They are for sale – proceeds to charity – but I have put a whacking price on them so that no-one will buy them.  I never want to let new things go!

I have been reading a lot about Laura Ashley recently, and I think she would have loved this project – using up every scrap and keeping my hands busy would have appealed to her, I think.  Plus the nostalgic feel to the project is in-keeping with her approach to design.

The exhibition, ‘Telling Tales’ will also have my Threads of Identity pieces and the Ghost Dolls.

It is at Bristol Guild Gallery, 68/70 Park Street, Bristol, BS1 5NY from 6-27 October.  Monday – Saturday 10-5.00.  The private view is this Saturday and you don’t need a special ticket – mention my name on the door!

My fellow exhibitors are:

Yvonne Auld

Barbara Butler

Janet Clarke

Cheryl Cross

Nina Davis

Chris Harley

Margaret Heath

Liz Hewitt

Heather Martin

Gloria Pugh

5 thoughts on “Telling Tales – Bath Textile Artists’ New Show at Bristol Guild

  1. The exhibition will go well. Liz invited us to the private view, but sadly we are elsewhere. I’ll try to visit while it’s open, but it’s a long journey. Love the purses. You might be surprised and a charity might be very happy!

    1. Thanks for this – what a lovely comment. There is some very nice work indeed on display – and mine features a lot of your gorgeous space-dyed perle cotton – if you are at FOQ next year I may be turning up with a wheelbarrow to restock!


    1. I have put £75-80 on them – unframed etc. There are very nice pictures which are fully glazed etc for not a lot more. As ever really hoping that no-one is interested!

      1. that doesn’t sound too unreasonable. I think its harder with textiles because our society really undervalues the time and effort put into them, whereas with pictures someone competant can produce something quite quickly and sell it for far more than a basic hourly rate.(Not that all pictures are quick, but many of the ones sold are)

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