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: