Posts Tagged 'art'

Handmade @ Winchester

Pendant from All Fired Up

Pendant from All Fired Up

Today I swung by the Handmade craft fair at Winchester Guildhall. Because my primary destination today was the Hat Fair I’m afraid I didn’t give the craft fair and its Makers the full browsing time they deserved.
There was so much good stuff there, I did a quick lap and had a look at most of the stalls. There were several stalls with stunningly beautiful creations and I grabbed cards from three of them.

All Fired Up had some beautiful pendants made of dichroic glass. So beautiful that despite my intent not to buy anything I got myself a blue and pink multilayer glass pendant – pictured above.

Swell Vintage had a lot of interesting jewellery. No pieces that I would have bought then and there, but I loved the style of the antique pieces and as soon as I got home I checked out the Swell Vintage gallery. Unfortunately the Etsy shop was closed while the Handmade fair was on, but I’ll be checking back there on occasion

RHE Designs also caught my eye. The prints and cards on offer all struck me with their gorgeous use of colour.

It looked like an awesome event with many skilled creators. The sight of so many beautiful things is both inspiring and slightly scary – I don’t knowifI could ever produce such high quality items.

“Measure twice, cut once.”


P6300001

Originally uploaded by Kat Shann

My Dad always used to say this. It was once of many phrases related to projects. Other gems include “man on a galloping horse wouldn’t notice”, and “fast as a church tied to a hedge”. (That’s fast as in held fast, or “securely fixed in place”, not fast as in speedy.)
Of those sayings “measure twice, cut once” seemed the most sensible and the least obscure. I’m sorry to report that I failed in this regard this weekend.
A friend recently purchased an Acer Aspire and asked me to make a cover for it. At the point I was asked I was a little busy fixing a bunch of other people’s clothes, and the Acer was busy getting some boot issues fixed. So I had a quick measure of the Acer’s supplied fabric case. I measured once, not even the right thing, and made sure to add 1.5 cm ease in each dimension (and 1 cm seam allowance).
The next day I got up bright and early and whipped up the pictured case before breakfast. Every part of construction went perfectly, which almost never happens.
You can guess the end of the story. The supplied case was slightly stretchier than I’d accounted for, the Acer didn’t fit into the case.
Gutted.
Back to the cutting board I guess – with proper measurements this time.

Prism 2009

On Wednesday I went up to London with a coach trip laid on by college. We went up to see the Prism Exhibition at the Mall Galleries. The Prism exhibition is put on by the Opus School of Textile Arts.

I enjoyed it. I was awed, amazed, surprised, left cold and disgusted by turns.

I think I’d better qualify that last word first. I was disgusted mostly by the price that one of the most mediocre pieces was asking – some people are seriously delusional.

As for the other words above. I think I was 45% amazed and awed, 45% left cold, and 5% each surprised and disgusted. A lot of the exhibition was very good: innovative, interesting, aesthetically pleasing. But that said – a lot of it was mediocre, uninspired, unfocused and more of a local craft fair quality than gallery exhibition quality.

My C&G tutor set me three things to look for – as a way of learning more from the exhibition – 1) The piece that I love, 2) The piece I would like to have made, 3) The piece that I hated.

1) The piece(s) that I really loved were the colourful images of bodies by Prinkie Richards. They really appealed to be – so bright and vibrant and lively.

2) The piece that I would like to have made was one by Mary-Anne Morrison called Cosmic Spores. It is a beautifully simple and complex construction of black and white coils.

A lot of the ideas I’ve been having lately have been for 3D forms rather than 2D images which no doubt fed into my make-envy. Fortunately the 3D section of the course is coming up in this half term which means I may get to try out some fun things.

3) The piece that I hated… hmmm. There were a lot of pieces that I disliked or was unimpressed by, but mostly I think that was due to personal taste. There was indeed one piece that I really hated because it just looked like the artist had copied a photo in machine stitch (this was the piece whose pricing struck me as ridiculous) and hadn’t added anything personal or innovative to it. It was totally bland.

Anyway I enjoyed my day in London , both the exhibition and the wandering through Berwick Street fabric stores.

Tonight’s C&G fun

Tonight at C&G Embroidery (aka colouring in for grown ups) we drew bold shapes on white paper in oil pastel, then crumpled up the paper to create the cracked lookand doused it in black ink. Looks kind of batik-y.

Free Machine Embroidery

pb090056So I finally finished my first attempt at a large piece of machine embroidery. When I started this I was making the technique up as I went along which lead to some errors. During the course of creation I got a few tips about machine embroidery from my course which improved my technique. Later I bought myself a free machine embroidery foot which made the process much easier.

The image is based on a section of a picture I saw online, a microscopic image of diseased ivory. The purpose of this exercise was for me to try colour mixing with threads – so I translated the online image into a cyan-magenta-yellow in my sketchbook, and later into a doodle using the Gimp where I created each colour as a layer to allow me to see where I’d be laying each thread.

I wasn’t able to get hold of pure cyan, yellow or magenta threads, so I made do with reddish pink, yellow and blue.  The colour mixing worked best with light thread over dark, so the yellow and blue, or yellow and red merges are the best looking. The red and blue merges are not very perceptible as both colours are quite dark and overwhelm each other.

The mistake I made of using a single thickness of fabric meant that the piece became very distorted by repeated working. When finished and stretched across a frame there were two sections that just would not sit flat – the small swirl in the top right and the large area of blue and red on the left. The solution to this was to make the distortion into a ‘design feature’. I have the piece stretched over a painting canvas and I stuffed the area between the piece and the flat canvas surface with stuffed toy filling, making the distorted areas behave somewhat.

It was interesting to see how the picture evolved. I had deliberately not looked at the original source photo since I took a coloured pencil sketch of it in my sketchbook. The subsequent transformations – to Gimp picture, to fabric sketch, to stitch – all took place with guidance only from the previously drawn image and memory. Comparing the finished article now with that photo I can see the resemblance mostly in the shapes. The gorgeous colours of the original were lost: my experiment in colour mixing potentially a failure.

I’m happy enough with the result. I’d hang it on my wall – which is more that I could say for the painting that was on the canvas before I used it to stabilise this piece. I’m going to get my trusty wood worker to whip up some framing wood to put around the edge and hide the stretched cloth at the side, and then the job’s a good ‘un.

Projects: Pottery painting cat bowls

The Crockery, a store which used to be located in Southampton, is now 5 minutes walk away in Eastleigh. They provide pre-made, white clay bowls, plates, etc. and the glazes for you to use to decorate them. You sit in the store and paint the pottery and then leave it with them to be fired. In five days you have your own personalised pottery.

I went to the store on Thursday to pass some time painting. Almost everyone else who came into the store when I was there was a new mum wanting to put her baby’s hand/foot on a plate/mug. I don’t have a baby, so I had to make do with creating something for my surrogate babies – the cats. I painted two bowls to be used for cat food bowls. They’re supposed to look like the cats’ markings: a ginger bowl for Artemis and a black and white bowl for Calliope.

Bowls for the cats


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