Friday, 4 December 2009

Playing Hookey

I 'retired' in October this year. The trouble is that lots of customers are paying no attention to this fact. So over the last two weeks, I have been working very hard. Helping out with a proposal which means asking all the nasty technical questions and telling the potential customer that there is no way he is going to get these for fifty pounds each unless he downgrades the spec considerably, answering questions for a job completed five months (Why don't they read reports a bit sooner?) and generally providing information. I have done very little textile work in the last two weeks and finished up yesterday by being quite miffed. So I played hookey today and they are going to have to wait.

Today we went to Ledbury, primarily to see a textile exhibition but, of course, to visit our Mr Waller, the butcher, and buy a piece of beef for the family who are descending on Sunday.  And of course have coffee and almond croissants upstairs at Ceci Paolo and visit various shops for Christmas shopping and - - . So I am much happier especially since the textile exhibition, UNFOLDED, was quite the best exhibition in the Weaver's Gallery I have ever seen there. The Weavers Gallery is the upstairs of a timberframed building a few yards from Ledbury's famous timber-framed Market Hall. Most of Ledbury is timber framed (14th to 17th century) but a lot of the shops had a Victorian facade put on. You get inside the shop and the roof is held up by oak timbers with carving on the ends (typical of this area) and the infill walls are wattle and daub (interwoven willow plastered up).  The  Weaver's Gallery holds exhibitions of art of all sorts. I have seen  watercolours there, acrylics, embroidery, quilting. This was labelled as mixed media. There were three local artists. Anne Weldon uses Reverse Applique and produces tree scapes in winter. Very details and quite large and all in black and white. For me, the best was a row of rooks on branches. I am inspired by this. I can see a picture weaving coming on even though I said a few days ago that I would give up picture weaving. She does not have a website which is a pity.

Liz Brooke Ward does complex embroideries, several of which are based on lichen or algae. The fine detail of the embroidery is lovely. This is from a card of hers I bought. Naturally the copyright is hers. She has won several prizes and I am not surprised. It is not only the workmanship but the colours and design which are firstrate. Colours for the lichens are blues, greens, yellows and purple.

These leaves are intended as bookmarks!! or small hangings - they have a ribbon attached. They are by Di Wells and I couldn't resisted buying a few as Christmas presents. They are about eight inches long. Much of her work is buildings. I noted a row of multicoloured bathing huts and a town or two. I loved the bathing huts. As you can see from the photo, she has a good eye for colour, or rather, I like her choices of colour. In fact, I rather regret not buying one for me but the rest are all mentally bespoke.

I was very tempted by the rooks but I have already bought a textile piece which I am collecting tomorrow - more on it then. The people at the Weaver's Gallery were telling me about Linda and Laura Kemshall's  show in Hereford, SIX-STRUCTURED. It is on till January 9th and I must go.  My tutor for the City and Guilds in Creative Sketch Books is one of the six.

And now to do more on my jacket.

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About Me

I am weaver and - -. I dye my yarns with acid dyes, I paint my warps, put fabric collages and stencils on my weaving. I have three looms, a 12 inch wide, 12 shaft Meyer for demos and courses, a 30 inch Louet Kombo which is nominally portable but has a stand, two extra beams and a home-made device containing a fan reed. And last a 32 shaft Louet Megado which is computer controlled, has a sectional warp and a second warp beam and I am the proud owner of an AVL warping wheel which I love to bits and started by drilling holes in. I inserted a device for putting a cross in. I have just acquired an inkle loom and had a lesson from an expert so I can watch TV and weave at the same time. I am interested in weaving with silk mostly 60/2 although I do quite a bit with 90/2 silk. I also count myself as a bookbinder with a special interest in Coptic binding.