Mad Hatting

With the online Concertina Hat course in full swing (there have been some amazing hats already and we are barely into week 2 of the felting 🙂 ) I thought this would be a good opportunity to share a few of the hats I have been working on over the past few weeks.



One Small Step…

While I might not be flying to the moon or changing the World, on Friday I took another step towards my dream of achieving a Bachelor of Arts degree. I have been accepted onto the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design (FDAD) at West Dean College starting in September 🙂

Putting the portfolio together was quite a challenge for me, partly because my non-felt pieces are few and far between, making it difficult to select pieces that I thought were either good enough or had a story to tell, and then there were the decisions about order and layout…

While there are plenty of sites offering an opinion on how to create a portfolio for interview there aren’t many examples of actual portfolios so I thought I would share mine in case it is useful to other wanna-be students, not that my portfolio is a beacon to be followed but it was good enough to gain entry to a foundation diploma.

Drawing with non-dominant hand
Drawing with both hands

The most useful piece of advice I was given prior to my interview was to only include pieces in your portfolio that you feel comfortable talking about, i.e. why did you include it?


A Few More Screen Prints

These are on a variety of backgrounds, some monoprinted during the workshop with Annee Robson and rescued from the reject pile. Apologies for the quality of these photos they were taken in a bit of a rush

I’ve been attending a life drawing class since April, sharing some of those pieces is a little overdue….

Screen Printing at Ochre Print Studio

This  post is the product of serendipity, all those hours spent (wasted?) on Facebook finally paid off when a mutual friend posted about Ochre Print Studio in Guildford. I still can’t believe I  hadn’t heard of them before, they are only 6 miles from me.

They offer a variety of print courses as well as open studio sessions and a variety of services such as photo emulsion exposure for silk screens.

I took a 2 day class with Annee Robson and think the results speak for themselves. I took the course with the plan to use the new skills on fabric but am suddenly hooked on printing with paper…. 🙂

Clicking on the images should make them larger.

Feeling Inspired

Yesterday was the last day of a 3 day workshop with the genuinely lovely and inspiring, Louise Anderson. Normally I feel a bit deflated and sad when a workshop comes to an end but this time I think I am feeling too energised and excited by the new possibilities to feel sad that I will not be meeting up with my classmates again. It sounds trite but this workshop really has changed how I look at even the most mundane of objects, I am noticing colours and shapes that I was previously oblivious to.

Louise is a lecturer from UCA, a university that I mentioned a few weeks ago, but she was teaching this course, Colour and Abstract Design for Textiles, from City Lit in London. To be honest I wasn’t really sure what to expect but it came recommended from another UCA lecturer so I signed up and kept and open mind, and I am so glad I did!

The first half day was spent on the basics of colour theory, a favourite topic of mine and one I would have happily spent all 3 discussing. Then we moved onto using view-finder techniques to find interesting combinations of line and shape from various still life objects. The second day was spent predominantly working from photos for inspiration and the 3 day for me was spent working with scale and repetition (I went off on a bit of tangent here, I don’t think this was intended to be part of the class).

Here are a few of the designs I produced over the 3 days…

This next series was derived from the photo on the left, the panel in the top right was drawn from the photo while the panel below was a more geometric representation of the one above, focusing on the elements I found most pleasing.

Photo found on but no credit given to the photographer so I’m afraid I do not know who took it.

Then I played with repetition and scale, out of all the designs this is the one (or at least sections of it) I can see myself translating into felt and fabric prints.

This next one solicited the most interest from my classmates, this is it after playing with scale and repetition.

I’m not sure I like the large layout, it is too chaotic and makes me feel tense just looking at it, but small sections of it are appealing and worth further exploration…

We also had a brief discussion about rust dyeing as part of the “how to translate your designs into textiles” segment, so when I spotted a rusty, ornate metal plate in the garage, I had to give it a go didn’t I? 🙂

For a first attempt a rust dyeing I am enormously impressed with the results, the print is far clearer that I expected and it only took 2 hours (I was told to leave it for 2 days but could see the rust seeping through after just 30 min). On the left is cotton muslin and the far right is a scrap of habouti silk.

A close up of the cotton print…

I have already wrapped another piece of cotton around the plate for attempt number 2, fingers crossed it is as beautiful as the first!

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