Preparations for the Oxmarket in Chichester

The last couple of weeks have been a whirl of screen-printing, trying to get a couple of new designs ready for exhibition at the Oxmarket gallery in March. The exhibition will feature a selection of new and established printmakers and will be open from 13-25th March, if you are in the area  please do pop in, there will be over 100 framed prints on show and hundreds more in browsers. It promises to be a wonderfully ecletic exhibition of different printmaking techniques and styles.

This is a small sample of my prints (no two are the same, even though only 3 sets of stencils were used).

This series I titled “dinner time” and I’m sure anyone who owns a cat will be very familiar with this pose 🙂

I have struggled to come up with a title for this one (any ideas?), but I was trying to capture that fleeting glimpse of a fish beyond the ripples in the pond surface…

 

 

The address for the exhibition is:

Oxmarket Gallery
St. Andrew’s Court
off East Street
Chichester
West Sussex
PO19 1YH

Open Tue – Sun 10am to 4:30pm
Free admission

Landmarks with Cas Holmes

Last weekend I attended the third module of my Diploma course at West Dean, this was by far the workshop where I felt most in my element and even got to use up some of my extensive scrap felt and fabrics collection. Win-win! 🙂

Cas Holmes is an amazing tutor, her years of teaching experience were clearly evident in how she catered to each individual student’s interests and level of experience. In just 3 days she had the measure of each of us and was supporting us individually. If you get the opportunity to work with her I would definitely take it, and go along with an open mind, she has a lot to offer and is very generous with her advice.

The weekend was spent creating stamped and painted fabrics before assembling them into a collage with no predefined idea of what they would look like when finished. Working on a composition without an end in mind was really liberating and, for me, a totally different way of working, although I did have a moment of panic when I looked at this piece and had no idea where to take it.

This is where it is currently. The other students tell me it is their favourite but I still feel it needs more work.

For the next piece Cas let us select a piece of fabric / paper from a pile in the middle of the room (I pounced on the sheet music) and then she gave each of us another piece that she thought we would find challenging (mine was the dark grey paper  arranged in vertical strips in the bottom half of the composition). I think Cas has me pegged a bright colour enthusiast – can’t imagine where she got that idea from 🙂

This is what it looked like after the initial arrangement.

And after some machine embroidery and couching on some more felt scraps:

What do you think, should I add the orange triangle on the left? Or something else? Perhaps some machine embroidery to the right of the orange triangle?

I liked this piece right from the start,

but I’m not sure about the flower at the bottom – should I stitch over it to make it looks less like a flower?

I also made a piece using Cas’ technique but with a predefined image in my mind. I have been working on a new body of work focussing on animals (more on that in another post) and thought these fish would translate well. These images are from my sketchbook, I was thinking of creating screen prints from them but I have already wandered back to felt and textiles 🙂

This is the piece I made at West Dean, I had intended to remove the tissue paper entirely but rather liked the textured surface and how it resembles splashing water.

However, the paper is very delicate and not very practical so I have started a similar piece using heavy weight silk instead, this is the back, getting ready to start stitching.

Life Felting

Apologies to anyone who also follows the Felting and Fiber Studio blog, this was a guest post written for their blog but I thought I would share it here too for anyone who doesn’t follow both blogs.

A year ago, I signed up for a life drawing class, not really sure what to expect but I knew I needed to expand my portfolio if I wanted to study art and design / textile design further.

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I surprised myself with how much I enjoyed it, Tuesday evenings soon became the highlight of my week. Like everyone else, I was working with charcoal and pastels but a turning point came when I met a lady at an untutored life drawing session who was making collages of the model with acrylic “felt”. I cringe to call it felt, the fuzzy plastic she was cutting up bears very little resemblance to the woolly gorgeousness that we all know and love 🙂

The following week I turned up with a sheet of commercial needle-punch prefelt as a base and large  bag of wool tops and fabrics for felting. Sarah was my first muse and I am still working on her, she is being treated to a lot of hand-stitching that is taking weeks to complete, this was her after felting and adding some stitch around her eyes:

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And as she looks today, still lots more stitching planned, she is giving my hands something to do while sat in front of the TV in the evening:

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Chantelle and Omar were the models at the next session, this time I used some low-immersion dyed prefelts as the base and Chantelle was collaged from screen-printed prefelts I made during Ruth’s online class.

Chantelle is still at the prefelt stage and she needs a lot of work,

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but Omar’s hands are progressing nicely,

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I think the background needs work though, what do you see  when you look at the dyed background?

 

This is a line drawing on a printed photo that could be one option…

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And finally, I tried a new technique with Terry, mixing rust dyed fabric with Kap Merino. Kap merino is a very short fibre wool that is lovely to “paint” with but unfortunately it isn’t that easy to source, I bought mine from Woolknoll in Germany.

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Kap merino with cm measure

Terry is still at the very soft prefelt stage but I am happy with today’s progress and I hope to take the sander to him later this week. This is what he looked like first thing this morning…

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And after another 5 hours work on him today… I can still see areas that need fixing, it is funny how you see things looking at a photograph that you don’t see when looking at the felt 🙂

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Are you interested in finding a life-drawing group near you? Most further education colleges with an art department offer evening classes, these are usually quite structured and they are great way to get a grounding in traditional methods of drawing the human figure but they might not be so keen on you turning up with a large bag of wool instead of charcoal 🙂 Alternatively, most towns have informal life drawing groups, where someone organises for a model to sit each week or month and you pay per session or series of sessions. I found Meet Up to be a great source for finding these groups (and other art and craft groups). They are typically untutored so they are much more amenable to weirdos like me turning up with armfuls of fluff and a bottle of soapy water! 🙂  Do check how long each pose will last before turning up with your wool though, I would find it tough to work with anything less than hour. Be prepared for lots of questions about what you are doing, I think most of the Guildford group are genuinely fascinated by what I am doing and the models say they enjoy watching me work too (they normally just have the back of easels to look at).

And finally, a shameless plug 🙂 Registration for the very popular concertina hat class, the one with the cute snail hat tutorial, will open tomorrow please follow this link for more information and fill out the contact form at the bottom of the page if you would like to join us. Alternatively, you might like to admire the wonderful creations from previous students here.

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Hats with Zsofia Marx

Last weekend was spent with the beautiful ladies of IFA region 2 in the New Forest and the delightful and generous Zsofia, Zsofia makes the most gorgeous and stylish hats, do check out her facebook page if you aren’t familiar with her work.

 

She shared some interesting techniques, some of which I confess I found alarming but everyone came away with a stunning hat, so clearly I need to be more open to the alternative ways of making felt. 🙂

If you get the opportunity, I highly recommend taking a workshop with her, she has a natural talent for shaping hats to suit different face shapes that is a true joy to watch.

Bacchus Exhibition

I am very pleased to say my Tropical Reef wall hanging that I made in response to the Felting and Fibre Studio Forum Challenge 18 months ago is currently on display in the Bacchus exhibition at Denbies near Dorking, Surrey. The exhibition is only on for another week so you’d better be quick if you want to see it. Entry is free.

This is my exhibit, some of you might recognise it 🙂

These links will take you to the story of its creation…

http://www.teriberry.com/2015/07/07/q3-challenge-part-1/

http://www.teriberry.com/2015/07/08/q3-challenge-part-2/

http://www.teriberry.com/2015/07/09/q3-challenge-part-3/

http://www.teriberry.com/2015/07/11/finito/

 

And these are a selection of the exhibition pieces that caught my eye… Clicking on the image will make it larger and the labels easier to read.

Natasha Mwaegbe was the only other textile artist in the exhibition. Her work reminded me of Maggie Grey’s books.

 

Anna Scott also has a print exhibition at Watt’s gallery, I am planning to visit that in the next couple of weeks.

 

This piece by Caroline Bond was made from glass, sand and rocks, it invited the viewer to touch it.

 

I liked how Grace Ellen had used the gloss medium sparingly, it really made the bank on the other side of the river recede.

 

This painting of a cow was my favourite and I was surprised it did not place in the judging.

 

If you are thinking about embarking on Ruth’s current mixed media challenge, I say go for it! You never know where it might lead! 🙂

 

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