11 November 2010

Working in 3-D

We have been experimenting with 3-D, I certainly found it a struggle. I tend to think about 3-D as something which can be viewed from several different angles. So far so good! I recently visited St Ives in Cornwall and I saw the Barbara Hepworth Museum. In the garden which is on a steep slope is a collection of her wonderful sculptures. As you walk around you keep getting very different views, but what really struck me was a sense that she could feel a sculpture in all its dimensions, from inside out, from top to bottom, turning and rotating it on an axis and at different angles. I'm not sure my brain has the capacity to that, I have problems with garments turned inside out!

16 October 2010

Triangle experiments - finished!

My "suspension bridge" (although I am not calling it that.) I think I will call it 'Points on a Journey', as it is about the journey and meeting places and stops along the way.

from the right

from the left
Merete's box in the background.

The cord wasn't quite behaving as I would like. Too stiff to drape and yet not stiff enough to be straight. So, I put some dangley bits between, which adds a bit more interest and actually helps keeps the triangles upright. The small end ones kept being pulled over though, so they get their own dangles on the front to weight them properly.

24 September 2010

Triangle experiments - 3

The 3D triangle experiment came to a bit of a halt while I worked out how to keep the triangles upright. I had the bright idea of using springs - in sort of a mini toast rack effect - to work as "feet". However, I needed time to go find out where I could get any. After a bit of a search I remembered the ironmongers in Great Hollands that has everything...including a few bags of random springs. A rummage produced these which work nicely.
These are just stuck in, but they do what I want them to do. I will make sure they are evenly spaced and stitch them on.
Now that I know they will stand up, I can go ahead and do the suspension bridge cords to join them. I can also go ahead and do some embellishment...although I am growing fond of them just as they are.
I will probably be a bit more restrained than usual...if you can believe that.

As Merete commented earlier,
I had thought to use triangles as feet, but the engineering and product testing time is a bit hard to come by at present. This was simple and effective and won't distract from the triangles themselves.

14 September 2010

Triangle experiments - 2

Covering the triangles developed something like this:
... trying to think what fabric to make it up in, somehow I thought I would really like to do it in black and white...and then I thought I would like it a bit black on white and white on black. Recently I took a Masterclass with Rayna Gillman about screen printing on fabric. So, I had a go and came up with some prints I really liked.

now what to make the triangles from?
I thought to use something stiff like pelmet vilene, but I only had scraps. Then I started looking around and thought about some scraps of wool I had felted to see what would happen. but being brown and not having very much, I doubt I will ever use it. It was a bit floppy, so I discovered some fusible interfacing I got for craft uses. I fused some to the front and back, and it became even more stable than the pelmet vilene. I cut triangles from it and some more from the vilene, which I might do a bit more with.
Then I fused one side with black Misty Fuse and the other with white.

I selected areas of the fabrics I thought would look best on each triangle and fused them.

I am actually liking this arrangement for another idea! So, I have prepared more of the interfacing sandwiches to do something further at another time.

4 September 2010

Triangle experiments

I finally got to start exploring my 3D piece. Here are a few experiments with paper.
Some with points joined, some joined to make a centre triangle. and both of these pieces placed so that you can interact with the piece behind or in front.

and then several of varying sized spaced in a similar way to a suspension bridge. I envision cord connecting them like a bridge.

I think I am leaning toward the latter idea. The thought is rather like travelling between meeting points.
All the pencil lines are from failed attempts at drawing equilateral triangles!
Maths is not my strong point.
I have laid them out on my cutting mat to see how much fabric it needs. The next step is deciding what they will look like. a bit different to 2D, as both sides will show.

5 August 2010

The finished box.

It was fascinating playing around with the triangles, whichever way I turned them, a pleasing form appeared. Finally I stitched it together to make a small box.


..and another...

and another ..

Whichever angle you choose...

2 August 2010

Meeting Points

Our group has talked about working in 3-D for a while. This can be quite challenging, I certainly find it difficult to visualise how flat shapes act together and become three dimensional forms. Our challenge was to incorporate equilateral triangles somewhere in the design and the theme was 'meeting points'.

I started exploring the theme and very quickly 'meeting points' and triangless became interlinked. The geometry of triangles imposed itself, the logical principles just surfaced and I just couldn't get away from them. My work had to be based on the triangle itself.

I then chanced upon an article about the sculpturer Anthony Gormley. In this he mentioned a geometrical principle that "If you trisect a triangle's angles internally, the intersections provide the vertices of a smaller triangel. Whatever the original shape the smaller triangle will always be equilateral. It shows the relationship of the random to the absolute". Once I got my head around what that really means, I was carried off with the beauty of the patterns that emerged. So from higher level mathematics to creating with textiles! So maybe patchwork with its underlying patterns and logic is my natural home?!

Here is my 3-D journey - 'Whichever angle you choose...'

24 June 2010

Unearthing the Staffordshire Hoard at Reading Arts Week

Our group were inspired by the discovery of the Staffordshire Hoard to make a series of pieces using any technique but all being presented on the same 'earthy' brown canvas. For me the excitement was about the thought of uncovering such a find, and my response was to create this felt piece Unearth. The series of pieces by all of us will be shown Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th June at Reading Arts Week at the New Directions Centre.

21 May 2010

The Staffordshire Hoard

I, like many others, stood back in wonder when the first pictures of the Staffordshire Hoard were published in September 2009. This Anglo-Saxon treasure had been buried for centuries, the land had been farmed, but the treasure lay hidden till one day, 5th July 2009, it was unearthed again.

My facination is with the amazing craftmanship, how did they manage to create objects of such beauty, so very small and delicate yet radiant and strong. We met as a group a couple of days after the Hoard was reported in the newspapers, we all felt so inspired that we each created our own response to it.


16 March 2010

Connected:disconnected - Part 2

My response to this theme was based around the idea of personality. I started with the idea of internal emotion and the external image and how the two are inescapably connected and yet so often are disconnected. However I became increasingly fascinated by repetition and how the internal and external varies the appearance of personality from day-to-day. I repeated 'doodles' using highly twisted handspun yarn and was interested by the element of uncontrollability and the way in which this influences how the figures can appear: bold, weak, bouncy, enthusiastic, fearful ...

The piece is contructed from two thick layers of wet felt. The figures are needle felted in place, and then stitched onto the background layer of felt.

7 March 2010


One of our recent projects was called Connected-Disconnected. We each made three pieces on this theme. I worked through some ideas of how we connect and disconnect with people around us at different times in our lives. This exercise prompted me to return to felting, as in the very process of making felt the fibres connect and get all entwined.

27 February 2010

photos from the Private View evening

Merete, Sandy and Jane

a look around
A special thanks to Eleanor - the curator. (in the red dress)

photos by Merete Hawkins

12 February 2010

Private View

The Private View of the Ideas Bank Exhibit on Thursday evening went well. Not as many people as we thought might be there, but it was held at a difficult time of evening for people moving round Berkshire in the traffic.

Here is a photo of Jane discussing her piece.

We also had the privilege of hearing about the work of 2 of the other artists.
Vrinder Atwal and Mo Negm. In the centre of the room there were fabric and felt books with work by Annie Hamilton who has links with Lebanon. It would have been interesting to talk with her because of the textile connections, but she is visiting Lebanon at the moment. Shehnoor Ahmed also has work in the exhibition.
Some of Mo Negm's work
Vrinder Atwal's work

Shehnoor Ahmed's work
Annie Hamilton's work

The Ideas Bank 2010 exhibit continues at the Slough Museum in Berkshire throughout February. If you are in the area, do stop by. The museum is open between 11:00 am and 4:00 pm Wed - Sat.

9 February 2010


I am often drawn to words. Coming from another English speaking country, I am fascinated by the differences in the words; how they are spelled, what they mean and so on. Words are formed of letters and then they themselves are formed together to create languages. I decided to focus on this aspect for my Zoom series beginning in the middle with Words, zooming out to Languages and then back in again to Letter.

A1 - Letter
A3 - Language

A5 - Words
Each piece has a definition included as part of the texture and visual image of the work.
"A Letter is an element in an alphabetic system."
"Language is a dynamic set of sensory symbols of communication and the elements used to manipulate them."
"A Word is a spoken or written unit of language that carries meaning."
I often use unusual materials to create the look I want to achieve. In this series, there are recycled materials, rusted fabrics, paper, paint, gel pen, along with cotton, silk and metallic fabrics.

4 February 2010

Zoom: Significant

In this series I wanted to explore the feelings generated by the creative process. At the outset there are bursting feelings of optimism and excitement. Something is inspiring and there is a sign of the path to follow. (Its hard to see from the image, but there is a sheer overlaid fabric from which the letters 'sign' are cut-away.) This is A1 in size (roughly).

Then negativity sets in. Doubts and frustrations develop and the overriding thought is that I can’t do it. A3 in size (roughly).

Finally, through a process of distilling and condensing there is something personal and significant that can be taken away. This is the smallest piece of the series.


2 February 2010

Hanging the exhibition

Today Jane and I went along to the Slough Museum. Eleanor Pulfer, the Curator, chatted with us about few things like placement, got us a cup of tea, and then let us get to work, allowing us to hang the exhibit as we felt presented the work best. We are really grateful for the opportunity she has given us.

 The work looks really good together. It is quite something to see your work in a gallery setting. When it is just at home when you are working on it, or even when you pull it out to show friends, you don't seem to be able to see it as a whole. Hanging in the gallery gives it quite a special "authentic" feel!

Here is a glimpse of the Zoom pieces in place.
Jane Glennie's work Significant is on the left, then Sandy Snowden's work Communication, then Merete Hawkins work Sunflowers.
If you would like to view our work and that of several other local artists, the exhibit opens on 3 Feb. 2010. The Museum is open from 11am - 4pm Wed - Sat. Click here for a map to find out how to get there. You can also find out about Ideas Bank 2009.

30 January 2010

Zoom: Sunflowers

I have been sewing all my life and I have always enjoyed fabric. I marvel at the feel of a piece of cloth, the colours and patterns and how it drapes and shapes.

I enjoy making my own fabrics, combining different techniques such as dyeing, printing, stencilling, painting - whatever it takes to get the look and feel that I am after. I usually work with strong and warm colours as they remind me of the warmth of spring and summer.



The inspiration for these three pieces was a bunch of sunflowers received from a friend. I wanted to capture the feel of a field of sunflowers as well as having a close-up look at the detail of this cheerful flower.

It is inspiring to work with other textile artists. Zoom, our first group challenge shows how we work in very different ways yet learn and inspire each other.

These pieces have been chosen to hang as part of the EquilARTeral exhibition at Slough Museum from the 3rd of February, 2010 for one month.

29 January 2010

Recent Challenges

So far, we have had 3 challenges in the EquilARTeral group.

The first challenge was Zoom. The idea was to work with our own choice of subject but in large, medium and small sizes, ‘zooming-in’ or ‘zooming-out’. Some chose literal subject matter and some chose to depict conceptual ideas. We opted to use A1, A3, and A5 for the sizes of the pieces.

The second challenge was Connect-Disconnect. Again, the responses were sometimes literal and sometimes conceptual. We had enjoyed the series of different sizes so well for Zoom, that we decided to do a similar thing with A2, A4, and A6.

Our current project is based on the recent find of the Staffordshire Hoard. A treasure trove of items from Anglo-Saxon times discovered by a metal detectorist. Here is a video showing some of the items as they were discovered.

We are nearly at the point where we will have photos of our responses to the Staffordshire Hoard find. What we have done differently this time, is to create work which we have encorporated into painted, textured artist canvas. This has been a step beyond our normal way of working, and all of us are enjoying the journey.

The posts to follow this will show work from the various challenges the group has done.

27 January 2010

Exhibition – Slough Museum

EquilARTeral group have been invited to exhibit at Ideas Bank, a visual arts exhibition organised by Slough Museum. The group have been hoping to show together at some point, and we have suddenly been given the opportunity. Sandy Snowden, Merete Hawkins and I are planning to hang our 'Zoom' series of pieces on Tuesday. The exhibition opens on Wednesday and will be up for the whole of February.