I’m back.. at last!!

Summer is over and my boys are back in school – year 11 and year 8 – yikes! Even more yikes! is the fact I now have 2 teenagers!!

We’ve had a good summer with lazy days, cycle rides (the boys not me!), lots of long walks with holiday dog guests (mostly me!), a fun day at Alton Towers plus days out with friends and 2 lovely sunny weeks on the canals aboard narrow boat Fosse. Kind of sad to see summer come to an end and the routine of school and exams taking over again!

But school starting up does mean I have time to sew again so perhaps ! shouldn’t feel too sad?! My new course starts soon so I’ve been busy working on my summer project but, as I started planning this post I realised that I hadn’t pressed the publish button on the post I wrote about my new course so perhaps i better start at the beginning?

At the start of October, I will be starting a new course in Advanced Textiles at the Windsor School of Textile Art. It’s not accredited but more mentor led. I felt that I needed some form of support to help guide me on my next steps. While we wait to start, we don’t get to rest on our laurels but have been given a project to get each of us going. I call it a project but really it is research with a bit of guidance to how to direct your work. We each have to choose a theme – perhaps a theme we’ve used before or something new, it just has to be something that we are interested and dare I say, passionate about. And then we create a workbook about our theme but picking 3-5 words from a given list to guide us in our work.

I didn’t half struggle with this Actually, it wasn’t the theme, it was the words in the list – words such as juxtaposition, decay, man vs nature, shadows that I found hard-going but a chat with a good friend helped me see some of the words in a different light and armed with a dictionary and thesaurus I tackled the word list and tried to figure out how they related to my idea.

In a previous post I mentioned my how my journey through life had various sidesteps due to invisible illness or disability (not that I consider myself ill or disabled!) and how I wanted to use my art to get the message about various invisible conditions and how they can affect you across. I had been looking at ribs and trying to show the invisible pain that can be caused by costochondritis and Fibromyalgia but for my course I wanted to start afresh yet continue the invisible theme. So my ribs have been put aside for a while and I have chosen to focus on Deafness, how it is often an invisible condition/disability and how being deaf can make you be a step away from the hearing world. This led to the thoughts that perhaps people with an invisible condition are sometimes in the shadows, hidden by “putting on a face”, a facade, that is, pretending all is well when perhaps in reality they are struggling (to hear, to understand, to cope with fatigue from trying to keep up and being part of the conversation) and hence from the list given I have chosen the words

Shadows

Facade

Repetition

I have to keep reminding myself that the project is not about creating a finished piece – well, not yet! It is about bringing together ideas, sketches and samples all relating to my theme so once class starts, I can start pulling it all together. Just a hint of some of my samples below:

Workshop news!

October’s workshop with Jackie Cardy is fully booked. There are spaces on Amanda Hislop’s workshop next March, if you would like to spend time on learning how to develop your sketchbooks as a resource for your art then please do sign up!

I also have news on future workshops – Julia Triston is going to be teaching in June and Christine Chester will be teaching in March 2019! Check the website for more details – all information should be up this week. Can I take this opportunity to point out that places are limited so do not leave it to the last minute to book – this may also result in a workshop being cancelled. I am also able to take payment in instalments so again, please check the website for details.

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