Friday 25 August 2017

The Tile Museum at Ironbridge

We had a day out at Ironbridge this week. It's a World Heritage Site with ten varied attractions. We have annual 'passports' that allow us to go as often as we like - on this occasion we chose to visit the Tile Museum.

I loved this display cabinet in the old trade showroom.

And the stores of tile molds were fascinating - every one numbered on its side to identify the design.

There are hundreds of examples of tiles displayed in cabinets as well as on the walls and floors of the buildings themselves. The floral designs were beautifully observed from nature.

And I particularly liked this nasturtium panel, one of about a dozen different plant designs on a Victorian washstand. Who knew what meaning it might convey?

I shall have to avoid scarlet geraniums now I know what they signify.

Back home, when I looked at my photographs I was inspired to draw a few flowers just for fun. I've got another of those little concertina sketchbooks just waiting to be used and the garden is full of nasturtiums!

They are at their peak and running riot at the moment so I could pluck a few without compunction! It's such a treat to sit in the garden and draw whilst enjoying the late summer sun.

It was very satisfying to have the real flowers to study but, referring back to the museum image I realised that why the tile design had been so compelling was the way it combined such a realistic depiction of the plant in combination with a highly stylised geometric pattern as a border. I loved the way the flower broke free of the frame too so I started to add a similar pattern to my pages. I may tone the border down with a wash of watercolour at some point.

Of course the tile had a dramatic black background too - I'm not sure if I'm going to give my drawing the same treatment yet. I might leave it for a day or two and then make a decision! Whatever I decide, it'll be another excuse to get out in the garden and enjoy the summer while it lasts. Small pleasures but none the worse for that!

Bye for now - Linda x

Tuesday 15 August 2017

Even more from Festival of Quilts 2017

I couldn't possibly share all the photos I took at Festival this year - here are just a few more of my favourites.

Our friends on the Husqvarna stand getting ready for the show to open on Day 1.

Annabel Rainbow was in the Through Our Hands Gallery painting to transform this vintage quilt each day. I photographed work in progress on Day 3.........

when Annabel was eliminating some background colour and adding realistic eyes to the mask-like faces with acrylic paint. Generous onlookers who enjoyed watching the process showed their appreciation by contributing to the Save The Children collection bucket. The daily contributions added to the funds raised from the Portrait Shuffle helped realise over £2,300 for the charity!

I don't have space to include all 22 of the artists featured in the TOH gallery but this detail of a stunning piece by Genevieve Attinger attracted much well deserved attention from the visitors.

The EQA - Diversity in Europe exhibit featured a quilt from each country. 'Popular Traditions' by Maria Antonia Narro was the Spanish contribution.

And 'Les Cocottes' by Nicole Dibusi was the French exhibit.

Cherilyn Martin exhibited several of her Memory Cloth pieces. This detail of 'Paradekissen' involved rusting, screen printing and machine stitching on an antique, German pillow case.

This lady in the Tongan Tapa Cloth - Bloodlines Gallery was happy to explain how Tapa cloth was made from the bark of a tree.

'Falevai Pigs' by Sulieti Fiume'a Burrows and Tui Emma Gillies.

The best thing about Festival of Quilts is the breadth of textile work that is presented, both in the open competition categories and in the invitational exhibition galleries. I hope my photographs have given just a small taste of that.

Roll on FOQ 2018!!

Bye for now - Linda x

Sunday 13 August 2017

More from Festival of Quilts 2017

I thought you'd like to see a few of my favourite moments from this year's show at the NEC.

Laura's quilt, 'Falling in and Out of Love' looked very dramatic in the Fine Art Quilt Masters Gallery. We think she is the only person in the world to be using this technique. I know I'm her mother and obviously biased but she's always one to take risks and break new ground with her work!

The judging panel choose this quilt ' Birchington Breakwaters', by Margaret Ramsey as the winner of Fine Art Quilt Masters. Many congratulations to her!

What I love about the show is the diversity of quilts on show. There really is something for everyone to admire. The Quilters' Guild of Great Britain stand included this beautiful antique coverlet from their collection. As I've recently been happily piecing little diamonds in silk it really appealed to me! Funny to see that the maker didn't place the tumbling blocks consistently - gives a lively sense of movement across the quilt though doesn't it?

It's always good to know something of the history behind these precious survivors too.

At the opposite end of the spectrum I found this contemporary quilt by Constanze Botel very amusing. Constanze has called it, 'Thank You To All Quilt Angels' and yes, that smiling figure is actually part of the quilt and physically holding the corner back (with white gloves of course) so viewers can see the quilting on the reverse! Great to see quilts with a sense of humour!

The SAQA exhibit is always stimulating - I was particularly drawn to this piece, 'Pallbearer' by Margaret Abramshe.

And I loved 'Morning Mist' by Linda Anderson too.

Back in the Through Our Hands gallery Laura made a start on her double portrait on the first day and despite spending lots of time chatting with onlookers.........

was managing to make good progress by the second day.

Here's a detail of Amelie's portrait at the end of Day 3.

We'll have to wait and see how the finished painting looks by Day 4. That's this afternoon so there's still time to go and see everything for yourself if you're quick!

Thanks for dropping by today. I have lots more photos and will post again soon.
Linda x

Thursday 10 August 2017

Festival of Quilts 2017

I'm just home, weary but happy after a day at the National Exhibition Centre where the Through Our Hands exhibit is looking fantastic.

The show takes over three large halls at the NEC and you really need more than one day to see everything. Luckily I'll be there again tomorrow so I'll take more photos to share then.

Here's Annabel Rainbow in full flood chatting with visitors to the TOH exhibit. You can just see her beyond those incredibly delicate pieces by Eszter Bornemisza.

And here's Laura painting a double portrait of her and Amelie 'live' on the stand. That takes some doing when you have an audience - I don't think I envy her although I was tempted to pick up the paintbrush and have a little go myself when no one was looking!

The 'Dementia Darnings' by Jenni Dutton are stunning and drew the crowds all day.

And I was happy to see my quilt 'Every Thought a Question' finally finished and hanging in the space.

If you're visiting tomorrow come and say hello but if you can't get there I promise to post more images very soon!
Bye for now - Linda x