# 1 year of stitches2017 – My daily stitches continue…

Since the start of the year I have been doing some stitching each day for about 20 minutes. In my last post I talked about the first 10 days of the project which now has over 3,000 people stitching each day around the world. This is Day 44 of the […]

Sensing Culture – the Mark of the Maker

The ‘Sensing Culture – The Mark of the Maker’ exhibition is still on show in the Front Room Gallery at The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge, Canterbury, Kent, England. To quote the  publicity it is “A stunning exhibition by people with sight loss, created in workshops led by artists […]

#1yearofstitches – A project to keep me stitching

This year I am taking part in a worldwide project called 1 Year of Stitches: 2017. It is being run by Sara Barnes. My theme is to base the stitches I make on the classic embroidery book ‘Samplers and Stitches’ by Mrs Archibald Christie.  It was first published in 1920. […]

Sensing Culture – working with the Guide Dogs

As someone who does not have a dog and has no real experience of dogs; it has been an eye-opening experience for me to be working with the guide dogs who accompany some of the participants in the Sensing Culture project I am delivering with the Cathedral and The Beaney […]

Canterbury, Kent – Sensing Culture through textiles

  In my last post I talked about the background to the planning of the textile workshops I am leading for the Sensing Culture project with Canterbury Cathedral and The Beaney- House of Art & Knowledge. To book the workshop places please see these links http://www.canterbury-cathedral.org/news/ http://canterburymuseums.co.uk/whats-on/categories/workshop-events/ The textile workshops […]

Sensing Culture -RNIB/HLF project – Canterbury, Kent

I have been busy this year working towards the Sensing Culture Project at The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge, and Canterbury Cathedral. The project involves working with visually impaired people (VIP’s) to explore the collections and spaces in order to make textiles that will be part of an exhibition […]

Symbiosis- My work is a Mélange

Symbiosis An exhibition of woven tapestry 19th April – 1st May 2016 This is the theme of  British Tapestry Group (BTG)  exhibition that is currently on show at Hastings Arts Forum in St Leonard’s on Sea, East Sussex. In the year that Hastings is commemorating the 950 year anniversary of the […]

Hunter & Collector

  I have been slowly working through ideas on the theme of Hunter & Collector for over 2 years now. The work involves using found  and vintage objects to inspire and be used in the textiles. Circles form a major feature for the work.   I have shown a circle […]

Weaving a ‘W’- Red Letter

I have just finished weaving a letter ‘W’. It is not quiet as straight forward as it sounds. The sett is very important as is the decision about the number of threads to use in the weft. The weave direction is important in order to keep the sheds correct across […]

Creative Christmas

The autumn has been rather hectic with making, showing and teaching that the posts updates have been a little far and between. There is still a chance to get to see the Creative Christmas show in St Leonards on Sea. This exhibition of over 30 makers across all art forms […]

# 1 year of stitches2017 – My daily stitches continue…

Since the start of the year I have been doing some stitching each day for about 20 minutes. In my last post I talked about the first 10 days of the project which now has over 3,000 people stitching each day around the world. This is Day 44 of the 1 Year of Stitches 2017  where I am working though the stitches shown in Samplers and Stitches by Mrs Archibald Christie. I am aiming to show all of the days in these posts and on social media. It is organised as an online sharing project and it is lovely to share my work, see the work of the other contributors and to make comments, receive comments  and share ideas. The actual stitching is becoming a habit and I look forward to the time I have set aside to stitch each day. This is usually after I have eaten my lunch and before I start work for the afternoon. If I am out at this time I will stitch later in the day,  take the image and post it  in the morning as the light in the evenings is not good at this time of year.

You can follow the work developing on a daily basis on my Twitter account @clairebtexiles and each week on my Facebook page @clairebuckleytextiles

It is interesting to see how the design is randomly developing as I try out new and much loved stitches. I am slowly working through my collection of green threads and I estimated that I will be able to use green until the end of this month. I do not know what colour I move onto after the greens but I am sure inspiration will come soon and I will decide on the next stage for the work.

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Sensing Culture – the Mark of the Maker

The ‘Sensing Culture – The Mark of the Maker’ exhibition is still on show in the Front Room Gallery at The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge, Canterbury, Kent, England. To quote the  publicity it is “A stunning exhibition by people with sight loss, created in workshops led by artists Wendy Daws and Claire Buckley at the Beaney and Cathedral. Participants responded to the stimulus of the buildings and collections with the work in 3D and textiles”. The sub-title refers to the marks that were on the objects that were used for inspiration such as the makers mark on the base of Roman pottery or marks on the silverware from the Cathedral.

The workshops enabled the visually impaired people (VIP’s) to see and explore some amazing stories and objects and then create. However the  experience goes further than than the material works of art that were created. The act of making is a powerful expression of communication skills and sensory stimulation. This had the effect of binding people together in an inspiring and human project, bringing the Beaney and the Cathedral to life for everyone involved. We enjoyed an amazing privileged level of access to the collections which includes items of symbolic, secular and sacred significance.

The inspiration for the presentation of the textile work created by the visually impaired participants comes from the colours and the roundels of the St. Thomas of Canterbury shrine in the Cathedral. The backing fabrics are dyed with tea, coffee and saffron. The hand embroideries use a range of natural fabrics and the threads complement the colours of the artefacts explored in the workshops. I used machine embroidery to attach the embroidery panels  to the backing fabric and pieced together labels which showed stitched text to identify the theme of each section. E.g. Samian Ware and Knots . I really enjoy free machine embroidery and it is a good contrast and a different type of mark to the hand embroidery worked by the VIP’s.

During the workshops I collected the outlines of the hands of all of the people who were involved in the project some way however small. I embroidered the outlines for each person in a different stitch and thread colour to represent and remember them. The fabric used is a vintage hand roller towel which is displayed so that the work can be rolled round to see all of the hands and paws  in the work called ‘The Hands of the Makers’.

It is good news that this project continues this year with more workshops with me and  with Wendy but also some of the monthly sessions are going to be led by visually impaired artists.

Some of the many quotes from the participants-

-It has given me a lot of confidence. That I can keep learning, – It’s been a lovely social time engaging with like-minded people, – Memories are being released for me – It was interesting feeling an object I have seen, it gives a
different perspective, – This is my creative side coming out! I’ve wasted all my life when I could have done art!, – Discovered that I can explore different forms of Art that I can access as a VI person.

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#1yearofstitches – A project to keep me stitching

This year I am taking part in a worldwide project called 1 Year of Stitches: 2017. It is being run by Sara Barnes.
My theme is to base the stitches I make on the classic embroidery book ‘Samplers and Stitches’ by Mrs Archibald Christie.  It was first published in 1920. The copy I have is from 1951 it is the 4th edition. It is an old style book with only 2 colour plates but very good descriptions of stitches, the development of embroidery as an art form and clear illustrations. Throughout the year I will share my stitches and quotes of note from the book.
I like the introduction;
“Without stitches there could be no art of embroidery. They are the means by which fanciful ideas and memories of pleasant things can be figured upon fabrics. In studying the expression of these by the needle’s art the first matters to be dealt with are fabric, thread and stitch.”

Week one (and a bit) stitches;  Day 1 Chain, 2 Feather, 3 Stem, 4 Flat, 5 Fern, 6 Buttonhole, 7 Zig-Zag, 8 Chevron, 9 Arrow head, 10 Twisted Chain.

She is clear with her ideas for how stitches and embroidery should be used as an art form. “A stitch should be chosen for use because it expresses perfectly the subject to be embroidered. They are used in designing certain elements peculiar to art which have no relationship to nature.” She is putting forward the idea that embroidery is an impression of nature and not nature itself. I will look at the ideas of the representation of naturalism in my next post. However the thought she shares about embroidery is fabulous “The technique of the needle is so naive and delightful that it can afford to be daring”

Keep looking at the updates I will be as interested as others maybe to see how the work develops through the year and how daring I will be with my design.

 

 

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Sensing Culture – working with the Guide Dogs

As someone who does not have a dog and has no real experience of dogs; it has been an eye-opening experience for me to be working with the guide dogs who accompany some of the participants in the Sensing Culture project I am delivering with the Cathedral and The Beaney in Canterbury. The work is funded by HLF and RNIB.

The Guide dogs are real characters and love to be involved in the sessions by lying back,  letting things happen but keeping alert to attention. Always adorable and professional!

I was taking paw prints as part of the work where everyone (and dogs) who is taking part has their hand or paw recorded as the mark of the maker. There was lots of laughter as I found that not all dogs like water while others love to lick and wallow in water and they did not really understand the creation of artwork! They say do not work with animals or children but in this case the dogs are a delight.

Here are some images taken by Martin Crowther.

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Canterbury, Kent – Sensing Culture through textiles

Tactile sculpture at The Beaney house of Art & Knowledge

Tactile sculpture at The Beaney house of Art & Knowledge

 

In my last post I talked about the background to the planning of the textile workshops I am leading for the Sensing Culture project with Canterbury Cathedral and The Beaney- House of Art & Knowledge.

To book the workshop places please see these links

http://www.canterbury-cathedral.org/news/

http://canterburymuseums.co.uk/whats-on/categories/workshop-events/

The textile workshops are for  Visually Impaired People (VIP’s) with all levels of skill and experience of working with textiles. I thought that I would give more information about my workshops as we have had lots of interest in the project

Dates – The Beaney – Mondays 13th, 20th and 27th June

2- 4.30 – Please arrive by 1.45

Canterbury Cathedral – Fridays 1st, 15th and 22nd July

10-12.30 – Please arrive by 9.45

Project theme – The Mark of the Maker

The people who make objects provide us with tantalising stories to be explored from the marks they leave behind………..

About the workshops

This tactile textiles course is for everyone, those who love to stitch and those who think they cannot do embroidery. You will not be expected to know particular stitches or worry that you are not able to do particular stitches. You work at your own level with support if you would like.

We will take an experimental approach to making textiles after we have explored some amazing items from the collections at the venues. Some of the objects we will look at are not usually available to the public, so this is a very special opportunity to be inspired by these cultural places.

Do I have to do all of the sessions?  – As we are going to build up our skills it is best if you can commit to all the workshops at The Beaney and/or the Cathedral.

What will happen to the work I do? -The work is going to be part of an exhibition in the Front Room Gallery at The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge in December 2016. The exhibition will be tactile with all of the exhibits ready to be touched by the visitors.

Do I need to bring anything with me? – No – just your enthusiasm and magnifier if you use one.

About Me

I am a qualified teacher and textile artist with lots of experience of working with museum collections to inspire creative work. As part of the preparation for these workshops I have had specific training to work with Visually Impaired People (VIP’s) for this RNIB/HLF project.

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Sensing Culture -RNIB/HLF project – Canterbury, Kent

I have been busy this year working towards the Sensing Culture Project at The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge, and Canterbury Cathedral. The project involves working with visually impaired people (VIP’s) to explore the collections and spaces in order to make textiles that will be part of an exhibition at The Beaney Front Room gallery in December 2016. I am working with Wendy Daws who is an artist working with mixed media techniques to create 3D objects. The build up to the project workshops has had lots of support and training from the RNIB. The sight awareness training highlighted the range of visual impairments, and ways to support VIP’s. We have also had training at Tate Britain to understand how a large national collection can be made accessible for VIP’s so that they can enjoy the artworks. The behind the scenes tours Canterbury Cathedral and The Beaney has been a privilege and highly inspirational experience.

I have been commissioned to make my own work in relation to this project and I will post about the development of the ideas as the project progresses, ready for the exhibition.

Here is the information about the workshops that are now open for booking.

Sensing Culture – textile and mixed media workshops for adults with sight loss at the Beaney House of Art & Knowledge and Canterbury Cathedral.

If you enjoy heritage and would like to learn new skills inspired by collections at the Beaney and Canterbury Cathedral sign up for our free artist-led taster sessions to find out more!

The sessions, led by artists Wendy Daws (mixed media) and Claire Buckley (textiles) are open to adults with sight loss living in Kent and include a short accessible gallery or Cathedral tour. See my next post for more details of the textile workshops I am planning.

The Beaney – Sensing Culture workshops at The Learning Lab:

Textiles at The Beaney
Mondays 13th, 20th, 27th June
2pm to 4.30pm

Mixed media at The Beaney
Mondays 18th, 25th July and 1st August
10am to 1pm

To book a Beaney taster please contact Wendy on mail@wendydaws.co.uk

or Anna tel: 01227 862077

(For Beaney workshops please meet at the main desk – via Best Lane entrance – 15 mins prior to the start.).

Canterbury Cathedral – Sensing Culture workshops:

Mixed media at Canterbury Cathedral
Fridays 10th, 17th and 24th June
10am to 12.30pm

Textiles at Canterbury Cathedral
Fridays 1st, 15th and 22nd July
10am to 12.30pm

To book a Cathedral taster please contact Cathedral Archives on

tel: 01227-865330 email: archives@canterbury-cathedral.org

(For Cathedral workshops please arrive at the Cathedral Welcome Centre 20 mins prior to start time).

These  free half-day textile or mixed media workshops in June and July – help to develop creative and tactile art for an accessible exhibition in the Beaney Front Room in December. Even if you miss our taster days, you can sign up for the workshops.

All venues are fully accessible and led by artists trained in running workshops with people with sight loss.

Please let us know when booking if you will be bringing a sighted guide or guide dog, are a wheelchair user or have any special access requirements. Limited parking may be available at the Cathedral, but must be booked well in advance. There is Blue Badge parking behind the Beaney.

Part of the HLF-funded RNIB Sensing Culture SE project.

The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge

The Learning Lab,18 High Street, Canterbury, Kent CT1 2RA

http://canterburymuseums.co.uk/whats-on/categories/workshop-events/

Canterbury Cathedral, 11 The Precincts, Canterbury, Kent CT1 2EH

http://canterbury-cathedral.org/2016/06/02/sensing-culture-free-workshops-for-adults-with-sight-loss/

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Symbiosis- My work is a Mélange

Symbiosis

An exhibition of woven tapestry

19th April – 1st May 2016

This is the theme of  British Tapestry Group (BTG)  exhibition that is currently on show at Hastings Arts Forum in St Leonard’s on Sea, East Sussex. In the year that Hastings is commemorating the 950 year anniversary of the Battle of Hastings with the Root 1066 International Festival of contemporary arts, it is appropriate that the BTG brings woven tapestry to the town that is so closely connected with the embroidery called ‘The Bayeux Tapestry’.

The BTG promotes and explores the concept of woven tapestry as a contemporary art form. By raising public awareness through its exhibitions and regional activities, the BTG showcases the combination of craftsmanship and artistic inspiration that has been translated into woven works of art for many centuries.

Each weaver shows their personal understanding of the theme ‘Symbiosis’ in their tapestry weaving, resulting in a diverse and inventive collection of work, some taking the natural world as inspiration others focus on the way that ideas interact in warp and weft using a wide range of materials.

For my work I developed the  theme  into  ‘Mélange’ which incorporates the waste threads and fabrics from the weaving’s and embroideries I have made over the last 20 years. It is an amalgamation of all the ideas, thoughts and inspirations that have occurred in my creative life. The weaving process was a joyful trip down memory lane where I revisited fabrics which invoked times passed in a random order. It is a 3D work where the 2 sections interweave to form a tangle of fabrics, threads and colours.

The exhibition was first shown at The Mill House Gallery, a tower mill that was built in the 1820’s on Highdown Hill, Angmering, West Sussex where it had nearly 500 visitors with comments such as;

‘So interesting to note the development of ideas as well as their execution’.

‘Very impressive exhibition, full of colour & wonderful interpretation- makes one want to try oneself’

‘Thought provoking exhibits’

I will be working in the gallery this Saturday afternoon to meet visitors’, to talk about my work and demonstrate the techniques.

 

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Hunter & Collector

 

I have been slowly working through ideas on the theme of Hunter & Collector for over 2 years now. The work involves using found  and vintage objects to inspire and be used in the textiles. Circles form a major feature for the work.   I have shown a circle woven with several soumack techniques to add details and the fine details on the surface are couched down. Embroidery techniques often combine in my work for added details as the quality of the stitch enables me to use threads as an embellishment for the surface which are not limited by the vertical and horizontal lines of the woven structure.

These jewel embroideries shows how I am exploring the theme through found jewels and embellishments stitched directly to the felted vintage blanket.

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Weaving a ‘W’- Red Letter

I have just finished weaving a letter ‘W’.

It is not quiet as straight forward as it sounds.

The sett is very important as is the decision about the number of threads to use in the weft. The weave direction is important in order to keep the sheds correct across the weaving and the whole piece. I started weaving in opposite direction in the same shed then when adding the letter I started weaving in the same direction  as the right hand side  in  the same shed, therefore the weaving works when the letter is finished and I continued to weave the colour field. I found that the most hard part  was keeping the tension correct and making the letter even on all of the diagonals. Turning from the front to the back helps to make the change of colour even. Weaving each section in turn as the work builds up is the best way to balance the weaving.

For this ‘W’ the sett is 4 epc and the weft is a fine linen with 3 threads woven  together. I have used 2 reds a pink tint for the colour field and a clear red for the letter. Tonally they are very similar and the aim is for the letter to hover on the surface. For the selvedge I added soumak knots in green, pink and red for a complementary detail.

See how the letter changes when it is placed on different backgrounds for display.  I tested out  gold and a dark burgundy red. I decided to use the dark burgundy red for the final framing as it seems to add depth to the weaving.

I am not sure if it is perfect but I did enjoy the challenge of the letter ‘W’

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Creative Christmas

The autumn has been rather hectic with making, showing and teaching that the posts updates have been a little far and between. There is still a chance to get to see the Creative Christmas show in St Leonards on Sea. This exhibition of over 30 makers across all art forms has become a tradition at Hastings Arts Forum so it is fun to be part of it this year.

The work I made gave me the opportunity to experiment with some fabulous Indian brocade fabrics and to make a range of bags, both small and large. The large shoulder bag design is an item that I have more plans to use but in different ways. – Watch this space for developments.

The Felt bauble, sequin and bead  decorations sold so well  that I think I will make some more for next year. The small items such as the cards and pin cushions are always popular and make easy gifts.

 

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