Fibre East

During my visit to Fibre East in the middle of July I pick up some natural sheep fleece from local Shetland sheep from the Bedfordshire Wool Company.

About to have a mammouth modardanting session to prepare both yarn and Knitted lengths for the dye bath so will add the fleece at the same time. A few years ago I dyed on grey carded wool with Acid Dyes, which produced a lovely suble colour change so it will be interesting to see the effect of natural dyes on this mixed colour fleece. Not sure what colours I am going to use yet – will have to draw inspiration from my next lot of Harris Tweed.

Once dyed I will be ready to make a new batch of handbags and scarves in time for my exhibitions during the Bedfordshire Artists’ Network Art Trail in September.

Art in Action

Art in Action

Had a great day out at Art in Action at the weekend. Loved the wide range of creative work on show and was particularly encouraged by the number of textile artists present. Definitely need to investigate this as a possible sales opportunity for next year.

Iona Mackenzie Laycock
With my love of the Scottish landscape I was particularly drawn to these layered textile landscapes. Alongside my accessories I want to develop art which combines drawing/painting and textiles.

Amanda Ross

Felt very inspired by these beautiful layered prints, direct from plant life. Must start drawing again (how many times have I said that.)

Bark drawing in Ink, using a stick, and charcoal.

A Step into the Unknown

After six years’ of study, and a very busy time at my Degree Show and New Designers, it is very hard to imagine my life from this point on.

I am totally committed to making new work and finding customers for it and, as I received such fantastic feedback for my Degree pieces, I am confident that there is a market for my accessories and jackets.

But now comes the hard bit – planning work which which is commercially viable and making and developing those crucial contacts that lead to sales.

I have decided to take it slowly and follow up on all the fantastic advice and interest I have received so far. I certainly think I do have a business-minded approach, which many artists find a challenge, so this will definitely help.

I am also going to take some time research and produce new images from nature, as I always find this inspiring.

I really miss drawing, painting and using mixed media to create patterns and am looking forward to making a lovely sketchbook, not as a requirement of my studies, but just for the joy of it!

However, despite feeling positive and motivated (mostly) the move away from the structure and security blanket of study is so great and different from what I am used to that any future life feels like it might be happening to someone else!

Exciting and scary at the same time.

Dyeing to Grow

Natural Dye expert Jenny Dean is also a genius in the garden and produces her own dye plants. Her book Wild Colour advises both on growing dye plants and using these to produce colour.

Unfortunately my garden currently ressembles a jungle but we are begining to tame it and hopefully in the future I can try dyes direct from their plant sources. Somewhere in the overgrowth I already have Rhubarb and just outside my garden Elder and Damson.

My poor neglected Rhubarb plant, lost in the wilderness!

In the meantime I get my dyestuffs online from