Friday, 15 April 2011

Talk - writing with a needle

the work of textile and calligraphy artist Rosalind Wyatt (see below)

Last night, I went to a truly inspirational talk at our local Embroiders' Guild. Given by the amazing Rosalind Wyatt, we were all transfixed by her imagery and the nature of her work. She is a calligrapher, but more than that - she takes beautiful and fragile antique textiles, and onto them hand-stitches the text from old love letters, or poems, matching past with past, an act of storytelling. What is even more remarkable, is that she emulates the exact style of the hand-writing, and stitches free-hand - no tracing or mark-making on the fabric. Exquisite. My photo of one piece (taken with her permission) does not do justice to the extremely delicate work - poor hall lighting and cramped conditions.

For those who can visit the V&A museum in London on Saturday 14th May, 2011, there is a free event with Rosalind, or you can see her demonstrating her handstitching technique at Waterperry just outside Oxford in July, at 'Art in Action'.

Monday, 4 April 2011

New handwritten garden journal

The first pages in my new commissioned hand-written garden journal
After USA artist Tracie Lyn Huskamp so kindly featured my journaling on her blog, I thought it only courteous to readers (hers and mine) that I again include on my own blog my latest ongoing journal - rather than an experimental textile piece (as shown in my last post), which isn't yet finished as I left it behind after the workshop where I started to create it! I still haven't retrieved it.

TLH featured two pages from my 'play' journals, in very different styles; I may have featured them myself; I can't remember. I tend to journal more when I am working away from home - indeed Tracie showed me playing in my mini-studio in our motorhome cab. My husband meanwhile utilised the whole of the motorhome living area, but then he was processing the many digital photos he had taken to support my gardening or travel articles - always the reason we are away from home in the first place.

All the pages illustrated here come from a tiny 5" x 7" shop-bought spiral-bound notebook, with the most delicious tobacco-coloured paper. They are hand-written, and being created as an adjunct to the e-newsletter and blog I am commissioned to write for Dobies of Devon (a UK seed and plant company). The little book is entitled 'Potager Progress' and is a lyrical rather than completely factual record of the potager I am creating for them within my Cotswold garden - an 8ft x 8ft space with four raised beds in which I will grow vegetables, salads, herbs and edible flowers - when I've dug out the weed, all surrounded by a wild-life friendly shrubbery of evergreens, flowers, roses and whatever else I can fit in.
the illustrations are either scans from an old bird-identification guide, or paper napkins attached with fusible web
The final current photo below is as far as has already been published on the Dobies blog. If you would like to follow future diary pages, please do so there - they appear three times per month (the next - which I am working on at the moment - on this coming Friday, 8th April), and always at the end of each post. I hope you enjoy following my potager story so far. The journal will not end with the hand-written pages alone, however. Photographed pages will form a central part of a 12" x 12" embellished textile book entitled 'Quilt Journey' which I am also currently working upon for my own amusement, using paper and fabric, momigami techniques, patchwork and machine embroidery - as time allows. All to be bound into a handmade bookform, exactly what as yet to be decided. 

So do please visit again; and my thanks to Tracie Lyn Huskamp for featuring my work, and to those who have dropped by following her post last week - and of course to anyone who has left a comment on any of my blogs; my apologies for not as yet replying in person.

P.S. Double-click on any of the page scans to read them full-size.