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Creative Handstitch Workshop Programme: *Autumn at Trumpet Corner* *The Sewcial*

Friday, 29 August 2014


Foliage making in progress. New habitat for Silva Populi under construction just in time for their unveiling at H.Art next week.
(We'll be at Venue 28: Trumpet Corner Art Studios & Tearoom)

Friday, 22 August 2014

Additional Autumn Workshops

If you pop over to our 'Autumn at Trumpet Corner' link above or HERE, you'll find a couple of additional workshop topics which are on offer this year. Bookings now being taken. 

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Naked Beans!

Naturally dyed with tea and onion skins, these little bean shaped objects are waiting for their Silva Populi personality plumage to be revealed through felt and stitch. The freshly hatched batch of Populi will then be ready for exhibition during Herefordshire Art Week, H.Art. 6th-4th September. 
This year we will be exhibiting at Trumpet Corner Art Studios & Tearoom as part of a group show. We are Venue 28 on the trail. 
Download further details, including a programme of events and venues HERE.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Stains, Rust and Tollund Man

'Buried' sample by Kathleen Murphy
 You may not immediately connect an ancient body found in Danish boggy ground as a starting point for a textile challenge but that is where the muse of inspiration led us to for last week's Sewcial workshop.

During this year's Stroud International Textile Festival (S.I.T) we were delighted to take part in a day with artist Alice Fox, where we learnt more about the techniques she uses for transferring marks from found objects, mostly metal, onto paper & fabric. We were also given a chance to study her resulting work up close. 
Subsequently, we have been furthering our own experimentation with staining fabric, in particular using methods to transfer rust & metallic marks onto natural fibres. Largely this involves wrapping in a mummy-like fashion, pieces of metal in cloth before dunking into baths of tea or vinegar to encourage the transfer process along. This method of encasing & dipping has a ritualistic quality - an offering to a god maybe? And thus the memory of Seamus Heaney's poem, The Tollund Man, about an ancient body, beautifully preserved, being found beneath layers of peat bog, resurfaced to mind. The idea of burying or sinking items between layers of cloth began to take shape, possibly as a piece for exhibition at this year's H.Art but definitely as the basis for August's Sewcial challenge!

On arrival at last week's Sewcial participants were greeted with a bundle of two pre-rusted & stained pieces of cotton cloth and a small bag of metal bits (washers, hooks, paperclips etc) tied with the stained twine which had originally bound their fabric during staining. 
 Further inspiration was drawn from the effects of time & weathering on natural objects; the Bridestones on the Yorkshire Moors, fossilised ammonites, the Staffordshire Hoard being uncovered from centuries of earth. 
The challenge involved using a limited colour palette so a selection of wools, coton a broder, perle & floss were on offer in shades of rust, ginger, ochre, moss & verdigris.   
The stitchers were then tasked with burying their metal items, tacking in place first, between layers of fabric to create a textured surface for sewing into. They also had access to sheer fabrics such as organdie, muslin & varied weights of calico - some tea dyed, to add to the piece.  
This session was meant to encourage some s-l-o-w stitching. A chance to study the cloth and use simple stitches to trace outlines and patterns perhaps suggested by the staining and undulations of the buried metals. It wasn't expected that these stitched pieces would be finished during the time available but maybe they would offer some contemplation on the techniques for use in future projects. 
Here's an idea of how the group got on... 
Preparing a base
Auditioning relief pieces

Use of variegated thread to emphasisdifferent shades of rust

Contented concentration
The group worked hard and took to the challenge with aplomb with some great results taking shape as you can see. The next Sewcial will take place at Trumpet Corner Art Studios & Tearoom on Friday 26th September 2014.   
If you follow this link you can hear Seamus Heaney reading his poem, The Tollund Man HERE

We will continue to work on our piece and see where the journey takes us.
'Buried' sample by Kathleen Murphy

Saturday, 16 August 2014


Bobbin treasure from today's visit to the Cotswold Vintage Fair. 
We have a few ideas about what we'll use them for but it won't involve lace making...

Tuesday, 15 July 2014


Thread worn neutrals & couched outlines. Work on a sample which doesn't want to behave..

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