Friday, 21 December 2012

Knitting and Stitching Show Harrogate - Part 4 - Spending Time

Visiting the Harrogate show in terms of buying opportunities is like alighting in Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. Endless stalls of fabulous must-have, just-can't-do-without fibres, yarns, fabrics and threads.

I will only buy what I need.

I know what I am looking for.

I have a list.

I lied.

I lied over and over again.

But I came home thrilled beyond measure over my bag of Habu goodies. Who could resist raw silk wrapped paper and raw silk tassar yarns which make me sigh when I look at them?

Raw silk tassar yarn - image from

Artisan tempted me with beautiful hand-dyed linen lace yarn in soft pewter, natural flax and most wondrously so so soft seaweed silk yarn in pure ivory. I was lost!

For anyone who has experienced the fibre extravaganza that is Oliver Twists, well you will know what happened next... undone and beyond...

Spending time indeed.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Knitting and Stitching Show Harrogate - Part 3 - Sue Walton: Jabberwocky

Sue Walton has collaborated with fellow textile artist Ann Small, inspired by the literary creations of Lewis Carroll.

I couldn't help but be aware of broad smiles as viewers experienced the stunning manifestation of the imaginations of both the artists. Sue's pieces in particular made my spirits rise.

They were full of whimsy and humour as well as being beautifully evocative and magical.

So, so enjoyable!

Friday, 7 December 2012

Knitting and Stitching Show Harrogate - Part 2 - Jane Neal

I was not aware of Jane Neal's work previously, so it was a huge delight when I saw it this year at Harrogate.

Written on the Skin by Jane Neal

The surge in the belly is the familiar sign that I am seeing something emotive and individual. Time needs to be given, more than these occasions normally allow.

Jane's work is concerned with connections between textiles, skin and touch; the continuity of the visual and the tactile. It speaks to all of us as humans in our everyday, though no less individual experience of our lives.

I look forward to seeing more of her work in the future.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Knitting and Stitching Show Harrogate - Part 1 - Jean Draper

I first found Jean Draper's work years ago, around the same time as I discovered the notion of "Textile Art" and how it might apply to what I was doing.

Tall Forms by Jean Draper

The most exciting thing for me then was how she blended rhythmic stitch, fabric and colour to create a flow of work that engendered such a strength of experience and emotion.

A visit to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Harrogate the following year presented the chance to see her work up close. I was not disappointed and Jean was lovely when I spoke to her, encouraging me to find a theme to focus on, emphasising the importance of the idea rather than the necessity of refined technique. I left feeling positive and reassured.

I met her again this year and saw her latest work, "Landmarks". I found it deeply considered and beautiful and moving. Jean was no less interested in my work and we spoke of the need for an emotional response in the viewer and how that can sometimes reflect the maker's own expression of experience.

Take time to look at Jean Draper's work and then look again... and understand emotional communication.