Saturday, 29 September 2012


A little reminder for those still following me here, that I'm not here any more, but here instead.  If you have me on your blogroll you might want to change the link... See you over there!

Thursday, 21 June 2012


In an attempt to streamline my on-line activity and to gain some control over things myself (i.e. not rely on others to do technical stuff I can't do) I have changed my website to amalgamate this blog and my daily square one.  Therefore please follow me over here from now on.

It will take me a little while to get used to a new system for posting and tweek things over there.  I know it's annoying to have to change bookmarks etc. but hopefully you'll keep finding me and follow what I'm up to.  

I'm so thrilled to have found so many followers here, so many people actually interested in what I'm doing.  I really value the comments and feedback I get from this on-line community.  At times it can be a pretty lonely business beetling away on my own at home, so to have a bit of support from others is wonderful and keeps me sane!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012


Thanks to Nigel I realise there is now info on Farfield Mill's website about my week there in late July.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

tea and rust

I've been using tea as part of my rust print process without really realizing its significance.  My first experiments used tea to wet my paper because I liked the colour and the tide marks it left when drying.  It is only more recently that I've understood that the tea is playing a significant part in producing the results I'm getting.

Tea has tannic acid in it and this reacts with rust.  I found someone on the internet using tea to help remove rust from old watch parts and some a nice pieces on tea and rust here and here.

I find that the tea also darkens the marks from an orangey colour to something much darker: browns, greys and sometimes almost black.

During conversations at the Open Studio event a couple of weeks ago I felt a little foolish that I couldn't explain the science of it.  I did a little experiment to prove to myself that the tea really was making a difference.  Scraps of the same fabric were left wet (one group with just water and one with tea) with rusty items laid on until dry.  The image at the top shows the ones with tea on the left and just water on the right.

When I returned last weekend to some rust bundles I'd left in the lighthouse I added a bit of tea to the already stained fabric and immediately there was a change:  


Monday, 4 June 2012


Bradford Open For Art or Open Studios is well under way now with just one more day of events.  Yesterday saw pretty dismal weather but today the sun shone and that seemed to make all the difference to the numbers knocking on the door.  I will be open again tomorrow between 11 and 5 at 28 Highfield Terrace, Shipley.  There is a cluster of other venues nearby so plenty to look at.  

There is finished work to see, work in progress (on the kitchen table - see below) and my studio in the basement is available for a poke around. There is cake made and a kettle on the boil...

Sunday, 27 May 2012


Photographing my latest little woven square (one of my residency beach walk weavings) in bright sunshine gave some beautiful shadows.  We have the most glorious hot weather with clear blue skies and brilliant sunshine.  It won't last but it is wonderful while it does.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

open studios

In a couple of weeks I'm going to be involved in Bradford's first city-wide open studios event.  This takes place over the extended jubilee bank holiday weekend and sees all sorts of different exhibitions and open studios during the 4 days.  

My house and studio will be open to visitors on Sunday 3rd to Tuesday 5th June from 11am - 5pm.  There are various other venues nearby, including Hannah, Hugh and Claire showing  just in the next street.

I've written a blog post about what a rewarding experience open studios can be here.

Saturday, 19 May 2012


Welcome to my new studio!  At least it is mine for the time I am at Spurn.  I've made myself quite at home today and the 5 flights of stairs to the top are going to keep me fit!  Find out more over here.


Tuesday, 15 May 2012

posting books

I've had a rush on my little books!

I've sold three this week and two are winging their way to Australia as I type. I'm so pleased.


Thursday, 10 May 2012

Saltaire Arts Trail

What a weekend! (I'm still recovering) The Saltaire Arts Trail was a huge success once again and we had thousands of visitors milling round the village, brochures in hand, going round the various different exhibitions, activities and installations that were part of the event.  Even the cold weather (is it really May?!) didn't put a dampener on things and the Arts Trail 'buzz' was all around the place.

Because I'm involved in the organizing of this event as well as showing some work at it I was really busy in the run up and all weekend and I was poorly at the same time, so it is taking a few days to get back to the land of the living!

My work looked great in Paula's lovely house.  It is quite a big deal to open up your house to thousands of strangers who tramp through to look at the artwork and to have a nosey inside your home.  Some of the people who agree to open their houses are selling their own work but others are not artists but want to be part of this lovely event.  To be able to see artwork in a domestic setting, particularly in a heritage location such as Saltaire, really makes things accessible and interesting to people.

I was particularly pleased with how one of my little books looked on the window sill with the beautiful garden beyond.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

tide marks

I'm really pleased with how my tide marks series of work has turned out now it's framed.  I've been lovingly working at, adding to, sorting and revisiting these small pieces of dyed, printed, stitched paper over the last few weeks.  But I always worried that they wouldn't stand on their own as individual pieces.  Somehow by placing these things into frames they are transformed into the precious items that I already feel they are: it says 'this is what they are' to any other viewer that hasn't had the relationship with them that I have.

These are quiet pieces, subtle.  I hope that whoever looks at them will be intrigued, drawn in by the play of different marks and textures.  They invite you to look closely, study the lines, see where the stitches go.  At least that's how I feel about them.  I want them to intrigue people, please them and perhaps puzzle them.

These, as well as other work, will be shown next weekend at 6 Harold Place as part of the Saltaire Arts Trail.

Friday, 27 April 2012


I've made deliveries of work today to the Platform Gallery in Clitheroe for their Craft Open Exhibition, which runs from Saturday 5th

and to 6 Harold Place, the Open House I'm showing in as part of the Saltaire Arts Trail from 5-7th May.

I also have some work going up at the Saltaire Visitor Information Centre as part of the build up the the Arts Trail, which was an unexpected but lovely invitation to show work in another venue.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012


There are a couple of posts over on the Spurn blog about my trip to Spurn Point last week, the first of my visits as artist in residence.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

build up

There is a little bit about me here as part of the build up to the Holmfirth Art Market that I'm showing at on 24th June.

Thursday, 19 April 2012


into those prints that were waiting

sitting quietly, the stitches scatter slowly across the paper

I love how the light falls on the stitches, catching and caressing them

and then it finds its way through the needle holes: sometimes points of deep shadow and sometimes points of bright light

 It all depends on what angle you take.

Saturday, 14 April 2012


Some time away is a mixed blessing: much needed and precious time with people I love and a chance to step back from the busy home/work life, have some breathing space; always entered into with the knowledge that there is so much to do back in the studio/office.

However, once I can relax into it of course there is so much rich experience to be had.  Time in Somerset and Cumbria this Easter have given me all of these things.  A visit to 'Damson Country' and the Arts and Crafts House at Blackwell are particular highlights.

I've known about Blackwell House for years but hadn't visited.  It was the exhibition 'Woven from Nature' that prompted this visit and, although I knew this was a special example of an Arts and Crafts House, I wasn't quite prepared for how breathtaking it would be.  You can't photograph inside the house but you are encouraged to sit on the many cosy window seats and take your time.  This was an absolutely necessary part of drinking the place and it's stunning location in. 

The exhibition is beautifully curated (on until 29th April so still over a week to see it).  I've seen Jilly's work before a number of times and seeing her colourful pieces in a new location felt like re-visiting old friends.  

I was fascinated by the detail of Mary Butcher's willow pieces; how a strip of willow can be so ribbon-like in the way it is wound and binds and catches the light as it does so:

What was really clear was the deep understanding of material in all four artists work.  As Maggie Smith says: 

"the themes of my work arise from the ebb and flow of natural cycles, the relationship between maker and materials and by a deep exploration of the materials themselves." 

Maggie's use of found objects, particularly beach-derived ones, had a special resonance for me and her use of seaweed as a basis for cording, twining, knitting, vessel-making was fascinating.

Once outside the house you discover Laura Ellen Bacon's wierd installation, which emerges out of and oozes down the building and out into the landscape.  If you stand in a particular place on the lawn the two pieces come together, appearing to flow from the roof, right over the wall to the lower terrace.  

Whilst I was enjoying these forms in the spring sunshine (a gap between heavy April showers) I was quite shocked by some of the comments of other visitors; people who were so closed off to the possibilities, the craftsmanship and relevance of such art.  It seems so right for work such as this to be installed at a building whose history is all about craftsmanship and design.  You wonder why some people visit these places if they are going to dismiss something so quickly.  It really made me think about how people might view my work, not that it is in any way approaching the league of what I saw here.  How can you engage people in work that is not immediately 'pretty'?  Some people will 'get' it and some won't, so is it worth trying?  Even with sensitive and informative interpretation so many people seem to dismiss things without any thought.  I'm afraid it gave me the blues!  

Wednesday, 4 April 2012


 prints waiting for stitches

 some are complete as they are; all have at least two layers of different types of print

decisions are needed over which will benefit from stitches and which are best left alone.