Friday, December 28, 2007

max & meabh collaborate

He designed it, I wove it. I think he likes it!

Monday, December 24, 2007

season's greetings

Season's greetings to everyone and a happy, healthy, productive 2008.

Monday, December 10, 2007


The extent of my creativity recently has been three Christmas cakes and quantities of apple chutney and onion jam! I do have one commission to do before Christmas though....

...the artist is my 8 year old son who last Christmas asked for a tapestry. I didn't want to give him any old thing and what with one thing and another it didn't happen. I asked him if he still wanted one and if so what did he think to me weaving one of his drawings? We agreed that I would choose which one so that it would be a surprise. This will translate into tapestry very well I think although I'm going to weave the colour flatter. I'm as much of a masochist as the next tapestry weaver but there is only a fortnight till Christmas after all!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Artists Open Houses

This weekend is the second weekend of the Brighton Artists Open Houses. Over 400 hundred artists are exhibiting in over 60 houses showing painting, sculpture, printmaking, ceramics, glass, jewellery, photography, textiles....everything in fact! Many of the houses and studios will be offering tea, mulled wine and cake. What a great way to see art and do some Christmas shopping away from the madness of the high street. You can download a list of all the participants here plus you'll find links to many of the artists and makers own websites.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

back from brighton

I'm back home after a busy few days in Brighton. I've been quiet until now as I managed to catch (and then bring home and share) a particularly nasty tummy bug on the last day of the fair. Until that all was going well... Jon, Annemarie and Sarah deserve thanks and credit for their superb and friendly organisation as do the staff at the Dome.
It was nice to meet up with old friends and as always after 3 intense days with your exhibiting 'neighbours' you make new ones. I was opposite Stephanie Ray who makes elegant silver and bamboo jewellery and round the corner from Deva Priya who uses stunning precious and semi precious stones in silver and gold settings. Also just around the corner was Harriet Appleby and her felt hats, scarves and wraps.
It is the law that you treat yourself to something each time you exhibit and my present to myself this time is a belt from Melissa Simpson - couldn't run to a bag unfortunately...

I've been trying but failing to update my website to show which pieces are available for sale. The revised pages just won't upload so on the tapestries page Stripey Fade; Spotty Fade#1; Spotty Fade #2; Circle:Fade; Cross#2 and Circle#2 are available. I can send them framed or unframed (but mounted) and unframed prices range from £120/$246/€168 to £300/$617/€420 plus postage. Please email me at if you are interested and I can give you more details.

(edit - the website is updated now)

Friday, November 16, 2007

nowhere to sit...

Places to sit are running out round here as I get ready to set off on Tuesday!

The new copy of Selvedge arrived the other day and I see William Jeffries will be running a tapestry course at Morley College on Wednesday mornings from January 9th. There is very little of his work to see online but he is an interesting maker, always pushing tapestry's limits.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Last one (almost)

Another piece finished and one final pre-Brighton one started. It's hard to stop sometimes......just one more and one very little one and.....
Have a look at Jilly Edwards tapestries here. She has opened a textile gallery at her home in Exeter where I hope to be exhibiting this Spring.

Monday, November 5, 2007


Two more (just completed) tapestries in my 'Fade' series. Brighton Craft Fair is almost upon us and I'm finishing work and getting ready to make the 600 mile car journey... I'm not looking forward to that bit. The fair is open Friday 23 November to Sunday 25th at the Corn Exchange on Church Street. (Late night opening on the Friday until 7.30) See who is exhibiting here.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

trying again...

I don't know where my head is at the moment - not where it should be that's for sure. I warped up a frame to weave this piece on Tuesday, started weaving and only then realised that the frame wasn't big enough. I have just warped up a bigger frame and am about to try again.

I was cheered yesterday however to get a comment from Else who bought a piece last year at Origin - she said she treasures it. We make things, people buy them and that's often the end of it so I was very glad to know she's happy with her purchase and not thinking 'damn I could have got a really nice pair of shoes instead'!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

bin (or in french, poubelle)

This is a picture of an appalling little piece of weaving on it's way to the bin.... Why after over 20 years can I not see when something is a) not worth weaving, b) not suitable for weaving and c) do it anyway?

I have a card on my pinboard of a doughty looking woman holding a tea cup, it says 'With a cup of tea in your hand, anything is possible'. I've made one and we shall see...

Monday, September 24, 2007

inspired by

21st century self portrait - Dee Brien

See the winners of the V&A's annual Inspired By competition here.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Made is a blog introducing artists and craftspeople exhibiting at Brighton Art Fair (27 - 30 September) and Brighton Craft Fair (23 - 25 Nov). You can see an interview with me here.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

kousa/cross over

"Asako Ishizaki and Hillu Liebelt met in Japan and discovered similarities in their approach to the translation of their ideas into a textile medium. They developed a concept towards a communal exhibition to be shown in the UK and started on a cohesive body of work for this exhibition." The Grace Barrand Design Centre, Nutfield, Surrey. 9th September - 20th October

Monday, September 10, 2007


It's nearly Origin time - it feels slightly strange not to be doing it - a mixture of relief and feeling left out! Looking at the exhibitor listings there don't seem to be any tapestry weavers exhibiting this year. Ptolemy Mann will be showing her beautiful woven panels though.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

jude jelfs

I got this figure from Jude Jelfs a few years ago at Art in clay an annual ceramics festival held at Hatfield House. (It's held in August and is well worth going to.) Jude's work is usually more stylised and quite refined but this rough little man caught my eye and held it. He looks somewhat reluctant standing there. Not very heroic despite the pedestal.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Friday, September 7, 2007


Interwoven Tapestries by Jane Brunning, Jo Howard, Louise Martin, Caron Penney (above), Philip Sanderson, Katherine Swailes and Pat Taylor. Petworth House, Petworth, West Sussex. 8 - 26 September.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

back to school

Our son has moved up to the big school (23 pupils!) which means no more school bus, now we can walk all the way to school on farm tracks. We were held up in a sheep jam the other day but there are no cars - how blissful is that? It's a great way to start the day especially at this time of year. The light is sharp and clear and you can breakfast as you walk on blackberries, plums and apples.

I came home fully awake and cobweb free and spent a good day collaging. I feel better for having something in that not so pristine anymore sketchbook of mine. I made several collages, each one suggesting the next. On the way back to school this afternoon my eyes felt very open, noticing everything - shadows, fence posts, barbed wire, ploughing lines. So it's back to school for him and back to work for me. (As I write he is out with our neighbour ploughing. He plans to be a farmer and a painter when he grows up!)

Saturday, September 1, 2007


It's a love hate thing. I love the newness of it, it's smell and feel but it also makes my stomach lurch to think of drawing in it....... I'm a great procrastinator. There's always the garden to be done, laundry to wash, soup to make, bread to bake, errands to run, letters to write, floors to lay, anything but make the first mark in a new sketchbook!

Monday, August 20, 2007


There's nothing for it, I've seen and done so much recently, I'm going to have to resort to a list!

This month, in no particular order of preference, I enjoyed...

the art festival at Carla Bayle especially Jean Patrice Oulmont's sculpture

seeing some of the art commissioned for the Scottish parliament building including Territory - Fields of Endeavour by Maureen Hodge and Hinterland by Norma Starszakowna

exhibiting in a tractorshed with other local artists in Montsalès

revisiting my student days at the Cameo cinema and the Kalpna restaurant in Edinburgh

seeing Anna S. King's exhibition and the Corryvechan tapestry at Chambers Street museum

hearing Shooglenifty at the Edinburgh Festival

seeing a beautiful Gordon Baldwin pot at the Scottish Gallery

taking pictures of doors and door handles!

the Xavier Krebs exhibition at the stunningly beautiful Abbaye de Beaulieu near Villefranche de Rouergue

visiting printmaker Alain Prillard's gallery in St Cirq la Popie


Tuesday, July 31, 2007

leaving home

When we moved to France nearly four years ago most of our worldly goods were packed into a huge (and as it turned out, leaky) lorry and we set off to drive the 800 miles in the car . We, being the three of us and an enormous cat travelling cage for our two not terribly impressed cats. It took up the whole of the boot so we were able to take very little else with us - overnight stuff, important documents and a small box of things I put together to help us feel at home as soon as we got there. It was a bit like a Desert Island Discs exercise! I took, in no particular order of preference, our blue teapot, my own personal cup, the candlesticks we use every night, a framed photo of my mother which is on the desk beside me now, a plastic, wind up, glow in the dark angel (!) and three Jane Muir little ceramic men. Oh and British Rail teabags of course!

The tea pot was made by my brother John and makes two perfect cups of tea. When life is uncertain you need a good cup of tea. I admit to being sentimental and the fact that my brother threw this pot with his own hands adds greatly to my enjoyment of it. The cup has been my favourite for years - how it has lasted this long I don't know. I don't know the name of the potter and have never seen other work by him/her. I bought it at the Clode Gallery in Bridgnorth which has closed down now. Then three little men.. I love Jane Muir's work. I used to sell it at Twenty Twenty and each new delivery flew out the door. I think the little men started as glaze tests and then people starting buying them at Jane's occasional studio sales. They're now one of her staples. They make me smile. I have another larger piece of hers but I'll leave that one for another day.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

a little detour

A little while ago Karin asked her readers to tell her about their favourite ceramic pieces and the story, if any, behind them. Ceramics figure prominently in my home and life, from those I use daily to eat and drink from to the decorative pieces which are spread throughout the house. Over the next few weeks while school is out and work is on the back burner I'm going to show you some of my favourites and perhaps introduce you to some makers you may not have come across before.

I'm starting with some pots by Nigel Lambert. I have a huge bowl (see photo with small boy for scale!), some cups, pourers and jugs. The cups we use every morning for hot, milky coffee. They are wide cups to wrap your hands around, the walls are thick and they appear to have been thrown quickly which gives them an energy I love. There is energy too in the decoration, painterly sweeps and splotches of glaze. At the base of my cup are Nigel's fingermarks where he held it to pour out the slip and in so doing left an indelible signature.

The big bowl is in use every week for breadmaking. It is very big (I make three batches of dough in it at a time) and consequently a bit unwieldy but I love to use it. My husband lives in fear of me breaking it but I say pots are made to be used. I'm mildly intrigued at how much I like this work as I tend to like things which are quite meticulous and structured. There is an sense of controlled chaos to these pots. For me the one seems to enhance the other.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

angie lewin

Angie Lewin is a printmaker inspired by spiky, architectural plants and the austere style of post war British design. She has an interesting blog covering all things design related - all things considered and you can find her work here and here. Another new blog worth a visit is the pondering potter.


I have some work on show at Victoria Fearn's gallery near Cardiff until the end of August.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

millefleurs (a thousand flowers)

At the moment, driving to town is like driving through the middle of a Millefleurs tapestry. I had never seen so many wildflowers before we came to France. The first year we were here I used to drive/walk around gasping and shrieking. It starts with snowdrops in January (whole valleys full) and works it's way up to the glorious carpet of flowers in the picture. I stopped yesterday to examine it all more carefully and take photos. It was windy so please excuse the blurriness.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


This beautiful tapestry was made by my sister in law, Cecilia. The weft is wool and raffia and includes plain weave and whipping or binding of the warp. It's about 6 by 8 inches.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Here is a picture of my current project and the reason why I have so little tapestry to show you at the moment... This is our bedroom to be and I've been doing the joists for the new floor. The middle of the room is 6 centimetres lower than the sides so it's been a finicky job. I am very, very, nearly, almost ready to start laying the floorboards now!

This is a view of the same room this time last year which gives you an idea of how far we've come (with a lot of help I should say!)

Here is an even slower weaver than me! We went to Aubusson for a day last year. It was strange to be in a place where everything revolves around tapestry. There is a big tapestry museum and numerous workshops large and small to visit - also a very beautiful 16/17th (?) century weaver's house with the weaving studio on the very top floor to benefit as much as possible from the light. The cartoon painter had a room in the cellar, clients were received and business transacted on the 2nd floor, the family lived on the 3rd floor and then the looms right at the top.

Tomorrow we're off to Ireland (Connemara) to celebrate my Mum's 80th birthday. Here is a picture of her aged about 25/26. She's the first woman from the right. Back next week.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


I sent the four felts off at huge expense at the beginning of the week - I've got to find a courier firm who would take on an occasional customer like me (any info from other French residents gratefully appreciated) as €67, yes really, is out of the question... I was in a right blue funk, as in addition to the expense I checked out the galleries website with a view to linking to it only to discover that my name wasn't even on the exhibitor list. Plus the price I can charge for the felt pieces makes me virtually nothing when you take off the galleries cut, the cost of the frame and postage. So I really do have to knock the felt pieces on the head.
There you go, sorry to rant... on a positive note my 3 hour intensive carpentry course with my friend Paul seems to have taught me something as I think I'm doing the upstairs floor more or less right. I sincerely hope!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

felt #3

Here is the third one (in progress) - one more to go. I've got to admit my priority this weekend has been hammerdrilling a hole in the stairwell ceiling to take the water and waste pipes to/from the new upstairs bathroom. Sounds simple doesn't it? It wasn't! This week we start laying the chestnut floors upstairs and then we may even get to move up there!!

Have a look at Judith James work. I like the order, layers, texture, colour.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Here is the next felt piece -the second of four. They are very simple, an expression of the joy of colour and texture. I sometimes find it hard to know when they're finished, I keep stitching and building up texture whereas with a tapestry I reach the top and that's it - I'm done! This might seem silly but I've also got to admit that I am slightly scared to leave them too simple, too unembellished. Knowing how I do the way in which people appraise 'craft' as opposed to 'art' there is part of me that feels I need to give people obvious value for money in terms of labour.

For nearly 7 years I had a gallery in England. I dealt primarily in the applied arts but I did sell some paintings as well (my husband Ian's). I noticed that invariably when someone was considering buying a pot, wood carving or textile, they were interested in the process (good) but also the length of time it took to make. When they were buying a painting, if they liked it and had the money to spare, they bought it. The time/labour thing just didn't enter into it. There is an implicit acceptance that you are buying into someones idea, skill, training and reputation - a little part of them in fact - and that that has a certain value. The number of times I've been asked "how long did it take you to make" or someone has said " that must have taken you ages" and if it hasn't I don't let on, feeling that it would devalue the piece in their eyes.

The sad truth is that a only tiny minority of craftspeople make a decent living from their work. I know people with work in major national collections, represented by well known galleries who can only continue doing what they do thanks to teaching or design work or because their partners also earn. The big auction houses have done much in recent years to boost contemporary ceramics prices but I'm not sure it really trickles down to the ordinary maker. Textile prices certainly lag behind, perhaps textiles will always have connotations which are too domestic to merit decent recompense.

Diana Fayt has more to say on the subject here.

Kate Blee has an exhibition at the Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh in June described in Selvedge as 'new work marking a landing stage on Blee's journey towards the joy of simplicity'.

William Scott- a master of simplicity.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

fuzzy felt

Here's a picture of a felt collage I'm working on for an exhibition next month. I learned to make felt some years ago at a workshop with Anne Belgrave at the Greenwood Centre in Ironbridge. I enjoy the process - it's messy but clean (I never could get on with clay!) and something akin to a small miracle takes place as the fuzzy woolen fibres suddenly transform into fabric. My tapestries are very planned but the felt pieces get made up as I go along. I do start with a drawing but it usually gets abandonned pretty quickly. In the end tapestry interests me more but felt provides an occasional and welcome contrast.

Saturday, May 5, 2007


Still weaving squares... Some things seem like such a good idea at the time! I've only woven twenty but I have planted courgettes, aubergines, peppers, tomatoes and sown oriental salad, basil and rainbow chard. Some things can't wait! Luckily the RDS competition accepts drawings and photos of works in progress for the initial submission...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Galerie Reves et Nature

Here are ten little landscapes of Ian's ready to go off to our joint exhibition at Galerie Reves et Nature, 18 Rue Gambetta, Figeac. I will be showing tapestries and felt pieces. The exhibition runs from 2nd May to 16th June in this new gallery being opened by our friend Véronique Barrès-Roussel.

Spring update...just when I thought it couldn't get much better, (wisteria, lilac, cherry and pear trees all flowering, lime tree in the yard in leaf, seeds germinating) the nightingales started singing! They sing during the day but you really hear them at night when everything else goes quiet. It is a heavenly sound to lie and listen to in the dark.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Here is a tapestry I finished yesterday, provisionally titled 'read'. I am on square number 13 of the overlap piece but I felt a strong need to get something started, finished, mounted and framed.

8 years ago my son was born and not long afterwards my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. From then on there was a symmetry between them, one growing, learning, becoming himself - the other forgetting, withdrawing, fading away to an unreachable place. Much of what I have made in recent years has been a response to this.

Quite early on my Dad lost the ability to read but he would still sit and turn the pages of the newspaper, go through the motions, looking blankly at the abstract, meaningless marks on the page. In 'read' the central panel is a randomly chosen word with the edges cropped off the letters. It's kind of familiar but not quite legible. My father was in a familiar but not quite comprehensible place for years.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

garden - april

We have spent this week working hard in the garden and the henshed (which to my alarm I now notice still smells stongly of hen despite it being 5 years since the last resident departed...). Monday and Tuesday were cool and so ideal for digging and heavy work. We made a path up the middle of the veg patch and despite it being a bit bockety I have to keep going and looking at it! I planted broad beans, leeks and salad, transplanted selfsown marigold and cosmos seedlings and have sown far too many seeds in pots. This is my favourite gardening time of year - so much promise. It's just too good to be indoors. Here's a glimpse of what our outdoors looks like. (ps the second photo of the wisteria was taken last May - just to give you an idea of what's to come. It's on the verge of flowering now. All the others were taken yesterday)

Thursday, April 12, 2007


10 squares down. 54 to go! The weather has turned from glorious and springlike to grey and wet so this afternoon was spent weaving whilst listening to Radio 4 where, amongst other things, I caught a programme about fishing for perch. Yes, a radio programme with two chaps getting excited about fish! I just love the eccentricity of Radio 4. Along with Royal Mail stamps it's one of the best things about Britain.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


urban FIELD is a collaborative project between three UK crafts organisations and some of Britain's finest makers. "The key outcome of this collaboration is an exhibition exploring the rural urban theme, asking whether it’s a divide or a bridge for today’s craft makers."
Dail Behennah is one of the exhibitors and will be giving 2 talks at Contemporary Applied Arts in Percy Street on 23 May. 1.30 - 2.30 pm and 6 - 7pm. Admission is free but booking required as space is limited. I got to know Dail through exhibiting her work back in England and am lucky to own the piece pictured above. Dail has her own unique voice. She makes sublimely beautiful objects which involve meticulous planning and execution but somehow never stray into sterility. It should be an interesting talk if you are in London.

NB - Dail notified me to say that there is a mistake on the urbanFIELD website - her talks are on the 23rd May not April as stated.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Monday, March 26, 2007


We gave ourselves a day off from the house and I started weaving this today. The collage had to be pretty much destroyed first - spray painted to give me some guide lines for the semi circles, but that doesn't matter, it's a means to an end not the end itself. I'm breathing a big sigh of relief as I was starting to get just a touch wound up at not being able to make any progress..!

I have made pieces with several components before but never so many (64). It may not work but it feels exciting to be moving things along a bit. One of the things I enjoyed when I had a gallery was getting to know people's work very well and recognising the subtle shifts and developments in each new group of work they sent me. One of the things that annoyed me was that there was (is) so much emphasis on work which is considered to be cutting edge/challenging/pushing boundaries and not enough on the many highly skilled makers who are quietly refining their craft. An artist who's work I admire greatly is Breon O'Casey. In a recent article he says"Sir William Nicholson and Mondrian were born in the same year. Mondrian's work was avant garde but Nicholson was an equally good painter. Good work goes on behind the cutting edge"

I keep adding new links to the Artists list - recently added are Kate Blee, Dawn Dupree, Yuko Takada Heller and Mitsuo Toyazaki - all well worth a look.

Friday, March 23, 2007

brighton craft fair

The Brighton Craft Fair people are getting their website together. See some of this years exhibitors here .

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Louis le Brocquy

I was delighted to find a picture of le Brocquy's "Triumph of Cuchulainn" tapestry here. It is a stunning work, 14 (yes 14!) metres high which hangs in the entrance of the National Gallery of Ireland's new wing. I go and visit it whenever I'm in Dublin. For a weaver it is technically awe inspiring - perfect tension in such a large tapestry is no mean feat. The colour glows and there is that combination of order and irregularity which I love so much. It was woven by the Atelier René Duché in Aubusson not that far from where I now live.
If you ever make it to the gallery, don't leave without seeing this painting - the jewel in the national collection.

Monday, March 19, 2007

disappointing day

I was so pleased with this photo taken the other morning in bright, bright sunshine. It is my son's collection of pencil leads. He collects them from the waste paper basket in his classroom and brings them home to add to the bowl. Makes me wonder whether an obsession with colour (and treasure) is genetic! As I write it is no longer bright, in fact it is snowing hard.... last week we ate lunch outside in 20°. That's March for you I guess.

We ran out of paint today (being Monday the shops are closed) so I started a little 4 inch square tapestry. Spending so much time at the top of ladders recently I've had time to think about the things I want to make and the kind of surface I want to achieve. So I set off eagerly this morning and ...failed utterly. I haven't decided yet whether to bin it or plug on. Often, I lose confidence in what I'm making until I see it in a frame. They seem like such insignificant little scraps of cloth and then you frame them and they suddenly come to life. I have serious doubts about this one though.

I was feeling a bit sorry for myself by the end of the afternoon when I read this article about Andy Goldsworthy. Talking about working nearly everyday in the woods and fields around his home he says "I make an awful lot of crap but I have to be out there trying things". Not such bad company to be in I guess.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


I have a bit of a thing for doors and door furniture so I'm certainly living in the right place. Not all but most of these photos were taken in my nearest middle sized town, Villefranche de Rouergue on a sunny day in February. I'm also rather keen on house numbers but I'll save those for another day! Actually I'm trying out pictobrowser which if it works will be fun indeed!

Textiles wise why don't you look at Nicola Henley and Alice Kettle's lovely sites.

Monday, March 12, 2007

jo barker

I can't get blogger to upload any photos today.....hmmmm?

Sue Lawty has posted about Jo Barker over at her fascinating blog concealed, discovered, revealed. The V&A has just bought Jo's recent tapestry, Dappled Circle - scarlet, for their collection. Sue has posted some lovely photos of Jo, her studio, sketchbooks and the work in progress.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


The sun is shining and Selvedge came in the post this morning! Selvedge covers the subject of textiles in it's widest possible interpretation. It is interesting, informative and beautifully produced. And... it's square! I have two copies of issue 9 (feb O6) for some reason and would be happy to send one to whoever would like it. Just email me your address - first come, first served. (edit - Ana is the lucky winner!)

Thursday, March 8, 2007


This is why I have been making samples. I'm not quite there yet, those white semicircles are just for shape, I don't know what colour they'll end up being - possibly prussian blue...The squares are sitting at different heights, can you see that in the photo? (I have a tiny digitial camera and it's very hard to avoid shaky hands). I want to make a piece where the weave is flat but the piece isn't.

I rarely use texture in my work - here's the only non-flat piece I made last year. It's called Off Kilter. Colour is what really excites me. I am going to make this new piece at a wider set than usual - 10 ends per inch (epi) rather than my usual 16. Apart from wanting a slightly looser texture, more light will hit the threads. I want it to be as rich, colourwise as possible.

Repetition has been an ongoing part of my work recently, repeated shapes: circles, stripes, blocks of colour. Each the same but slightly different. Reading about Marijke Arp in Art Textiles of the World - The Netherlands I was struck by her statement "One poppy is beautiful, but a field of scarlet poppies is fascinating. One person shouting with joy attracts attention, but an exultant crowd makes a deep impression"

Saturday, March 3, 2007

rds craft competition 2007

I am still collage making but now have an acute shortage of magazines/paper. I'm going to stay with friends tonight so hope they haven't been to the recycling bins recently!
I'm working on my entry for the rds 2007 crafts competition. This competion is open to any craftsperson living in Ireland or any Irish craftsperson no matter where they live. The application deadline is May 21st. See more about it here.
This is part of 'Fade', the tapestry I exhibited last year.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Telos Art Publishing have a sale on. Books in their Portfolio collection (1 - 30) are only £7.50 with free international shipping if you order fast. Bargain! Early series (pre 2003) Art Textiles of the World are also heavily discounted.

Saturday, February 24, 2007


Some more samples. I'll show you why I'm making them next week.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

22nd February

I'm still plastering...

I read a transcript of a lecture given by Archie Brennan the other night. He described tapestry weaving as " crazily labour intensive as a process. It's economically suicidal I think. .... an obsessive, compulsive activity" He says he still weaves 10, 12 sometimes 16 hours a day. He's clearly got a lot more stamina than I do - and what about his eyes? One of the features of the run up to Origin last year was 12 sessions with an orthoptist!

"One of the other aspects of tapestry that is extremely powerful, particularly today with the quality and permanence of modern dyes, is the nature of colour in tapestry." This rings so true to me and for intense, heart stopping colour you should look at Jo Barker's work. Seen in the flesh the large pieces have an astonishingly physical effect, you feel the colour in the pit of your stomach.

I would post a photo of Jo's but being new to blogging I'm not sure whether that is allowed. Maybe someone could let me know?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


I have no progress to report today. The samples on my loom are still there. I have been working hard though - that's me plastering the joins in the plasterboard of our new upstairs. There is over 100 metres of join up there, with 3 layers of plaster on each join and my initial delight at being able to do it and therefore save us lots of money has faded somewhat. I am officially very bored now!

People often say how patient I must be to weave but the sad fact is that almost my entire patience quota goes on weaving and there is precious little left over for anything else...

Ophelia left a comment to say that she is looking for a tapestry course in London. I am sure there are evening classes but another possiblility is Tapestry for Beginners at West Dean in Chichester on March 30/April 1. It will be taught by Caron Penney who is the head of West Deans tapestry studio. See some of their recent work here The course includes a visit to the tapestry studio.