Artist & Facilitator

I am a freelance artist based in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria in the North West of England. I have worked within the performing and fine arts for 20 years. Initally I worked within the theatre as a performer and on production. Then moving on to a street circus group that performed around the UK. I did my degree BA(hons) Fine Art at Uclan. For fifteen years I have collaborated with local arts organisations, worked on youth community projects and in schools running a variety of creative projects. I am currently a member of North Lonsdale Embroiderers Guild, Blue Tarn, a rural womens artists collective and Trident Textiles, based in Furness. I am always working on a variety of small scale projects including photography, textile and mixed media. Although my favourite thing is meeting and talking to interesting people!

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Exhibitions & Sewing

The collaborative of work including my brothers through Signal Films had opened on Thursday evening with the preview.  We all turned up like the Dingles or the Clampetts as my brother says and ate and drank everything!  It was great.  Eddys work was used in the publicity material and was in the Evening Mail.  It was the best there and so many others thought too.  Although everyones work was great. 

Its on at Forum 28 until the end of next week I think.

I have also started looking at the photos I had been taking of things around Barrow to see how I can ake work from them.  I have made a new 'mock up' handbag using on the boats in the channel.

So I took this photo of the boat in the foreground and made simplified sketches until I was happy with an overall design.  The boat although not entirely like the original was clearly the same.  Then I set about looking through my stash of scraps of vintage fabric to make up the boat in applique form.  Then I cut out the bag using my adapted pattern.  I chose Laura Ashley white spot on blue fabric for the bag itself.  Using 'misty fuse' I stuck the fabric boat onto the bag.

Then I free-motion embroidered onto the boat and fabric with my sewing machine using cotton thread to animate it to life.

The resulting bag is cute and very usable.  I lined it in a heavy cotton as the outer material is not very thick.  I included a 'wash label' and design label.  Although these are old fashioned and don't really suit it.  I would like new labels.

I used a magnetic fastening on the tab opening but sewed a large vintage red button on the outside for decoration.  I also used vintage buttons for the tyres.

Just right for a little jaunty shoulder bag for essentials.  Plus it is a boat that exists in Barrow.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

What a lovely day!

Went for a quick drive around Walney Island today in the sunshine while Alex slept in his car seat.  He was shattered as he had stayed at my mam's last night with his cousins.  We drove up to the lighthouse carpark but did not get to walk up to up as Alex was still asleep.  I took a few photos of where I was able to see the light house. Got some of of Piel Castle from there too.  My little camera is not good enough for far off shots unfortunately.  I now want to go back and do it again with the better camera and Alex awake!

Walney Channel from the Promenade

Walney Lighthouse on South Walney (image taken from internet)

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Photographs Around Barrow

Today I went around Barrow getting quick images for my 'Barrow Bags' idea.  The photograph is a starting point to make a 'iconic' Barrow landmark into a textile image.  A fun image.  There are lots of beautiful scernery around the area which I could use later but I want to try out town and dock stuff first.  My brother Eddy came with me and took a few himself.  He has done well with his own photographs and work lately through Signal Films of Barrow.  He is part of a collective exhibition at Forum 28 next week.  He has a short animation about a 'brain'.  One of the images is of Birkrigg Stone Circle with added extras in 3D.  It is really cool.  This image was used for publicity.  I want him to email me it so I can put it on here with a link.  In my Radio Cumbria diary I mentioned my brother and I doing the workshops and this is the result. The exhibition is called 'Classics vs Futurists' at Forum 28 starting Friday 21st May to Saturday 29th May.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Too Much To Do!

What a busy family we are................

I have been really busy with all kinds of projects and trips.  Skiing in Morzine went brilliantly, we arrived in time for lots of new snow.  Alex loved it.  Our friends who were new to skiing had a brilliant time too and are going again!  Just when I thought no one read my blog, BBC Radio Cumbria got in touch asking me to do 'Little Cumbria' based on my blog!  So I tootled off to the studio to record a week in the life of me.  It is not direct from my blog but certainly includes crafty things.  I had to laugh at my broad accent though.  They sent me a cd of the recordings after it was aired. See link for the full show.

Link to Little Cumbria Monday Show
Link to Little Cumbria Tuesday Show
Link to Little Cumbria Wednesday Show
Link to Little Cumbria Thursday Show
Link to Little Cumbria Friday Show

I also attended the Embroidery Guild North West Regional Day in Manchester with fellow guilders.  There were stalls selling a variety of goodies.  Two speakers plus a committee guild update.  Competitions and work to look at.  The lunch was rather nice too.  I really enjoyed it.  I had to try and finish off some pictures for our guild exhibitions plus dig out some old ones.  I did not manage to really do that as time was against me.  I did find an old fashioned tree embroidery i did years ago but it did not go into the exhibition either.  Below shows the lichen embroidery I had started, I also madel ime green lichen on water soluable fabric to go over the blue but got fed up!!

I am now back onto making housey project stuff like doorstops, cushions and tablecloths.  I have found a lovely arts and crafts pattern book which would make lovely finishing touches.  I really want to explore my kooky Barrow bags.  Images of Barrow appliques onto tote bags or anything really.  I might be able to sell them through the tourist info shop or made in cumbria.  Need to make up a batch though.  Images will be more like cranes, subs, lighthouses, seagulls and fun local sights rather than the obvious lakeland scenes.  I have made a couple of mock ups in material scraps. 

Other family stuff have involved taking Alex with his cousins to Ducky Park Farm at Flookburgh with Nic and my parents.  It was a great day they loved it. Especially the tractor ride and the animals!  Alex also had a trip on the Lil' Ratty at Ravenglass and totally loved that too, so he is now tractor and choo choo mad!