Sunday, 13 March 2016

Taking time

Tina Francis Tapestry 2016

So I have not updated the blog for a while, I have been a little unwell and so have had to pick my battles! I had to miss my first Scottish show at SECC Glasgow and was really upset about it but at the moment I am feeling fine and looking forward to Fashion and Embroidery at NEC from 17th March.
Fashion and Embroidery is such a great show because as well as all the fantastic trade stands it gives you the opportunity to see some of the best textile artists around and speak to them about their work.  Many of the artists are tutors too and so you can learn from them at the free workshops that are available as part of your ticket price.

My number is ZJ24 and as well as exhibiting the best tapestry around (!) it will also reflect on what I have been working on over the last year and more importantly who. Last summer I attended Cannon Hill Art School, an experiment run by Trevor Pitt to see what would happen if everyone could go to art school.  During this 8 week course I was drawn back to print and multiples which has inspired my stitch work, expect to see a lot of the mandalas above, all using the same circular motif but not one of them the same. These mandalas are a great way to use up your stash of wool ends and the plastic blanks will be available to buy at the show, I will also be running a family friendly workshop using them at RBSA on Sunday 3rd April.
I have also been working with my stitch group "Springhill Stitchers" over the past year and the results of our sessions will be on display on the stand too.  I think if I look back running this group has been the thing I am most proud of in the last year, we started in June 2015 and members have learned to stitch, follow a pattern and now stitch their own designs. We were talking on Friday about what coming to the group has meant to them, the main feeling is that it has been good to have time to be free to create. This sentence has been echoed by textile artist and mentor to me Kim Thittichai.
 Kim is exhibiting her own work alongside Susan Chapman in their collaborative exhibtion "People and Places". Both of these artists are "noticers", a pattern, a shape, a form, a meeting, a change from the norm you will find it all in this exhibition.  I know that it is going to be the highlight of the show for me and I really look forward to hearing what you have to stay about it.
Kim teaches at Inkberrow Design Centre in Redditch who this year celebrate their 25th year! If you have visited the show before you will know about the fantastic fashion show they bring every year and also about their City and Guilds courses, make sure you drop by and see their full rosta of workshops and courses which range from sketch books to sewing stretch knits, print to perfect pleats and much more! I am proud to be part of the Inkberrow family and as I look back on the year since the last show I am also looking forward to being part of their 25 year celebrations running workshops, demonstrations and talks - be sure to ask them about all the exciting events they have planned.

So I look forward to seeing you all at the show and Steph Redfern I look forward to seeing your tapestry triumphs!

Happy Stitching!