Saturday 31 March 2018

Jan Seys

We are extremely sad to announce the death of our dear friend Jan.  She was a kindhearted and talented woman, a great teacher and a lovely friend.

Knitting & talking

Today let's celebrate Jan's work and some of the happy moments we had recently at the NEC.

Jan & Dia with Deborah, the Creative Director from Janome

Small pieces of work on canvas

Orkney: a knitted and wet-felted vessel

Brancaster: free machined and handstitched

Mordor: needle felted, machine & hand stitched

Off the Beaten Track: bonded applique and hand stitched

Knitted and felted brooches

Knitting at the NEC exhibition

We will miss Jan and her contribution to the group immensely.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Jan's family.

I have known Jan since the Experimental textile course which we began together in early 2016. Jan was an unique person, warm, kind, helpful, quiet, knowledgeable, an excellent teacher and did beautiful work. At our Traverse NEC Exhibition she was so happy. She showed me how to use the embellisher and embellish knitted work. I thought that technique was very special and started a piece myself and was excited to show Jan, sadly she passed away.

Dia's work using Jan's technique
It was a privilege to be her friend and I have fond memories of her. Jan rest in peace.

Jan, your determination was inspirational.  I loved your down to earth attitude and your advice was always spot on ... you gave so much but had so much more to give.  I'm going to miss you but am happy I was able to call you my friend ... sleep well lovely lady ... lots of love

I met Jan for the first time in 2016 when all of us in Traverse met at Inkberrow Design Centre for the initial weekend of Experimental Textiles. She was a quiet, softly spoken lady but always had a warm smile and willingness to offer suggestions to anyone of us needing advice. Jan’s own work was always so beautiful and detailed and much admired by all. Jan was a wonderful friend and will be very much missed.

Jan was a very special person - a gifted quilter and embroiderer, who was always looking to expand her considerable knowledge of working with textiles, approaching new techniques with such enthusiasm - a teacher and maker of wonderful things, who brought so much to Traverse. She shared with us a wealth of experience and always had a positive response if we had a problem with a particular project, calmly coming up with a reassuring smile and a solution. I'll remember Jan's courage, her generosity of spirit, the warmth of that smile and the twinkle in her eye. I'm thankful for the chance to know her and glad to have been her friend.

Thursday 22 March 2018

Our First Exhibition

We are slowly recovering from an exciting few days at the NEC last week. It all went very quickly and smoothly, although slightly complicated by the weather. The snow on Sunday meant I couldn't get back to Birmingham as planned - there were times when I even wondered whether I'd get home after my concert on Saturday night but that's another story.

I was really sorry not to see the whole event through and not just because I was going to actually buy some resources on Sunday to add to my stash! It was just such an enjoyable experience and I wanted to be there through to the end; it was the culmination of all our hard work over the past year.

It began with build-up day on the Wednesday and we watched as the stand slowly began to take shape, thanks to our trusty build-up team of Roger and Chris, who managed to satisfy all my random (fussy) requests for various wall fittings with a smile - my reputation for faffing grew as the day went on.


It went up pretty easily, notwithstanding my foibles and we left that night, looking forward to welcoming visitors to the stand the following day. Although Chris's coat looked particularly avant-garde and might have been a useful talking point with them, he did take it home ...

and it was replaced the following day by 'Destination Life - The Ultimate Journey' - one of Deb's unwearable dresses ...

... an unwearable dress, which actually proved to be very wearable!

It was a case of 'now you see it, now you don't' for Deb's dresses as they made several appearances on the catwalk, being replaced by a photo in their absence.

Another exhibit which caught the eye of many of our visitors, was Dia's twisted vessel - how did she do that?

We particularly wanted to demonstrate some of our methods while we were there and they provided a useful talking point and in many cases (we were told) inspiration to people. Bernice's mixed media work was very much admired and she was asked many questions about it.

Bernice loves books and here are some examples of her beautiful artbooks.

She demonstrated how to make several different kinds of books on the stand ...

... including this beautiful fabric scroll book, a work in progress, which I'm really looking forward to seeing as she made it on Sunday, when I wasn't there.

Several of our exhibits were made either wholly or in part on an embellisher, which is a needle felting machine. For example, the background for Cath's 'Zanskar' ...

... and Jan's 'Mordor' ...

...and Deb's 'Destination Mindfuless - Wistful Thinking' were needle-felted both by machine and by hand.

We were able to borrow an embellisher from Janome and demonstrated several ways of using it on the stand. We were very grateful to be given this opportunity and here are Jan and Dia thanking Deborah Shepherd, the Creative Director of Janome.

Dia really enjoyed her first experience of using it.

Here, Jan is experimenting with needle-felting knitted fabric.

There was great interest. Some people were very curious as to how it actually worked and there were many comments like 'Where's the thread?' This lady was typical of many who already had an embellisher and were looking for inspiration.

These are the moments I will remember - sharing experiences and ideas with people and knowing that some were inspired by what they saw on our stand. Our aim was to begin to establish our place in the world of textile art and I hope that some of those lovely people we chatted to will remember us.

There will be more relating to our work on the embellisher later but I'll leave you with Bernice's video of  our time at the exhibition.

Cath Tyler

Thursday 8 March 2018

Exhibition Sneak Peeks

After almost a year in the planning we will be setting up our first ever Traverse exhibition next week. Set up day is next Wednesday and you can visit us on Stand M11 at the Fashion & Embroidery Show at the NEC from Thursday to Sunday.

Here are some sneak peeks of our work.  The theme is Destinations.




 We do hope you will come and say hello to us.