Thursday 22 August 2019

Please Touch

The West Country Quilt & Textile Show is now just a week away and we are really looking forward to it. This year, for the first time, we will be sharing a larger stand (G48) with our friends at On The Surface. Alongside our current exhibition, Revealed, we will be collaborating with them in a collection of work, entitled 'Please Touch', where visitors will be actively encouraged to explore it by touching. This was suggested by Deb, one of our members, who has worked for a long time with Sense, a charity supporting deafblind people and people with complex disabilities, helping them communicate and experience the world.

As you can see below, we have come up with some very different approaches to the idea:


Deb has woven a varied collection of fabrics, yarns and threads to make a beautiful bag, lined with silk and decorated with dangling beads - just fabulous.





Bernice just loves hand printing wonderful fabric and here she has done exactly that, after making her own printing block, shown below.  She is piecing it together with some more of her amazing hand printed stash to make a wall hanging. There are plans to sew on some added extras, which will make it very interesting to touch. Can you guess what they might be?



Dia's first piece may look familiar as it has been featured in our other social media - it is a sculptural felt with metal inclusions, which she made during a workshop with Caroline Merrell at the the Felt Foundry. Unusually for Dia, who often works in bright colours, this is wet felted with Piiku Finn wool fibres in a soft grey colour, which contrasts well with the shiny surface of the metal.


Dia has returned to one of her brighter colour combinations here, wrapping a canvas with thick wool yarn and attaching some coffee pods, which will be fun to play with!


Spot the difference between the previous image and the following finished piece ...


Becca is continuing her personal exploration of deafness with three stitched pieces in simple black and white but the work is anything but simple. Showing the incorporation of braille to link with this 'Please Touch' exhibition, these photos are of complex work in progress.




One aspect of Vicki's work for this exhibition has been making some wonderfully tactile needle felted balls, as yet untitled which are also in black and white and decorated with tiny beads. They will possibly be displayed, hidden in a container, enticing you to feel inside.


Vicki has also been exploring ideas around consent with the following wall hangings of sculptural felt, also in muted colours with texture created by the felt manipulation and beautiful stitching. More work in progress, with a provisional title of Acquiescence ...


This last work of Vicki's reminded me of a vessel I had, lying somewhere in a container of its own, with the stitching half finished and I've resurrected it to become part of Please Touch.

Another older piece of my work has been featured here on the blog last year with details of how it was made. Painted, printed and stitched woven card, it was part of a Summer Challenge for my local Embroiderers' Guild and had never been exhibited, so I only had to mount it on a painted canvas and protect it with acrylic wax.

My final piece has also been glimpsed before on our social media but not in its finished form. I have always been fascinated by 3d mathematical forms and have enjoyed attempting simple fabric origami. I was reminded of this particular kaleidocycle form by the triangles of Bernice's folding book, 'The Road Not Taken',  and after spending some time deciding how many triangular sections I wanted, I chose this simple version and set about making the felt for the triangles with my embellisher. After machine stitching, I cut out the triangles, added some hand stitch and beads and assembled the piece, waiting with bated breath to test whether it worked ...



... and it did!

If you're coming to the West Country Quilt and Textile Show next week, please feel free to come and explore these exhibits and more from Traverse's collaboration with On The Surface. On Stand G48, we are also showing our 2019 exhibition, 'Revealed' and would love to see you there.


Hot off the press - well, actually hot off Whats App - Bernice's hanging is now complete with added extra 'fiddle bits' and looking fabulous!