Saturday 13 November 2021

And then there were five

Continuing the theme of change and new beginnings from the last post, we are very happy to share the news that we have a new member - Janet Donnell - a long-time friend of Cath's, who, like her, discovered textile art after retirement and has never looked back!

Recently, we spent a lovely day together at the studio to enable Deb, Dia, Vicki and Janet to get to know one another - chatting and working alongside each other. Everything went just fine and she fitted right in with the general exploratory fun and playtime that usually exists in our studio days!

Here's how Janet described herself for her page on this blog:

My approach to textile work is very much What will happen if?I have a germ of an idea, then begin to explore materials and techniques to see what happens when various methods are combined and developed. I love to work with the soft luscious textures of wools and yarns, or the flamboyant brightness of silk, as well as sheer fabrics, paints and dyes, textured fibres, cottons, lace, beads, papers - or anything else that will add to a finished surface that is full of touchable texture.  Working with my sewing and embellishing machines, as well as a lot of hand stitches, something emerges. I find landscapes and maps, rivers and contours - and the finished piece of work is usually nothing like the idea I started out with….

Janet was working on this beautiful piece on our studio day:

Shetland Pathways - stitch detail

Here's the full piece, which was finished back at home and wrapped around a canvas.

Shetland Pathways

Janet wrote these words about the piece.

This is made with wool yarns, hand-dyed and bought in Shetland. It is worked onto an un-dyed wool background that has been machine felted onto a wool felt base fabric. It has connections to where I live, with Leicestershire Black-Faced sheep wool yarn running though it in spirals. It reflects the time spent in the very quiet and empty Shetland Isles during a gap in the Covid restrictions which allowed us a brief holiday up there in August 2020. The discoveries we made walking along the coastal paths are tied up in the swirls and stitches. 

You can see more of Janet's work by checking out her page by following the link above.

Meanwhile, here's a little look at what the rest of us were doing in the studio that day. Deb and Dia have begun spending regular days at Littleheath Barn and one of their projects has been stitching on small squares of dyed, painted or printed fabric.

Here's one of many lovely squares that Dia bought to show us ...

... and a beautiful one from Deb, from a series called 'Other Worlds'.

It was very interesting for me to see these smaller pieces as I imagined I would struggle to work on that scale but I might just have a go, sometime!

In complete contrast, Vicki continued working on the very large printed piece she began last time - making more great printing blocks and adding a third colour, which worked very well. 

I was looking ahead to our upcoming exhibition at The Sock Gallery, Loughborough and adding beads and stitch to a smaller piece, which I began a while ago, using angelina fibres on a velvet background, heated and then cut with a soldering iron - nearly ready to go into a frame now.

Altogether we had a very happy and productive day as we welcomed Janet to Traverse and we are now very pleased to be continuing our creative journey, moving forwards together as a quintet.