Sunday, 23 September 2012

Spurn Point

There was a lot of creativity in the studio last week. I will share this in a later post though as yesterday I went somewhere magical to primarily see an exhibition by Alice Fox.

We travelled north over the Humber Bridge,
 turned east and kept driving until we reached the sea. Spurn Point is a coastal reserve, 3 1/2 metres long and very very narrow in parts. It stretches out into the mouth of the river Humber and is now a Nature Reserve. The sea defences are eroding rapidly and you can see just how much they are breaking down and crumbling. The image below came from google.
 The exhibition was in the old lighthouse. This was built in 1895 and closed in 1985. It is normally not open to the public.
 I lost count of how many curving steps there were up to the top of the lighthouse but the views were stunning. This is looking out to the end of the Point.
 Looking the other way, you can just see the skinny strip of land between the sea that (on a good day) you can drive on.
 The lighthouse provided an amazing backdrop to Alice's work. She kept a blog about her time as artist in residence here. There are lots of photos of her work and the lighthouse.
 I had permission to share some images of her work. This piece was 10 metres long and hand dyed using rusty metal found on the beach and wrapped round groynes. Some of it had been submerged by the tide.
Alice dyed silks and cottons. All the colours of her framed work, handmade books and larger Spurn Cloth just seemed to compliment the colours found within the lighthouse. I know from my own rust dyed fabrics that you just do not know the colours that will finally come out. Alice has published a short book detailing her time as artist in residence at Spurn Point. It has wonderful images of her work, Spurn Point and extracts from her diary. If you didn't get to her exhibition and are interested I think that you could contact her to buy this.
Just to prove just how fragile the beach is, these show just how close the tankers are as they travel in to port.
After visiting the exhibition we walked from the lighthouse right round the point which is when I took the two photos above, It was such a magical place, and you could really sense the power of nature especially when you turned onto the side facing the North Sea. The gentle waves on the estuary side became more wild, crashing into the already crumbling sea defences from the North Sea.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Indigo Blues

Yesterday the sun shone on the Indigo workshop. As I arrived at the studio the grapes looked so enticing, real vibrant shades of green against the blue sky.
The Indigo workshop teaches you how to make up your own synthetic Indigo vat which can be used for both animal and plant fibres. You make up a bucket vat and a smaller jar vat. This is one of my favourite workshops to teach as I demystify the magical process of making up an indigo vat. If you have never seen fibres change from yellow/green to blue as they oxidise then come and do a workshop with me to join in with the magic.
This is Jackie with the bucket Vat.
As the day progressed the washing lines filled up.
I love the texture that Lis has got on this fabric with vertical and horizontal grids.
As well as fibres, the vat will also dye buttons, shells and other treasures. This collection belonged to Lis.
 Pat and Kate did several pieces using a range of shibori techniques.
In the image above there is a subtle difference between the two dyed fabrics. The one on the lower right hasn't fully oxidised.

This is always a popular workshop and there are just four places available. The next Indigo workshop is on Saturday 20th April 2013. Contact me if you would like more information or book a place.  

Saturday, 8 September 2012


It has been a very busy Summer holidays which started with my Summer School.

A few weeks later was Festival of Quilts and below is DS's prize winning quilt.

I really enjoy teaching at Festival and  having the opportunity to meet up with many friends. I took lots of photos of quilts but do not have any permission to share any on this blog. The bird house's below is one of the children's workshops designed by Karen.

After being back a day we travelled down to Devon for a week at the cottage. At this point the weather changed a little but we still managed some beach days.
 DS took lots of photos in preparation for his GCSE photography course,
 I did still have time for a little dyeing with some weld.
Yesterday there was a very successful landscape workshop using transfer dyes at the studio. Today the sun shone as we played with indigo vats. I will post more on that tomorrow.