Sunday, 7 February 2021

 February 6th  - Susan Brisco - Coming together of Art and Science - Macro to Micro world of plants

Sue started her lecture by telling us that she had two aspects to her work - traditional and contemporary

She undertook a 3 year Diploma in Botanical Art with the Society of Botanical Artists. She made sketches of pieces out in the field and then made detailed compositions back in the studio. She was marked on scientific accuracy and colour by tutors who are both botanists and artists. Susan told us that this had made her gain great confidence in using watercolour.

While studying plants in detail for this Diploma, she became interested in pollens and particularly those which caused Hay fever. Sue said it was a privilege to be given Arts Council England funding for her 'Sneeze' project. This was to investigate pollens in microscopic detail and then use them for drawings and installations She showed us Willow pollen and Hazel pollen under 6000 times magnification. Some of them even seemed to have 'faces'.

Sue worked in collaboration with Doctors , Professors and technicians to get the detailed images using scanning electroscopy.  She than had to decide on the Art projects.

Sue's first piece was a mix of drawing, film and sound . The drawing was in the style of Michelangelo showing lungs . The film and sound were added to this

She then did a series of chalk drawings on a black surface of the pollen walls.

Studying the pollen under the microscope on slides inspired the installation below. the colour came from the dye that was used on the slides. Sue painted on glass for this piece of work with detailed drawings of different pollen grains


Sue also created postcards which were put together in an envelope with part of a Goethe poem ' The metamorphosis of plants' on the outside. Science is imagined through poetry. This poem also gave titles to her pieces 

Sue was pleased that the project reached 10,000 people both on line and physically.

A fascinating lecture. Thank you Sue.

Saturday, 9 January 2021

 Lecture 9th January 2021 Anne Griffiths - Stories in Stitch

Anne started her lecture this afternoon by telling us how she started teaching Machine Embroidery at Gloscat. As the City and Guilds courses folded she then took on Hand Embroidery, Felting and Beading.

She has always been interested in letters, script, text, messages and iconography. An iluminated manuscript of her mothers' sparked this enthusiasm

Anne has always been interested in stamps and she has used ideas from these in her work.

While doing her City and Guilds she chose angels as her design topic

Anne told us that handwriting and font are important

While doing her City and Guilds  part 2 , her mother died and as she sorted through old letters, and then used these , stamps and motherhood for the inspiration for her wall hanging

Christmas stamps have also inspired some of her work, which starts off in her sketch books


More inspiration from stamps using a variety of fabrics and tecniques

Illuminated letters using Bronzing powder and then metal shim

Anne completed the afternoon by showing us metal shim technique on the inside of tomato puree tube 

and the combining it with acrylic painted images and text 

Thank you Anne for a very interesting afternoon

 Christmas workshop December 5th

Over 20 of our members gathered together on Zoom for our annual Christmas workshop.

Most of us wore a Christmas jumper ,  Christmas jewellery or hat, or in some cases all three!!

We then started on our Christmas tree decoration / brooch

inspired by the Wychbury Designs  article in the October/November Stitch magazine.

Here are some of the finished trees.

It was lovely to stitch together and chat. We then had a stitch-inspired quiz, after we had had a festive toast .

Here's to 2021 when we can hopefully meet up again

Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Lecture - Emma Jackson Silversoles - November 7th

Emma Started her lecture by telling us about her early career in felting. She started Silver Soles in 2000 when her children were small. The name Silver Soles comes from the fact that her early career was in making felted baby bootees with silver leather soles. The name has continued although she rarely makes bootees now!

She then  did a lot of work teaching and working with young people and adults in the community and then in residencies in schools both with felting and mixed media. Felt appealed to all abilities. She also taught for 15 years at the MAC. 

Emma also undertook commissions including an altar frontal for St. Martins in the Bull Ring, Birmingham.

Her work which she sold at Trade Fairs and specialised Art Fairs included both fashion and interior design pieces. She as interested in textural surfaces, colour and included Shibori.

In 2015 having had a lot of problems with her back she thought she would have to give up felting and so she decided to undertake an MA in surface design and texture at BCU. She explored the touch of surfaces.

Emma's sketchbooks were the start of this process

She then started to create different surfaces, including adding latex onto a variety of fabrics.

The combination of these surfaces with devore velvet and nuno felting.

The fabrics she created ..............................

........ were used in interior designs including these wonderful lamps and cushions

How different the lamp shade looks when it is lit!!

Thank you Emma for a fascinating lecture and we look forward to a workshop with you when we are back to normal.


Thursday, 19 November 2020

Lecture :Wool Magic by Raya Brown -  3rd October 2020

Raya's lecture showed her innovative use of Nuno felting

She has now developed her love of fleece into making wool paintings which she traps between glass. She gave us a demonstration of her technique. The fleece is teased into very small amounts with which she 'paints'.

Thank you Raya for sharing your work with us