Monday, 31 January 2011

I have worked with students from Frankley Community High School this week, it was great. They are very enthusiastic and interested in learning new skills and processes. They all wanted more time exploring hat making so I hope to return to work with them again, they really are a credit to their tutor Caroline Howells and their school. The course that they are studying is a BTEC diploma in Art & Design and their current project or one of them is: Alice In Wonderland, some of the students have made hats for the Mad Hatter so it is just right that they should be exploring hat making at this time. All of them were keen to know about the hat making process and even keener to try on a range of hats. Great fun was had trying on different hat shapes to see which suited them. More photos of this to follow soon.

I showed them some ideas for decoration then they all made a decorative brooch pin using a variety of fabric, silk flowers and brads ( a type of decorative split pin). The students decided to pin them onto their jackets, jumpers and hats.
Every brooch was different and will be on show in the exhibition at the end of the residency from Thursday March 24th - Sat March 26th.

I have been working in my reflective diary it has helped me to remain focussed and to plan and organise my time. it was useful to record my training when I visited the City Learning Centre based at Frankley Community High School. I was able to use the Brother Super Galaxy S2100 ewing Machines and discuss using the laser cutter. This has had an influence on my work, I plan to go back again this week for some more training. I am working on a new range of felt hat/head decorations and being able to cut multiples using the laser cutter and to decorate them automatically using the Super Galaxy will really develop my work.

The image here is of a photograph that has been laser cut into denim, the detail is very fine. The sewing samples are what I did during my training on the Super Galaxy 2100 sewing machine very basic but I can really see the potential especially using my own imagery, decoration and words that have been scanned in first.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Time management is a priority on this residency. The time has flown past this week but I feel like I have achieved a lot. I have settled into my space, and have more of my own work 'stuff' around me now which is inspiring.

The first session with one of the community groups went really well, I met them last week after their adult education class and they were very enthusiastic and keen to 'have a go', even the Community Police Officer joined in The feedback was postitive with one of the group commenting this week: "You inspired me after the session I went home and got my sewing kit out and did all of the little repair jobs that I have been meaning to do for ages."

It is great to see my work in another context. I have had my work in exhibitons, shop windows, wedding and craft fayres but not in a library setting before. It is attracting interest and gives me and the library staff opportunities to talk about my work and publicise the different events. the library staff have been great, really supportive and enthusiastic about my residency it has helped me so much.
Some work from the first session, just waiting for the 'bling' to be added. Gems, sparkles, more feathers etc it is up to the individual. Everyone started with a central feature that they made by hand then added feathers and wired pearls and gems etc. Not bad for the first time! All of the group are really looking forward to the next session. 

Making the centrepiece.
This week I have finalised the timetable to include:  Workshop sessions every Thursday for 2 community groups plus anyone else that wants to take part. I am also working for 2 mornings with 2 Year 10 BTEC Art & Design groups from Frankley High School and also doing a family sharing event with Year 7 & 8 also from Frankley High School. I am going to do an open Coffee Morning session on Wednesday 2nd February from 10.00am for anyone that wants to come along on Hat Making with the opportunity to make some fascinators too. There will also be lecture presentations to Birmingham City University students studying for B.A.Textiles and HND Jewellery & Silversmithing. The final event will be a 3 day exhibition from Thursday 24th march until Saturday 26th March with a community sharing event taking place on Thursday 24th March. Details will be confirmed soon. Phew!                                                                      

Work during session 2, 20.01.11 
They are wearing some of my fascinators.      

Monday, 17 January 2011

Artist Residency Frankley Library, Northfield, Birmingham

I recently started work as the Artist in Residence at Frankley Library, I am working with the Frankley Community until March 26th 2011 to develop arts work with the local residents and my own work. The residency is a new phase for Making Moves II which is a craft development initiative that builds on a long partnership between Staffordshire County Council and Craftspace. Craftspace is working in partnership with Birmingham City Council running the Making Moves II pilot in the Northfield Constituency.
During the residency I will also work with: higher education students studying at Birmingham City University (BCU) from both the School Of Jewellery and Textiles. I will also mentor a recent BCU graduate.
But first - Day 1: Clearing a space for me to use as a studio. This is the space before the makeover!