29 November 2016

Making Tracks

Jean Haigh

Grazyna Whittle

'Making Tracks'
Castle Park Arts Centre

22nd February - 2nd April 2017

Cheshire Textiles are beavering away in preparation for our next exhibition which begins in February at Castle Park Arts Centre in Frodsham, Cheshire.  There are a couple of dates when members of the group will be in the gallery to talk about their work and answer questions.  These are Saturday 4th March 10.00 - 4.00 and Sunday 19th March 1.00 - 4.00pm

We are always looking for new members so please come along and have a chat.  

12 October 2016

Knitting and Stitching Show

Alice Fox

Jane McKeating, MMU

Sarah Welsby from unFOLD
Alice Kettle, MMU

Debbie Lyddon
A very enjoyable day at Alexander Palace with some lovely pieces to enthuse over and one or two bits to purchase.  I particularly liked the work of Debbie Lyddon, she has a fresh approach in both her presentation and use of materials, notably salt which leaves a fabulous crystalline surface.  Alice Fox is also pushing the boundaries with her materials, stitching into found natural materials like acorns and limpet shells.  MMU students and tutors had used Gawthorpe Textile collection as their starting point, some of which were included in the exhibition. Jane and Alice's final outcomes were superb. Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn's extensive back catalogue of pieces created for their books made a very interesting time line showing how embroidery has changed, as you can imagine it was a huge display.   

The shopping side is a little dull, plenty for the patchwork enthusiasts and the basic stitcher with lots of things to 'make' but if you are looking for a bit of creative inspiration, something out of the ordinary, then this isn't the place to go.  Plenty for the knitters but sadly no creative gallery to show the potential of threads. A good day out but wear comfortable shoes and take some food!  

21 July 2016

62 Group at the Silk Museum

Cheshire Textile's summer break began this week after a very enjoyable visit to Macclesfield's Silk Museum followed by lunch at Sutton Hall.  The Silk Museum is hosting 'Making Space', the 62 Group's current exhibition which runs until 3rd September.  

With recently extended exhibition space, the Silk Museum is now able to attract bigger groups and reach a wider audience.  There are 34 artists represented in the exhibition each pursuing their own line of investigation and techniques.  For those who are rooted in traditional forms of art like painting and ceramics this exhibition is well worth a visit, many of the pieces on display need thought and consideration, far removed from the 'pretty picture' commonly associated with embroidery.  

Interestingly a visit to the Royal Academy for their summer exhibition showed many textile pieces including the well known Nigerian artist El Anatsui who uses aluminium sourced from recycling centres and wire connected with textile techniques to create huge hangings

  Flexible materials including textiles are an ideal medium for sculpture.  Shona Rendel in the image above uses dyed chair cane which she weaves into the most beautiful shapes.  

Have a fabulous summer break, no doubt some of us will be continuing with work for Frodsham in February.                     Jen

31 May 2016

Pauline Burbidge exhibition

23rd April - 10th July 2016

Another fabulous exhibition at Ruthin Craft Centre and the cafe has reopened too!  Pauline Burbidge's 16 quilts, inspired by the rural landscape, show her passion for cloth, stitching and making.  She shares some of her processes with samples, videos, sketchbooks and a display of her materials which is always of interest to fellow stitchers!  The quilts are big and appear at first glance simple in their design but on closer inspection they are full of unexpected elements.  The mark making achieved with various techniques creates movement and drama making them beautiful pieces of art.

A technique new for Pauline is her use of cyanotype printing adding strong blue element to her monotone black and white.  This exhibition will not fail to delight, there is so much to absorb and enjoy.

Must mention Anna Noel's clay animals in the adjacent gallery, they bring a smile and an admiration of someone absolutely at the top of her craft.  
A good day out and in May the Welsh country side is peppered with wild flowers!   Jen

3 May 2016

Poetry Project

As mentioned in earlier blog entries we occasionally set ourselves small projects to encourage creativity and thinking outside the box.  The intention is not to create beautiful finished pieces but they could become a starting point for further investigation.  Our latest project set by Shosh was centred around a piece of poetry of our choice, which included a Japanese Haikus poem, 'Whiter than Stone', a Leonard Cohen poem/song, 'Suzanne ' as well as one of Shelley's and Mary Elizabeth Frye, 1932 'Don't Stand by my Grave and Weep' Bridget created her own series of words based on "processing the Void'.

The images show a few of our results which celebrate our diversity. It will be interesting to see if any of the work is followed through into a main piece.                         Jen 

22 March 2016

Sally Payne's Workshop

Sally Payne's Workshop, 'Degrees of Separation' was a lovely day of play!!  Sally is full of enthusiasm and energy and never fails to motivate; wish we had booked her for a full week! It is a complete indulgence to become fully absorbed in an art day, we all loved it.  The intention was to give us a starting point for further investigations which is why the images above are a little meaningless.
We started with three short warm up exercises that introduced us to the ideas of separating  and deconstructing images.  Moving onto our source material we pulled out shapes, surfaces and textures, with the help of collage, inks and graphite.  Building with layers of tracings and reworking areas, new ideas emerged.  
With Easter coming up  we haven't had the opportunity to get together since the workshop    but it will be interesting to see how the work develops.                            Jen

21 February 2016

Antique Textile Fair

Please come and visit Cheshire Textiles 
at the Antique Textiles Fair on March 6th.

Our stand will be upstairs where you can see some of our more recent pieces and have the opportunity to talk to us about our work and the group.  

We are always pleased to meet new people and share our passion for textiles.

9 February 2016

Workshop and Antique Textile Fair

It is very easy to get 'stuck' creating the sort of work you feel very comfortable with, never wanting to take a risk or try something different.  Often it is the pressures of day to day living that make it an easier option or it could be that you have become slightly stale and you need a bit of external input; someone who will encourage you to look at things from a different angle.  With this in mind we asked Sally Payne to join us for a workshop.  Sally is fantastic, full of ideas and inspiration, introducing new techniques and encouraging an experimental approach.  We have chosen the title 'Degrees of Separation', looking at the elements of composition.  

The workshop will be in a couple of weeks but in the meantime we have been asked to gather photographs and drawings.  The two images above were my starting points, when we last did a workshop with Sally and from it I developed a whole body of work! 

We have also got the Antique Textile Fair to look forward to on the 6th March at the Armitage Centre in Manchester.  Please make a note and come and visit our stand.

20 January 2016

Art Textiles at the Whitworth

Grayson Perry
Magdelana Abakanowicz

Do Ho Suh
Ghana Amer
Mary Sibande
Monika Zaltauskaite-Grasiene
A good day out yesterday visiting the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester to see their current exhibition 'Art Textiles' - closes 3st January.  Very much a thought provoking exhibition about the role of textiles as a visual arts medium.  The pieces on view were from various eras including a beautiful hand embroidered sampler from 1601, selected to highlight its vital role in a girls education during the C17th - C19th. 

Several pieces are like old favourites notably the Grayson Perry, Tracey Emin, Michele Walker and Sally Freshwater but it was the huge 'Red Abakan III' from the 1970's that remains in my mind having only previously seen it in print.  Well worth a visit and lunch in the cafe just adds to the enjoyment!

4 January 2016

Happy New Year

A very Happy New Year to all.  As January 6th approaches when the Christmas decorations are boxed and stored for another year I thought it would be nice to show you the beautiful hand made cards I received this year.  They are lovely to receive and I always treasure them, appreciating the time and effort that goes into the hand made.  Thank you.

Before 2016 gets well and truly underway and we become absorbed in new ideas, new exhibitions and of course new work I would like to thank everyone who visited our two exhibitions at Little Moreton Hall and The Waterside Gallery in Sale. It was truly a very busy but rewarding year.  Cheshire Textiles regular meetings resume tomorrow after the Christmas break and no doubt Bridget - our current chair - will be bursting with inspiration   and ready to lead us into another exciting year!  

I am working on a new website for Cheshire Textiles which is something to look forward to for the early part of 2016.