Tuesday, 20 February 2018

'Roses and Posies' - Day School with Maggie Moffat

The days of big hats are sadly gone - I long to wear big Edwardian confections of feathers, frills and furbelows, but they wouldn't really go with jeans and fleeces! Members had a chance to create their own fantasy hats on this day school. Maggie had brought everything required, including a basic crown to get started, and from this crown members fashioned their own straw hats before adapting them to their taste. From a huge selection of silks, ribbons, feathers and lace, a millinery confection was whipped up, each as individual as our members are. A fun day was had by all. Ascot, anyone?













Thursday, 8 February 2018

Hat in the Cat Studio - A talk by Jeanette Sendler

Many of us have sat waiting at the traffic lights at the Old Bridge in Perth, and been intrigued by the shopfront called Cat in the Hat Studio. Jeanette Sendler, the founder of the studio and of Big Cat Textiles, gave us an interesting talk and slideshow which was quite outside the comfort zone we are used to in our club.

Born in East Germany, Jeanette trained as a ladies tailor, but was keen to take her skills further. After coming to Scotland in the 1990s she completed a Masters in Performance Costume at Edinburgh College of Art, and has since worked on many opera, ballet and theatre productions around the world. Influenced by the textiles and social history of Scotland she then became involved in many educational and community ventures, helping to revive some forgotten skills. Settling in Newburgh, Fife in 2007, she concentrated on costume, millinery and tailoring, and opened a studio with partner Alison Mountain, which soon outgrew its space and opened in Perth as the Hat in the Cat. From this studio she continues to research, revive and rework old skills which she uses in contemporary practice as well as passing on to others through workshops and mentoring schemes.

In a converted church in Newburgh Jeanette holds varied workshops taught by respected textile artists from around the world, under the name Big Cat Textiles. As well as her own pattern cutting and sewing, subjects include handmade cloth dolls, creative hand stitching, corset making, fabric origami, indigo dyeing, millinery and multi media textile art. A full programme is available on their website www.textilecentre.co.uk 

Some examples of Jeanette's work and of her tutors are shown below. It was certainly a subject that is outside the experience of many of us, and opened out eyes to the rich and varied avenues of textiles out there.
Experiments of the theme of pockets


Costume designed for an opera
The intricacies of buttons!
 Below are items from some of the tutors of the Big Cat Textile workshops
fabric manipulation

Cloth Dolls (Woodland Creatures)

Sketchbooks



Friday, 12 January 2018

The V&A Museum of Design - Talk by Julie Muir

An enthusiastic talk along with slides was given by Julie Muir, who is the Young People & Families Producer with the Museum of Design in Dundee, just 15 miles from Arbroath.

The story took us through the concept behind the idea of bringing the iconic Victoria and Albert Museum in London to Scotland, recognising the vast contribution this small country has made to design in the U.K. and the world.  We saw the original rough sketch by the Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, reminding us of the cliff stacks found along our coastline, and followed the progress of the building to the magnificent conclusion, like a great ship with its prow thrusting over the Tay. We saw how the grounds were prepared, and the stages of the building construction, ending in a virtual tour of the interior, a spacious and dynamic space to show and explore design and creativity in Scotland. Outside  is a community garden, planted to have a positive impact on wellbeing.

Forget dusty old museums where you shuffle round looking at static exhibits - this will have many visiting exhibitions to fill the largest temporary exhibition space in the UK, as well as the permanent exhibition space showcasing Scottish design history.  The museum has involved the community with its Schools Design Challenge, and the Living Room for the City project. The museum will be a hub of activities for both the local and the worldwide community, reflected in the many funders from Scottish businesses and individuals adding to the government's contributions.

The museum will be opening very soon, and we are all looking forward to visiting this unique building, it is truly something for Scotland to be proud of.

To see more about the museum visit their website at www.vandadundee.org which has so much more information than can be written here.


Friday, 24 November 2017

Day School - Recycle and Reform a Book Jacket, with Margaret Stanford

A freezing wintry day was cheered by the bright colours of the materials used in this day school.  Margaret Stanford makes beautiful book covers from recycled scraps of fabric, the sort we all have in our stash. She brought heaps of scraps for us to use. We all chose scraps in our favourite colour scheme, cut them into strips and arranged them on a piece of calico. We machined them down, then cut the fabric crossways into strips, and arranged them on another piece of calico, resulting in a pattern of random squares, which we machined down with meandering stitches.  Then the fun began with picking pieces of glitz and glitter to add in small scraps over the fabric. We then used some of our fancy stitches and threads to heavily cover the material in random paths of stitch, consolidating it into a whole piece of fabric.

After lunch Margaret showed us how to line and finish the book jacket, she had brought the precut pieces of liner and bondaweb, and we finally stitched it all together, meaning we could finish the day school with a completed piece of work! All the books were completely different, and looked like a jewel box of colour and texture.

We worked very hard, but it was a very satisfying and enjoyable day.


Margaret's Own Work and Demo Sample




First Stage - arranged the strips of fabric

Second stage - the cut strips rearranged for the base fabric, and trying out bits of 'bling'








Selection of the completed books

All the books - a jewelled 'patchwork'



Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Jewellery Design, talk by Sheila Roussel

Sheila is a multi talented lady who told us about her journey from being a busy crafty child always knitting and making things, through catering college and gaining a textile arts degree, to finding her metier in jewellery design, gaining a degree from Duncan of Jordanstone Art College in Jewellery Design. Sheila had brought her beautiful sketchbooks and ideas books showing the process of creating the intricate pieces she had brought with her.

She had combined textiles and silver in 'memory frames', many of them commissions to hold treasured photos with etched and engraved silver mottos with relevant sentiments. The raw materials for the designs were very interesting, silver wire and sheet, and a particularly lovely technique of dyeing or printing on aluminium sheet, which is then incorporated into the delicate silver pieces. Inspiration in the forms of dragonflies and butterflies flitted through the jewellery, along with casted silver honeybees, shells and coral.

Sheila had brought along some of her tools and a little anvil, and several ladies had a go at beating and engraving copper sheets, with hammers with special heads.

Sheila has exhibited at the Barbican in London, the Lighthouse in Glasgow and Centrespace, Dundee, along with Perth Open Studios and various other venues. She also teaches in Adult Education and runs various workshops, and we hope she will do a workshop for us - watch this space!

Sheila can be found at www.sheilaroussel.co.uk, and on Facebook Facebook.com/SheilaRousselJewelleryDesign




Nature inspired and aluminium sheet jewellery

Bangles, some with casted silver objects




Memory box and memory brooch



Dyes and printed aluminium sheets

Trying out engraving copper sheet






Monday, 16 October 2017

Day School with Carol Arnott

Members enjoyed an interesting day school with Carol making their own textile landscapes.




Monday, 9 October 2017

Carol Arnott's Textile Landscapes

Textile artist Carol Arnott was the speaker at  the Wednesday 4th October meeting. She had brought along some of her amazing pictures of fisherman's cottages in the East Neuk of Fife and a large one of Tobermory. She explained how she produced such wonderful work, before setting the members a challenge to produce a cottage by tearing and glueing coloured paper. Each cottage was then glued to a background paper.
 Members are now excited about the Dayschool which Carol is leading on Thursday.
Carol's Work:




Members preparing their paper houses: