Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Gleipnir: the roots of the mountain

 I have been fascinated for a while now by the tale of Gleipnir in Norse mythology. It is a magical rope made to bind the great wolf Fenrir and is made from six extraordinary things:
1.the roots of the mountain
2.a woman's beard
3.a cat's footsteps
4.a fish's breath
5.a fly's saliva
6.a bear's nerves
so I made them in needlelace.....or rather decorative cordonnet work with raised sections along the length. I used cotton covered wire from a cake decorator as the cordonnet and simply covered the lengths with buttonhole stitch. For the first time I used vellum as the backing.
  Here you see the first of the six, the roots of the mountains, made using space dyed threads with french knots scattered along the branching stem.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Miser's purse

   An unfortunate name for a lovely thing! I was given a fantastic book 'The Accomplished Lady' by Noel Riley and read that misers' purses were a popular pastime for women of the 19th C. It seems that it wasn't considered appropriate for a lady to hand over naked cash when she paid for something and so the purse was left discreetly.This was especially true when paying the doctor and many collections of these purses have been passed down from relations in the medical arts.
   As a gift for a friend (a surgeon) I decided to make a miser's purse in needlelace with a few old pennies in it.They were usually netted for the purposes of payment, the fancier knitted and beaded ones were for personal use, and so a simple needlelace one seemed right for someone whom I had taught the basics to.
  I chose a space dyed thread which I then worked in repeating rows of single, double and then beaded brussels stitch. The rings were worked onto brass curtain rings to match and then I put two tassels on the square end and one on the round end. I read that this shaping developed from coins originally being kept in stockings!
  The bag itself is a rectangle seamed partly down the long side, the centre being left open. Then the bag is slipped through the rings and money is put in one end first.Sliding both rings down to the coins then leaves the other end open (gold in one end,silver in the other) and one ring is drawn back to seal both ends.
  In this case the payment is only tuppence ha'penny!

Sunday, 8 October 2017

here there and everywhere


 In case you're wondering where I have been don't forget to read  Museum for Objects of Vertu  and  Thread Management too!!

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Tate Exchange

   Next Saturday afternoon, 7th October,at Tate Modern I will be talking with Roger Kneebone and Rachael Matthews about the worlds of textiles and surgery and what we are learning from each other.
   It is part of  Tate Exchange (link here)  and our talks are curated by the artist in residence Claire Twomey. Her 'Factory, the seen and the unseen' will be on level 5 of the new Blavatnik building and we will be in the adjoining Southwark room. The talks begin at 2pm and we are on at 4.45pm

Thursday, 8 June 2017

teaching dates

 I am teaching in a few places this summer both for 'vintage' embroidery and stumpwork.

    In Ipswich I will be showing  how to embark on a stumpwork project, looking at basic techniques and how to plan the project. If stumpwork feels a bit daunting or beyond you I can show you how to make simple techniques very effective and give you a step plan to finish your work. This is a residential three day here  in a hotel with use of pool, sauna and jacuzzi !!!!Perfect for aching fingers.
  At West Dean I will be getting students started on the best basic embroidery stitches, talking about colour and design and enjoying the garden !!!!It is a lovely time of year to take inspiration from the plants around you and West Dean has an idyllic garden. I will be there for four days, firstly for a three day course and then a one day taster course also in embroidery. Both course details are here.

There is also a further stumpwork course in Milton Keynes this September which I will write about soon.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Sheela-na-Gig is finished !!!!

   She has been a long time coming! After a false start and then a total aversion to finishing her my anamorphic  Sheela-na-Gig is finally complete.
  She poses here on a lovely old gilt edged bible which is tied with horse hair. I found that when I removed her from her backing cordonnet she curled up as if already in a reflection (some anamorphic objects have to be viewed in a curved reflective surface) and I liked how she felt like a curled up leaf in my hand so here she sits.

She will also be the first of a series of charms that I am making.... she represents protection from crazy people.

The rest of her story is on this post.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Closing the Shop


 UPDATE  16.5.17
The shop has a brief reprieve and will stay open until the 31st.
I am sad to say that my Etsy shop will close this week on the 17th. I will be looking about for new premises and will of course blog as soon as I find something appropriate. And most importantly a big Thankyou to all my customers on Etsy over the past nine years.

                                                      The Glass Pingle on Etsy


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