One of the teenagers I’m working with in south Fife found this yesterday:
He was so pleased with it. Even more when he found two drops on another cabbage leaf later and showed them to his colleagues. They played with the water the same way I remember playing with mercury at my grandmother’s house (it was the 1960s!), watching the drops of liquid run, bump into each other, join up and separate again. Very satisfying.
For five days days only, Fife Folk Museum is exhibiting nine of the quilts and covers in their amazing collection. From today 25th October until Sunday 29th, you can see these precious textiles hanging in the Museum Annexe and the Weighhouse Tearoom. We finished setting up the exhibition yesterday, a fairly nerve-wracking experience as some of the covers are more than 150 years old and very delicate.
The fabric colours are still bright because they don’t often see the light. This one is my favourite. It is thick, backed with a red woollen material, possibly recycled red flannel petticoats. I love how the maker has used tiny squares of this red in the centre of the big ‘log cabin’ squares.
Other highlights include a bedcover made from woven silk flower cards given away with packets of Kensitas cigarettes in the 1930s, a very modern-looking random pattern cover dated 1890 and a spectacular cube design patchwork made from velvet and silk.
One of the participants at last week’s workshop in Ceres sent me this photo of her finished basket. I love her use of the stiff strip of Cordyline round the rim and the angled cut end. And you can just about smell the lavender. Thanks Karen.
I’ll write more about Cordyline in a future post, it’s wonderful stuff.
Starting in July – FifeStillLife, a series of drawing workshops for Fife Folk Museum’s Heritage Arts Hub. A chance to get up close to some very quirky and interesting objects, find out more about them and enjoy a relaxed and creative afternoon with an experienced tutor (me).
We are offering three workshops with a maximum of 8 places in each – Sunday 16th July, Weds 2nd August and Sat 19th August, 1.30 to 3.30pm. Suitable for age 16+ (14+ if accompanied by an adult), no experience needed, all materials and equipment supplied.
A work-in-progress from Saturday’s Rag-rug demo/drop-in at the Centre for Stewardship. The visitor who stayed and made this amazing little tree found materials I’d never seen before in the scrap-bag – a small piece of soft tan suede and a lump of amber-coloured velvet curtain. She had a vision for the trunk of her tree and it worked beautifully. I hope she sends me a photo of the finished rug.
This tree basket will have to wait till November for its sides. The beech twigs I collected in April have lain too long and even soaking won’t make them supple again. Rather than fight with brittle twigs, I’m happy to wait for winter and this year’s new growth.
The little unfinished beech coil was my demonstration piece over the Open Studios weekend. It helped explain basket construction to many people and its slow growth shows how busy we were! Thanks to everyone who came along and to the Centre for Stewardship for hosting us. We had some great conversations and Tess and I can see our work more clearly in the light of your feedback. I’ll be offering at least two workshops this summer and autumn in response to the interest shown, dates and venues will be posted here once arranged.
It’s Open Studios this weekend, I’ll be at The Stables, Centre for Stewardship Falkland with Tess Darwin tomorrow, Sunday and Monday, 10.00am to 6.00pm each day. I’ll be showing work-in-progress on my Falkland Trees project (eight species done) and Tess is showing her lovely Maspie Den-inspired textile art.
This weekend for the first time I’m going to offer a selection of my baskets, pods and nests for sale. Each one will be labelled with it’s materials, where they were collected and, if I’ve written about it in my blog, the date of the post.
Hope to see you over the weekend if you’re in Fife.
Pleasenote: if you are planning to visit us tomorrow (Saturday 29th April) and are travelling by car, please park in the village or at Pillars of Hercules, as the Stables car park is being used by a wedding party.
Here are more photos of Tess’s lovely textile work inspired by Maspie Den, a place in Falkland Estate she visits often. It is a little valley carved into the north side of the Lomond Hills, sheltered and wooded with lots of damp-loving plants – a miniature tropical rainforest, but colder! Tess captures its atmosphere beautifully.