Thanks to all who commented on the sad news about Julia. I'll pass on the comments to Alex and I'm sure he will appreciate them. I do agree that Julia was such an inspiration, especially for tutorials. The funeral is on Wednesday and we are instructed to wear bright colours - a lovely idea and one that fits the bill for a very colourful person.
Thanks Heather for the comment on the free classes (details on d4daisy.com). I'm having a ball putting them together. The Yahoo group are very quiet - are you all busy?
You may have read on Anna's blog http://www.annanowicki.blogspot.com/ that she spent a day at Urchfont college with the Textiles 21 group. I have also joined the group and had a lovely two days at the college. It was cold and frosty - just the right conditions to appreciate the huge log fire and the wonderful food. It is starvation for me today, as anyone who has stayed there will know.
On the first evening we had a great loosening up design exercise from our mentor, Sue Dove. Here she is with one of her creations 'Clarice and her Bird'.
Those who subscribe to Workshop on the Web will know that she was our star interview in the latest issue. I have known Sue for some time and she's a fantastic teacher, very much from a fine art background. I feel that I shall gain so much from the tutorials. Here's a detail of Clarice.
In addition to Sue, we had a teaching session from Jane Wild (on casting and colouring paper) and it was amazing. A great privilege as she rarely teaches, which was why I persuaded her to write the Paper, Metal and Stitch book with me. I knew with Jane it would be a best seller. I've kept the pic small as I know she doesn't care for being photographed.
She had done so much work beforehand and had prepared lots of cast paper ready for us to colour. So while we were waiting for our own to dry, we could try some of her exciting techniques on the dry pieces.
Anna has a pic of this example in its natural state. It is paper with scrim trapped between the layers, cast over a softsculpt mould. I painted mine with Burnt Umber acrylics and then waxed it with gold Liberon metallic wax. I dried it overnight and used Golden fluid acrylics as a glaze over the top. I love it to bits.
We were able to get down to our own work, too. This is why I joined the group as I felt I had lost my oomph a bit and hadn't had a chance to do anything for me for ages. This is a detail of my piece for the cyber fyber exhibition, which I shall call 'Binary Humanity'. Pretentious, or what? All your comments will be included somewhere - I hope.
It is about the way that something as coldly electronic as a box of digital do-das on a desk can generate friendship, encouragement, empathy and all the best of human emotions. I hope it works - I'm quite excited, so far. I transferred some images (mostly Clive's html code for WoW) on to metal shim. They don't show much, but I know they are there.
Quelle Horreur! I had forgotten to take any black fabric to put between the metal and the craft Vilene. If you don't do this, the white shows through when you stitch. Necessity is the mother of all hissy fits and, in a moment of inspiration, I used a black plastic carrier bag. Worked fine. I liked it so much that I will let some show through.
Some of the cast paper faces were made by Jane so I will put it in as a joint piece.