Confessions of a blogger

Hi everyone,

It’s been a while since my last blog post.  The thing is, I had so much fun on the last two QA workshops I went on, that I’ve been too busy using my new found skills to get on with what I’m supposed to be doing.  It’s called displacement activity and I’m guilty as charged.   After learning how to print using thermofax screens with Linda Paris, and then doing some block printing with Bobby Britnell I’m afraid I’m hooked.  Sorry 🙁

But on the plus side, my Christmas cards are coming along a treat!!!

Anyway, just to let you know that the information about Bethan Ash’s workshop is now on the website, plus details of a workshop by Jane Davies which is coming up next April.  Don’t tell anyone else yet, but there’ll soon be details on the website of a workshop by Deborah O’Hare too!!

Our programme for 2018 is now complete and our bookmarks, which we use to promote all of our exhibitions and events at the Minerva Arts Centre, are just off to the printers.  I’m really pleased to say that we have something to interest everyone.  An event new for us next year is an exhibition of the work of the talented students at our local secondary school, Llanidloes High.  Some of the QA trustees visited last year to look at the work of their GCSE and A level Art students and were so impressed we felt it deserved a wider audience.  We hope that some of them will go on to further study and begin to use textiles in their work.

That’s all for now.  I solemnly promise to blog more regularly. Unless I get distracted……

The sound of dust settling

It’s been a while since the last post – not that nothing’s been happening – it’s just that  we’ve been busy taking down our summer exhibition and making plans for next year. We had over 2000 visitors to the Minerva Arts Centre over the last few weeks and their comments in our Visitors’ Book show how much they’ve enjoyed their trip to Llanidloes. Our Cash4Quilts have sold out!! This means we have extra funds to spend on more beautiful antique quilts to add to our collection.

We’re currently very busy firming up our programme for next year and have already put four workshops into the calendar.  As you know from my last post we are looking forward to our Spring exhibition DIS/rupt from the Textile Study Group and we can now proudly announce that three of the Group’s members, Sarah Burgess, Bobby Britnell and Ruth Issett will be running a day or half-day workshop alongside the exhibition.  details of all three are on the website now. Follow this link:

http://www.quilt.org.uk/page-4-Workshops.html

We’re also delighted to say that, in September, Bethan Ash will be tutoring a workshop for us.  More information about that on the website very soon.

Watch this space – we’ve lots more plans in the pipeline!!

 

 

Too much to do, not enough time…

…hence this is a VERY quick post!!  But I just wanted to remind you that there are only a couple of weeks left to see our Summer exhibition which is proving to be very popular with our visitors.  If I remember, I’ll take some photos of their comments this afternoon and pop them up here and on our facebook page later.

We had a Board of Trustees meeting last night and went through next year’s programme which sounds AMAZING!!  Our Spring Exhibition will be DIS/rupt from the Textile Study Group (more details here https://textilestudygroup.co.uk/exhibitions/)  The exhibition had a successful run in Stroud earlier this year and is also visiting the Oldham Gallery before coming to us.  I saw a short film about the exhibition this morning and my reaction was “Wow!!”   We’ll also be running some related workshops tutored by artists from Textile Study Group.  I’ll post details as soon as they are available so watch this space.

It’s wet and dank in Mid-Wales this morning.  Hope the sun’s shining where you are. Bye for now.

LATER

As promised, here are some of the comments in our Visitors’ Book:

 

 

 

Blog on the run…..

It’s been an incredibly busy couple of weeks at the QA.  As you will have seen from our news section, our annual summer exhibition is now up and running.  It truly does look stunning and we’re so pleased with how it looks.

Gallery One has attracted attention because of the unusual pieces of new work by Ruth Singer.  Ruth came to look at some of our oldest quilts and was inspired by the stains and areas of wear and tear the quilts had acquired over their long lives.  The piece in our front window, which she calls Tracery, reflects the way that quilts disintegrate over time – the fabric decaying but the stitching remaining in place.

She has also produced some wonderful stained pieces which our visitors can touch and spread out to see the full effect.

The patchwork blocks have proved very popular with young and old alike.  These are blocks of wood covered in fabric which can be moved around to form different patchwork patterns, although our younger visitors like to make buildings out of them.  On our preview evening we had a beautiful castle made by Elin, and during our opening morning two lovely young visitors made a wonderful house!!

Many of our visitors have been surprised to find that the antique quilts in the exhibition are so worn but of course these are the ones that Ruth found so fascinating.  Some of them have their reverse sides on show in order to display the wonderful staining on the back or worn patches, like the two below:

     

One of the pieces is merely a fragment of an unfinished top – but what a beauty it is, complete with paper pieces that our visitors can examine through a magnifying glass.

There truly is something to interest everyone – whether you are a quilter or not.  In fact, on the opening morning (at the risk of sounding sexist) many of the gentlemen visitors surprised themselves by actually enjoying looking at the exhibits.

 

 

The exhibition in Gallery Two, a retrospective of the work of Bobby Britnell, was an absolute delight to put up.  The four Trustees who make up the Exhibition Committee (including yours truly) got far too excited when we realised we could turn a corner of the space into a reading room.  Bobby’s two pieces Library and Bookshelves became the focal point and we dressed the rest of the room accordingly, including a table borrowed form our local furniture store on which was placed a book called, appropriately, Minerva – genius idea, Joy!!

If you want to see more photos there are lots on our facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/www.quilt.org.uk/

I really don’t have time to post more – it’s time for the last episode of Poldark!!

Suffice to say we had SUCH fun putting up the whole exhibition although we are now exhausted. However, tomorrow is another day and we go again with a two-day workshop tutored by Bobby which we’re SO looking forward too.  I’ll post some photos of that as soon as I can.  Until then, thanks for reading!!!

Busy, busy…

It’s been a very busy week in Llanidloes.  Today was the annual Carnival so the town was packed.  It’s not often you get total gridlock in a small town in Mid-Wales but we had it today.  The weather was relatively kind.  Not as hot as it has been recently but at least it didn’t pour down with rain – always a bonus if you live here!!

Hopefully our Carnival visitors found time to visit the Artisans’ Emporium here at Minerva Arts Centre.  There truly is some wonderful work on show and there are items for sale that are one-offs.  For example, Madeleine Vale is selling some fantastic ceramic works like this little fox’s head.

Jude Riley does amazing marbling on paper and silk and has gorgeous scarves, notebooks for sale.  She also sells these fabulous limestone coasters.

Chrissie Menzies is back with her beautifully made felted items, including this exquisite nuno felted scarf.  The felting is so fine and I know what a perfectionist she is!

All of our visitors have been talking about the unusual lamps made by Alan Mathews from recycled bits and pieces and yesterday I saw someone totter to the till with about three of John Morgan’s beautifully turned wooden bowls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mike Browning is a potter who lives in Llanidloes and produces wonderful, classic items in his studio.

Sarah Hill uses recycled glass to make fantastic jewellery and decorative items for the home.  Sorrel Sevier also makes gorgeous jewellery from silver and semi-precious stones. Absolutely beautiful!

 

 

 

 

 

Susan Mulcock is a felt maker from Shropshire who is particularly well known for her wet felted seascapes like the one below.  Who would have thought that this is all made from wool!!

 

The beautiful watercolour on the left, below, is just one example of the work of Steve Terris while the atmospheric Peter Lloyd painting on the right depicts a local scene in oils.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last but by no mean least is this lovely print of Watergate Baptist Church in Brecon, produced by local graphic artist and photographer Keith Wheeler.

You have to agree that there is something that everyone to want to take home in the Artisans’ Emporium!!

Finally, we were very pleased to welcome Bobby Britnell and Sarah Burgess to Llanidloes this week.  Bobby and Sarah are members of the Textile Study Group and were with us to discuss the staging of their exhibition DIS/rupt, which will be at the Minerva Arts Centre next spring.  Bobby also delivered her work for her retrospective exhibition Backwards Looking Forwards which, along with Ruth Singer’s exhibition Fragments, forms part of our annual summer exhibition.  This year we feature some of our own collection of quilts and the exhibition, which runs from 5th August until 16th September, is called Timelines – A Line In Time.  Don’t miss it!!!

‘Where have you been?’, I hear you cry.

Many, many apologies.  It’s been a while since the last post.  The fact is that the QA has, firstly, been having some technical problems with our blog and have been unable to add photos into our posts – which makes them much less pretty.  Secondly, as the QA is wholly run by volunteers who have very busy lives, sometimes real life gets in the way and time seems to go by in a flash.  Anyway – we’re back. So now to get you up to date.

Our Spring exhibition, Concealed, was hugely successful and so were the workshops that ran alongside it.  We’ve already posted photos of Rosie James’ workshop and some photos of Hilary Beattie’s 3 day retreat.  To see more of those have a look at her blog:

http://hilarybeattie.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/language-of-flowers-at-llanidloes.html?spref=fb

Cas Holmes also did an absolutely fabulous 2 day workshop on Unfolding Landscapes. Here are some photos of the work produced:

If you didn’t manage to get to Llanidloes to see the Concealed exhibition, Hilary Beattie has put a video of herself talking a walk around it on YouTube.  Well worth a watch!!  Here’s the link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJ7-DqhTzSY&feature=share

I’ll be back soon to post  photos of some of the work that is currently for sale in the Minerva Arts Centre in the Artisans’ Emporium.  This showcases the work of talented artists and craftspeople who live in Mid-Wales and the Borders.

Have a good weekend – the sun is out in Mid-Wales.  Hope it’s there for you too!!

Hilary Beattie Spring School – it’s all good so far!!

As I write, the third and final day of our Spring School has just begun.  The Language Of Flowers, tutored by Hilary Beattie, has seen fourteen keen participants learn new techniques and be inspired by Hilary’s work that currently forms part of the Concealed exhibition.

On the first day the group talked and thought about flowers, watching Hilary sketch on the easel, then using sketchbooks to draw them, working on their own interpretation of flowers to work on the following day. They worked mainly in monochrome and one other colour!

 

Day Two was about constructing the collage, making choices about what background to use,  framing their chosen images, and then assembling the items using bondaweb. Lots of concentration and discussion!

Hilary also brought along her very well stocked ‘shop’  which proved very popular!!

All of the students have been very well looked after, with lunch provided by trustees.  Jean and Joy have set out a wonderful buffet each day then cleared up afterwards. They have been helped by other trustees and QA members who also provided home made cakes for afternoon tea.

Without our unpaid Board of Trustees and members the Quilt Association would cease to exist!!  And a huge thank you goes to members of the Welsh Heritage Quilters group, who meet weekly at the Minerva Arts Centre and volunteer for stewarding duties during our two main exhibitions.

Okay – that’s me done for now.  They’ve been at it for nearly an hour so I’m off to take more photos and see how they’re getting on!!!  Look out for photos of the end results of what has been a hugely successful Spring School.

Concealed Exhibition and Workshop photos

I’m still catching my breath from all the activity at the Minerva Centre last week.  The screens were put in place, the exhibits hung, the exhibition opened and our first workshop took place.

The work done by members of Art Textiles:Made in Britain is amazing and so varied.  Who would think that the title theme, Concealed, could be interpreted in so many ways and in such a range of media.  Photographs definitely don’t do justice to the pieces and you really need to come and look at them for yourself but here are some of my favourites.  In no particular order, just the route I took around the display screens.

 

The exhibition opened on Saturday morning, but before the front doors were unlocked Rosie James had already begun the first workshop in the QA workroom.  I’ve attached some photos of what went on during the morning session as I had to leave at lunchtime.  Hopefully someone took some later on in the day.  If I can get hold of some I’ll update you later but even in the short time I was there I could feel the enthusiasm and desire to produce some excellent pieces.  The participants had brought along photos and were working with Rosie to make some stitched versions.  Truly inspiring!!!

That’s all for today.  Thanks for reading.

Rosie James

Following on from her successful workshop last year, Rosie James is back with us again on Saturday 6th May to tutor a workshop entitled Photo-Stitch.  Rosie’s fascinating work explores the use of the sewing machine as a tool for drawing. Her focus falls mainly on people and the kinds of crowds that form when people gather, she is looking for the individual within the crowd. Her work also encompasses the use of the stitched line to create drawings which explore the whole world of stitch, textiles, fashion, craft etc. The ways in which stitching and textiles figure in our everyday lives is a continuing fascination. Rosie using screen printing as well as machine stitching and applique to create layers of imagery. Recently she has become interested in the ways in which a line is created on the sewing machine and how lines are everywhere we look. These lines link us together.

This year, Rosie’s workshop will focus on showing participants how to play around with their own photographs and have fun turning them into stitched drawings like the lovely one shown below, which shows an original photograph and the finished stitched item.

Last year’s workshop was very successful and those who attended were inspired by their day with Rosie.  Feedback included the following from Jackie: ‘She’s a good teacher, explaining things very clearly, and I found the day excellent, as I felt able to be free and experimental with new techniques.  You don’t have to be ‘good at drawing’ to get great results; I was really happy with what I did.  Everyone seemed very pleased with what they achieved.’  Pam said ‘Rosie James was a very good teacher, and encouraged us to try all sorts of free experimentation too…It was a thoroughly enjoyable workshop. Nothing too difficult    I would recommend it to every one.’ .

We can still squeeze in one or two of you next Saturday if you feel like you’d like to join in.  For more information see our our workshop information page

http://www.quilt.org.uk/index.php?topic=workshopdetail&id=105&year=

To book your place email quilts@quilt.org.uk

Embroiderers’ Exhibition and visitors from abroad

Last Monday two of our Trustees, Doreen and Joy, welcomed a group of Canadian visitors to the Minerva Centre.  They were on a tour of textile related events in the UK and stopped off to see our current exhibition – Looking Forward, Looking back by members of Mid-Wales Embroiderers.  Here are a few photos of our visitors looking around the exhibition, including one of Marilyn, who was delighted with her oak leaf brooch (which will wing its way back to her home on the coast in South Carolina). She is pictured with Winnie Bowen who made the beautiful, delicate item.

Some of the work is truly inspiring and photographs don’t do justice to some of the beautiful items on display but they give an idea of the excellent work of Mid-Wales Embroiderers.  Thanks to Sue Purcell for the photos.

Tomorrow is your last chance to see the exhibition so come along to Llanidloes if you can.  Open 10.30 – 4.30.