Monday, 9 June 2014

Bradford art college - summer show

Hi everyone!
Once again I went quiet for a while....but simply because I became so engrossed in completing my final project for my HNC course time just seemed to fly by!

I'm just back from a week-end at the college setting up for the summer show there,
thought you might like to view my creations.
It became a very personal project, based on the colours of white and sky blue...
the photos I used as a base image were of clouds in a bright spring-time blue sky.

White is a very spiritual colour and the whole project became closely entwined
with thoughts of my older brother who passed away in February and who, outside of his work as a civil engineer, was also a glider pilot and knew well these skies I could only view from the ground! starting point, such gorgeous contrasts.

....a new purchase, this chair is destined to become my spinning chair.
I re-covered the seat base, created a small back cushion from the same warp and using just my heddle loom made a wrap for my shoulders of merino, silk and lightweight mohair.
Hardly any weight to it but oh so warm!

....this is a little close up of the blue banding on the chair pad that I especially liked. of my scatter cushions.

 ....another cushion grouped with my 'Sky' tartan and a little weave insert on the
sewing box in silk on a block draft.

A few swatches that didn't make it to final items....
though I could well be revisiting them!
This one used an elastic yarn to create the ruffles....

....I enjoyed adding the highlight yarns to this one,

....and definitely a technique to re-visit,
hand-painting the warp on the loom! here is the final layout,
quite coastal and New England looking, very calming my colleagues thought 
and cool and fresh.

This last image is of a phrase that came to me whilst working,
I guess the only barrier to our imaginations is ourselves.
On to London new Designers in a fortnights time with just some of these items,
wish me luck!
Ash.  x

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Feeling a little sheepish!

Springtime walks in the sunshine....
just gorgeous!
Not many words...just lovely images.  ;0)

Best wishes for springtime everyone.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Weaving project - number 6.

Trying to catch up on some time with this weave project....
the last one to complete my HNC course!  Gulp!

What kicked it off was my blue and white quilt and simply wanting to weave with white....
then I took a group of photos on the way to work one morning,
the gorgeous winter sky and bright white clouds echoed the colours in my mind
so this was really my source point.

First stage is to work on the sketchbook so today I've been playing with collage bits
and my new 'Brusho' inks.  :0)

.......remember those school days, of playing with bits of tissue paper?

....more on the abstract side, I got hold of some plain old masking tape,

.....and set to creating thumbnail colour washes.

Then I let loose the inks, keeping the theme of clouds and sky
in mind....

.....using some hand made paper for texture,

....adding the ink powder to wetted paper and letting it do its
own thing!

.....then masking the paper with white candle wax.

Yep, I've had a really good play-time today.  :0)
See ya!  x

Monday, 3 March 2014

Holding memories......

It has been quite a while since I have been near blogdom
but that is because I was spending some very precious time with my older brother
 who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

I just wanted to put out into the ether so to speak my sadness that he lost his fight recently 
and that we, his family, can no longer be near him.
We didn't live in each others pockets over the years but we all knew 
that the others would be there if needed.

There is a big gap in our family now and I guess it is only time 
that will make that any easier.
I only hope that now there can be a little peace from, and for, everyone that has known him.

Remembering you kid.  xxx

David,   July 1960 - February 2014

Saturday, 4 January 2014

A working Mill

I thought this might be of interest to some of you, it was an eye opener for me
and something that helped me connect to my families past!!

As part of my last visit to college, just before christmas, we went
as a group to visit a local, working woollen mill at Bradford.
Compared to the huge working mills of the last century in this area I guess
it is actually quite a small affair but it was so fascinating!

.....all this gorgeous wool set up for cleaning, mainly merino and shetland.

.......vast drum carders where colours begin their blending process.

......yarn being spun, machines in huge ranks!
This was the part that hit home for me as I know my maternal grandmother,
as a young teenager, worked in a spinning mill in close by Wakefield. that's what I call a yarn stash!
Enormous bins of stockpiled yarn singles. The in house textile designers
get to play with all this....oooo, the envy!  :0)

......ranks of weaving looms in action, just a small number I guess compared to what used to be,
but the noise!  You do begin to appreciate what it was possibly like when our
wool and cotton industry was at its height!

.....a close up on just one loom, the speed at which these machines work
makes you feel sadly slow when in front of your table loom!
To actually see the fabric growing before your seconds.
I'm sorry, it was simply a wow moment for me!

....lengths of cloth, having been washed, are swept into these trolleys
to be moved to yet another machine for the drying process.

......and at the end of the process all these gorgeous bolts of fabric
that simply get your fingers twitching.

It is just simply wow, fantastic, and to think that it is still happening in little old Yorkshire
in this new century......its wonderful. I am so pleased that some companies
still manage to hang in there and to produce such gorgeous textiles.
 ......just a small snatch of part of their collections.

One day, maybe this could be me!!!!!!!  ;0)))
Cheers!  x

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

New year...

I'm quite glad to be seeing the back of 2013 I don't know about you!
An awful lot of ups and downs, GP visits and the rest. ugh!  :0)

I know that 2014 has a lot in store already  - college finals, GCSE exams
for my daughter, my son is likely to be out and about on the roads 
(when did he grow up on me?) , deep breath here...
after 5 years of turmoil I am no longer a married woman ...
 and my older brother is suffering
with terminal cancer.....

However...I am hoping that there will be bright
skies along the way though...:0) I thought I might post this photo with that in mind.

Here's hoping that you all find your bright horizons
in 2014.

Hugs and best wishes,  Ash  xx

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Seasons Greetings

Just wanted to wish all of you out there the very best
for the winter season and hope you have a lovely christmas-time.

Went a little silly with the lights and the fibres!! :0)

Ash  x

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Panic.....who me?

Definately some calm needed around here.....
focus on the candles!!!  ;0)

These courses sure take up a huge chunk of your life don't they!
........especially weaving.
Trying to force creative endevours to a deadline just feels like
 you are trying to swim against the flow, well the tidal wave right now!  :0)

Just two weeks left before our intrepid group meets up again
at Bradford Art College - Hey guys, you feeling as stressed as me?

I think I've got my practice weaving swatches tied down now,
guess there is plenty that could follow through, but then if I tried
it would all feel so rushed and incomplete!

Just thought I'd show you the two weaves I have on the go for the
final item/s we have to produce this time.

I'm using card spacers in this weave hoping to give the yarn space to move
 when I come to giving it a wash. The green and black yarn is one that I overdyed
and is slightly elastic and gorgeously soft as it has alpaca in the mix.
It is only a scarf width but I had in the back of my mind
that the warp could be extended to make a throw.
Seriously expensive that would be though as I've also used silks,
mercerised cotton and a fine wool boucle. So maybe not right now!  ;0)
Fingers crossed the washing works!

This is the last panel that I will be weaving....I call it freestyle,
using weft threads as I go along, guess it would be designing on the loom?
The whole project is supposed to be about the yarns, their textures and colours 
rather than the actual weave pattern. 
I've worked up a fairly open twill here, really its there just to hold the
fancy yarns in place. A collage I had made in my sketch book set
me off on this adventure.....
no more warp left after this one and I don't think I'll be pushing
to put on a second now, I've still got all my college paperwork to do yet!  Ugh!!
Bad planning?  Yep, you bet!  
Organised, jest surely!!!!!!  :0)

See you when I resurface in a couple of weeks I guess!
Busy at my part-time job too right now too and as for fitting in helping a colleague with
curtain making.....mayhem!!!!!

Hoping you have a good time as we head into December,
what already! Can I have this year back again!  ;0)

Hugs.  Ash  x

Thursday, 14 November 2013

How to end a working day.... home over the hilltops and see this.....
Need I say any more!!  :0)

Ash  x

Friday, 8 November 2013

Wensleydale wool again!

Hello again from a very wet Yorkshire Dales!

I'm still trying to keep on track with my college course....hmmmmm!
but have managed to squeeze in a teeny-tiny amount of spinning.
I'm still on my wensleydale and still in the middle of using bright colours...
such a nice change to the dreary skies outside... :0)

 I'm trying a slight detour too, I've recently discovered another fibre with a reasonably long
staple  (Romney, from the Romney marshes) and figure, well I'm hoping,
 that it will blend well with the wensleydale.
Here is a little nugget of the two carded together....its looking like
it might make for a slightly fluffier yarn......

.........we shall see!  :0)

Hugs everyone, catch up soon.  Ash.