Camberwell Open Studios Christmas 2014



I’m thrilled to be taking part in Camberwell Open Studios on 29 and 30 November.

I’ll be based at Gabriela Szulman’s stylish Camberwell townhouse along with five other independent designer-makers selling stylish fashion, accessories and jewellery, kaleidoscopic cushions and colourful homewares, quirky prints and cards, original collages and recycled textiles that you won’t find on the high street. As well as Gabriela, the other designer-makers are  Sarah HamiltonCecile Jeffrey, Archie Mac London and Monica Boxley.
There will be regular updates on Facebook so join the event if you’d like to see previews of what will be on sale during the weekend.

The address is 11 Vestry Mews, Vestry Road, London SE5 8NS, and we will be open on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 November, 11am-6pm. Buses 36,436, 12, 171, 345, nearest stop Vestry Road. Nearest train station Denmark Hill (10 minutes’ walk). Free parking on Vestry Road – satnav setting SE5 8NX. Please do not drive into the mews. To access, press button marked “Exit” to the right of the gate.

Also opening their doors to the public are Vanguard Court Studios round the corner, where you can see work by Flux Studios, Robert Cooper, Carina CiscatoChris Keenan and Jennifer Levet among others – jewellery, silversmithing, ceramics, sculpture, designer hats and more.

Vanguard Court is at the rear of 36-38 Peckham Road, SE5 8QT and their opening hours are 11 am – 6 pm both days.

Down the road on the opposite side, past Camberwell College, you’ll find theSouth London Gallery where you can whizz through the current exhibition on the way to Number 67, a great little place for food and drink: superb brunches, delicious cakes and evening meals for which booking is essential.

A more pleasing combination of art and refreshments can perhaps be found at coffee shop  Daily Goods, 36 Camberwell Church Street, SE5 8QZ, where Orso Major Art will be hosting an exhibition of prints by talented artists John Duffin, Julia Mckenzie and Maria Rivans.

You can download a brochure with more details of venues and times here.



10% off shopping preview at Diverse this Thursday


OK – my Christmas shopping period officially kicks off this Thursday with a special preview evening at Diverse in Brixton, with 10% off all purchases.

diverse invite 2014

This is the third year that Diverse and Makerhood have collaborated on a Christmas promotion to show off the work of local makers, and each year it gets bigger and better.

This year there are 21 makers with work on sale – including some of my scarves. :-)

You can see the full list of makers taking part on the Makerhood blog. The promotion runs from 6 November to 5 January.

I also have some other events coming up, which I’ll blog about soon.


African pod vessels, nuno felt, and more scarves


Apologies for the silence since Lambeth Open. We seemed to get fewer visitors this year, but I sold several scarves and we had some nice comments about our work.

At the last minute I made a companion piece to go with my pebble hanging. This used up some of the very first arashi shibori samples I made when I was new to indigo dyeing. I think I shall call the hangings Water I and Water II. :-)

waterII waterII2

I picked up an unusual African seed pod at a table top sale. The seller wasn’t able to tell me exactly which species of plant it came from, but the texture was irresistible, inspiring me to make a felt vessel.

african pod vessel

I also made one with larger openings, cutting away the felt above the resist, but I think I prefer the closed version.

african pod vessels

Carol, one of my sister Women of the Cloth, attended a workshop on nuno felting with Inge Bauer over the summer, and came back with some very impressive scarves, bags, cowls and fingerless gloves.

This inspired me to have another go at nuno myself, using a silk scarf that wasn’t suitable for overdyeing with shibori. I found it very satisfying, so I might make a few more for some of the Christmas sales I’m doing.

orange nuno cowl

Finally, of course, the indigo dyeing goes on – here’s another batch of shibori bits and pieces drying on the line. A couple of the scarves are already in my Etsy shop – more to come!

scarves oct14

Felt ruffle neckpieces


As previously mentioned, I’m not really a ruffle type, but there are ruffles and ruffles. :-)

When I attended a workshop with Maria Friese in France earlier this year, I got a bit obsessed with making flaps. I thought I would try a variation on this effect by sewing in resists at the prefelt stage and then cutting them out after fulling.

So I made a conventional rectangular scarf from four layers of fibre, then at the prefelt stage sewed in diagonally some plastic strips to act as a resist. In the centre, where the neck goes, I used a strip in the shape of a semi-circle. There was some gathering and bunching at this stage, but during fulling this disappeared.

After fulling I cut out the resists, fulled some more and removed the stitches.

felt neckpiece autumn felt neckpiece purple

They sit slightly differently, caused by sewing in the resists at slightly different angles.

I’m not sure whether to trim the edges to create a smoother line or to leave them as they are, so I’m going to show them at Lambeth Open this weekend and get some feedback. I’ll also be showing my nuno-felted wall hanging and  some felt cutwork scarves, as well as the ever-popular indigo shibori scarves.

lambeth open flyer 2014 small

Ombre indigo-dyed nuno felt


It’s been a busy couple of weeks – I’ve been trying to build up my stock of indigo-dyed scarves for Christmas, and also preparing for the big Makerhood event Making Uncovered, where I was showing people how to dye eggs with onion skins.

While I had the indigo vat out I did some ombre dyeing (dip dyeing) with unbleached cotton muslin, with the vague idea that I might felt with it. A couple of years ago I made a lot of indigo nuno-felted vessels, but this time I wanted to try something different.

So I made a simple flat panel or hanging, incorporating some flat beach pebbles. The bottom layers were made using white merino batting from World of Wool, which has just started stocking wool batts, though their merino is 23 micron compared with Norwegian Wool‘s 21 micron (short fibre merino).  It does make laying out so much quicker!

blue stones 1 blue stones 2 blue stones 4

Even ESP liked this, which is saying something given that a) he’s usually pretty sniffy about my felt and b) he always moans about having to lug home all the pebbles and shells I pick up on beaches when on holiday. Result! ;-)

Possible new Christmas products


OK – it’s still August, but I’ve been trying out some ideas for possible new products for Christmas.

The indigo scarves are always best sellers, and hopefully I may have some eco printed or rust scarves available this year too. But it would be good to be able to offer more felt products at reasonable prices.

I sold a fair number of felt iPad/Kindle pouches last year, though probably not as many as I would have liked, given how popular this technology is. ;-) Mostly I add interest by adding fabric (nuno felt) or prefelt cut-outs, like these Matisse-inspired pouches.

matisse ipad pouches

So I thought about adding more 3D effects.

3D ipad case

However, this takes considerably longer so I would have to charge more, which may not be feasible in the current market.

Verdict: Possible, but maybe when the economy is a bit stronger.

Scarves are always popular at Christmas, so what about some felt ones to increase my product range?

ruffle scarf sample

I tried a sample ruffle, but wasn’t happy with it. The colours of the sample don’t work together very well, but even if they did, I just don’t think I’m a ruffle person.

Verdict: No go.

Finally, I tried a scarf based on paper garlands I used to make as a child. You fold a sheet of paper in half lengthways, then cut into it from alternative sides before opening it out.

paper garland

I adapted the idea slightly and came up with this cutwork scarf.

cutwork scarf cutwork scarves

This was much more to my taste. :-) And by using different colours in each layer, you get a lovely sandwich effect when you cut through.

cutwork scarf cross section

Just have to make sure it’s fulled really well to avoid having to seal lots of edges! :-)

Verdict: I’m going to make a few of these and see how they go.

Let me know what you think – I’d be interested in your views!