Next week I’m taking part in my first RHS show in London. A lot of my customers are keen gardeners, so I thought this would be a good event to try.
As well as my ecoprinted and indigo upcycled scarves and garments, I’m going to try selling some felt pots. I really like making felt pots, and when I first had a market stall I tried selling them. Although people liked them, the most common question I was asked was “But what would I do with it?”.
Then recently I ran a felt pot making workshop at Brixton Windmill harvest festival. After the workshop, I sent one of the sample pots I made to my friend and festival organiser Magdalen. She promptly posted a photo on Instagram of two pots I had made for her, containing some succulents.
This prompted a lightbulb moment – show, don’t tell! So I’m hoping that by showing people how they can be used, this will inspire them to think more creatively.
I will also have a couple of the abstract seedpods to see if they attract any interest.
The wonderful thread 2017 festival of textiles at Farnham Maltings is on 30 September.
There are exhibitions by students from local colleges and others, workshops (extra charge) including shibori, batik, rust dyeing and stitching, talks by Fine Cell Work, Mr X Stitch and Francis Tobin, and free drop-in making sessions.
Unfortunately, as I am one of the 55 stallholders, I won’t have the opportunity to attend these other attractions, but it certainly makes for a good day out. I did the event last year for the first time and met some great people united in their passion for textiles.
Tickets cost £5 in advance or £7.50 on the door – but I’m delighted to have a pair of free tickets to give away. 🙂
To enter the draw, all you need to do is leave a comment on this post saying what subject you most enjoy reading about in my blog.
Closing date is midnight at British summer time on Sunday 10 September.
The winner will be chosen at random after this and I will post the name of the winner in the comments on Monday 11 September – so please look out for this, as you will need to let me know the address to send the tickets to. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours I will pick another name at random.
Entrants must be 16 years or over and based in the UK.
I do wear gloves when dyeing with indigo and when rinsing the work, but it’s impossible to remove stitches and bindings when wearing gloves, so I always end up with blue hands! The indigo washes off my skin fairly easily, but my fingernails remain blue for a couple of days.
Removing the stitches from this machine stitched shibori jacket was particularly time consuming. The main threads rip out very easily, but then I’m left with lots of tiny bits of thread that have to be picked out with tweezers! Still, I think the result was worth it.
At least this ombre dyed linen cutwork dress didn’t need unstitching. The issue here was trying to match the ombre dye on the separate silk slip that goes underneath to retain modesty. 🙂
In fact I have a bit of an ombre thing going on at the moment.
And of course there are always scarves to overdye.
And more blue fingernails from unstitching these silk cushion covers.
The Textiles Fair is on Saturday 19 August, 11am-5pm, at the American Museum in Britain, Claverton Manor, Bath BA2 7BD. Entry requires a garden ticket (£7 for adults, £5.50 for over-60s).
And if you’re around East Sussex this weekend, some friends of mine are taking part in an exhibition at Marchants Hardy Plants – so you can stock up on some fabulous perennials and ornamental grasses as well as seeing some lovely textiles!
I’ve just returned from a week’s holiday in northern Spain, starting at the pilgrim city of Santiago de Compostela and then driving along the coast and inland to Asturias. It was a great combination of fantastic seafood, wild landscape plus a smattering of culture.
Skip the gallery below if you hate looking at other people’s holiday snaps! 🙂
Cathedral at Santiago de Compostela
Cloud covering Galician coast
Sea foam at Cedeira
Local seafood delicacy – percebes, or goose foot barnacles
Lichen and stone
Accidental green roof, Vigo
Asturian grain stores
Lichen and wood
More lichen and wood
Beware of bears!
Playa de Silencio
Rock formations on Playa de Silencio
Rock formations on Playa de Silencio
Before I went away I had a great weekend in Stroud, with a stall at the first Collectives Fair at the SIT Select Festival. It was the chance to stay with some old friends whom I hadn’t seen for about 20 years, and meet some lovely new makers and customers.
It was also a fantastic surprise when Janet, a felter from Washington State I met at the International Shibori Syposium in Oaxaca last November, showed up. Janet was visiting the UK with her great aunt and found out I was going to be at Stroud so came along to say hello. It was lovely to see you Janet – and I hope you enjoyed the rest of your trip!
As well as selling at the Collectives Fair I managed to squeeze in a bark cloth workshop with Bobby Britnell – I’ll write a separate post about this later.
Then yesterday after I got back from holiday I ran a workshop on making felt flowers as part of the Chelsea Fringe at Nine Elms on the South Bank. This area is undergoing huge redevelopment – the US Embassy will be moving here in September – but the venue was pleasant and spacious and the participants were keen and did amazingly well given that none of them had ever felted before!
This year I’ve got together with three other local makers to spread the Christmas load.
Because so many fairs and markets at this time of year tend to be on the same days, we’ve decided to organise some group stalls and take it in turns to run them. This allows us to have a presence at more than one event on the same day, as well as lessening the workload. That’s the theory, anyway! 🙂
Sunday 18 December, 11am-4pm The Rookery, Streatham Common, London SW16
Run by Ben
As well as these events, I’ll have a solo stall at Furzedown Community Network Christmas Market on Saturday 17 December, 4-7pm. Women of the Cloth will not be doing their usual stint at Sprout this year, so this gives regular visitors a chance to see my latest scarves and accessories!
Plus I’m taking part in the Diverse Makerhood Christmas Showcase, which runs from 14 November to 8 January. There’s a special preview on Sunday 13 November, 12-5pm, with 15% discount!
The other advantage of taking part in group stalls is that it allows me to go away on holiday. 🙂
I’m off to Mexico tomorrow, partly for holiday and partly to attend the 10th International Shibori Symposium in Oaxaca. I’ve signed up for workshops with Michel Garcia, Ana Lisa Hedstrom and Jorie Johnson, so as you can imagine, I’m hugely excited!
I doubt that I will have time or facilities to blog while I’m away, but I may post the odd photo or comment on Twitter or Instagram, so do follow if you’re interested.
Please cross your fingers for good weather this coming weekend, as I’ve got two outdoor events coming up!
On Saturday I’m taking part in the Abbeville Fete, a great mix of street stalls, fancy dress parade, live music, dog show and other entertainment that also raises funds for charity. It will be your first chance to see my new range of upcycled indigo shibori tops, along with ecoprinted tops and my latest batch of scarves – some examples below.
I’ll be sharing a stall with Kes Young of Heart in Art Workshops, who makes wonderful mosaics, so it should be a great combination of colour and texture!
The Abbeville Fete is on Saturday 25 June, 12-6pm.
Then on Sunday I and my fellow felter Carol will be donning our Women of the Cloth hats and running free drop-in felting sessions at the Brixton Windmill Festival. The theme of the festival this year, the 200th anniversary of the windmill, is “trades and professions”, and as well as us felters there will be a furniture maker, blacksmith, bricklayer and of course millers and bakers.
Brixton Windmill Festival is on Sunday 26 June. It starts with a parade from Windrush Square at 1pm, marching up Brixton Hill to Brixton Windmill for the festival in Windmill Gardens, 2-4pm.
It’s been a busy Christmas selling period so far. My two weeks with Women of the Cloth at Sprout Arts went really well, with my new line of upcycled ecoprinted clothes and accessories proving very popular!
Crafty Fox is well known for running very popular, well-organised craft markets, so I’m looking forward to my first time as a stallholder, along with 70 other designer-makers. I also love the Geffrye Museum, which explores how the home and fashions in interior decoration have developed over the years. There’s a candlelit concert on the same evening as the market, so the atmosphere should be suitably festive!
As well as my ecoprinted items I’ll also have lots of indigo shibori scarves, but not much felt, due to limited space.
This will be my last market before Christmas, but some of my indigo scarves will be available at Diverse Gifts until 4 January, and there’s always my Etsy shop (this will be closed on Thursday while I’m at Crafty Fox).
The Crafty Fox Night Market is at the Geffrye Museum, 136 Kingsland Road, London E2 8EA on Thursday 17 December, 4-9pm.