Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christmas is coming!

This year as a departure from our usual Christmas Supper, we welcomed Katie Duxbury to speak to us about theatre costume design.   Katie is currently working at the Duke's Playhouse in Lancaster in the costume department, and she gave us an interesting insight into life backstage.   Having worked at various theatres in a wide variety of locations she was able to give us a real feel for the work involved.
Although she is busy at work, she also enjoys making costumes in her own time, just for fun and because she enjoys it so much.  Her enthusiasm was obvious as she took us through her creative process.  Working with mainly recycled fabrics and junk shop finds her creations are absolutely stunning.
Most of the small pierces are worked by hand before being assembled into garments using a combination of machine and hand stitching.

This dress is constructed from hundreds of individually cut leather pieces including de-constructed charity shop handbags and off cuts

Starting with a sketch, this dress is inspired by the colours of Grizedale Forest where many family holidays were spent as a child

More details of Katie's work can be found on her website:

The small components of this alternative wedding dress are made up of lots of different fabrics and patterns and each one individually bound with hand made bias binding before constructing the dress!  The overall effect is spectacular!

Feeling inspired we took the opportunity to see Katie's work up close, before enjoying some lovely mince pies, chocolate and other festive treats along with our tea and coffee.  

mince pies
                                                            gingerbread men                         

Christmas cards were exchanged before going home to enjoy festive season
Meetings will resume at the end of January so this is an opportunity to wish you

**********A Merry Christmas and a Happy and Creative New Year************

Christmas HollyChristmas HollyChristmas HollyChristmas HollyChristmas Holly

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Colourful thoughts

On Monday evening Marge spoke to us about the colour wheel and how to use it to advantage when planning a design.

Marge brought along lots of diagrams to illustrate the differences in colours, shades, tones and values.  It was interesting to see how colours changed in appearance when used with various backgrounds

Armed with lots of new information we all went home with a new appreciation of the importance of our colour choices

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Tactile Textiles - update

A few of us got together  to continue the project to make more Tactile Textiles for the Dementia Support Group. 

Here are a few pictures:

 Some are in the form of animals and Janet is busy making lots of heads:

 Lots of texture and tassels:

We are aiming to make around 25 by the end of March and these will be distributed to the Day Centre patients. This will be followed up by producing written patterns and possibly kits to make further supplies.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Blackpool's Treasure Trove

I thought you would be interested to see these images of some of the "pop up" museums created so far by the Blackpool Treasure Trove Project.
These have recently been on display at various sites in the town and will now be taking a break over the Christmas period.
From January onwards the displays will resume and we are looking forward to working with the artists on this project in the near future to present our own "pop up" museum.
We look forward to working with Costumologists on this project. 
See some of their fantastic work here:

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Stitch Nights

Our new season of stitch nights was off to a flying start last week with Ann giving us some guidance with shadow work.  
Several members had brought in lovely examples of work to inspire those who had not tried this technique before.

Shadow work is worked on sheer fabric where the stitches show through the fabric to give a delicate, muted effect.

This technique is often used on lingerie and children's clothes - particularly christening robes.

Colour can also be introduced for a bolder effect

Members tried out various designs and those with more experience were given a "mystery item" (in this case - metallic thread) to incorporate into the samples.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Inspiring Work

For our first meeting of the new programme we were very pleased to welcome our speaker Karen Casper from Helmshore.

Karen is a very lively and enthusiastic speaker and has recently completed her studies at Manchester Met.  She brought along many samples of her beautiful work including some of her degree pieces.

"Karen is one of those rare people who bridge the gap between fashion, textile design and art".

On one hand, she will create a head-piece that most women would be delighted to sport at fashionable gatherings. On the other, she’s using glow-in-the-dark thread and ancient pieces of lace to build extraordinary confections that are exhibited in galleries and museums. Then, somewhere in between, she’s commissioned to make the glitzy headpieces worn by dancers in the X-Factor stage show.

The piece shown above is "Miss Coral" inspired by images from our endangered coral reefs.
Detailed pictures show the intricacies of the design :

The matching headpiece is equally stunning

Another of her pieces was based on Fairgrounds and also incorporated lots of family memorabilia . The whole piece is heavily embellished and finished with antique buttons and pearls - causing a few construction problems along the way due to its weight and size. However with a little help from Dad, and a few garden canes and hoops the piece was finally stabilised and ready for display

Karen's most recent work involved working with antique and vintage bridal veils to produce three veils based on the theme of Victorian mourning.  Two of these are currently en route to Riga in Latvia for an exhibition leaving one for us to see up close on Monday

This picture does not really do justice to the beautiful work in this green veil

Another stunning example of the detail in Karen's work is this work using an antique fan as the base. It was on display at the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester until recently

Following this meeting, we are certainly looking forward to enjoying our new programme of events.
Our next meeting is a stitch night practical on 27th October. Ann will be sending out information and a requirements list before the meeting.