Monday, September 15, 2014

Progress Report

On Saturday we had the first "brainstorming" session and started work on the "Twiddle Pockets" for
dementia sufferers.  Apparently the name is copyright so we have to chose a new name - for now I will refer to them as "Sensory Pockets".

We set to work sorting out the rather large pile of donated stash into some kind of order, and then decided to work on a few different design ideas to see which worked out best.

It was quite surprising how the project gained momentum as we all got going designing, sewing and coming up with ideas.

During the course of the day we managed to produce several completed samples and many more "works in progress" to be continued at home.

The pockets will be on display at the AGM on the 29th September and following this Ellen is going to take them along to the Support Group and to the hospital so we can get feedback.  The intention is then that we incorporate the best ideas into a simple design and hopefully produce some kits to make many more.

The whole day was very enjoyable and productive.  If  you are interested in getting involved with the project please let us know.  We have lots of supplies and welcome any new ideas.

Please come along to the AGM on the 29th September as following the business part of the meeting we have a speaker coming along to give us an overview of the Treasure Trove Project about the history of entertainment in Blackpool and the proposed bid for funding to open a museum.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

September meeting

On Monday we enjoyed our first meeting following the Summer break. Our speaker was Melanie Kay who In a very interesting presentation took us through her creative process and how she related this to an interest in gender and the differences/similarities.

Constructing a tool belt (fully functioning complete with wired pockets) entirely from discarded men's shirts dyed with pink tones and embroidered with a variety of headlines and gender related wording, the picture was completed with an array of  papier mache and embroidered tools.

Melanie then went on to explain the background to her degree work.  Choosing the subject of alcohol abuse and depression may not seem to be perhaps not the most promising topics - or so one would think.

Using discarded beer cans as a base produced some rather surprising results! From killing the slugs attached to the insides of litter picked  cans was not the most appealing job, and she was grateful for the help of her (now) husband in this aspect of her work! 

Thought provoking  and by using imagery including flowers and butterflies to represent new beginnings the pieces certainly had us all enthralled throughout her talk.

Melanie works into the metal with a sander to create a base, which is then drawn onto and machine stitched before being further embellished with hand stitching if required.

Reflecting on the cost to the NHS and other services:

Using single cans for individual pieces - these are first of all flattened and then stitched together again using fishing wire. A time consuming but effective use of an unusual material.

 A piece in the early stages of construction :

 A sample of hexagon patchwork using various different coloured cans:

Sketchbook page

The "crowning glory" for her degree show was a pair of lampshades which have now been sold but the photographs were stunning.

Melanie has recently been working with secondary school students addressing issues around body image and confidence and using found objects related to fashion in general:

Our next meeting is the AGM on the 29th September, which will be followed by a brief talk about the
Treasure Trove Project - the history of entertainment in Blackpool