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.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Blackpool's Treasure Trove

Following our AGM this year our speaker was Laura Brennan from the Volunteer centre
 who came along to give us an overview of the Treasure Trove Project and highlight opportunities for us to get involved.

The project is focussed on the entertainment heritage in Blackpool and is leading up to the bid to open a permanent museum within the Winter Gardens.

In the build up to this, the group are facilitating in setting up a series of "pop up" museums using material from Blackpool's extensive archives.  If any of our members would like to be involved in the set up it would open up possibilities for us to work with a professional artist and the archives to produce works to go on display.

Ranging from the Illuminations archive, which includes some 20,000 pieces, including some long forgotten original drawings of Disney characters., to the collection of Cheeky postcards and tourism posters and memorabilia from the past it would seem there is something for everyone.

The project is set up to get the displays out to public  with the initial aim of 4 "pop up museums". The picture below shows how one group have already displayed their work.

If any of our members are interested, the group are looking for adult volunteers and we will be able to sign up at our next meeting.  This will give us the opportunity to work with heritage tour guides and a regional artist, and it is thought that the commitment would be to meet around twice a month.

Further information can be obtained from Laura on:


Twitter:  BPL_treasures 

Or just come along to our next Branch Meeting on 13th October