Tuesday, 16 August 2016


   My friend and I were big fans of Bowie.We mourned him and decided that we have to take up where he left off, so..... I have been developing a technique which I refer to as 'chaos lace'. It sprang from the diabetes lace that I did and the need for speed and no rules !
  A spiral background that latches onto the design cordonnet and some random brussels stitch. Then the finished edges over the top of all of it.
This one is for my friend as a wedding gift.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Sheela-na -gig

  Who is she ? No-one is quite sure but she appears on stone carvings in churches which pre-date the actual buildings they are in. The name was given by the Victorians but the general consensus is that she is pagan. 
  I was looking to do a piece of anamorphic lace, an image distorted so as to be revealed only in a curved reflective surface. After much thought of what subject matter to choose I decided that as I could not think of anything profound I would do something not profound instead !!! Sheela-na-gig is usually depicted bald but I wanted to rectify that and so here she is.

  The anamorphic drawing was created by first doing my sketch and them slashing it to fine ribbons. These I then splayed out , taped down and traced out again carefully joining up the gaps. You can make her out on the right of the photo in the silver tube. 
  I had been inspired years ago by the 'Eyes,Lies and Illusions' exhibition here in London and so,like many ideas,this one waited patiently to come into being. She had then been an demonstration piece for another two years and so could never be finished !

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Artist in Residence

 What I didn't know about vascular surgery was that the techniques were all learnt from Belgian lacemakers in the early 20th C.; before then limbs could not be saved. I have written about my involvement with surgeons from Imperial College London over the past couple of years and the interaction of craftspeople with science and medicine. That has now moved on a tad with me being made artist in residence at Imperial's vascular surgery department! I will be working with student and practising surgeons looking at what I do and vice versa to see if there can be some 'reciprocal illumination'.
 There is a seperate blog for this work now, (over on the side bar) Thread Management

Tuesday, 2 August 2016


 Being a bit quiet usually signifies that I'm in the middle of things........several things. One of these is another 'box' embroidery which is taking longer than I thought. 
  I have a collection of small boxes which I want to put small embroidered gardens into but this one is a whole landscape! I am trying to do a trompe l'oeil piece with rolling hills and a rocky dry river bed to fit into a drawer box. This is it so far.
  These are the threads,

and of course there is some work with the surgeons. ( see side blog 'Thread Management')

Friday, 29 April 2016

The Craft of Medicine

Another event ! I shall be demonstrating and talking with the public at an all day free event at the
Wellcome collection on Saturday May 14th

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

more thinking hands

...........a short film by J.P.Flintoff about the event on Saturday.( I appear towards the end)

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Thinking with your hands

image of my threads by Charles Saumarez Smith
  Yesterday I took part in an event at the Art Workers' Guild in London which focused on the 'reciprocal illumination' that can be had between skilled craftspeople and surgeons.It was a big event as all the invited guests were from major institutions or studios either from the arts ,science and education. We demonstrated our work and compared how it is that we work in such a similar way and yet on very different things.Discussions were held between ourselves and those we had invited  so that we could all share and get an understanding of how important hand skills are to humans and our society.
    If you are reading this you probably share our dismay at the decline of craft skills and the slow dismantling of our arts education. (petition link to stop this)We talked about how important the zen state of mind is when working and how making objects for ourselves connects us to the world around us.Some talked about 'intelligence of touch'and 'thinking with your fingers'  whilst others discussed the idea that  previous knowledge of sewing can enhance a surgeons initial learning.The mind was a common subject and although some are uncomfortable with talking about an inner self most would agree that the ability to concentrate and mental discipline were a form of 'mind yoga'.
   I'm sure that the discussions are still going on and this can only be a good thing.(the first review here) If you would like to join in too there is a public event coming up soon, please see my previous post.


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