Wednesday, 9 November 2016

All that was left behind

   A new piece, finished yesterday, and the most challenging yet. I have been pondering how to tackle a fragmenting leaf structure for a long time and was now able to get on with it. I'd finally found the right coloured threads and so with my 3d head on I devised  a reverse cordonnet system to recreate this leaf. 

  What fascinates me is how leaves slowly break down and become something completely different. The title references the idea in archaeology of 'taphonomy' (all that is left behind) where we find artefacts with very little context and have to build a world around them.If someone had never seen a tree and you showed them a dead leaf like this what would they imagine and could they ever understand all that a tree is and does from this one fragment?  I find myself exploring more and more the idea of empathy with things unknown and how to find a language to speak to them.

some 'in progress' pictures...


   As you can see from the image above I started with a very unconventional cordonnet, in fact it was a drawing rather than the usual outline.I put in a wire vein structure onto the drawing and then went from there.Technically it is almost impossible to say how I made this but here is a list of techniques for those who are interested;
detached buttonhole stitch ,picot stitch, fanned corded brussels stitch, needle chains and scissor knots.

and finally......showing how I 'lay in' threads as 'ghost' cordonnets

17 hours !!!

Monday, 24 October 2016

Little morsels

  I've just added several rings and brooches to my french knot embroidered range.These join the other hand embroidered brooches and buttons now on my Etsy shop.
  For some of the brooches I have used a hand treated devore velvet and only embroidered into the gaps.This was an excuse to use some of the rayon threads from Stef  Francis that I have been hoarding as the sheen of the rayon went perfectly with the velvet.
 The rings use some of the beautiful Gloriana silks that I have a particular passion for.

There are also some of my newer range of buttons with raised work on them inspired by rocks and moss.

..and lastly a new colour way for the 1930's inspired flower border range.... a dark blue delphinium!

more here.........the glass pingle on Etsy

Saturday, 1 October 2016


Elsewhere in my blog universe......
The Museum for Objects of Vertu is beginning a five part online exhibition of its collection of shadows, mostly on film so they are, in fact, shadows of shadows.
Thread Management is now documenting my experience as an observer during surgery.

and then I too am elsewhere because I will not be exhibiting at the Knit and Stitch show this year.
I will be here in Cambridge at the CRASSH seminar on Wednesday the 5th,

and here at the Guild of Needlelaces on Saturday the 8th.

and if you miss me at Alexandra Palace don't forget you can buy on Etsy, or just email me if there was something that you remembered but isn't on the shop.

see you somewhere......

Friday, 26 August 2016


'just a gift for a friend who loves the 'squiggle' print by Vivienne Westwood'.

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


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