Wednesday 27 May 2015


Some textile artists produce beautiful sketchbooks with samples of work, paintings, sketches and images of work in progress. Sadly I am not one of them! I love looking at other people’s sketchbooks, which are often works of art in themselves but I don’t produce such lovely things myself. I do keep sketchbooks, but mine are full of notes, references, ideas and analysis - they often contain more words than images. I do include photos, but mine are often pictures of the site for the work or quick images of things I’ve seen that have triggered an idea. They are working documents and are a good place to keep the records of a project, from the development of the ideas to their conclusion as well as receipts for materials and records of any press feedback after the exhibition. I frequently go back to them for information, especially to remind myself where I bought things, and also to reconsider ideas and inspiration. Reading a book on research methods the other day, the authors suggested that Leonardo da Vinci’s sketches represented his thoughts made visible by drawing and annotation, which I thought was a lovely description and represents how I use my sketchbook.

Wednesday 20 May 2015

Exhibition advertising

I’m having a solo exhibition in September for the body of work I’ve produced during my PhD. It is called ‘The domestic veil’ and will be in The Crypt Gallery, St Pancras, Euston Road, London from 8 to 12 September 2015 – put it in the diary now! It seems a long way off and I’m still finishing off the thesis, but having just received a selection of magazines I subscribe to, I realise that I have to think about advertising now. Many of the magazines are quarterly or bimonthly and some of the deadlines are at the end of May. Both Crafts and Embroidery are published in July and September so I’m aiming for their September issues in the hope that people might see the listing and decided to visit. I’m worried that if I advertise in July people will have forgotten about it by September! However for the quarterly magazines, like Lace, I’ll have to go for the July issue. Nearer the time I’ll also have to start advertising on the internet but I think for now I just have to meet those magazine deadlines.  

Wednesday 13 May 2015

Reusing titles

I’m putting in a proposal for an exhibition and have been trying to think of a good title for the work I’m proposing. The problem is I’m extending the idea of my ‘Thread of life’ piece (detail above), which is a silk paper dress with lace embedded in it, to a mini installation of three similar dresses linked by thread. The original was just one dress but I think the three new linked dresses will strengthen the idea of the continuity of life. My problem is that ‘Thread of life’ would be a great title for the new piece of work but I’ve already used it for the previous piece. Is it acceptable to reuse a title or should I call the new one ‘Thread of life 2’ or ‘Threads of life’ or try and think of something completely different? On reflection I think it would be too confusing to reuse the old title because I might still want to show the old work as well. I’ll have to think of something new!

Thursday 7 May 2015

Ghost lace

This ‘ghost lace’ made from dust and a paper doily took months to make – the difficult bit was remembering to leave the doily in place and not move it while I was doing other things in the studio. There seems to be an interest in ephemeral lace at the moment, mainly with all the work being done by NeSpoon and graffiti lace. That work and my dust lace are both based on the same principle of using a template and spraying paint or sifting dust through it. It’s not a new idea – I remember my mother dusting icing sugar through paper doilies to decorate sponge cakes. Interestingly, Cal Lane says that her interest in lace was based on that technique of cake decorating and it inspired her to make some of her first lace pieces.