Textiles & Prints

Last Days of ‘Cut and Paste – 400 years of Collage’

Posted by on Oct 24, 2019 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

This amazing exhibition at the National Galleries of Scotland is closing this weekend – get there while you can. It reviews 400 years of this versatile and inclusive art form. The chosen technique of both the 18th century gentlewoman and the twentieth century political radical.

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‘Are Cheap Clothes Ruining the Planet?’

Posted by on Oct 22, 2019 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Dana Thomas ‘ Fashionopolis – the Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes.’ Do listen to this brilliant book review on the New York Times podcast. I am an addict of the New York Times book review podcasts as they are long enough to really give you a feel for the book and the author. The interviewers are non-intrusive and yet get their interviewees to reveal extra information about their subject. I often listen to them again. The amount of textiles going to landfill (as we have discussed before) is astounding and includes that go from manufacture directly to landfill. The clothes ‘dumped’ in some countries in Africa and other emerging economies are ruining local textile companies, tailors and seamstresses. One of the most telling comments was that a line of clothes designed for secretaries on sale a main New York department store cost the same in absolute terms (i.e. not with allowance for inflation) as they would now. Dana Thomas has done us all a favour by reminding us of the dreadful cost to the environment of our addiction to fast, cheap...

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Dragon vase – Korean – 17th century -immediate impact

Posted by on Apr 7, 2019 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

  This amazing vase is on show at the Asian Art Museum – it looks as it was made yesterday – it actually dates from the 17th century. It was made in Korea during the Joseon dynasty, which lasted five centuries.  The dragon has a great sense of movement and life and winds it way around the whole, beautifully curved pot. The shape of the pot and sinuous curves of the dragon – the dragon has a beautiful face and looks benign and wise.  Apparently in Korea the dragon is not a creature to be feared – like the dragons in European stories – it is associated with wisdom and goodness.  I try and imagine the person who drew this beautiful creature – what was going through his mind …what he created is still inspiring people hundreds of years later.     ...

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Hand-printing for a quilt: textiles and prints

Posted by on Jan 31, 2019 in Discussion | 0 comments

Patchwork and Quilting with Tracey Fernandes I was using a variety of materials printed at West Dean and with Tracey – they were experimental prints. I did not print them with the other materials in mind. When I first put them together I thought that showed – so different from a conventional quilt and I was rather concerned – after all this is something to be used at home.  I am warming to them now – the different rows  can work together with calico in between. ...

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How to avoid the Uffizi queues

Posted by on Jan 2, 2019 in Discussion, News | 0 comments

In spite of reading all about The Uffizi queues and considering booking online before I left the UK – I decided that it would be better to wait until we arrived before doing so. After all we were here for a longer break – and I thought I would have space to book ahead. 

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Textiles and prints inspired by Florence

Posted by on Jan 1, 2019 in Discussion | 0 comments

Happy New Year from beautiful,  renewing Florence We have visited Florence for the New Year. It took one or two days to get adjusted and to really begin to feel at home. Walking in the narrow space between the high buildings feels enclosed and even though it is cold and clear and between Christmas and New Year it is still crowded. So crowded that we could not book for The Uffizi on-line at all until after we had left. We will have to get up early to go and risk the queue. The crowds are good-natured and there is room to breathe; most are Italians and I’m sure relieved to have a bit more of their city back over the New Year.    Father Bernardo, of the Benedictines, was talking to a sizeable crowd outside San Miniato al Monte today. This is the gem-like church visible from the heart of Florence on the hill opposite Santa Croce. His presentation was advertised as a chance to hear about the  church and was clearly aimed at locals. He spoke for at least an hour (we did not say throughout) – very animated, telling jokes, using extravagant hand gestures. It clearly hit the mark as the crowd stayed engaged – clapping and laughing and responding to the music of his voice.  We have seen some wonderful places – the Brancacci Chapel dominated by the wonderful frescoes of Masaccio, Masolino and Fr Filippo Lippi.  I had no idea that Masaccio had died aged only 27 years during a trip to Rome. Sadly some of his work was destroyed during renovations in earlier centuries and a tomb obscures some of the frescoes. It is hard to understand how such vibrant, powerful images could ever be ‘out of fashion’ and so disposable.  There was a Sunday market in the Piazza Santo Spirito a few streets away where you could buy beautifully bound books, bronze animals, door knockers, door stops all forged by the stall holder. Then time for a lovely meal at Osteria Santo Spirito.  They serve ‘reduced portions’ of many of their dishes and that is plenty. ...

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