Monday, 25 July 2011

Retail Therapy........

If you are in the Knutsford Area, and in need of some retail therapy, this little shop, Fibre and Clay might be the answer. Situated in Minshull Street, it is full of the most beautiful and unusual ceramics, and inspired textile pieces, including work by Jackie Cardy, Jackie Lunn, and many others.  Bags, jewellery, scarves and more, feature  alongside lovely wools and buttons. 

I only manage one visit a year, and am always impressed by the variety and quality of work on sale.

Monday, 18 July 2011

A wet weekend in July

Pat's report on this year's Summer School.....

I went along to the Regional Residential Summer School at Alston Hall for the first time this year and I’ve had such a good time. 

I chose to do the Pictorial Collages workshop with Liliane Taylor, and we dyed fabrics and papers, did fast sketching exercises getting to know our plant/container subjects, did Batik dying, wet ink on wet sketches, etc, and then launched into our ‘masterpieces’ with non-stop advice from our tutor.  We worked till 10.30pm on Friday and Saturday nights and started Saturday and Sunday mornings at 9am, only stopping briefly for coffee and meal breaks (excellent food!) and sleep.  It was exhausting!  But lovely to be so engrossed in the subject for two-and-a-half days. 

The whole atmosphere was friendly and cheerful, I’ve met some lovely people, and the staff at Alston Hall were magnificent.  The other workshops were Modern 3-D Crewelwork and Books to Cherish, and we all had beautiful results to ‘show and tell’ by Sunday afternoon.  However, I’m pleased I chose a course which was new to me, which allowed me to learn many techniques I had never tried before, and I ended up with a real feeling of achievement. 

Thank you North West Region for putting on such an excellent opportunity for fun and instruction!

Pat Knifton 

No wonder you were pleased, Pat.  This is lovely.  (Lesley)

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Out and about... in Ireland

Marilyn sent this after a visit to Enniskillen.....

Sheelin Vintage Lace Museum, Enniskillen
During a recent trip to Enniskillen, Ireland I came across one of the most incredible little museums I have ever visited. The Vintage Lace Museum and shop is housed in two rooms and I have never seen so much exquisite lace.  Everything in the first room was for sale, dresses, tablecloths, christening gowns, bags, lampshade and many other items, it seemed like every inch (sorry 2.5cm) was covered with stunning pieces of Vintage Lace.
In the second room was the Museum (£2.50) where beautiful dresses were displayed around the room with further lace samples on the walls and in cabinets.  There was also a small display of lace making equipment and an unusual glass globe shape, which was used to magnify the work.  Information boards explained the history of making the different types of lace and there were many. Some of the lace was stitched with thread finer than a human, but my favourite was the Carrickmacross, which was embroidery onto a net & muslin background, which was then trimmed away leaving only the delicate embroidered lace.
For anyone that is interested in textiles, not just lace, it is well worth a look.

The website below has an enormous amount of excellent photos, close ups too.

Also next door is an excellent tea shop with a fabulous selection of unusual cakes!