This week I met the lovely Holly, an A-level student with a burgeoning passion for textiles and Africa and we did some felting together. I was supposed to be teaching her everything I know, which of course really didn't take long. We did some experimenting with trapping things in the fibres; I had seen a felted dress with peppercorns in a book a while ago and so we raided my spice drawer. We found that peppercorns, coriander seeds and fennel seeds worked really well, cloves kept trying to escape and cardamom pods just ended up on the floor. As the felt was drying on the radiator there was a lovely smell emanating from it. And I quite like the look of it:-
This one was Holly's:-
(We were also experimenting with snipping through layers of felt to reveal different colours underneath, which explains the little stigmata on our pieces). I might try adding some peppercorns to my beaches when I feel like a pebbly effect. Sometimes you need a fresh pair of eyes with you to make you discover something new.
So what else can I show you that I made in the last few days? Well for a start how about these?
I really enjoy making these pebbly ones. I love the rounded shapes and I find the contrast of fuzzy felt and sharp fabric designs really appealing. And the colour combinations are pleasing, and endless. They look great in their frames. I don't know if anyone else will like them but I have four different ones now; I guess I will find out next Friday.
Have I got anything else to show you? Yes I have...
This one is going to Clevedon Art Club's exhibition, on the basis that if you want to exhibit something that might sell in Clevedon, better make it the Pier. Or, depending on how you look at it, the Taj Mahal on stilts.
An update on two stories I've told you before: first the Belgian glasses were indeed a little too Eighties; I shan't be getting my prescription lenses in them any time soon but I am rather pleased just to own them in a drawer for old times' sake. And then the other story (this is daft, humiliating, annoying but ultimately really really positive): I'm not sure if you will have seen that I submitted a picture online for the selection process of the forthcoming RWA Open Exhibition quite a while ago. I never held out any hope for it after I'd done it. This was the picture:-
There was a set date when the online system would show whether or not submissions had been selected. I marked the date on my calendar and when it came to the day, I quickly looked, bleary-eyed, in the midst of children's arguing over breakfast and senile cat howling under the table, and saw "N/S" which I took to mean "not selected". No surprise there. Move on and forget.
So I couldn't quite understand why last week I had an email inviting me to a private viewing for selected artists only. I checked online again and this time in big letters it said "SELECTED". Huh? I rang them and sure enough, yes it had been selected. And then, as the artwork all had to be delivered to the RWA on the previous Friday, it was now too late and I entered a new category of "selected not hung" (as usually 10 or so artists do each year for one reason or another), and now there was nothing that could be done. And apparently this weird "N/S" did not exist, I could not have seen it. I put the phone down with eyes filling up. What on earth had happened? I can only imagine that I must have looked too early or got distracted and misread it. Bloody idiot. How stupid. The embarrassment. What a waste, how different could life have been after exhibiting at the RWA? And then, after a few hours of grieving, how lovely to have been selected, to have this little secret (well OK, you know now too) and to know that I had Success, on the quiet, and that I can bask in that until next year and do it properly next time. Which leads me to wonder: is it better to have Success and have to follow through with all the responsibilities it entails, or to have Success and do nothing whatsoever with it except to know it? Maybe I'll find out the answer next year...