Saturday, 26 October 2013

beside the sea

It's been ages since I've been in this space. Where have I been this time? Well... I've been awarded a bursary from b-side (the arts company who delivered the cultural Olympiad in Weymouth and Portland in 2012) to develop my textile work. Exciting huh? So after Somerset Art Weeks and my last ceramics exhibition I spent a week on Portland meeting other artists and attending the b-side symposium. Child free! It was almost like I was a grown-up once again. However reality has returned (and I did miss them very much ) I've got 6 months on this research bursary and I'm loving every moment. 

Sunday, 22 September 2013

indigo and shibori

Portland handspun, dyed with apple bark
from left to right...
  Apple dye twice dipped with indigo, elderberry dye once dipped with indigo. apple dye once dipped with indigo

Yesterday was spent with Annabel Wilson from Townhill Studio learning a bit about shibori and indigo dyeing. I say a bit because I'm pretty sure there is much much more to learn and understand. It's magical! I'm already thinking of ways I can use Shibori in my textile work. I have the urge to make some huge canvases. I haven't got any huge walls to put them on though. I live in a small cottage with not one straight wall (some of them are even curved...)


in other news - I've changed the name of my other blog, I'm finding it hard to describe myself as an artist, am I a ceramicist who works in textiles? A textile artist who pots? A visual artist? An applied artist? Any suggestions?

For the moment - until I get any bright ideas my other blog will be emmariley-visual artist...

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

abundance X

Lanterns, 2013, Porcelain, East Lambrook Manor Gardens

One of the reasons why this summer has resulted in a complete lack of blogging is that I've had several exhibitions to prepare for*.

I'm honoured to be asked to be part of Abundance X at East Lambrook Manor Gardens in Somerset. East Lambrook is one of the homes of the English Cottage garden look and has the most amazing plant nursery. When I go back for the private view I'm stocking up on some plants.... The show is open from 21st September to the 6th October so if you're in the area drop in and have a look.

Arboreal Sun II, 2013, Calico, Natural Dyes and Portland Wool

Arboreal Moon (detail), 2013, Calico, Natural Dyes and Portland Wool

For this exhibition I've combined my love of textiles and my love of ceramics. I've created so large canvases inspired by India Flint's dyeing techniques with some porcelain additions and stitching with some handspun portland fleece. Combining my loves of clay, yarn and plants has been truly inspirational.

*I'll bore you with the details of the other shows later....

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

of apples and blackberries...

I've been resisting the idea of autumn, I needed reminding about what is beautiful about this time of year and I found it: in the orchard picking apples (my, so many apples!), in the fields as the hedgerows fade to yellow and brown, in the woods as the fungi appear and the acorns drop and the leaves turn.

Most of all I found it in the kitchen with the smell of blackberry and apple simmering on the stove... one sniff of blackberry and apple and it doesn't matter that the summer has passed, that the sun is weakening, that the evenings aren't as light as they were. A dollop of blackberry and apple on my morning porridge and all is well....  Hello Autumn, nice to see you again...

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

hello again...

You can tell it's summer... I've been outside and neglecting my blog. (sorry blog, but the sun was out and it's not been here for so long) I think someone worked out that in the UK we'd had 48 months of winter before the sun came back. It's been wonderful, I've almost been afraid to complain about the heat in case it decided to leave...

What have I been doing???
  • gardening
  • making
  • spinning
  • teaching
  • designing
  • breathing....

Tuesday, 18 June 2013


I'm often up early - that's the nature of parenting but it's not often that I get the chance to slip out with my camera before everyone is awake. So while everyone snoozed upstairs, rather than start some chores I wandered out to enjoy the new day. As I walked the sun rose higher. I noticed a new poppy that the previous day had been just a bud. The first flower from the rose I planted last autumn - a beautifully fragrant Gertrude Jekyll. I listened to the swallows and the swifts as they zoomed over head, the buzzing of the bees, the trickle of the water in the brook... I came home and was rested. Glad of a chance to stop and just be outside in peace.

What recharges your batteries?


Today I'm blessed to be over at Magic Onions with a textiles tutorial - be sure to check it out!
If you're visiting from Magic Onions - hello! you're very welcome!

Monday, 17 June 2013


 Recently there has been the busy mix of my youngest turning 4, (4! How did that happen?) Father's Day and lots of busy family stuff in between. Both of these special days were celebrated with a trip to Swanage on the steam train, armed with buckets and spades and high hopes for the sun to stay out.
The sun did did us proud, going by train made it even more special and now we're finding piles of sand everywhere - we seem to have brought an awful lot of Swanage home this trip!


Jago's beautiful Mini picture sewn by a very clever friend of mine - thank you Leah!!!