Monday, 26 March 2018

More Threads of Narrative

Threads of Narrative is still running at Walford Mill Crafts and will be staying there until 22nd April, having been extended due to popular demand (or something)! After the original opening date was postponed due to the snow, it's great that more people will be able to see the work during the extra time. After it's finished at Walford Mill, the show will be moving on just up the road to Kingston Lacy - the last home of the Bankes family - where it will be on display for even more people to see! I'm really looking forward to seeing my work placed in the home of the family it was inspired by and will be so proud to see it there. More details of this exciting development to come!

Without further ado, here's some photos of our launch event (photos by Steve and Sarah Appleton):
Lots of people came along (thank you if you were one of them), including Jude the dog!
'My Own Darling Mummy' - Sarah Appleton
'Apron Strings' - Sarah Appleton
'Apron Strings' Detail - Sarah Appleton
'Spares' - Lisa Earley and Sarah Appleton
'Spares' - Lisa Earley and Sarah Appleton
'Spares' Detail - Lisa Earley and Sarah Appleton
'Little Hilary' - Sarah Appleton
'Threads Through Time' - Sarah Appleton and Year 6 of St. Mary's C of E Middle School, Puddletown
Lisa and I talked about our work and the commission in general:
And I even wore a blouse that I made especially for the event, which matched my work:
As you can see, I had a lovely time! The two glasses of wine helped... let's not talk about the fact that this was at 10 o' clock in the morning!!!

Friday, 2 March 2018

Threads of Narrative

I've been a bit rubbish at posting blogs so far this year, this is mainly due to finishing all the work off for the Threads of Narrative exhibition, which opens this week at Walford Mill Crafts in Wimborne. If you've missed my previous posts about this project, you can read a bit more about the beginnings here; but in a nutshell the project is a textile exhibition about the Bankes Family of Dorset.

Now all the work is complete and up I have more free time to talk about it... or at least post pictures! Here are the two main pieces I've made:
My Own Darling Mummy
This is the pink neoprene dress I posted about previously, now complete with lights, words and frills. I'm pleased with how it turned out; as with any project there are things I would have liked to have added or improved if I'd had more time, but time just trickled away with this huge commission and I had to end it somewhere! Here are a couple more pictures, I will of course take higher quality shots when the exhibition officially opens.


The dressmaking pattern is a reproduction of an original 1914 dress and I used neoprene to contrast some contemporary material with the old timey style. It also gives it a really surreal, sculptural sort of effect and almost looks like fondant cake icing... mmm... cake. I hand cut all of the letters out of neoprene to be attached onto the dress:

I also hand stitch and programme all the LED circuits and circuit board into the dress to make the lights blink on and off, I'm not sure if people realise that I do all this or if they perhaps assume that LED fairies come and do it for me, but anyway I do! So quite a lot of thought and physical work went into this piece and I'm proud of it for that. This was also the first LED piece of work that I've created which plugs into a mains plug (the others all being battery powered), which is very very exciting to me!
For another couple of pieces I designed and had some fabric digitally printed onto a plain but good quality cotton:
I used my original photos from the archive visits and some that I found online to design this piece about Hilary Bankes (not the one from Fresh Prince of Bel Air, I checked). Considering that I designed it over Christmas when I was ill with evil flu it turned out amazing and I had a lot of compliments on it; so many in fact that I ended up ordering twice as much as I originally had - one to cut up and one to keep whole. This is what I did with the one I cut up:
Yes, I turned it into some kind of mad tree apron thingy! The apron strings are overgrown and extend out into the family tree, reaching through time into all the generations. The apron pattern was another reproduction from 1911 or so, again giving it that old fashioned look with a contemporary twist on the fabric used. I was really pleased with my sewing skills for this piece of work; I chose a fabric that was very easy to work with and put a lot of effort in to making it neat and well finished.
After that I also hand painted special magic colour changing ink onto certain parts of the apron so that they change colour with heat. Click here to see what I mean. This makes the work interact with its surroundings and with anyone who is allowed to touch it!

Lisa and I were also lucky enough to get a mention in the current issue of Embroidery magazine, so many thanks to them!

That's all I shall write about for now, but you can expect more once the exhibition officially opens next week. It's running until 22nd April so if you're in Dorset you have plenty of time to see it. To close, here is a rare photo of Christine from Walford Mill hammering nails into the gallery wall!