Monday, 24 June 2013

Textile Adventures Part 1 : West Dean

Since reaching that milestone of "40" there have been a few things on my "I must do before I'm 40" list that I did not quite achieve. So...this year, as things have settled down more in the Hook & Scumble household I decided that my list would turn into "Things I must do when I am 40 !"

Two of the things on the list included:

- Book onto a Julie Arkell Course a weekend that I could call "my own" became available..which coincided with the weekend Julie was running a short course at West Dean - I rang the college and asked on the off chance if there were any spaces available ...just one - so it was booked !

The Hook & Scumble household have long been fans of Julie Arkell's work and the eldest Hook & Scumbler has even made some pieces for her art work at school inspired by the techniques Julie uses
Meet her latest creation "Monsieur Champignon":

So for a weekend last month I headed off to West Dean to enjoy a weekend of "stitching, patching and darning" to create "objects of curiosity."

The house and the grounds are amazing and I could have done with a weekend just exploring  and seeing them.

The first evening was spent having dinner with Julie and the rest of the ladies on the course. 
We then headed up to the studio and unpacked all of our precious fabrics, haberdashery , yarns and trinkets.
The studio was fantastic with lots of space and light and Julie had displayed her work for us to see and so we began to be inspired.

Julie displays her work on vintage clothing,

World War II Inspired brooches and re-purposed brooches pieced with patchwork and embroidery
I particularly loved the seagull brooch with the words "fly away."

 Beautiful suffolk puff brooches and bracelets,

"Make a Scene," toadstools, houses, trees, clouds and creatures,

and  patchwork flowers with long stems.

Over the weekend Julie inspired us and gently developed our own creativity using her techniques and influence....and if we got lost along the way we could pop over to her "consultation table" for a quick 1:1 !

The weekend itself was just not long enough, despite the fact I probably spent at least 20 hours hand stitching in total

At the end of the course we had a "show and tell," and had time to share with the group and Julie our inspiration for our pieces.

I was very pleased with my "objects of curiosity" ..a flower, toadstool. The little girl was  inspired by  a phrase often used by the youngest Hook and Scumbler and with it developed the design .

Finally It was our turn to "fly away," home ...and so I returned to Bedfordshire with my work and also a piece of Julie's which I will treasure.