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Workshop with Deirdre on Monday including a tour of the exhibition by the gallery curator focusing on the display and hanging of different pieces. Majority of day spent making a paper model of piece including 21 ‘pockets’ symbolising the 21 handbags the average 30 year old woman is reported to own. First of all I wrote a number of ideas on each pocket looking at consumerism, recycling, history of bags and pockets, play on pocket expressions (out of pocket, pocket money etc).


Experimenting with an arc of pockets hung from a pillar:


Bunting display:


Hanging at pocket height allowing people to look into pockets:



Monday started with a workshop with textile artist Deirdre Nelson at the City Art Centre. This included a talk on her work and commissions. Great insight into how an exhibiting artist works, including the importance of self-promotion, approaching museums with proposals, and applying for funding as you just might get it! I really like the way Deirdre works, doing considerable amounts of research into the location or subject, and looking for a quirky, human thread or theme to explore. There is a lot of humour in her work, which can act as a great educational tool illuminating past social history.

The first exercise involved taking an everyday object and changing it in some way. Keeping in the theme of plastic bags:


Deirdre then spent time with us exploring some mind maps, and then talking to us each in turn providing really positive and enthusiastic suggestions of how to move forward with our gallery based brief.

Over the rest of the week I focused on research and sampling. Having decided to explore plastic bags further I have been thinking about what I can make out of them – perhaps a new bag – modelled on a fashion ‘IT’ designer bag. However I then started looking into the history of handbags and went back to explore pockets which pre-empted them. The V&A has a great section on the history of pockets. This has shaped my embroidered samples which are based on the old pocket shape:

 pocketsample1.jpg pocketsample2.jpg pocketsample3.jpg

Went to the last day of the Seeing Red exhibition at the Collins Gallery in Glasgow tracing the development of the Turkey-red dyeing industry in Glasgow between 1985 and the 1930s. The exhibition was made up of lots of artifacts bringing the history of the dye to life – such as old sample books, printing blocks, quilts, bandannas and paintings.

Turkey red

We have to focus on a specific area of the history and write a short piece. There were lots of avenues to explore, such as the dye recipe and techniques which have been described as “the most complicated and tedious process”.

Further details of the exhibition can be found on the Craft Scotland website here.

Developing ideas for textile artifact, including further experiments with plastic bags – applique, patchwork and machine cord. Machine cord worked especially well.

Machine cord using plastic bag handles couched onto felt prepared with mono-printing, finished off with free machine embroidery:


Fused plastic bags experimented with in a range of different ways:


Week spent working on sketchbooks. Looking to move on from City and Guilds where the book was more about presenting ideas neatly. Striving for something more interesting, creative and rich which really shows a wide range of ideas and influences.

Sketch1 Sketch2 Sketch3 Sketch4 Sketch5 Sketch6