Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Exhibition extended!

Take a ball of thread... has been extended until Saturday November 1 at Pablo Fanque.
So exciting!

Take a Ball of Thread... exhibition open!

Take a ball of thread... opened two weeks ago at Pablo Fanque. It was a fantastic exhibition opening, I couldn't have hoped for a more lovely night and my warmest thanks to everyone who came along not just to the opening, but to everyone who has been to the exhibition since. I have been quite overwhelmed by the lovely feedback from people who have seen Take a ball of thread...

I would also like to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has been involved with the project, my extended family and friends. Most particularly, thank you to Mark for putting up with me being all about the jewels for the past few weeks, Francesca at Pablo Fanque and Debbie for being so supportive and helping out in so many ways and to Suzanne and Martin for the stunning catalogue.

I will post some installation shots soon, in the meantime, here are some pictures from the opening night:

As you can see, I look really nervous and there is still lots of thread left... I decided to show the rest of the ball as it gives context to the work made from it on the opposite wall of the gallery. Despite probably needing a break from pink, I miss having it in my studio and am itching to keep making with it - the enforced separation has been quite strange.

I have been playing with black thread since the exhibition opened - all the funny little half used black spools of thread lying around in my sewing box and various other, more unexpected places in my house. The thread I have been playing with has no precise place of origin - there is no real memory of it coming into my life, unlike other found objects I have used in the past which are very specifically located in time and place. I know some of them probably belonged to my Grandmother and Mother, to ex-partners or flatmates perhaps, who can say. They remind me a little bit of the black umbrellas that seem to come in and out of my life. I am excited about using black and very interested in how the colour works with the forms - the black looks a lot like hair - an ongoing fascination for me and the initial notion behind the pieces I have been sketching and sampling is a meditation on loss.

I pretty much used up all the black thread lying about the house on the weekend and so, to fill the thready gap in my life, today I bought 5 kilometes of black thread (oddly enough I have just discovered that I walk past a sewing thread wholesaler every day on my way to work). This ball of black is no where near the size of the pink one when I started and much smaller than what is left of the pink... maybe a third of the size, I am not sure how to feel about this. The vastness of the pink is overwhelming at times.

The black thread is being used to make some pieces for Pablo Fanque's next exhibition which I have been invited to participate in, the exhibition is called Recycled, renewed, reborn

Post Script: Not half an hour after I posted this, I lost my bag containing not only my latest black umbrella, but also the ball of black thread. I was so preoccupied, sitting on the bus writing and doodling away about ideas of loss and how to attack the new black thread, that I left my bag on the seat. Now I really have something to think about.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

dripping berry

I have been making lots of neckpieces using the wax dripped over thread and strings of various thicknesses like beads, returning to some of the techniques and ideas I was exploring at the end of last year (this is the only one I have photographed so far). The little wax conglomerations are very raspberry-like on many of the pieces and on this neckpiece I am enjoying the contrast between the fine thread, the weight of the wax and the little drip of pearls oozing out the bottom.

droplet (or suffering for one's craft)

Still on the leaky theme. This neckpiece is called Droplet. I was inspired to add the red as I stabbed my self quite badly with the needle while I was stiching this together. I have strings and strings of these beautiful vintage glass beads that I bought a few years ago in Barcelona, Spain and until I saw the droplet of blood on my finger tip the same size as one of them, I hadn't thought to use them. I am glad I did.
I like the back of this piece (second image) much better than the front.

bubbling dewy leaks

The tiny beads spilling out of these pieces remind me of dew drops, bubbles and leaks... or links of tiny, tiny instestines...


A tassel neckpiece... I have been making quite a few tassels recently - they are difficult, on many levels.

this little piggy!

A very cute pig getting in on the pink action during the brochure photshoot - used as a stand in for pink things when setting up for the photos.

Behind the scenes and some thank yous

Behind the scenes while photographing pieces for my exhibition brochure at Boccalatte

A huge thankyou is due here to Suzanne and Martin at Boccalatte for their wonderful design and photography - and also for their patience in guiding me through the exhibition brochure process... also to Bruce at Peachy Print for printing assitance.

Enormous thank yous are also due to Debbie and Amber for their fabulous catalogue essays.

I feel really blessed to have been able to work with such amazing, talented and generous people on the production of the brochure. I can't wait to see the real printed thing!

Here is a sneak preview of one of the mock ups:

...and a whole big pile of pinkness laid out at the end of the day.

more blooms...

I have re-made the Blossom neckpiece. It was one of the very first pieces I made as part of this project and one of the first pieces to use the NYC pink wax. At the time I made it I was really happy with it, but over the past few months it slipped from favour and ended up in my rejects box. Francesca from Pablo Fanque made a lovely comment about the original and this inspired me to take another look and resulted in this re-make. I think it has benefited from my increased confidence and skill level using the materials - particularly in the string-making department. The original was on untwined thread and this is on a nicely spun string. It is also double the size of the original - I am no longer afraid to go BIG!


Spring is sprung and these neckpieces have a decidedly springy feel to them - they remind me of Chrysanthemums. I have been making lots of neckpieces recently as I felt like I was getting stuck in broochland...

catching up...

These are some piecs that I made a little while ago but haven't photographed until now.
The neckpiece below is called Gangs it is one of two neckpieces that have been French knitted. I posted about making them while watching Gangs of New York a while ago - it is extremely long...

This is Lure, a more recent brooch that was next to impossible to photograph - the beads oozing out of it are the most vividly eye hurting fluorescent pink... pilfered from a fishing tackle box many years ago, they have been glowing quietly in box of bits and bobs just waiting to be made into something alluring.

This is the result of an experiment gone wrong, but somehow ending up right - I was trying to make a big hollow ball using a condom. The glue ate through the condom as it was hanging out to dry overnight and the ball collapsed and set in this lovely nest shape. I have added a silver brooch back through the tangles, wax and pearls.

This brooch is called Muff. It's sister piece Merkin has a starring role in the brochure being produced to go with my exhibition. Muff is very, well, muffy really it has a lovely movement when worn.

One of the very first looped thread pieces made way back in May - this is a transition from using pearls and coral to using thread ropes. It is very small and very loopy. It seems sparse and strange now against the denser looped pieces I have been making recently.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

interior landscapes

I haven't posted for way too long. Since my last post I have moved house and studio and been caught up in all the domesticity that a new house requires. I have also been applying for exhibitions and getting images together for my Pablo Fanque exhibition catalogue. It seems like the administration to support the making is endless at the moment!
I have made some pink things though... these brooches are called 'Interior Landscapes'. I have started making neckpieces in this style also.

As you can see I have been having a truly rope-tastic time!

Saturday, 21 June 2008

bench activity

Here is a bench shot showing some of the lovely big hollow balls I made for a great big neckpiece I completed about two months ago, it's a work in progress shot and also shows some French knitting I was doing at the time. The French knitted pieces haven't been photographed yet, which is a bit slack. Whilst I was making them I was watching the film Gangs of New York which is a bit gory, in true Scorcese fashion. Thus, the French knitted neckpieces are a bit intestinal... seems I am a bit infatuated with the intestine at the moment!
You might have seen an earlier post where I was having fun taking pictures through the first couple of balls I made and deciding that I needed to wait till the cooler weather to finish making the neckpiece due to studio hotness. Anyway the balls are about 8cm at their largest diameter and I made them using thread dipped in PVA glue and then wrapping the thread around balloons and pegging them on my washing line to dry. It was super messy and lots of fun! To complete the neckpiece, the balls have been strung on some rope I made from the thread, my first (and not last!) use of the thread rope as a stringing device. I am about to embark on a series of ropy neckpieces to match the brooches I have been making... I haven't photographed these yet either!
The picture also gives a bit of an idea as to how much thread is left, something I am getting asked quite a lot at the moment. I REALLY regret not measuring its girth before I started! I reckon I might be about half way now... it's going to start getting precious fairly soon! I love how when you work with found objects, or non-precious things they become ever so precious once the supply is limited. I remember Mark Vaarwerk saying this about the plastic bags he uses so beautifully in his work - that when he started using this material it seemed an unending resource, but now the bags are becoming more scarce. I love that he is immortalising them in his work. 

gut instinct

This brooch is called gut instinct. It is being shown in the exhibition Refashioning the Fashion which opened last night at Object gallery The exhibition has been curated by the amazing Debbie Pryor and it is at once edgy, confronting and beyond fabulous. The other exhibitors are: Tiffany Parbs, Julia de Ville, Leah Heiss, Alice Lang, Gabby O'Connor & Chelsea Gough
 I feel extremely privileged to have been included in this illustrious line up. 

in her garden of red delights...

You might remember me posting about the ritual of the Sunday Bridal Swarovski count a while back. In one of life's most delightful ironies, one of my coral brooches was recently purchased by a bride to wear on her wedding day - I am beyond delighted and absolutely proud as punch that someone would want to wear one of my pieces on such a special day! 
The piece was a little like this recently made one which is called In her garden of red delights
The bride wore it around her neck on a red velvet ribbon...

making too much!

At the moment I am definitely making faster than I can blog! 
Here are some of the things I have made in the past few months...
A bangle to match the freshly named tumbleweed brooches. I am still plugging away at the matching neckpiece!
A ring

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

winter brooches

I was inspired by the pink intestinal brooch below to create these brooches for the upcoming Studio 20/17 exhibition titled winter brooches... It promsies to be a beautiful exhibition and I am very excited to have been asked to exhibit. It was also a great excuse to play with some other colours!

Sunday, 18 May 2008

I think this is my favourite so far...

a brooch for Mary Douglas

Any one who has known me, my strange socio/cultural fascinations and my work for a while would know that it was really only a matter of time before I made a hairy piece celebrating matter out of place...  

This was very much a collaborative work with the studio assistant.

meet my studio assistant

This is Mansize. She is my beloved, helpful studio assistant.

Usually she performs more sedentary, yet extremely important tasks such as keeping my seat warm, observation, listening and providing silent, non-committal feedback and praise.

However when I was making rope recently she couldn't help herself and joined in... 

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

it's not easy being green...

A while ago I posted about some green stuff I had been making...


Well, it has just finished its showcase appearances at A&E Metal Merchants and the Powerhouse Museum shop and is now having a stop over at my house before being installed at the fantastic gaffa gallery for the group exhibition make_do which opens next Thursday night (8 May). I am very excited about make_do and looking forward to seeing what everyone has made... there are 23 fantastic artists in the exhibition whose practices span painting, ceramics, textiles, jewellery, multimedia, drawing, photography, graphic design and 

Some of my favourite people in the whole world are in this exhibition. We have forged lasting connections and friendships after having been work colleagues at one time or another at Object and this show is a great way to get together. This is the second year we have had a show together - last year the exhibition was called make do. So exciting! 

Update: The exhibition is UNREAL I am so proud to be a part of it! Click here to see some pictures from the opening taken by photographer extraordinaire Joe Wijangco.


Friday, 25 April 2008

Love to Liana

I have to say an enormous thank you to Liana Kabel for the beautiful post on her blog a few weeks ago. I found it quite overwhelming to be the subject of such a lovely post as Liana has been a bit of a hero of mine for a while now. It was Liana and Anna Davern, who quite apart from being two of the loveliest ladies I know and absolutely fantastic jewellers, inspired me to start this blog. 

I love this brooch by Anna Davern, it is called Sad...