Tuesday, 27 August 2013

A couple of the pieces I made for the Society of Dyers and Colourists project are now on exhibit at St Margaret's church until Sept 7th. I am also showing five bowls from a series of bowls I made a while back.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Moss, on an old piece of work that time has opened up and softened.  

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

My heavens, a White Admiral butterfly in my garden. Something very special.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

I'm not sure if this is a hover-fly or a hornet, but either way it caught my eye.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Looking at the work of Henk Wildschut  http://www.henkwildschut.com/work/shelter-2/shelter-photo/ I began thinking how strong the craving for home is, how deep in our core is the need for a place of comfort and stability. Home is a stronghold, a sanctuary. When our homes are great enough we can begin to sustain ourselves, grow food, and offer shelter and sanctuary to others. Home for me is also a state of being, my core stability, the source from which I am able to create, to grow and to provide for myself, and then my family, my friends. These are just beginning thoughts but referring back to Wildschut's work again it seems that the shelters and gardens the refugees have built are physical manifestations of their belonging. So our homes represent us, our own capacity to belong, to sustain, to grow and to support others.   

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

I have a little fox in my garden, and it is not yet wily. Today, sat on my doorstep, I had the pleasure of watching it poddle about for quite some time before it came too close to me, made momentary eye contact and ran off. Quite magical.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

This time of year always feels like the point when summer turns. It's as if the wind shifts, whilst the air may still be warm and balmy, a feeling of autumn descends. Perhaps the light is different, or the sound of the sky changes as the swifts and swallows and house-martins gather on telephone wires, and then seemingly evaporate into thin air, gone, to warmer countries for winter. 
The buddleia is in flower often covered in butterflies and bees gorging themselves on the nectar, and the rowan trees are heavy with clusters of orange berries which bring noisy blackbirds to feast. 
There can be a melancholy that arises from the change of season, the easiest part of the year done and autumn and winter to look forward to, or dread, depending on your temperament and circumstances. I think it is worth relishing each of the seasons as they turn and turn about. For now, late summer means berries and mushrooms and a pause to breathe in the last of the summer air before bonfires and mist and crisp frosts take over and lead us into wintry rain and cold and closed in nights by the fire, long nights, full of stars.

Bright chemical dyes on samples ready for over-dyeing.

Just a quote

"I woke in bits, like all children, piecemeal over the years. I discovered myself and the world, and forgot them, and discovered them again." ~ Annie Dillard

Saturday, 10 August 2013

The pretty, pretty colours of my natural dye project for the Society of Dyers and Colourists. The dyes are from fruit and leaves found in my garden, and onion skins from my kitchen.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Way back in February I received a bursary from the SDC to help me set up a dye kitchen to work in after graduating. I'm now in the process of doing that and having invested in some mordants and a very lovely set of scales, I have been busy over the past couple of days experimenting with natural dyes. The results were initially a little disappointing but then odd things started to happen, colours changed in ways that I really didn't expect; blackcurrant and chrome gave me silver grey, and just as I'd given up on copper it did wonderful things when combined with onion skins. I am now eagerly anticipating the elderberries, sloes and blackberries, and thinking about other readily available organic material to experiment with over the next few months. 

Monday, 5 August 2013

I think this might be a musk-beetle (please correct me if I'm wrong), it flies by day and sips nectar from flowers and it was the last thing we saw before getting in the car and driving home. Maybe not very wedding-y, but it's antennae are very dashing. 

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Three days camping for my daughter's wedding. The weekend was perfect. Sunshine, butterflies, a little rain to keep things fresh and an abundance of joy. Jessamy and Joe's delight was infectious, spread by contact and droplets in the air I think. 
The setting was as good as it gets, the smallholding that Joe's mother and stepfather have been working for twenty years. So in the heart of the countryside of Norfolk, they set their course to run together. They were married in a traditional celtic hand-binding ceremony, in the orchard that they lived in when first they met, surrounded by dogs and children, and encircled by well-wishers. It really was the most beautiful, easy, sweet wedding I have ever been to. 
Then, there was feasting, music, a bouncy castle, and a campfire beneath a sky full of stars backed by the whirr of a small wind turbine. Pure bliss.