We had a wonderful w/e, which started on Friday with a lovely easy drive up to a great caravan site just past the NEC at Birmingham called Somers Wood. It's right in the countryside and best of all it's adults only, so it was really peaceful, which was just what we both needed after a very busy week.
As some of you will know I was a bit nervous about this workshop with Alice Kettle and meeting the other finalists in the competition, but as Julie so rightly said it would be fine and I'd have a great time.
The venue for the day was a purpose designed classroom with a bank of new Pfaffs to play with, and lots of lovely fabric and thread for our creative endeavours.
We started with a meet and greet session, followed by a show and tell. Everyone's work was very different, which made for much lively discussion, with Alice offering us all lots of encouragement and helpful suggestions as to how we might emphasise certain areas of our work.
I wish I had taken some photos of the work the others brought with them , but the day was a packed one and the time just flew by. We had a photographer with us for the day so hopefully we will get to see where the photos are being used at some point and I can show you.
During a working lunch Alice gave us a brief history of her career to date and a small insight into what it's like to be a successful working artist. There are some wonderful pics on her web site and we were privileged to see some her work in the flesh, which was amazing.
After lunch we settled down to doing some line sketches and collages of the still life compositions that Alice had set up for us. Our brief was to look at the type of line we could see in the objects and their relationships with each other, with the purpose of using the collages as a design source for our stitch samples.
These are two of my attempts, I had a spiky sanding drill bit, a chrysanthemum flower, a wire wool pot scourer and 2 fishing floats in front of me, amongst other things.
And this is one of my stitch samples, using techniques, stitch settings and materials inspired by some of Alice's samples.
Here are some of the other students work from the day.
It was so nice to meet the other finalists and have a chance to work together, under Alice's guidance, she is a lovely encouraging and generous tutor.
The rest of the w/e was gorgeous too, but that'll have to wait till later in the week as I'm still buzzing from all the advice and ideas I received on Saturday and can't wait to get on with the project.