Thursday, 8 October 2015

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Daphne's Glove Workshop Update

Just a reminder that during this month's Daphne's Glove exhibition in Ledbury there will be creative workshops taking place at The Weavers Gallery with four of the project artists.
Two of the courses are now full, however, there are still a few places available on the following:

Monday 5th October 2015
  'An Afternoon of Watercolour & Collage'
2pm-5pm   £25 per person
Artist Tutor: Mariette Voke

Thursday 8th October 2015  FULL
'Taking a Thread for a Walk: The Art of Doodling in Stitch' 
10am-4pm  £50 per person 
Artist Tutor: Kathleen Murphy

Sunday 11th October 2015
'Layer Cake'
10am-4pm £50 per person
Artist Tutor: Jeanette McCulloch 

For further detail about each course and how to book a place please follow the link HERE 

Venue: The Weavers Gallery, Church Lane, Ledbury, Herefordshire, HR8 1DW

(Please note that the Weavers Gallery is within an old building and the workshop space is accessed via four steps)

Workshop prices include materials, tea, coffee & a sweet treat

Monday, 21 September 2015

Work in Progress: Tamsin Abbott (part 2)

Tamsin Abbott finds the thread for her Daphne story...

"The long and convoluted path I was taking eventually kept returning to my pagan heart. Ovid's 'Apollo and Daphne' could no longer be a side-line to my main project it had to become my sole inspiration. I also realised that I had taken on this project for the excitement of doing something quite different from my usual work but along the way I had persuaded myself that I would not be 'up to' a textile project and that I must use glass in my piece. However, it finally dawned on me that it was the glass element that was blocking me and that I really wanted to work with other materials even if that meant that the quality of the finished piece would be somewhat suspect against the high standards of the rest of the group.
It is ironic that this piece will now always remind me of Tess of the Durbervilles as I was listening to it on audio whilst working on it. Just as the beautiful Daphne would rather be transformed into a tree than be taken by Apollo so Tess ends up committing a desperate act to escape the clutches of the man who tries to control her. The idea of nature and transformation being a liberation from the ties that bind really stirs me up. However, sewing lime bark bast is, indeed, a bit of a ....! "

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Work in Progress: Tamsin Abbott (part 1)

Above you see a practice piece for elements of Tamsin Abbott's completed glove.

Best known for her beautifully illustrated work in glass, a few months into the project Tamsin changed course with her piece and decided that she'd give herself up to the challenge of alternative materials and techniques. The material you see here is lime bark bast. Fibrous, papery and delicate, a potentially challenging choice.
Having explored and then rejected her early topics of interest, such as found diaries and family connections, Tamsin's love of literature finally won and an idea began to shape around Ovid's story of 'Apollo and Daphne'.

During the project elements of the story of Apollo and Daphne have surfaced among the artists in different forms. Here follows a brief outline of the story for those unfamiliar with it.

The god Apollo had teased Eros about his abilities as an archer, stating that the small stature of his arrows meant that they would be weak and ineffectual. Eros, angered by this, shot two arrows. Each had been dipped; one in gold, the other, made blunt, in lead. The gold tipped arrow would impart an insatiable lust in whoever it pierced. The lead tipped arrow would impart an abhorrence of passion and thus struck, that person would have no interest in love. On firing, the gold tipped arrow hit Apollo and the other pierced Daphne, daughter of the river god, Peneus. 
Thus ensued an unwelcome pursuit of Daphne by Apollo. Daphne ran from him endlessly and finally growing weary, feared that he'd catch her. In an act of desperation she reached a river and called to her father for help. Peneus took pity on her and, with the gift of transformation which the river gods possessed, transformed Daphne into a laurel tree. Her arms became slim branches and her legs took root just as Apollo reached her. Still enamoured with her, Apollo used his powers to turn Daphne into an evergreen and declared that her leaves would adorn the heads of heroes and leaders and would never decay. 
Daphne, revered.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Work in Progress: Kathleen Murphy

A murderous hand..?

 A. Big. Fat. Halt. 
Progress with my project piece came to a shuddering halt in April. Other commitments became more pressing for a while and I was just not feeling enough oomph about any of the ideas in my sketchbook to see them through to completion. I was getting tangled in a need for the piece to have significant meaning and nothing felt meaningful enough. Rather sadly, I had also begun to really dislike the name Daphne.
By this point, as the project's administrator, the other artists began sending me their finished glove pieces. Beautiful, thoughtful, well executed works of art. Gulp. This did nothing to help the creative freeze. 
A few months go by & I'm ever aware of the ticking Daphne clock. I take out the glove again and give it a thorough inspection. It's lacklustre, the fabric has bobbled slightly from wear and it has been repaired twice at the thumb. My initial plan to keep it whole and use it as a hand was blocking me. I needed a new tack.  
There was only one thing for it, Daphne must be chopped up and the glove must DYE!

With a frankly cavalier attitude to plant material choice, I retrieved a bunch of beetroot leaves destined for the bin, a handful of onion skins and a couple of avocado skins for good measure, and concocted a witches brew to boil the offensive item in.  
I wasn't expecting a great result. Not only was it a mixed bag of plant material which may work against each other, the glove hadn't been mordanted in any way. Being a nylon mix fabric, any colour absorption was going to be slim. Some scraps of cotton, wool mix fabric & another old glove were added to the dye pot to see what would happen. The fabric was boiled in the brew for an hour before being allowed to cool in the pot over night. 
Well, what do you know -the pale glove sucked up the colour! Not the most attractive colour, a sort of sickly, lichen-green, but something I could work with. Already I was starting to feel more positive.
So what's next? Ah yes, chopping & the deconstruction of Daphne. Mwoar-ha-ha-hah! "

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Ready for your close up Daphne?

Photographing the photographer

A scene from last weekend's Group Gathering photo shoot. All 38 (yes, 38) individual pieces of project work have now been professionally photographed, the results of which will appear in the run up to next month's exhibition at The Weavers Gallery. 
Many thanks to Gerard Hughes photography for his sterling work in capturing it all.

Monday, 24 August 2015

A Workshop Bonus

Due to popular demand, Mariette Voke will be running an additional, 'Afternoon of Watercolour & Collage'  workshop during this Autumn's exhibition in Ledbury at The Weavers Gallery.
The additional date will be Monday 5th October,  2-5pm, £25 per person.
To book a place please email
Please note that Mariette's workshop on Friday 9th October 2015 is now FULL.

Further details can be found on our workshop page HERE

Saturday, 1 August 2015

An Embroidery in Progress: Claire A Baker

Here you see work in progress on a section of Claire A Baker's project piece. Such detailed embroidery takes time - the image above is the result of two and a half hours of hand sewing alone.
The embroidery is following the marks resulting from Claire's colour discharge technique. The richness Claire has achieved from such density of stitch is further enhanced with the addition of tiny scraps of lace and some fine beading work. The result is a colourful & textural feast on the fabric's surface.

Friday, 31 July 2015

The House of Daphne: Sarah Burford

There will be a selection of Sarah Burford's beautiful illustrations exhibited alongside her Daphne's Glove project piece this Autumn. 

"Under the creative direction of Sarah Burford (Curious Pip), The House of Daphne is ready to launch it's new season collection this September. Bucking tradition The House of Daphne has decided to unveil the collection not in Paris, London or Milan but, wait for it...The Weavers Gallery in Herefordshire." 

Front row seat anyone..?  
The millinery creations of Elsa Schiaparelli & Lilly Dache have been a rich source of inspiration for Sarah Burford's Daphne. 

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Dents & The Rabbit

Earlier this year when English glove maker Dents heard about the inclusion of several pairs of their vintage gloves in the Daphne's Glove project, they very kindly sent us some leather scraps for the artists use.
(We included a short video showing how a Dent's glove is made in an earlier post HERE.) 
In these photographs you can see how delightfully those scraps have been transformed by Karen Shapley into a bag and paws for her project piece - the Rabbit.
Thank you Dents - this has brought an element of both historic and contemporary British glove making into the project.    
Rabbit arms with red suede paws

Leather foraging bag complete with tiny piece of driftwood

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Blotter: Mandy Pattullo

 The addition of an item which has been in Mandy Pattullo's possession for some time brings together all the elements for her Daphne's story to conclude. A much used red blotter marked with cup rings from beverages past and tattooed with the name Paul.

"Now I have finished the book (of print & stitch) which brings me and Daphne and the glove together I am starting to think a little of the presentation. I was a great diary writer myself when a teenager. All that angst about boys you fancied, the whole dating experience mixed in with lists of meals eaten that day and the carefully recorded lists of the top twenty and books read. I wrote my dairy sitting at the desk where I did all my homework. In those days we wrote in ink and this blotter with a doodley bit of blotting paper inserted was always under whatever I was doing. Sometimes the doodles extended to under the sheet of blotting paper. I don’t even remember who “Paul” was! 
It seems fitting to present my Daphne work on this piece of my past. I also plan to send some of the diaries to the exhibition, just the red ones of course, so that you can read in full about Daphne’s exploits."

Friday, 26 June 2015

Back in the Room

Begging to be unwrapped
Phew! It's been a busy few months for all involved with this year's Group Gathering project and we hope that you will excuse us our temporary update hiatus over the last few weeks? Teaching commitments, commissions, open studio events & new exhibitions have been keeping us all on our toes as well as the last push to complete Daphne's Glove project pieces. 
The photographs you see here are some of the finished pieces on arrival with the curator of the project. As well as by postal delivery the work has been gathered via rendezvous points or third parties around the country. In some cases this has been a great excuse for artists to meet for the first time too as work is handed over. The work will be catalogued and photographed before the inaugural exhibition in late September.
In the meantime we'll resume our dialogue with you here and fill in those missing gaps during our period of 'silence'!
From small & slim parcels...

To extra large boxes!

Monday, 4 May 2015

Stitch on: Claire A Baker

Let the stitching commence! Claire A Baker has set herself quite a challenge in terms of the quantity of embroidery ahead of her to complete this impressive piece...

"The Daphne piece is becoming more substantial...dip dyed and fading to the all it needs is hand embroidery. A lot. I'm thinking with thick wool..! The floral stitching in these photographs has been made with a digital machine, the shot of lime green has been made on an Irish."

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Work in Progress: Christine Kelly

During this year's project the role of women through history has provided inspiration for several of the participating artists. Here is an account of how generations of women from the same family have inspired Christine Kelly's intricately hand stitched piece.

"I've almost finished my piece now and I'm aware I haven't shared that much about my process - it's not something that comes naturally, as I'm so often working in isolation, head down and stitching. However I thought I'd share a bit about my inspirations."

"As well as the fabric of the glove itself, the shapes of it's parts when it was dismantled, was the fact of it being an object left behind, a memento from a woman's life. I was reminded of an exhibition I saw back in 2007 at the Millennium Galleries in Sheffield. It was the Messel Family Dress collection. A collection of items from the wardrobes of six generations of women, the items record their lives but also the changing lives of women throughout the generations. Many items are lovingly preserved and labelled with notes pinned to the garments which record the memories attached to them. I have made a collection of items which once belonged to a fictional 'Daphne' and a pocket to house them in, all of the items incorporate fabric fragments from the glove. The final task is to add the labels, which will preserve the memories attached to Daphne's souvenirs."
If you are interested in the Messel Family Dress collection, you can read more about it here…/…/fashion-and-fancy-dress-2/

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Daphne's Smile: Mandy Pattullo

The box of old diaries uncovered in a flea market by Mandy Pattullo earlier this year, had another gem to offer - this black & white photograph.   

"At last I can reveal MY Daphne. I know the name of the diary writer to be Daphne and the photograph had just Daphne written in pencil on the back so I think it is a fair deduction that she is the diary writer. Doesn't she just look like the sort of girl who would always wear gloves!"

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Work in Progress: Sarah Burford

Sarah Burford's pouting 'Daphne' has gained the most marvellous headgear which, if you look closely, you can see has been made from the fingers of her project glove. Further pieces of glove have become the ruched sleeves of her costume.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Work in Progress: Mandy Pattullo

"I have been marbling some paper for the end papers of my book. The Fabriano took the marbling ink well though I am a little dissatisfied with the colour which is not quite turkey red enough for me! In my studio I have stuck fabric on the end boards and when it is dry I will be able to start to assemble my story of Daphne's Glove."

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

An Extra Feature for 2015

The inaugural exhibition of Daphne's Glove which take's place this Autumn (29th September - 11th October), will be accompanied by a series of creative workshops with some of this year's project artists.
This is a chance to connect with the artists directly by learning about some of the techniques they use in their work and an opportunity to try them out for yourself.
The workshops will take place at the Weavers Gallery in Ledbury, Herefordshire, where the exhibition is being held. Further information about the workshops available and how to book a place can be found HERE. or by clicking on the image in the panel on the left.

Please note places are limited. Booking opens today.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Daphne & Patricia: Ali Ferguson

Ali Ferguson's response to the Daphne's Glove challenge is almost complete, so here are the stories behind the second and third characters in her glove trilogy, the first being Simmie who you can read about HERE.  

"Once I had begun work on Simmie's story Daphne's Glove and story started to emerge. I decided that she could keep her story hidden. I know she is a strong character with something from her past that she chooses not to share. The day after deciding this I came across this envelope hidden amongst my old letters - marked simply "Last from B". A short and slightly intimidating letter stating, amongst other things, "you admit misconduct more than a dozen times" and "I want my freedom as much as you". Also in the envelope is a solicitor's document dated 1958 titled, "Your Nullity Suit". 
Oh Daphne how I admire your courage to ignore the gossip and go your own way."

Above, Daphne's glove with the layers of her story ready to be cut from the calico and placed into her drawer.

The beginning of Patricia's glove

"Patricia's Glove, pictured above in progress. Patricia is my mother-in-law and has provided me with several pairs of nylon gloves throughout the project. She kept just producing one pair at a time from her dressing table - hence my reason for using drawers to display the final glove pieces!
I aim to have the final drawer finished by the end of this week"

Thursday, 16 April 2015

The Presence of Daphne's Absence: Claire A Baker

For all of the artists involved in this project their creativity is a driving passion, how they earn their daily crust and present in all aspects of their life. As a result this often means keeping a lot of 'plates spinning' at the same time.  Claire A Baker is no exception to this; textile & surface designer, maker & lecturer who last Autumn also began an MA at Manchester Metropolitan University. A busy person indeed.

Here Claire talks us through her response to the glove brief and the presence of an absent Daphne.

"I have found it incredibly difficult to try and fit this project in but I have been determined since the beginning to create something aesthetically pleasing at the very least. However, it has, I admit, been much more difficult than I thought. And now it comes to producing the final piece my intentions are faltering again. technically, I keep disappointing myself.
My thoughts and ideas have only slowly taken shape and evolved. I wanted to 'suggest' the absent wearer (Daphne), a trace of her if you will, hopefully to provoke a sentiment, a connection, questions...
For my MA I have been researching memory; items left behind that suggest past lives, then conversely objects that could/would be evocative but are no longer there (physically) and trying to work out how to invent this using fabric and thread.
After much experimentation into technique albeit based on a different visual, I thought I had an excellent plan for Daphne's glove. The reality is though that great ideas rarely look so great when immediately put into practice. So I struggle on...
Claire's original glove in positive & negative form
"I am working on a fabric piece, eventually using a somewhat darker palette than I started with, suggesting/indicating that Daphne has passed, though her femininity and (futile?) attempts at 'ladylike-ness' remain.
Using screen printing techniques and a photographic negative image of the (opened) glove I have 'removed' the image from the fabric only leaving an imprint of it, as Daphne did on life."
"The florals were printed using a stencil inspired by a pattern on a piece of torn wallpaper I photographed in an abandoned derelict house discovered in Cork, earlier this year - a room forgotten. I originally wanted the piece to be faded, imperceptible, almost not there but growing with vibrancy, detail and colour towards the 'end', that time when you no longer care about what other people think or how they see you. Caution to the wind and all that."
"However using the dark background means the discharged elements stand out starker than I first wanted."
The orginal colour palette was quite pale
 "I could overdye the whole thing but I would prefer the glove to stay white so I may dip dye the lower part of the design to knock it back a little, although I really like the contrast. We shall see after I have slept on it. Then I MUST start stitching! I sampled the domestic digital machine as it is all I will have access to for a while but I do intend to also hand embroider...quickly!"
Machine embroidered sample

You can see the full version of Claire's post on her blog HERE