‘Stone’ stand TG4, 2017
That was some of the many words written in my comments book at last week’s Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace, London. I’ve only just had time to sit and reflect on how wonderful the week was….
Some of the comments
After so long, in the planning and making, it finally came together. When I applied for the Knitting and Stitching Show almost 2 years ago I had a vision of using British wool to make large scale wallhangings that looked and felt like stone. It was so lovely to see people touching and feeling (and even hugging) the stones. I wanted the textures of all the different fibres to be felt – the organisers had given me ‘Please do not touch’ signs which I rejected, much to the pleasure of all the visitors alike!
Can I really ‘hug a stone’ ??
I really went on a fabulous journey in the research of my stones and learnt a lot along the way – from the history of standing stones to the superstitions of hagstones and the writings of ancient Ogham. Over the week I met some great people in London – from the lady who bought an art book to sketch every day (on my advise!!) to the school children who sat cross legged on the floor to work out what the Ogham lines said…..
I am still managing to work with my Kombucha and used it along side the felt. Having now worked out how to waterproof the cellulose fabric I hope to move forward with the research next year.
The physical problems of making such large pieces were also a challenge but with help from some very dear friends…both physical and mentally I couldn’t have done it without them…so thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!
Two weeks and then I go to Dublin with the exhibition and on to Harrogate at the end of November..hope to see some of you there…..
PS. Helen..never got that ‘selfie’ with you…!
Stones -Sarah Waters, 2017
So .. 2 weeks today and Alexandra Palace will open for the Knitting & Stitching Show 2017. After over a year in the planning my solo gallery ‘Stone‘ will be there for everyone to see. It’s been a long road to completion and there have been many challenges to overcome along the way……but ‘with a little help from my friends’ I have finally finished on time. So if you’re planning a visit then please do stop, look and chat…I’m in Textile Gallery TG4. I’m not saying too much about the work yet and will let it speak for itself. If you’re about on Thursday 12th October then I’m giving a talk….the link for tickets is here
It’s been nearly thirty years since I last exhibited with Knit & Stitch.. things have moved on a lot since then…so I’m excited to be returning after such a long time!! I will then be off to Dublin and Harrogate in November with the gallery.
My exhibition work, just like buses, has come all at once this year. So I plan 2018 to have my head down and do some experimenting and creative work without the pressures of deadlines looming!
I did however manage to have some fun over the summer too…with the Association of Guilds of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers. Their biannual summer school was at Sparsholt near Winchester and I had a group of wonderfully amazing students for a whole week of felting. What fun we had…!
Some of the 3D work
Two extra students!
My other workshops are keeping me busy too. If you’re interested in one near you then do click on my website www.sarahwaterstextiles.com to look or to put yourself on my mailing list.
That’s all for now. I need to get back to last minute details for my stay in London. Hope to see some of you soon.
PS See you in Ally Pally Helen !
Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun! And the older you get the faster it seems to fly though…..! And while I haven’t actually been flying I have been sailing across the oceans. I spent the cold month of January teaching on part of the World Cruise for P&O. I saw some amazing places and met some lovely people. So much so I’m off again next year on the Queen Elizabeth from San Francisco to Brisbane…all in the name of work!!!
While I have been absent from my blog I haven’t been quiet on the felt front. I have been teaching my regular felt classes in Woodgreen and popping up and down the country doing the odd workshop here and there, including the International Feltmakers AGM in Suffolk where I was teaching felt cuffs and fingerless gloves. Click here to see more info on International Feltmakers Association
Under the Microscope
I now have my head down with the last few days of preparation for the joint exhibition ‘Under the Microscope’ at Rum’s Eg Gallery, Romsey, Hampshire with textile artist Helen Sill. You are all welcome to attend the private view just email the gallery here to let them know. Helen and I would love to see you next Tuesday evening…but if not you can catch the exhibition until June 23rd 2017. Upstairs in the gallery Prince Charles will also have his paintings together with etchings from Queen Victoria from the 31st May 2017
Anyone wanting to do a 3D felt vessel class at Rum’s Eg there’s still a couple of places on the workshop next Wednesday 24th
That’s a quick update for now and also to say watch this space as I am working on samples and small pieces in readiness for my gallery space ‘STONE’ at Knit and Stitch in London, Dublin and Harrogate this Autumn. More information about the events here
That’s all for now…will been in touch soon with some more blogging!
PS Are you all ready for next week Helen ??
It doesn’t seem that long since I last wrote my blog but WordPress has just told me it’s been six months and it’s about time I wrote another!!! I know I said I was going to be quiet with head down doing lots of work but I indeed went VERY quiet as I was out of action for several weeks as I broke my ribs…felting two wall hangings!!! But in true heroic style two friends came to my rescue and did all the hard work of finishing and fulling them for me ready in time to be hung at Art van Go in Hertfordshire as part of the ‘From the Earth Exhibition. If you go on their ‘visual tour’ of the shop you will see them in situ!
Earlier in the summer I was selected from hundreds of artists by the readers of Craft & Design Magazine to be put forward to their annual awards. The judging for the Textile and Needlecraft section was judged by Polly Leonard from the selvedge magazine. This is what she had to say:
“All six of this year’s Finalists demonstrate commitment and passion for their chosen discipline. It is always difficult to differentiate amongst such a deserving group. All of the Finalists deserve to be congratulated for the tenacity necessary to develop the level of craftsmanship on display.
Sarah Waters makes good use of the three-dimensional qualities of felt. I am particularly drawn to her hats and boots. Sarah lives in the New Forest, and this proximity to the natural world has given her heightened concern for environmental issues, which she communicates in her work. She is a diverse maker and comfortably turns her hand to a variety of creative pursuits including teaching and community projects.” Polly Leonard, April 2016.
Once again I was part of the Hampshire Open Studios, during August, at the Coach House Studios in Woodgreen. Great fun to be a part of every year -meeting new and old friends alike! This year even included a birthday party on the Sunday afternoon..Happy Birthday Peter!!
September has started with a bang and a fun-filled show at the Salisbury Contemporary Heritage and Craft Festival in the beautiful grounds of the Cathedral. A wonderful three days; the icing on the cake was being awarded the Best Local Maker 2016!! Press shots and interviews to follow…..
So that’s where I’m up to at the moment! My workshops are almost full now in the run up to Christmas..so if you were wanting to do one..you’ve probably left it too late! But go to Felt Workshops on my website for more details, just in case.
And finally I have lots of exciting things happening for 2017, including teaching on the cruise ships again and residential workshops across the country. But that blog is for next time…. until then Happy Felting!
The sun is out and it’s time for me to come out of hibernation! No I have actually been busy with lots of felt workshops and teaching in schools. It’s great to see so many people embracing felt as a medium. I’ve also been busy making lots of felt gloves and cuffs…perfect birthday presents at this time of year!
Last week I had some fab ladies from Ringwood and Hangersley WI making felt bowls… 26 in all …it was a challenge for them in only an hour and limited space..well done everyone you did brilliantly!
Ringwood and Hangersley WI 2016
Then there have been the regular felt workshops in Woodgreen Village Hall -Book Covers, Surface Design,Flowers (see students photos below). There are still two Felt Jewellery workshops left on April 16th (full) and May 14th (places still available) if you want to learn how to create stunning accessories in felt.
Felt Book Covers
Felt Surface Design
Felt Surface Design
3D Felt Flowers
Being an artist (is that what I am?) I’m always being asked what I do and what is my job title…Feltmaker? Teacher? Craftsman? Does it really matter? But for now I have decided what really matters though is the work you produce and the meaning behind it. That is why I am now spending time researching ideas and developing a ‘body of work’. [Oh and I think I might call myself a textile artist for now!] So I am keeping my head down, consolidating my work for several exciting things that are happening later in the year.
Trying to develop yourself as an artist (Textile) you have to have many strings to your bows. So when I got asked to be part of the village calendar I jumped at the idea. I’m Miss September!!! No as you can see I did keep my clothes on and the photo shows me chatting with Jack about his Jacob sheep….oh I do so miss being a sheep farmer, especially ay this time of year with all the lambs around.
(Photo credits-Bill Shepley)
Lastly, before I go back to the studio to do some work, I have been selected for the Craft & Design magazine selected Maker Awards!! If you have time do vote for me at www.craftmaker.co.uk/SarahWaters It would be lovely to get £1000 of publicity from them…
That’s it for now…do have a look at my website www.sarahwaterstextiles.com for more information.
Just because I’ve been quiet on the blog front you might have thought that I have been quiet with work..but no…not in the slightest!! I have just finished some felt 3D work for the New Ashgate Gallery, in Farnham,Surrey, as part of their Contemporary textiles Exhibition that starts at the end of the month. Do get along to the wonderful gallery and see what else they have on display.
Now just as you think things might get quiet for me I am all of a panic and countdown to my next event…MADE Brighton next week. Having been selected earlier in the year to exhibit in this prestigious show, organised by Tutton and Young, I thought that I would have plenty of time to make work! Silly me….I forgot that I had exhibitions, magazine articles to write and lots of teaching in between!! So it’s now head down and lots of work till I leave for my B&B next Thursday. If you fancy coming along then why not take advantage of their 2for1 offer.
MADE BRIGHTON – The Design and Craft Fair
20 – 22 November, 2015
The Dome Corn Exchange, Brighton, BN1 1UG
Open 11.00 – 17.00
£6.50 on the door, under 14s free
To receive a 2 for the price of 1 ticket to this show, please complete the form here http://eepurl.com/nQBp9 with your name, postal address and offer code EXH before Monday 16 November and a voucher will be sent to you in the post to present at the door.
So it was down to some more indigo dyeing today and scarf making tomorrow….
Will keep you posted on how things go over the next week..but do come and see all the wonderful work at Brighton if you can ..I’m on Stand 80…and say ‘Hello’!
It must be the season for exhibitions. The exhibition Black and White in Finland has just finished (Photo credits – Olli Levaniemi). Shame I couldn’t get over to see my work hung in the flesh, so to speak, but lovely to be part of an International exhibition.
And today I have just been helping to set up the exhibition ‘Stitched’ in Romsey Abbey. It was a beautiful morning and the light was shining onto the exquisite pieces of work being hung. This is an exhibition organised by Susan Chapmen together with Rum’s Eg Gallery. It is open from 30th September until 1st November. PV tomorrow night if you want to meet all the artists. A sneak preview here but you really need to see all the work up close (or up high in the case of those arches from the huge archways!).
Sanctus l,ll and lll
Sanctus l,ll and lll, Sarah Waters 2015
Sanctus, Romsey Abbey -Sarah Waters 2015
Sanctus l,ll and lll – Sarah Waters 2015
Now to get the studio sorted and back to prepping for the up and coming workshops…..
It’s been a busy and long but fun couple of weeks that has called the summer to an end. 10 days of the Hampshire Open Studios saw several hundred people through the Coach House Studio, despite the rain! Four artists work to view and copious teas/cakes and lunches were served by Eloise who was raising money for the charity Ameca, in Malawi. At times we were huddled inside with the hatches buttoned down while the rain hammered outside!! However it did give me time to get some making during the quiet periods – with a little help from my friends!!
Teaching the others to make felt
It was then a quick turn around for the Salisbury Craft and Heritage Festival in Salisbury’s cathedral close. A wonderfully well organised show with 108 exhibitors. Such a variety of talent from all over the country. The weather held out and 2 days of non-stop chatting and selling ensued.
PV with my buddies Sarah Orchard and Dawn Gear
Great to have such a quality show on the doorstep. Next year it’s expanding to three days. Well worth a visit. I was even home by 5pm on takedown night with a glass on wine in my hand..not many of the exhibitors could say they had done that!
My Kombucha and Growth of a new Fabric made an outing
Now it’s time a move up a gear and finish off the work for Romsey Abbey and the Stitched exhibition that starts at the end of the month. Susan Chapman and Hilary Marshall’s work has already opened in Rum’s Eg and this is followed by lots of us graduates from Eastleigh exhibiting in the Abbey. Do try and get along to see it if you can. Very inspirational!
From now to Christmas I am running several workshops in Woodgreen, Rum’s Eg gallery and the Ashcroft centre in Fareham. Do look at my website for details if you are interested in learning more. www.sarahwaterstextiles.com
More exciting news is that I have been selected to exhibit at MADE Brighton. Just booked the B&B so it must be happening!! Now to make lots more work…but how and when? I just keep making lists and they seem to being getting longer and longer…….. any suggestions????
It’s been awhile since my last post but a lot has happened and is about to happen! Last month saw the past Graduates join together at the Eastleigh College Textile Exhibition. I have been continuing to work with my Kombucha with a piece entitled Inside: Outside. A felt and Kombucha 3D installation, based on Scandinavian sculptures.
Continuing the with the theme of cells my felt wallhangings take their design from the microscopic structure of the skin of the Kombucha
Now I’m looking forward to next weekend and the start of 10 days of Hampshire Open Studios. This will be at least my tenth one and it’s always a rush to get everything ready in time. Having three of us makes the days much more fun. We never seem to stop laughing….do we Sarah and Wendy?!
Come and see us at the Coach House Studio in Woodgreen, in the New Forest, (Venue No 4). My daughter is doing yummy cakes, lunches and teas, all in aid of her trip to Malawi, as a Nursing Student with the charity Ameca. Well worth coming just for the food!
Straight off the back of that I am exhibiting at the Salisbury Craft and Heritage Festival in Salisbury’s Cathedral grounds. Hope I have enough stock left from the Open Studios. I can see some late nights coming up….
I have lots more exciting news and events that are coming up..but I will save that for another time. But for now I need to carry on and finish the felt and silk nuno scarves that I spent a couple of days dyeing with indigo. I think I’m getting very obsessed by blue..my garden is full of blossoming indigo plants..great fun!
Why does it take so long to get on top of things on a Monday morning? I had all good intentions but it’s nearly midday and I haven’t finished the emails or the paper work!
I even wrote myself a long list of to dos..urgent; now; and can wait….and I ran out of paper!
I have many different projects going on right now. I’m trying to finish a couple of magazine articles on felting and also finish work for an exhibition in Finland over the summer. I’m continuing the work with more of my Chaos Cells from 2 years ago. Shirbori technique into pre-felts representing cancer cells.
I did however get to starting my Kombucha brewing again this weekend. Now the weather is warming up conditions are perfect for growing and I won’t need the heated electric blankets. So the buckets came out and the trays are starting to pile up again. Now to wait for the pellicles to grow.
I find it very therapeutic ‘tending’ to the trays daily! Reminds me of my sheep farming days. While I let the cellulose grow I am trying to find ways to waterproof the fabric that I made last year. Several routes are looking promising..watch this space! It’s exciting to be taking the Kombucha to the next stage. Work on the graduates exhibition at Romsey Abbey, in the Autumn, is moving along the pipeline thankfully.
I’ve also been doing some more sketches of the close up cells in the fabric with the aim of transferring them into large felt wall hangings for the summer exhibition.
So now I need to get back to the studio..and to some real work!