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A Celtic Mystery

The story of the Bann Disc – (Dreaming In Stitches)

Dreaming In Stitches

A Slow Stitch Story…

It’s not every time I make a piece of stitched textile art that I could tell you for certain where the inspiration came from, often they seem to evolve from a process of stitching meditation, but that’s not the case with my latest work, this one definitely has a story…

In 1939 a small bronze disc decorated with exquisite spiral whorls, was discovered in the sand and gravel when the River Bann was being dredged near Loughan Island, Co. Derry. it was probably made by a Celtic metal worker in the first century AD and it was this, the Bann Disc which gave me my inspiration.

Who owned it, how it was used, and how it came to be in the river are all mysteries, but this one small artifact (it’s about 10.5 cm diameter) encapsulates everything enchanting for me about the Celts and especially their art.

The…

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Having a stitchy time…

You know how it is, one day it’s January and the next it’s nearly May…

The very observant will also notice that this is not the palette I began 2016 using. That piece is sitting patiently, waiting for me to complete the one you can see in progress below.

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I’ve noticed it before, some pieces just demand to be made. They muscle their way past the other projects you were working on and insist on coming first. That’s the case here at the moment.

This chap is keeping me very busy. After having done so much couching in As Above, this one is being worked exclusively in tent stitch. This is also a pattern I’ve experienced before – where for some reason I seem to need occasionally to let go of the texture and return to a traditional flat stitch. (No doubt though after this is finished, I’ll be right back to texture again!)

But for now, I’m stitching along, with perhaps another few weeks to go before I can show you the finished piece.

We don’t call it slow art for nothing!

Exhibition plans for 2016…

Last year was the first full year I’ve exhibited my stitched tapestries and it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Meeting people and having the opportunity to talk about what I make is just brilliant – I love it. It’s also fabulous working with a community of artists who are so talented and so generous with their time and input.

But hand-stitching is a very slow process and I want to make sure that when I exhibit, I have something new to show, so I’ve decided that I may not exhibit in 2016, in order to give myself the time to bring some new pieces I’m incubating, from my head and into the canvas.

However, if there’s something you’ve seen in the gallery here you’d like more information about, or if you’d like to buy a work, please do contact me directly for more details.

 

Say hello…

If you’d like to see progress being made slightly more often, find me on Instagram where I tend to post ‘work in progress’ snaps a few times a week, along with daily shots from my walks through the countryside in the company of the Delinquent Dog.

Or if you’re on Twitter, you’ll find me there too most days, indulging in my history habit, retweeting arty things, drooling over lots of raven loveliness and other occasional quirky stuff.

And of course you can find me over at my blog Dreaming In Stitches, where who knows what will come along next?

It would be lovely to hear from you…

 

 

 

Happy New Year!

A little late I know, but I hope you have a wonderful 2016!

What a year 2015 turned out to be. The highlights for me were meeting so many fabulous people at the Discover group exhibitions we held in June and November. I feel enormously lucky to be part of such a supportive and energetic group – and I’m very much looking forward to events in 2016.

But now it’s back to the frame! Lots of stitching to do.

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This is the palette for my current piece – not too difficult to guess what inspired it…

For more of the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ of my stitching and day-to-day life, please pop over to my blog Dreaming In Stitches, or follow me on Instagram or Twitter.

All you lovely people…

Massive thanks to all the lovely people who braved the most unpleasant weather last weekend and came over to Ivinghoe to support the Discover group in our pre-Christmas Art Fair.

It was an excellent few days for local artists, with a number of other groups also staging fairs and exhibitions, and really shows what amazing talents there are on our doorsteps.

Of course, taking part in these events can be pretty exhausting, well at least that’s my stitching buddy’s excuse…

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Discover go to Ivinghoe…

Just a week away now from our Discover Original Art Fair in Ivinghoe, which means a heady mixture of excitement and mild panic as we try to get everything ready in time.

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I know many followers here live far too far away to visit us in person, but if you are near Ivinghoe next weekend, we’d be absolutely delighted to welcome you at our exhibition.

 

 

A Day In The Life…

Dreaming In Stitches

There was a short series of programmes on the BBC a while back, called ‘What Do Artists Do All Day?’ Be honest, you wonder about it too don’t you...

The Discover group of artists will be staging an exhibition of our work in November and in preparation, we thought it would be a fun thing, to each describe a typical* day in our arty life.

So, here’s the answer to what this particular artist does all day…

Beginnings

Oh how delightful it would be to rise before dawn for an early mediation as the sun rises, to soak up the peace and quiet of a new day, write 3x A4 Morning Pages** to clear the mind and after 20 minutes of yoga, to eat a breakfast of mixed berries…

2015-10-05 11.57.07 My Grannie’s flat-iron, my mum’s enamel jug and my steam iron…

However, in the real world, I do get up…

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Rock, Water, Cloth…

My latest stitched-tapestry is finished! Here are the details from my blog, Dreaming In Stitches…

Dreaming In Stitches

Being a slow artist has its challenges – not the least of which, is how to blog about a ‘work in progress’. I quickly realised that a weekly update here on my stitched tapestries would end up more like a ‘spot the difference’ competition.

In recent months, I’ve gravitated towards Twitter and Instagram as the places to share occasional stitchy updates, where it feels more natural to post a simple picture as I settle down to stitch with the Delinquent Dog curled up alongside.

If you use these platforms, please do keep in touch that way – it’s always lovely to receive messages ‘in real time’.

But today is one of those special days – a day to share for the first time, a work no longer ‘in progress’, but finished! 

Very often I find it difficult to know where the inspiration for a particular piece comes from, but at least…

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