Saturday, 16 June 2012

World Textile Day Scotland

What could be better on a dreich, wet and foggy day than to go and feast your eyes on colourful textiles while at the same time enjoying some fabric (and other!) retail therapy as well as meeting up with like-minded friends?. This happy event was the World Textile Day Scotland taking place in Bridge of Allan. The highlight of the day was no doubt the talk by John Gillow about African and Asian Costume and all the pictures seen in this post are from the examples he showed us.
Most of these pictures were taken while the textiles in question were resting on my knees which explains why not all of them are prefect but for us, textile artists, they will form great source material both for design and techniques.
You won't be surprised to hear that it's the surface embellishment such as the beading and the metal thread work (such as seen above) that stole my heart every time.
But there is also a connection to the (mostly) women who produced these pieces of art, because that's really what they are, although they were originally made to be worn. These women may be far removed from us by both space and time but we are united in our endeavours to make something beautiful with our hands.  And they were better at it than us. Some of the work is minute and you can only wonder how their eyes coped. Their  tools too were far inferior to what we have to work with and yet they produced miracles with what they had at their disposal.
 Just the different patterns achieved with simple stitching are astonishing
 and you'll have to take my word for the fact that the above example of needle lace was little more than 1cm (1/4") long and wide.
 gorgeous satin stitching and the orange was almost giving off light
This was my favourite (and thus became my blip today). The buttons are plastic but oh, the effect of them all together combined with more beading in white and the many different coloured cottons made my heart sing!
 A wonderful peacock
 And more multi-coloured embroidery in the shape of shisha (that's the mirrors) work.
Just see how truly tiny that stitching is if you compare it to the size of the buttons on the left which are less than 1/2" (1cm) in size.
 This looks very much like a figure on the photograph although I didn't realize that when I was taking the picture
 And the patterns in this flow so beautifully over the surface
This was my very close second favourite piece. It features my favourite shape of all time, the circle, and has wonderful decorations with buttons, beads and metal elements. It was to be found on the same piece of work as the picture below
 which has more minute stitching. The white button embellishment around the shapes made me think of how I decorate with beads along the binding of my journal quilts and I'm sure that somewhere along the way this must be where my idea originally came from. I have quite a collection of foreign embroidery pieces myself (many bought from John Gillow!) and look at them regularly for inspiration.
And finally a piece of woven bead work and the randomness of the colour distribution makes it so much more attractive to the eye, at least my eye.

John Gillow spend most of his adult life travelling the world, buying and selling textiles and is a world expert on the subject. If you want to find out more, he has written many books which not only have stunning photographs but are full to the brim with information about the when, where and how of the textiles featured. You can find his books here.

Yes, before you ask, I did indeed spend a fortune, not just on more fabrics but also on some outfits which proved irresistable, and all that more than justified the very tedious drive back in thick (and I mean THICK) fog. Hope this event will be repeated next year. I for one can't wait.


Lenna Young Andrews said...

oh Frieda!!! Be still my heart. I am so happy you spent such an enjoyable day. My favorite was the little tiny needle lace in the form of flowers, but all the pieces were a delight to look at. wow!

Linda said...

So much inspiration and enjoyment in one day. Certainly must have made the drive home more bearable.

Helen Cowans said...

I am interested to know which costumes went home with you????? I'm so happy with my quilt!

Jewels said...

Frieda I am hard put to pick a favorite - all look wonderful. Lucky you to be able to also "feel" as well. Thanks for sharing...

Gillian Cooper said...

I'm glad the day was such a success. Wish I could have been there with you all - I adore John Gillow's collections - but I had to run an exhibition locally instead. Hope they run it again on a day I can go!

Emily's Mum said...

Freida- I cant believe I forgot to go to this. It was 3 miles down the road from me! Looks amazing. I bought some John Gillow fabrics recently and am working on a pattern from it at the moment so the inspiration would have been perfect.

Linda said...

These photos had me sqealing with delight-such gorgeous works of fabric art-wow!! That delicate needle lace is incredible. You must've felt like you were in paradise despite the outside weather.


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