Monday, 23 July 2012

Wonderwool 2012

I know this was in April but it's taken this long for me to thaw out! Only kidding, but good golly it was cold. By the end of the weekend we were wearing pretty much every knitted sample we could lay our hands on from the samples we had with us - the blanket and the shawl only escaped because they were already pinned to the wall!

Here we have Pete modelling the tasselled ski hat, matching scarf and funky knit mitts....

 And I am sporting more funky knit mitts, a slipstitch beret in lovely warm bfl aran and a warm cowl made in our gorgeous mohair/wool/nylon boucle - a single skein of hand-dyed coziness!

 Thanks go to the folks at the coffee stand for hot and tasty coffee and hot chocolate...yum!

Sunday, 22 July 2012

May clubs - Rust and water

 For this month's clubs I took two slightly different approaches for the yarn and the roving to reflect distinct parts of the inspiration image which was a beautiful picture by writer and photographer Mufidah Kassalias. Both were based on the same base shades but two different techniques produced a rich, deep colourway on the yarn

and a softer, more muted colourway on the roving. 

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Arts for Health

I don't have a lot of pics to share from the Arts for Health course I've just finished at Bolton University but it was a great course!

Here's something we did on the first day - everyone had paint and a brush and had to draw a continuous line on a long piece of paper. We all worked at the same time (all 18 of us!) and every time we crossed someone else's line we had to ask them by name for their permission. Sounds bizarre but it was a great way to learn names and to start interacting with a big group of people.

As you can see, 18 people can create a lot of lines in a few minutes!!

This rather, um, striking picture was an exploration of how different media can be used for creating reflective journals. Not being much one for drawing, it isn't exactly a work of art! We were asked to describe in pictures on an A2 sheet of paper, an event from the previous week. I'm not about to explain what the event was but suffice to say, I'm a bit of a convert to visual reflection - a picture paints a thousand words as they say! It was really quite cathartic.

Friday, 20 July 2012

April clubs - Fractals in Violet

Fractals are just awesome - I love the shapes and find it fascinating that they are a product of nature. I find them so meditative and relaxing and could stare at them for hours (in the unlikely event that I had hours that is!). There are lots of amazing fractal art websites out there and this month's colourway is inspired by the piece you can see above from seemslikereality

It's called Violet Lace Portal and I've interpreted it in yarn and fibre as Fractals in Violet....

On superwash wool/nylon...

And on some lovely merino roving.....

March Clubs - Holi Hai!

A belated series of posts catching up with sock and fibre clubs! Beginning with March....

March is the Hindu festival of colour, Holi, celebrated at the end of winter on the last full moon of the lunar month of Phalguna. It has many mythical associations and heralds the arrival of Spring, bringing hope of fertility and a good year to come. 

Participants  throw coloured, scented powders at each other and social strictures are cast aside in an abundant, joyful celebration. I'm sure it will come as no surprise to you to find out that I think this is the most awesome festival tradition and I loved creating a colourway to reflect such colourful exuberance. Holi Hai!

For a taste of the sheer joy of Holi see it beautifully captured by photojournalist Poras Chaudary

Monday, 2 July 2012

Arts for Health and Wellbeing - Our Exhibition of Work

May and June have certainly been busy months here at Tomkies Towers! One of the things that's been keeping me out of mischief is a fantastic new course being run by Bolton University. The course is all about the benefits of art on health and wellbeing. I'll be writing more on the course itself, but for the moment I'll hand over to our course tutors, Sarah and Anne, who can put it much better than me!

"The University of Bolton would be delighted to invite you to a preview Arts & Health exhibition on Tuesday, 3rd July. 

This will be your opportunity to sample the reflective work of artists, who participated in the pilot course, 'Arts for Health and Wellbeing: Becoming a Practitioner'. The course was designed in conjunction with Bolton Primary Care Trust, Bolton Council and Bolton at Home for professional artists who were experienced in running workshops and who wanted to gain an insight into working with people in health, mental health, community, or social care contexts.

The artists have chosen a variety of media such as painting, poetry, polymer clay, video and craft to explore the impact that creativity and reflective practice have on health and wellbeing. They were asked to use their medium as a tool to explore their own sense of well being over a period of a few weeks. This process has allowed the artists to gain an insight into what a participant on an arts and health initiative may experience as they begin to use arts as a tool for self-discovery.

The exhibition will take place on the 3rd floor of Senate House (textiles room) at 4pm – 6pm on Tuesday 3rd July. Refreshments will be provided and artists will be available to discuss their work. The show will remain open until noon on Friday 6th July. (Please refer to zone E on the campus map: 

So, if you're in the Bolton area between tomorrow and Friday, do stop by and have a look at our work. And if you are interested in the course, I'd definitely recommend it :-)
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