Thursday, May 23, 2013
The Junior Certificate School Programme provides secondary school students with an opportunity to collaborate with a local artist in the classroom. I was very happy to accept an invitation to work with Junior Certificate students at Presentation College Galway to share some textile skills with them.
We started the project with a visit to an exhibition of craft entitled 'Modified Expression' curated by the Crafts Council of Ireland at the Galway City Museum. The students received blank sketchbooks to record their observations and reactions. We decided to take our inspiration from references to eyes in proverbs, literature and popular culture to create a series of textile art pieces. Following a series of workshops on fabric painting, fusible appliqué and hand-stitching the students created 8x8inch blocks which can be exhibited individually, in groups or all together.
We are delighted that the Westside Library is hosting an exhibition of the work completed during the project in their reception and project room. Cora and the library staff added a further dimension to the project by creating links between the students' work and a selection of books from the library.
The exhibition will run until the 14th of June, so pop in and take a look at the display of textile art, stitch samples, sketchbooks, research, photos and more by these young artists at the Westside Library, Galway.
The CRAFTed project is supported by the Crafts Council of Ireland and the regional Education Centres to bring craft-makers into primary schools to share their skills. I was delighted to be invited to work with 2nd and 3rd class pupils (8-9yrs) to create a textile artwork based on the theme of Spring and New Growth.
We looked at the six species suggested by the Greenwave Project: Hawthorn, Ash, Horse Chestnut, Primrose, Swallow, Frogspawn. What happens to them in Spring, how do they grow and how do they move? We sketched, collaged and made notes in our sketchbooks. We tried to capture the idea of movement by creating 3D fold-outs and pop-ups in our sketchbooks.
But you can also take a look at their work if you visit the International Quilt Festival of Ireland in Galway from 7th to 9th June, 2013, as the wall-hanging will be exhibited as part of the 'Playground' exhibition of children's work. See www.iqfoi.com for more info on this wonderful festival.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Here's an event I will be participating in this weekend!
"Galway County & City Enterprise Board, in conjunction with the Galway County and City Councils are delighted to announce the very first Local Food & Craft Gift Fair showcasing Galway designers, handcrafted goods and artisan produce which will be held on the weekent of Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th of November in the Black Box Theatre, Galway. Opening times will be Saturday 10am - 7pm and Sunday 11am to 5pm.
There will be 40 stands and many of the crafts people will be giving demonstrations of their work throughout the weekend.
There will also be a children's play area and other activities for families.
For more information contact 091 565269, email firstname.lastname@example.org, see www.galwayenterprise.ie or follow us on Facebook."
Monday, November 5, 2012
Stencilling on fabric, fabric collage and card-making are just some of the craft skills I've been working on with the clients of Claregalway & District Day Care Centre as part of a project to bring craft skills into the community.
Over the coming weeks I hope to work with the group on a collaborative piece of textile artwork to hang in the centre's reception area. The clients will discuss skills they have learned and skills they have taught over the years. These memories and stories will weave their way into the artwork we hope to create.
Watch this space!
Friday, October 12, 2012
We each view the world differently and all of our experiences help to make us who we are. ‘Eye of the Needle’ is an exhibition of work created from the imaginations of Junior Certificate students at Presentation College Galway, making notes of their observations in sketchbooks and using their newly acquired skills with fabric and thread.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
I was delighted to receive an invitation to visit the Northern Ireland Patchwork Guild (http://www.nipg.org.uk/) as guest speaker at its meeting on Saturday 6th October where my talk was entitled 'In pursuit of inspiration'. I brought along samples of my work through the years, and a photographic slideshow showing some of the workshops and community arts projects I've been involved with.
The guild members were so welcoming I immediately felt at home and I thoroughly enjoyed my morning with them. It's nice to hear what other groups are planning in terms of workshops, speakers, challenges, exhibitions, etc. 'River Fabrics' of Holywood, provided the shop on the day.
Joint chairperson Anne kindly brought me to see St George's Market after the meeting on Saturday where local food and craft producers sell their work. This was bustling and vibrant with some lovely contemporary craft on show. http://www.belfastcity.gov.uk/stgeorgesmarket/citymarket.asp
We also paid a visit Space Craft, a gallery of contemporary craft. http://www.discovernorthernireland.com/Space-Craft-Belfast-P11814. I particularly loved the ceramics exhibition by Red Earth Designs http://www.redearthdesigns.co.uk/. If you get a chance to visit do so!
On Sunday the venue for my workshop entitled 'Sketchbooks for Textile Artists' was the wonderful Ulster Folk and Transport Museum in Cultra.
Starting a sketchbook is a very enjoyable way to help refine one's own creative style, but can be a little daunting too. I hope I provided participants with the 'tricks' needed to get over any fear they had of those 'perfect, clean, white pages' and soon everyone was enjoying creative chaos with messy hands and ideas flowing. All of us in search of that sometimes elusive thing called 'inspiration'.
Here are just some of the photos from the day at Cultra.
I'd also like to share another link to NIPG member Angela McCormick's blog where she shares some lovely photos of how she works through her sketchbooks. http://pinfiddlequilts.blogspot.ie/
A big THANK YOU to everyone at the Northern Ireland Patchwork Guild for such a warm welcome, a pot-luck dinner, stories shared and great fun during my very enjoyable weekend in Belfast. I'm looking forward to keeping in touch with all the activities of this vibrant guild.
Friday, September 28, 2012
On a recent September night I was invited to the recently restored Claregalway Castle (to join the castle mailing list for future events see http://www.claregalwaycastle.com/). I was delighted to be part of this unique event. Bonfires showed the way to the castle entrance.
A court jester performed in the courtyard.
The castle was open for exploration with a few gargoyles guarding the tower.
www.madeingalway.ie is a website created to promote the food and craft produced in the county and a number of craftspeople were in attendance showing ceramics, woodwork and textiles.
Here's a selection of the work I exhibited on the night.
Watch out for more events showcasing 'Made in Galway' and be sure to visit Claregalway Castle whenever you get a chance!
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
If you've ever thought of making your own patchwork quilt, now is your chance to learn! I kick off classes for beginners on Tuesday evenings from 19.00 to 21.00 at 'Space to Create', Cois Chláir Shopping Centre, Claregalway. The course will run from 2nd October to 13th November. By then you should be well on your way to snuggling up in your own quilt for Winter! Call me on 087 6193870 to book your place.
Friday, September 21, 2012
Mogs McDonnell is an inspirational textile artist and tutor working from her studio Bolg na Talún near Headford, County Galway. To celebrate the work completed by her students every year, an exhibition is held in the Parish Hall.
I particularly loved the 'cathedral windows' quilt Mogs made together with the active retirement group in Kilcoona.
This hexagon quilt was also amazing.
And this smaller quilt was very striking.
(apologies to the makers as I neglected to note down all the names!)
There were many other lovely pieces on show and the opening event was well attended. Be sure to watch out for this annual display as it is always a treat!
Friday, September 7, 2012
Follow this link to see photos of all the Irish entries at the "Crossroads" exhibition at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham. http://midwestpatchwork.blogspot.ie/2012/08/eqa-crossroads-exhibition-at-festival.html Mine is the second from the bottom on the left.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
CraftED: A collaborative project supported by the Crafts Council of Ireland and Education Centres around Ireland
The CraftEd programme is supported by the Crafts Council of Ireland and National Eductional Centres to bring craft-makers into Primary School classrooms to collaborate with the teachers and pupils on a visual arts project.
I was lucky to have had the opportunity to work with the 5th and 6th class pupils of Brackloon National School near Westport during their final term.
The Mayo TV film-crew were on hand at the final exhibition at the Mayo Education Centre, to capture the excitement as the children were invited to a celebration of their work. You can see video clip here www.vzaar.com/videos/1026655
This will also be broadcast on SKY TV channel 191 on July 26th at 9pm and repeated the following Sunday and Monday at 7.00pm.
Monday, July 9, 2012
Bolg na Talún is the name of the quilting studio of Mogs McDonnell, near Headford, Co. Galway. This stone-built studio tucked behind the picturesque thatched cottage is like a little piece of heaven and I thoroughly recommend booking yourself into a workshop with this talented quilter....you will not be disappointed.
My sister and I enjoyed a relaxing hand project, learning how to create the 'cathedral window' pattern which we made into pin-cushions. Mogs also sells a range of fat-quarter fabrics to choose from for your workshop project.
For more information see the Crafts Council of Ireland's profile page for Mogs at
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
"Stitching the Legend" an exhibition of work by the Textile Art Forum finishes on Saturday 30th June at Mossley Mill, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim.
Here are just a few photos of the exhibition taken by Jan Blair.