Thursday, May 23, 2013

Birds and Blossoms

Quilt in progress...machine appliqué, free-motion machine quilting, 100% cotton fabrics, approx. 40inch square.

Eye of the Needle: Exhibition by pupils of Presentation College Galway

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.

CRAFTed project at Dunmore National School, County 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.

 The children were given a selection of blank, empty containers to create a 3D assemblage on the theme of Spring. Think out of the box, invent, try out ideas and just see what happens!

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.

 We discovered colour-theory by mixing 3 primary dyes to create 3 secondary colours. We dyed cotton fabrics to use in our wall-hanging.

We cut out plant and animal shapes from our dyed fabrics and used 'Bondaweb' to fuse our shapes to a background fabric.

The pupils decided on the layout and design of their wall-hanging.

They enjoyed learning how to hand-sew and gather their stitching to make 3D flower shapes.

Machine quilting, a hand-woven Sun and a 3D flying bird gives further dimension to the finished wall-hanging.

These pupils can feel justly proud of their wonderful wall-hanging which will be displayed at their school for many years to come.

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 for more info on this wonderful festival.