The beautiful man

The beautiful man

Monday, 30 May 2011

Needlewomen revisited

I am in the process of writing up the notes from my experiment last week and in the process downloaded some more images to back it up. It was quite  grim day last Sunday and you can see how the damp affected my hands, so it makes one wonder what the hands of seamstresses would have been like with no heating in mid winter.

The ever watchful camera (interesting tripod)

My companion


So in London for two days of MA research meant a great opportunity to explore some ideas for display and Anthropologie on Regent Street certainly was full of great ideas they even had a living wall as seen earlier at the National Gallery.

City & Guilds 2011 awards

On Thursday night I was lucky enough to attend my sixth City & Guilds Lion Awards dinners courtesy of my very talented colleague, friend and former student Susan Carter who had been awarded her second Gold Medal of Excellence. The evening was held at the Roundhouse in Camden which was really interesting as finally I got to go inside after hearing for so many years of gigs being at the Roundhouse. A fantastic venue and as ever the organisers of City & Guilds really do celebrate the success of their courses and learners. George Lamb was the compere for the evening and all the medalists got to walk down a set of very steep red carpeted stairs, I think a few of the ladies regretted their choice of footwear.
 Sue was presented one of the key Livery Prizes, the Haberdashers Prize for her excellent workmanship so i think she may be investing in some new blocks soon. Then off to the tube at home time.

Sue Carter & Michael Howell Chairman of City & Guilds

Sue and Claire from Haberdashers Guild


Paper Cuts

The artist Rose Vickers has some of her paper cuts in an exhibition at Leeds College of Art in the Mosaic Bar. Well worth a visit they are exquisite and must have taken so long to do, the intricacy and precision is so high one can understand why in her artist statement she promotes that they are not laser cut.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Wetherby Races

That time of year again, it came round so fast, all quite chaotic as ever but third year in a row this was a little less frenetic, though i think this was also due to fantastic assistance from Sue and Fiona and my wonderfully able students who had organised their tables and headwear perfectly. A really successful day Thank you.
Try on hat stand
Dolly Millinery

Ginger Nut Millinery
Jill Simpson Millinery
Quinnell-Hill Millinery

Pairings Conference

May 12th and 13th I was fortunate enough to attend the Pairings Conference at MMU's School of Art, the conference was based around the collaborative project that was begun at MMU 2 years ago where artist/tutors from a range of disciplines and other institutions were paired up to develop work towards an exhibition at the University last Summer. I had attended the earlier symposium where the collaborators discussed their experiences and shared the work process and the idea of working partnerships, it had greatly inspired me into whether I could develop any collaborations and whether to take the format into LCA.
The attention to detail by organisers Helen Felsey and Alice Kettle was incredible from the unique name badges to the tote bag with all the information.  There was also The MAP consortium who created a range on interventions to enable collaborations between the attendees and lighten up the conference breaks. This started with us all picking an animal that attracted us and then find the other two people who had the same selection, my fellow panthers were really interesting, something that would normally and did push me right out of my comfort zone was actually really effective.

Sunday, 22 May 2011


I tried to recreate the idea of sewing solidly for 15 hours as was done by many women in the 1800's creating clothes for the gentry and dieing young often of consumption, and done today by many men and women whist they sew solidly to fulfill high street fashion stores' quotas in Asia locked into their work spaces.

My aim was to sew for 15 hours and record this by taking continuous pictures using a timer attached to the camera, my limited mathematics made some interesting calculations as to how many seconds the intervals should be, final decision 21 seconds. I am usually easily distracted by having lots of other jobs to do also the discipline of being recorded meant I did just sew solidly.

My son taking a photo into the workroom
The camera ran out of battery after 10 hours so i came to a halt I manged to sew 89metres of running stitch, I don't think i would have been a good earner as a piece worker! I could have carried on, though at points of sitting still my feet became a bit numb and my thumbs a bit stiff. I will now put the images into a film format and share the results, then make the decision as to whether it works and whether to go for the full 15 hours with two batteries!!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Windsurfing4Cancer Research

May 1st saw many throughout the country welcoming the first day of Summer with some Morris dancing and May Pole, in my family we welcomed the dawn at the reservoir in a chilly 3.5 degrees, all in aid of raising money for cancer research charity.

First two on the water 5.25am brrrh chilly
Sun rise
So while my eldest began the day at one lake in West Yorkshire I got to trip over to the other side of West Yorkshire with the other.
15 hours later

Hat for the Races!

So my students will be showing their wonderful skills and talents at Wetherby Races next week at the fabulous Yorkshire Post Ladies Day event.

Time to work out what to wear and dust out some hats from the numerous boxes that I own for student demonstrations and talks, so far none the wiser, think it will be a mad dash the night before....

Have a dress this colour green but could I cope with the pink!

A failed hat but it does hide ones face
My favourite hat but I have worn it before......
Or maybe something else

Monday, 9 May 2011

Thank you

I just wanted to say thank you to the Leeds Embroiderer's Guild for inviting me to speak to them about hats last weekend. Though i was quite terrified that they would be bored rigid, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and laughed and asked questions, phew. Though the real highlight was the chance to dress up and try on a few hats which was brilliant fun. Perfect timing too as the Royal Wedding was the day before.


stunning colour and shape
But always look beyond what you first think you see


I have been remiss in posting anything about my MA work of late possibly as I was unsure of what I was exactly doing. So i am concentrating on two themes 'Needlewomen' from the 1850's and 'Ruffled Feathers' looking at how we use and represent items in different contexts.

A box of threads is a calming place to start
running stitch in various threads
Removing the stitch like removing the presence of the person who made the garment.

Inspiring Blog post

I often forget to check through Style Bubble blog which is a mistake as she is a firm fan of headwear and all things wonderful/ This post and web site is particularly fabulous.
Style Bubble

That Wedding

Realised that as a milliner I can't really pass by and not mention the hats that flew around the world a little more than a week ago. I think the British milliners did a wonderful job showing how creative and talented they are and the depth of skill within the UK. I wish Mrs Cameron had supported them and thought that Mrs Clegg looked amazing.

Zara's was my favourite 
Well done Mr Treacy