Friday, August 19, 2016

2 weeks until the Private View for Light Fantastic, here's what the designers have all been up to...

With the private view and opening of Light Fantastic just over 2 weeks away, the designers have all been very busy finishing off their work for the exhibition at World of Glass in St Helens.  Please enjoy this picture post, and do come along to view the exhibition if you can.  It runs from Saturday 3rd September to 4th November.
Detail from Hayley's piece 'Broken'
Stitch detail of just one of Janet's pieces
Beautiful wire work from Nabila
Shards of perspex and light on Susan's piece
Armelle's drawn ideas and tin of goodies!
Doreen's beautiful drawings
Detail from Bev's alien like flowers
Beautiful colour and stitch here by Linda

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

An interview with Textile 21 member Terri

Another chance for our readers to learn more about the designers who make up Textile 21.  This time, it is Terri who will be answering my questions...

Terri with her 'Fashioned in Silk' creation
So Terri, when did you join Textile 21?

I joined the group 10 years ago.  Time has passed so quickly!

Can you share a brief history of how you’ve got to where you are now?

I grew up in the post war era. Even if you had money (which we didn’t) there was nothing to buy. My father made everything. Nothing was thrown away. It was either mended or turned into something else. Not only did he create our furniture when we moved into a council house but made a child sized house for me at the bottom of our garden long before Wendy houses were even heard of. He used scrap wood and apple boxes. It was completely furnished with arm chairs, dining table and chairs and even a washing machine and ironing board, all made to scale by him. He could work with metal as well as wood. He also made many of our clothes and was probably my biggest influence. It was natural for me to ask for a piece of fabric to make my own dress. Fabric was cheap. Clothes were dear.
Terri's studio at home
A very sneaky peak at one of Terri's designs for 'Light Fantastic'
I created most of my own clothes for years until, during my first career as a Psychiatric Social Worker, I studied City and Guilds Fashion out of interest and a desire to create my own patterns. Probably a little bit of my father’s perfectionism and quest for quality was rubbing off as well. I didn’t start to use my skills to earn money until I had had my children. As the children grew I trained as a teacher and taught fashion in adult education for more than 20 years. While teaching, I took C&G Embroidery to extend my skills and after retiring began to exhibit with Textile 21.

Can you tell us a little bit about your work?

I come from a line of craftsmen and I have always been a maker. I don’t have a choice. I have a compulsion to make things and get itchy fingers if I am separated from my sewing machine for too long. Fabric, whether new, used or a remnant, remains a source of inspiration. I particularly enjoy working with natural fibres. The various elements of my background come together in the work.

Sketchbook for 'Light Fantastic'
Terri has been sewing with plastics for 'Light Fantastic'
Exhibiting with Textile 21 is helping me to develop another side to my creativity as I constantly fight with the restraints of practicality and struggle to give more weight to the “art” and less to the “wearable” in the wearable art that I create.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Light Fantastic Private View & Exhibition

With the passage of light through glass at its heart, Textile 21 presents a contemporary textile exhibition inspired by the collection of artifacts, art, and history at St Helens World of Glass.

We would like to invite all of our followers, and lovers of textiles to our new exhibition 'Light Fantastic' which opens at the World of Glass in St Helens on Saturday 3rd September.  Come along for an exclusive look at our new work and meet with the designers from 2pm.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Introducing Norma Hopkins, founder member of Textile 21

As a new feature on our blog, we are going to introduce you to our members, old and new. Our first feature is Norma Hopkins, who is one of the founding members, and also chair of Textile 21. Norma is the one who organises us all at our regular monthly meetings, and keeps us all on track! 

Norma's piece 'Shift' for Created in Colour at the Whitaker, Rossendale.
We hope you enjoy learning more about us, please do get in touch if you have any questions, by either commenting or visiting us on our facebook page @textile21 or searching for us on Instagram with the hashtag #textile21.

Colour on perspex.  Experimentation for Light Fantastic.

When did you join Textile 21 and why?

I am a founder member of Textile 21. I had already undertaken a degree in Textiles Fashion, majoring in Embroidery at Manchester Met, then Manchester Polytechnic. I completed this in 1984 with a strong desire to teach, so I took a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (P.G.C.E.) and for the next 7 years, I followed a career teaching drawing, painting and textile art in prison education before teaching at South Trafford Collage.  When I had got my teaching hours into a comfortable place to give me time to produce more of my own work, I took up a place on The South Trafford City & Guild Embroidery course which had an excellent reputation.

When did your interest in design first start and how did that come about? 

I always loved the subject of art at school right from my primary education years. I don’t know where it came from except it must be in my genes somewhere. In junior school, I loved crayons and colouring patterns, these were the lean years after the war, rationing was still in force until I was 10 years old, and people had very little money. Then I had a wonderful inspirational art teacher in secondary school and that began my real interest as I found an aptitude for painting and drawing. At home, where there were no art materials and no knowledge of the subject in my family, making dolls beds from shoe boxes and clothes from scraps of material, became my favourite pastime along with a delight in playing with my mother’s button box.

In those days, the school leaving age was 15; I left with a yearning to go to Art College. However, circumstances at home meant had to go to work to help with the family finances, so my interest in Art became subjugated.

I married and in 1962 I had my first Son, closely followed by a second, so for the next 15 years my life became domesticated as I cared for my family, and helped my husband to achieve a dream to own his own business. Throughout this period, all that was art was forgotten. 

When my children came to be teenagers, and my husband achieved his dream, I began to look at my own desires. I had missed much of my education in my childhood due to ill health but had a fervent desire to return to study and formed a cunning plan to gain a second chance to get a further education and to gain a place at Art College.

Abstract panel.  Experimentation for Light Fantastic.

How would you describe your work? 

I think I am quite painterly now. I love colour and the technique of collage and enjoy the way that in paint, or in the layering of transparent fabrics, passages of colours merge, blend, and shine through each other. My training advocated strong drawing but I have moved away from observational work towards a more conceptual, symbolic representation, though I hope that there is some recognisable substance in the source of the designs. I see myself primarily as an artist who happens to use textiles along with mixed media.

What type of material do you prefer to use?

Experimentation on perspex for Textile 21 exhibition
Light Fantastic, at the World of Glass from 3rd September 2016.
I love transparent materials as they achieve veils of colour that one layer over another allows a glow from beneath, whether it’s in paint such as watercolour or fabric such as chiffon and all the while, sprinkled with the magic of mixed media to enhance depth.

Where does your inspiration come from? 

It comes from an inner quest as I respond to life’s journey. Often, it’s to do with the idea of enclosure, or the tension between restriction and freedom. The motif of the gate or open passage is often present and the play of colour is always important to me in some way.

Lock studies sketchbook work.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Welcome to our new member Linda Izan

Linda has always identified creativity as central to her interaction with the world. She has had a long career within the arts firstly as a practicing artist working inceramics sculpture, moving on to silkscreen print andelectronic artThroughout her creative explorations there has always been an element of working with textiles.

Since leaving full time employment in the FurtherEducation sector Linda has focused on textiles/embroidery as the medium most responsive to her ideas development. Inspiration for her work is somewhat eclectic with starting points as polarized as Waste Recycling Centers’ to Greek Myths, at the core of which is the presence of cloth and embellishment and what is valued and what is discarded.

Chinese Imperial Yellow and Soft Cloud Mattresses – Dress
Date: June 2015
Medium: Digital print on Cotton poplin and red embroidery silk
Size100cm length
 Pepsi Can Man DETAIL
Date: May 2015
Medium: Embroidery Silk on Felt
Size: 60 cm x 45 cm

Sad Demise of Two Mattresses
Date: August 2015
Medium: Digital print on Cotton Panama and Embroidery Silk
Size: 74cm x 72cm

Monday, October 26, 2015


Group picture at the preview.

First room full of the Fashioned in Silk dresses, with a glimpse of the Created in Colour exhibition in the background. 

The Created in Colour room showing most of the exhibits. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Jan Grimes revisits her home town for the Created in Colour exhibition

Jan Grimes is looking forward to Created in Colour as it involves her revisiting her home town. Here she is working on her piece followed by her words that explain how she feels about this latest exhibition at the Whitaker. 

"I am a B.R.G.S Old Girl from the Sixties, with happy memories of The Kinks and The Hollies at the Astoria, screaming rides on the Walzter,  22 Tor View, (where I lived on the Hall Carr estate with my younger sister, TV journalist Pattie Coldwell),  and ........ my school artwork in The Whitaker.
My ceramic 'masterpiece' was on display, in 1963, in a glass cabinet on the first floor, with the label, Janet Coldwell, 3rd year.

To return to the same gallery, in my sixties, is a great privilege.

It feels good to be back here, this time with a Textile 21 show.  Our exhibition, " Fashioned in Silk: Created in Colour", combines and contrasts ethereal 'ghost' dresses with 3D textiles in exuberant colours and unusual techniques, all displayed in a wonderful space."

You can see the exhibition at The Whitaker Museum& Art Gallery, Haslingden Road, Rawtenstall, 
Rossendale, Lancashire, BB4 6RE from Saturday, 24  October - 6 December 2015. Free entry.

Preview Saturday 24th October 1-4pm.