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img_1367The aim :

to make the longest strip of denim in the world , or certainly in Sussex to support the Jeans for Genes Charity – Genetic Disorders UK. the charity that aims to transform the lives of children with genetic disorders.We shall create denim covered collecting boxes along the trail around the garden !

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How will it work :

Running as a trail from our entrance right through the garden , sinuously weaving through the borders. Stitched into the piece will be tabs dispensing information and facts about the process of making denim (the good , the bad and the ugly facts ) facts about indigo seeds and the dyeing process , and the story of the wearing of denim work pants by north american pioneers etc… zips, button flies , tags and pockets will create the joints along the way and will add to the fabric wonder.Have calculated the trail will be at least 1km long.Yikes !

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The First Rules I have set myself

  • only to use orange cotton to stitch it all together (Levis used orange stitching which was originally designed to match the copper rivets first used in jeans by Nevada tailor Jacob Davis).
  • the strip will be kept at 7″ wide
  • vow to go and see the  Ian Berry exhibition Gallery Different at Catto Gallery- Ian is famous for making photo-realistic pictures in denim

img_1378Day 1 – Friday 18th November 2016

I make a start with three of our lovely volunteers starting to cut up the first swathe of jeans and a big learning curve begins !

  • The difficulty of cutting up a really tough fabric – you can see why it was the workwear fabric of choice (first casualty -brand new pair of Japanese scissors !)
  • The realisation that I won’t be able to actually use the zips for linking the strips !
  • The discovery that the button waistband fasteners will have to do the job
  • The obvious discovery that bog standard machine needles are not up to the job (second casualty – 2 broken machine needles)(note to self – order denim grade needles for machine )

to be continued……….

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We are delighted that this year we have a textile artist in residence bringing a world of wonderful textile beauty to our garden room exhibition space.

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Anne Kelly – about me

“I collect recycled fabric, paper and ephemera using collage, stitch, photographic and print processes to create a range of work, most of which is framed. My inspirations are travel, memory and vintage imagery from a variety of sources. These have been described as ‘small worlds’ and my current layered mixed media work started life as mainly botanical in subject matter before developing into larger more narrative works. I assemble and reassemble the components of each piece using sketchbooks and digital imagery. Often it can be a small scrap or remnant of fabric that inspires a whole piece.  I am inspired by natural history and gardens. Collaborations are an important aspect of my work and I enjoy working with other artists and teaching. I also produce commissions for private and public individuals  – examples of these ‘collages in cloth’, based on special places, people and spaces can be found on my website. I have co written a book for Batsford/Anova press  which was published in 2013 called ‘Connected Cloth’

A Natural History of the Garden At Sussex Prairies-

Anne has brought an amazing textile exhibition of her latest garden related work and is working on a wonderful collaborative wall piece called A Natural History of the Garden which is helping to raise funds for the RSPB Southeast. Anne will be coming to the garden regularly during the summer to work on the project and to lead drop in sessions of creative stitching on a garden theme with a range of glorious textiles.

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Why not come and try your hand at making a small piece for our wall..we have all the materials you need and even a whole load of inspiration from books and printed materials as well as the big garden of course.

Take Anne’s easy step by step guide to creating your own piece. What better way to spend an afternoon sewing and chatting with friends over a piece of  homemade cake and a cup of tea.

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and if you would like to learn from Anne why not come and join us for one of Anne’s workshops  here on the Prairies-

 A series of Workshops by Anne Inspired by the garden –

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‘Illustrating Garden Poetry’ saturday 28th June 2014

–Looking at the work of some contemporary poets, we will discuss ways to combine stitch and words in a special piece which you will start on the day and finish afterwards. You will create a unique record of your garden, one that you’ve visited or a special plant/flower that you like. Full day workshop.

 

‘Prairie Paper and Stitch’ saturday 26th July 2014

– combining paper and cloth extends your options when working in textiles. In this one-day course, tutor Anne Kelly will demonstrate some basic bonding techniques and help you to make a small folding book form celebrating a favourite green space.

Full day workshop .

 

‘Planting in Cloth’ –Saturday 6th September 2014

Surrounded by the lovely setting of the Prairie Gardens, we will use them as the basis to record plant and flower drawings and paintings on cloth. These will then be stitched using a variety of techniques and can be finished as solo pieces or incorporated into a larger piece. Full day workshop .

 

 

‘Little House on the Prairie’ – Sunday 28th September 2014

A joint parent and child course – using a variety of simple stitch and bonding techniques, create a unique record of your house and garden with a member of your family. You will make the basis of this piece during the one-day workshop and can continue to embellish and add to it at home. Full day workshop .

read more abut Anne on her website http://www.annekellytextiles.com

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Anne Kelly – Textile and Mixed media artist –  BFA ATCimg128

www.annekellytextiles.com

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We are very excited that textile and media artist Anne Kelly  is coming to be our artist in residence in our 2014 summer and autumn season. Howver in the meantime she will be joining us on the Prairies for two wonderful workshops.(see details below)

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general information : in Anne’s own words

 ” I trained as a fine artist in Canada and the UK and my work reflects these conventions by interpreting them in cloth. Many pieces are box framed and larger work and installation pieces hang without a frame. I also produce smaller pieces for private and public exhibitions and have work in the vatican collection.

In 2013, I continue to collaborate with other artists and am exhibiting in the UK and abroad. I’m available for consultancy work and I am also happy to accept and advise on commissioned work. I have just completed a major public commission.

i have a studio and teach part time and am co writing my first book on textile collaborations ‘connected cloth’  with Cas Holmes.”

This wonderful book is  now out and on sale !

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Anne Kelly – about me

“I collect recycled fabric, paper and ephemera using collage, stitch, photographic and print processes to create a range of work, most of which is framed. My inspirations are travel, memory and vintage imagery from a variety of sources. These have been described as ‘small worlds’ and my current layered mixed media work started life as mainly botanical in subject matter before developing into larger more narrative works. I assemble and reassemble the components of each piece using sketchbooks and digital imagery. Often it can be a small scrap or remnant of fabric that inspires a whole piece.  I am inspired by natural history and gardens. Collaborations are an important aspect of my work and I enjoy working with other artists and teaching. I also produce commissions for private and public individuals  – examples of these ‘collages in cloth’, based on special places, people and spaces can be found on my website.”

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What will these workshops give me ?

A chance to create a piece of garden/nature-inspired textile art in the inspiring surroundings of Sussex prairies gardens with Anne Kelly. All ages and abilities welcome. The cost fo the day will be £ 50 – you are welcome to bring a picnic lunch. you should bring materials and equipment for stitching including a sewing machine if you wish.

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September 29, 2013: vintage/recycled garden –old and vintage fabrics enhance and give depth to many projects. students will be asked to search through their collections for florals especially to applique onto a square sample. a mixture of couching and hand embroidery will be used to complete the work. The sample can then be made up into a cushion cover, tote bag or framed piece. materials list to follow.

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October 6, 2013: Birds – are everywhere in textile art at the moment – we will make a small bird stencil using a mixture of contemporary and vintage images as source material. this will then be printed onto various types of fabric and used in a range of samples. these can then be incorporated into larger pieces and embellished further by hand and machine. materials list to follow.

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Please contact Anne to book a place on either course and please send your booking request  with a cheque for £ 50 per course  to A. Kelly, 29 Dynevor Road, Tunbridge Wells, kent TN4 9HP

or contact her on mail@annekellytextiles.com  to arrange payment using Paypal.

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With a summer of wool and sheep ahead of us we are delighted to welcome our newest artist  to the fold : Mo Jackson :a felt maker extraordinaire !

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Mo’s Bio :

• BA Graphic Design/illustration
• Member of the International Feltmakers Association
• Member of the Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers
• Member of the East Sussex Guild of Craftworkers

She has been a graphic designer and illustrator for twenty five years but textiles have always been her first love. Now she is pleased to say she is leaving behind the computer and getting back to a more hands on approach to her creativity. Her life is now about  designing and illustrating in wool!

What is Feltmaking ?

Feltmaking is a facinating process of taking unspun wool fibres, adding soap, water and elbow grease and making it into a non-woven material. It’s fun, therapeutic and totally addictive…I’m sure you’ll think so too.

Our Workshops with Mo :

Birds, Bees and Butterflies – Needle felting workshop- Saturday 8th June 2013 , 1pm -4pm

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Needle felting is a dry felting process which involves no sewing, instead it uses a special needle with notches. By prodding the needle into the wool fibres this makes the fibres knit together, allowing you to make any shape you like… a kind of moulding in wool. In this workshop we will be making a variety of birds, bees and butterflies. It’s easy and fun, come and give it a go!

Felted Art Workshop- Friday 16th August 2013: afternoon 1pm -4pm

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In this workshop you will be bonding wool fibres onto a fabric base, this is called ‘nuno felting’. Wool fibres are laid down on the fabric in the design of your creation. Warm water and soap are added. The wool and fabric are rolled in bubble wrap and aggitated back and forth untill they fuse togerther. The end result is your own felted fabric art. Come and set YOUR woolly creativity free.

Felted Flowers Workshop- Thursday 27th June 2013 afternoon 1pm -4pm

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Felted flowers can be as varied as the real thing. You will be guided step-by-step though the ‘wet felting’ process. Wool fibres are massaged together with soap and warm water to form the felted flowers. Come and be inspired by the garden and make a corsage for yourself or as a gift for a friend…if you can bear to give them away!

Felted Soap and Pebbles Workshop- Saturday 24th August 2013 afternoon 1pm -4pm

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Felting around objects is fun and very therapeutic. The felted soap is good to use as an exfoliator in the bath. It also shrinks with the soap! Bring your own bars of soap if you prefer. Felted pebbles are lovely tactile objects that can be used as paper weights or just to have as decoration on a table. Both are great to give as gifts. All materials provided.

To book any of the above courses all you need to do is contact us and we shall send you a booking form. Each session costs £25.. Why not come with your friends and family and have a fun afternoon making beautiful things !

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