Winding back the clock a week or two… I did have the chance to visit a few shows in May, including the Duncan of Jordanstone degree show. Sadly, this year’s graduates are the last cohort who will have the chance to specialise in weaving, so it was good to see five of them in the show — last year I think there was only one weaver out of the whole class. You can see all the student profiles here: the weavers are Michaela Millar, Sarah Mitchell, Sarah Mowbray, Jacqui Page and Ashleigh Slater.
All of them produced interesting and attractive cloth, but the work which stood out for me was Michaela’s. She is interested in children’s development and mental health and she has designed textiles which are meant to be handled and “played with”. Her samples were textured, colourful, noisy (!) and dynamic — all sorts of things that you would want to reach out and touch. So I did, of course. The one which I contemplated the longest was a piece in doublecloth which involved tubes filled with marbles: how did she get the marbles to stay in the tube while she changed the shed to seal them in? When I think of doing this, I think of the Megado — on which the “resting” position of the warp is a downhill slope from the breast beam to the back beam — and I hear the clatter of marbles all over the studio floor… Anyway, I see from the schedule here that Michaela is going to be at New Designers, so if you are planning a visit perhaps you could ask her…
Mum and I also continued our survey of Open Studios events with Angus Open Studios and the re-launch of the refurbished and re-populated WASPS studios at Meadow Mill. Now Meadow Mill is less than ten minutes’ walk down the hill from me* — I reckon I could see it if (a) there were no trees in the park or (b) I climbed onto the roof of my house (I’m not wishing for either of these, however) — and I have been very tempted to apply for space there. And now that I see how it looks, I am even more tempted! There are some lovely rooms still available and I really like the idea of working in a private space but within a community of other artists and craftspeople. However, there are several major reasons not to pursue this line of thinking, not least the cost. So I am not pursuing it, but feeling slightly wistful about it nonetheless.
Stuart spent the whole of last week down south sorting out things for his dad, but because of all the bank holidays they are having down there the funeral is not going to be until next Tuesday (seems like a ludicrously long wait to me, but there you go) and so he is home for a few days. Since he gets the bonus holiday tomorrow (but not the one today, since that is never on our local schedule) we are going to leave our stresses behind and have a bona fide Day Out: we’re off to visit the new Barony Centre in West Kilbride. The first exhibition is Lab Craft, which promises to be interesting.
And meanwhile, on the loom in Studio Booker is the wee mug rug warp, all set up and weaving away. I always have to think hard about the treadling order for summer and winter and, once I’ve started, I always have to stop and think again… But, after a bit of faffing about, it now seems to be working nicely. It’s not exactly exciting since it is only slightly adapted from something I’ve done before, but it is fun nonetheless to play around with the weft colours and it’s a project which is ideally suited to my short attention span!
*though it’s a steep hill and I reserve the right to take more than ten minutes walking back up