Making From a Place of Joy

One of the things I love about hat-making is creating mini collections around one theme or idea. These might develop into a model I carry forward or they may stay as one-offs. In the last 6 months I’ve been working a number of these micro-collections and its been so exciting to reconnect with the joy of making.

I’ve given myself permission to experiment whilst adopting the discipline needed to complete unfinished projects that I have procrastinated over for far too long. 

My work has definitely turned a corner and I have lots of new hats that reflect the joy I have had making them. So expect to hear more about it over the coming weeks – I’ll be sharing images of new work on my Instagram and on my Facebook page so make sure you are following! I will be revealing lots of new work at our Open Studios event at Marketplace on the 6th July 10am – 4pm and you are all invited!

Wrap up This Winter

IMG_3470Growing up in Ireland, I was very aware of the importance of wrapping up in winter time. My Granny Hill always warned us of the perils of going out with wet hair and braving the elements without a hat. So it isn’t surprising that she spent many hours knitting us fabulous jumpers, hats and indeed whole outfits in 100% pure new wool.

 

I share my granny’s desire to keep everyone wrapped up – its important to feel cosy and warm in winter time – there is nothing worse than being cold.

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Photography: http://www.sazmedia.co.uk

 

So this one of the motivations behind my First Frost scarves – chunky wool tweed lined with cotton poplin which is soft against your skin.  I want to wrap everyone up so they are equipped for the outdoors this winter!

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Available in my Etsy shop click here

 

Yule Do!

Yule Do

Check out the line up of exhibitors taking part in this year Sale Arts Trail Yule Do in the Facebook album below – I’ll be there – come along, its always a lovely event!

Sale Arts Trail presents its Christmas show in the wonderful environment of St.Paul's Church in Sale. Saturday 17th…

Posted by Sale Arts Trail on Thursday, November 1, 2018

First Frost is coming!

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So the leaves are falling and the evenings are definitely drawing in and although we haven’t had the first frost of Winter 2018 it is surely on the way! With that in mind I am launching my new toasty tweedy scarves on the 1st of November but visitors to Handmade at The Thumb will get a sneak peak on Tuesday 30th of October – find out more about this event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/304167306836574/.

The 10 day count down to launch starts tomorrow! And I’ll be revealing a little more about the collection in the lead up to the 1st of November!

Marketplace Makers

Marketplace Makers

So happy to selling my work from Marketplace Studios from the ground floor project space / gallery on the 2nd weekend of October, November and December. I’ll be showcasing my latest scarves and hats and I have been working with the most beautiful woolen tweed which I am very excited about!

These Maker Takeovers are an opportunity for us (studio holders at Marketplace) to share our work, practice our merchandising skills and talk to visitors. It is a great place to find jewellery, textiles, prints, greetings cards, homeware all designed and made by us.

Come in, say hello and find out who we are and what we are up to! We’d love to tell you all about it!

Being More Social!

Over the past 6 months I’ve been getting more socila online! Here is a run down of all the places you can keep in touch with me online – just click on the icon and follow me to get updates on new products, inspiration, behind the scenes in the studio and to join conversations about my work.

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Sculpture – Performance – Millinery

 

I recently had the pleasure of working with Nicola Dale as part of her film, Close Readings. At the end of March, it was shown as part of See What I See, a collection of films by artists, curated by Nicola at Manchester Art Gallery.

My involvement came out of a chat about current projects over a cup of tea and a bourbon. Nicola was describing the performative walk she would be doing between The Portico and John Rylands libraries. She would be filmed walking across the city centre with a book on her head. My immediate question was, “How is it going to stay on?”

A few weeks later she asked me if I could come up with a millinery solution. I jumped at the chance of making something where function was so important. I instantly thought of rolls of fabric which I’ve seen women around the world use to balance water containers and baskets on their heads.

I set about making a prototype for Nicola to test. This worked so I created a donut of fabric from strips of white cotton – tightly bound and stitched together. During the make, I really liked the how the strip of fabric was falling and really liked its veil like appearance. There was something very Queen Victoria about it. The edges were left raw and started to fray which gave this a really interesting quality. The film also showed it moving beautifully in the wind. And it served its purpose – she was able to walk quite fast with confidence that the book she was carrying was not going to fall.

Nicola has described herself as and artist first, sculptor 2nd and performer 3rd. These are the elements of millinery that I am interested in and perhaps these worlds are not so far apart. Working with an artist who comes at it from a completely different perspective, forces me to continually, rethink the how and why of my own work. Its always exciting when that happens!

Find out more about Nicola Dale here: www.nicoladale.com

Exploring the Potential: vegan leather

One of the most interesting things I did in 2017 was a project with Jane Wood, a textile technologist from Manchester Metropolitan University. Jane’s research concerns the development of sustainable bio-fabrics and I got the opportunity to experiment with sheets of vegetable leather she had grown in vats of kombucha tea.

It was so exciting to be working with a new material particularly because it is grown and therefore has a very low environmental impact in its manufacture. Not only is 100% bio-degradable but can also ‘come back to life’ if submerged back in the vat and fed!

I happily spent hours applying the principals of millinery; steaming, stretching and blocking to see how this wonder fabric behaved. Out of this a workshop session was born and we offered the general public the chance to have a go at Hat Works Museum as part of Manchester Science Festival. And the participants did not disappoint! They really embraced the element of play to explore exactly how this fabric could be manipulated and created some amazing sculptural headpieces and brooches.

The general feeling among the milliners who attended was that this fabric definitely has potential as an alternative to traditional millinery materials – I can’t wait to do more on this.

Follow Jane on Twitter: @fashfutures

 

 

Exciting Times!

I can honestly say that 2017 has been a complete whirlwind, and I have really missed taking time-out to reflect on what I’ve been doing.

Between organising the HATstock festival in Stockport, Wear A Hat Day,  a studio move, developing workshops, delivering talks, joining a new crit group, working with bio-fabric, doing courses in flatlay and working with straw as well as meeting my friend Katie’s Alpacas – its been totally full-on!

Thanks to the fantastic Sara Auty of SAZmedia, I also fitted in a photoshoot too! The pic of me in the scarf half-hat / percher is one of hers!

I’ll be sharing what I’ve been up to over the next few weeks and revealing whats to come – no spoilers but I’m working on lots of exciting projects! In the mean-time, get a flavour of the great time we all had at HATstock here.

 

OPEN STUDIOS 10th- 11th Dec 11am-5pm

Pop in – Have a chat -Try on hats – Revamp your Hat – Make a Headband – Shop Local

Emma Fozard and I are throwing open the doors of Studio 5 as part of Open Studios at Marketplace on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th December 11am – 5pm.

Bring along a hat that needs some TLC and we can have a go at giving it a new lease of life. Drop-in to make a fabric bow headband with Emma between 12noon – 2pm.

A selling exhibition of work made by makers at Marketplace in our gallery space on the ground floor will be open and the last Vintage Village of the year is also happening on Sunday so Stockport really is the place to be this weekend!

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