working hands

I’ve recently been writing about teaching my left hand to work again following my stroke. Because of this, I’ve been thinking very carefully about braiding hair, and knitting socks, about how it felt, and what it meant to re-instruct my hand (whose memory of habitual movement had been completely lost) in those activities. I’ve also… Read More

Jane Hunter

Yesterday Tom and I took a drive down the road to West Kilbride. Known as Craft Town Scotland, the thriving main street hosts the studios of talented local artists, designers and craftspeople, such as my friends and compatriots Lillith (Old Maiden Aunt) and Ange (Weftblown). Jane Hunter’s studio is there too, and this was the… Read More

Helen Robertson

If you’ve read my introduction to The Book of Haps then you’ll already have come across Helen Robertson – a Shetland artist and craftswoman whose work I deeply admire. Working with silver wire and other precious materials, Helen has developed a uniquely thoughtful aesthetic which celebrates, commemorates and reflects upon Shetland’s history and heritage –… Read More

designing & publishing: part 3

From Folly Cove by Julia Farwell Clay and Celtic Cable Shawls by Lucy Hague Today I’m looking at another couple of recently-published books, from two very different independent designers, who both took completely different routes to publication. What these two books share, however, is an intelligent engagement with two specific aesthetic contexts, as both were… Read More

Delaunay retrospective

You all know of my Sonia Delaunay obsession, and I was extremely excited to attend the opening of the retrospective of her work at Tate Modern last week. Box, (1913) Delaunay crossed disciplinary boundaries effortlessly, and it was wonderful to see her ease in various aesthetic / commercial contexts properly represented. Delaunay did not impose… Read More

Sonia Delaunay: the dress of the future

Sonia Delaunay Rythme (1938) I don’t know about you, but I am extremely excited about Tate Modern’s Sonia Delaunay retrospective, which opens in a couple of months. I’ve long had a thing for Delaunay’s work, but have never had the opportunity to see much of her work in person, particularly her textiles. I wrote an… Read More

Great Tapestry of Scotland 60 – 92

There have been some interesting questions in the comments on my previous posts about the Great Scottish Tapestry. Elaine and Deborah asked what materials had been used in the creation of the tapestry – well, the stitchers used Peter Grieg linen and Appletons crewel wool throughout. Terry asked why it was called a tapestry at… Read More

Great Tapestry of Scotland 24-59

Some more details of the Great Tapestry of Scotland for you this morning. You’ll find the first post in the series here. Panel 25: Duns Scotus. The feet of Duns Scotus, the medieval philosopher for whom we have to thank for the concept of Haecceity Panel 26: Somerled, first Lord of the Isles A beautiful… Read More

Great Tapestry of Scotland 1-23

On Sunday I finally got to see the Great Tapestry of Scotland. I was completely blown away by the vision of Alistair Moffat (who produced the tapestry’s historical content and context), Andrew Crummy (the superb artist who designed these 160 panels) and perhaps especially by the skill and beauty of the work of the thousand… Read More

The Kelpies

My parents have been visiting, and I thought they might like to see The Kelpies. A few years ago we rather enjoyed visiting Jaume Plensa’s Dream, a meditative and beautiful public sculpture commemorating Lancashire’s mining past. Like Plensa’s Dream, The Kelpies celebrate industrial heritage, but are things of water rather than of light. Kelpies are… Read More

A chat with Tom of Holland

I am sure that many of you may be familiar with the work of my good friend and woolly comrade Tom van Deijnen, also known as Tom of Holland. Tom is perhaps best known for his expertise in, and celebration of, darning, which he puts into practice in his classes and workshops, as well as… Read More

on the move

Sonia Delaunay, Driving Caps, Silk and Wool, 1924-28. Included in the Cooper-Hewitt Color Moves exhibition, 2011. I am taking a break from my collection today, and researching a feature which somehow keeps bringing me back to the work of Sonia Delaunay. I came across these amazing wool and silk ‘driving caps’ that she designed, and… Read More