Above is my latest “work in progress” – Heart Space Studios – where all things textile will be taught, designed, drawn, made, displayed and sold. It is in the Redland district of Bristol and last week it looked like this.
I decided to open this studio after I was asked several times by several people for drawing and stitching classes. So late last year I took the plunge and just 3 months later here we are at the opening day of our new venture – in what was a kitchen showroom and obviously, given the name, as close to Valentine’s day as possible. Last Saturday, 12th February, saw us with the first studio space up and running. Most of the last few months have been stripping out and selling kitchens and bathrooms ripping up floors and wallpaper and applying for planning permission and then putting down floors, repainting and decorating and making timetables and buying signs and chairs and tables and tea urns and cups and having websites built and changing telephones and email addresses and NOT STITCHING.
One of the several fellow tutors in this venture decided to have a Tea and Textiles opening, which is a regular meeting event for Textile Forum South West. The teas were served with an array of the most lovely cakes and biscuits, either bought locally or brought by friends, who all rallied round to help on the day.
We put up an exhibition of the work by some of the tutors who will be teaching the classes, a mixed bag of stuff so I just went for colour.
as did many other people in one form or another..
There were lots of samples of other workshops displayed so that people could see what they were signing up for..
Sharne Lott, knitter turned jeweller and Debbie Bird, applied artist, made things…..
Later some hand-made beads arrived from Patricia Brownen who had come to my first drawing class wearing one of her necklaces – I signed her up on the spot for our first workshop on Friday 18th February…we have already got several people signed up for this – me included!
Textile is such a wide discipline to me that absolutely anything involving stitching will be taught, so I was extremely pleased when bookbinder Lori Sauer expressed an interest in conducting classes at Heart Space later in the year.
Felt making is very popular and many people are wanting to sign up to these classes, we are making them a regular weekly class along with stitching, drawing and patch-working. Janet Clarke, who I first met last year at an Xmas party, is taking the major wet – felting workshops; but she also turned out to help get the studio together, putting up the Heart Felt exhibition in the windows with jeweller Hazel Sutton.
One of the main things I want to achieve with Heart Space workshops is to introduce people to the basics of designing textiles, not just making for making’s sake – nothing wrong with this – but I feel that designing for a purpose is a surer way to focus and develop ideas and skills, so one of the simplest of our one day taster workshops will be to design and make cushion covers – and here are some of mine in the window, plus the alphabet animals I designed for the parent and child’s Saturday classes.
I have to show this rare photograph of me laughing with Martin Remmers, an old friend and book seller, who has offered to help set up a reference library of all things stitch-based for the students to use.
Also a typical picture of partner Liz Hewitt, who organises everything and who goaded me into taking all this on in the first place.
And last but not least, my temporary display of hearts from different people – this is being taken down today Valentine’s day, and shelving for the fabrics, yarns and ribbons will be put up – as inspiration and use for all the students of Heart Space Studios