Saturday, March 13, 2010

Janet Bolton's workshop

I feel very lucky because I was able to attend a workshop with Janet Bolton yesterday, in Bath, in the patchwork shop called "Country Threads" ( see my previous post here).

She is a true textile artist, with collectors of her work around the world. It might appear very simple first, but it is also magical like a Matisse, transporting you far away. Each stitch and each little piece of fabric has a purpose, and each piece is the fruit of a lot of thinking and choices.
We were shown what she called mistakes, that looked like perfect little pieces, except she wasn't satisfied with them.

I booked this day a few weeks ago and was really looking forward to a few hours sewing in the beautiful city. Not that I ventured out much.

Janet Bolton was very interesting, and she explained her method very well. Then we were left to choose one of our own photos to use as a base for a piece. It's a bit daunting at first but you soon feel that you have to make a decision, under her kind guidance of course.

She helped me choose a photo of DD1 on her sledge. Her ideas are to keep the design simple. I'm not sure I can do that yet. I still think too much of the details to be put in, like legs, arms but I gave up on the idea of gloves for example.

I was surprised to discover that her pieces are quite small. It's difficult to stop yourself from going bigger, I'm not sure I'm there yet.

She loves adding a little bit of colour, in our case a speck of red, to lift the picture. I think it's a brillant idea, very interesting.

We also learned a bit about framing and presenting our work. But of course I would need to finish it first.

We all had a brilliant day, too short of course. Here are the other participants, they will have to stay anonymous as we only knew our first names.

I already have 2 of her books "My Grandmother's Patchwork Quilt" from which I have made a few blocks, but it's not finished see here.
I also own "In a Patchwork Garden" but haven't used it yet. I don't think I would do all the blocks but a few would be wonderful.
I have ordered another of her books, which has just been reprinted "Patchwork Folk Art" which you can find on Amazon uk ( no benefit for me,it's just easier to show you a photo on their website).

I have taken a few quick photos of the work we produced at the end of the day. There is still some time needed to finish them, and then frame them hopefully.
We all developped different ideas, used colours from our stashes. There aren't any of the added embroidery, buttons, and in my case frame.
What a great day !


gill said...

what a great time you had - i would love to have joined you.
it's hard to find out about workshops until it's too late!! i also have two of janet bolton's books and i am tempted by the one you refer too - thanks
ps i did a workshop with di wells last week - highly recommended if you get the chance!

Kandy Newton said...

looks like lots of fun - Everyone's pics look really good.

Jane said...

wow!.....wish I'd known I live in Bath and I'm a big fan of JB.
I don't produce work anything like hers but I love it.
You all look as though you enjoyed it :)