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Workshops and Outings from 2012

Talk and Workshops with Ruth Lee

Ruth Lee Looking approvingly at samples.jpg

At this well-attended event, Guild members were intrigued and entranced with the variety of work that Ruth Lee had brought to inspire them.
Ruth is internationally known in the world of textile art, and already has several books to her credit with a new one in preparation. Her workshops were aimed at getting Guild members to explore ways of incorporating found objects into knitted structures, and to experiment with wrapping, binding and winding techniques.
At first glance these would not appeal to everyone, but for those adventurous enough to have a go it proved to be an engaging challenge. At the end of the day members were astonished at the huge variety of samples produced.
In the December/January edition of Workbox magazine there is a four-page spread about Ruth and her work. Entitled 'Darning the Landscape and much more' it gives a comprehensive narrative on the background and scope of Ruth's artistry, with colour illustrations.
Ruth Lee looking approvingly at the days samples.

Workshop with Katie Chaplin

Workshop with Katie Chaplin - 4 June 2011

Furoshiki- the art of gift wrapping Shibori- indigo dyeing of a silk scarf. Angela Colbridge reports that she had imagined seeing lots of paper and ribbons when she arrived at St Oswalds Institute for this workshop.

Instead on the table were some beautiful squares of Japanese cloth and books.

Katie explained they would be gift wrapping the books, also Balloons (to represent melons) and bottles of water ( to represent wine) - with the cloth. There would be no sticky tape, no pins, no ribbons. Katie demonstrated each different method, as shown here by the photos and intermingled her talk with fascinating snippets on the Japanese culture.

After lunch she talked about Shibori and how this ancient art is handed down from generation to generation and that it can take up to two years to produce the cloth for a single Kimono.
They began with pieces of cotton before going on to a silk scarf.

Angela concludes that none of them could create the magnificent art of Shibori as practised in Japan, but they thoroughly enjoyed experimenting with their own designs.
www.japancrafts.co.uk

Geni Glatt reports on a day at Saltholme RSPB

During the last twelve months Durham Guild has been responding to an invitation to demonstrate at Saltholme, a fairly new wildlife and nature reserve just north of Middlesbrough. The building stands on a very large expanse of flat barren land.

There is a lake with small islands for wild fowl and an artificial cliff specially built as a nesting site for sand martins, and a small, intimate walled garden planted with flowers in a most innovative, attractive way, interspersed with dead trees.

A large area with walk boards over ponds is unfortunately reserved for school parties, and an adventure play ground with swings etc. Somewhere in the distance are fields where cows and sheep can be seen grazing.

The building is an airy structure with, on the ground floor, a well stocked shop geared for walkers/ birdwatchers and children, (of course!) and a good size classroom with tables and chairs facing the lake. Above it on the first floor, with panoramic windows overlooking the lake is a nice restaurant offering a reasonable choice which all looks good.

The Guild seems to have been asked to demonstrate specifically at lambing time and shearing time. We are free to organise the room as we wish, usually setting up some tables to display the work and others for the equipment. The attendants at the centre are all very friendly and ready to oblige any request, and we are provided with refreshments and lunch.

On this occasion some 5 or 6 just sheared fleeces had already been brought in for members to take home and a few more appeared during the day. It is nice to see parents encouraging their child(ren) to look and take an interest. Children are fascinated by spinning and will stand and watch, longing to have a go but rarely do.

Guild members always enjoy their days at Saltholme and it is well worth visiting throughout the year.

 Geni Glatt reports on a day at Saltholme RSPB
St Oswalds Institute, Church Street
Durham City, Co Durham, DH1 3DQ
tel. Secretary 01388 817404
Contact: email: graham.noray@talktalk.net