Knitting & Stitching Show 2016

This week the Knitting & Stitching comes to Alexandra Palace, London 5th-9th October. If visiting come and say hello on stand TG8 where ‘Marks & Stitch‘ group are exhibiting for the first time. Then it moves to Dublin 20th-23rd October, and finally to Harrogate 24th-27th November.


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Taking part in the dyeing project

In Ethel Mairet’s book ‘Vegetable Dyes’ there are many recipes to follow or a list of British Dye Plants listed under colour. Under ‘purple’ was Dandelion root, which I thought pretty unlikely as it would have been mentioned in other dye book. Up for a challenge I thought why not have a go. Lucy Jenner at the Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft sent 10g of linen, my thread of choice.

Dandelion root found on our allotment…..


Taking Jenny Dean’s recommendation for dyeing with dock root I washed and cut up the dandelion root and soaked it for a day. Then ‘boiled’ for a couple of hours……..


Mordanting the thread from Ether Mairet’s description for linen was slightly different to how I would normally (5% Alum Acetate of dry weight of thread). Firstly she recommended using a tannin solution (I made from Sumac leaves), followed by mordanting in Alum Acetate twice, rinsing and drying between batches….


There was a reference to ‘fixing’ the mordant by passing through a weak solution of ‘chloride of lime’ which sounded rather toxic so I made a weak alkali solution using a couple drops of ammonia with lots of water. I have no idea if this made any difference to the result. The thread was simmered in the strained dandelion root dye for about 45 mins, cooled in the solution, rinsed, dried then washed.

In the end did I achieve purple?……sadly no, the colour was very similar to the dye solution, a pale soft yellow/olive green. In my haste to send it off to Ditchling Musuem of Art + Craft I forgot to take a photo, so you’ll have to visit the museum instead.

Great project to get involved with



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Ethel Mairet Project

Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft are celebrating the centenary of the first edition of weaver and dyer Ethel Mairet’s book ‘Vegetable Dyes’, written and printed in Ditchling where she lived. The exhibition /live research project at the museum is to recreate each recipe (around 100) from her book.

Textile artists are encouraged to take part by selecting a recipe from the first edition ‘Vegetable Dyes’ and contact Lucy Jenner at the museum who will provide all the details of the project and how to get involved. The growing exhibition will feature labelled thread samples of wool, silk, cotton and linen.

Exhibition runs from 17th September 2016 – April 2017 Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft


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Zeronine Textile Art Exhibition

Zeronine Hilliers 2015

Zeronine Exhibition Hilliers 2015

Press Release

Zeronine Textile Art Exhibition – Sir Harold Hillier Gardens

The Zeronine group of textile artists, together with guest artists, Caroline Bell and Karin Boyes, are bringing a stimulating summer exhibition to the Visitors’ Pavilion.

The exhibitors are an established and experienced group. Some of the textiles on display draw their inspiration from the Gardens themselves. See the “village” of tree-trunk houses and the individual artists’ interpretations of a glorious photo taken in the Gardens last autumn by Andy Hellyer.

Other work demonstrates the artists’ individual interests and styles – woven, felted, dyed, painted, printed, stitched – wall hangings, framed pieces, book covers, wearable art, and more.

Visitors will have an opportunity to purchase unique works of textile art, gifts and cards. There is a quiz about the exhibition for younger visitors to explore.

The exhibition runs from Thursday 23rd July until Tuesday 25th August. Free entry.

 Zeronine Textile Artists are a group of nine artists from across Hampshire and Wiltshire – Kay Ashby, Kay Haskins, Alison Hulme, Jane Mayhew, Jan McGarry, Anne Moore, Liz Mullenger, Sue Organ, and Louise Wainwright

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Society of Designer Craftsmen 2015

SDC flyer25th Anniversary exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London.

Mall Gallery piece 'of the moment'

Mall Gallery piece ‘of the moment’

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Tea with Matthew Harris

‘fabricformation’ are preparing for their degree show at Eastleigh College in July. They are hosting a fundraising event  ‘Tea with Matthew Harris’ on Sunday 16th March at 3pm in Otterbourne Village Hall (nr J12 M3) SO21 2ET. Internationally acclaimed textile artist Matthew Harris will be talking about his work, together with tea and cakes, raffle and stalls. Tickets £10 (includes tea and cake), contact 07745042515.

Matthew Harris works with both cloth and paper to create drawings/collages and textiles. He has taken part in many shows in the UK, Europe, USA and Japan. He has work in the Crafts Council Collection and the Whitworth Gallery, Manchester.

matthew harris textile artist interview


Aoyama Window Cloth

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Radio Feature

Well what a morning – Having never  appeared on the radio before I’ve been on twice today talking about how listening to birdsong has inspired my work. This morning at 10.30am on Mark O’Donnell’s Wiltshire Radio show speaking about my exhibition project and asking listeners for feedback – listen again by following the link Also this morning I was contacted by BBC Radio 2 who were doing a feature on the Jeremy Vine show (12-2pm) – I had tweeted a few days ago about International Dawn Chorus Day. They looked at my profile and saw that I was a textile artist and tweeted me back – listen again

Both were very friendly and made it an enjoyable experience. The significance of the timing was to coincide with yesterday’s International Dawn Chorus Day, Radio 4’s ‘Tweet of the Day’ which started this morning and an article by Henry Porter in Saturday’s Observer Newspaper I approached Wiltshire Radio suggesting the feature and Radio 2 found me on Twitter.

Below is one of drawings done while listening ‘live’ to yesterday’s dawn chorus

Dawn Chorus Drawing

Dawn Chorus Drawing

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