Did you manage to get round any of the artists in this year’s York Open Studios? Hopefully you did, because there were so many inspiring works to see and new artsists and techniques to discover!
We didn’t manage to make it round everyone (you’d have to be seriously dedicated and spend all weekend visiting the venues!) but we definitely felt we’d seen a good selection. It’s hard to pick a ‘favourite’ out of them all, but a few highlights for us this year were….
Work by Chi-ui Wu - one of our personal highlights from York Open Studios 2010
The whimsical ink drawings and enchanting ceramics created by Chiu-i Wu – her work is full of light, nature and life and we spotted several things wanted to take home with us – it’s the type of work you could look at every day and see something new in it.
On our way into town on Saturday morning, we passed by several of the venues, including Sandra Middleton, who works with silks and velvets that she dyes herself to create abstract pieces. The pieces looked so different depending on the light which was reflected on the fabrics (the images on her website don’t really do her work justice), and it was really great to have the chance to meet Sandra and see how the work was produced.
Across town, we visited David’s Patrick’s studio on Norfolk Street. David’s use of colour is really quite arresting, particularly the lush greens and vivid purples, and his work somehow makes York look very urban and contemporary – even in pieces featuring some of York’s most ancient features.
Worth remembering of course that all these artists work outside of York Open Studios – so check out their websites to find out more about their work, where else they exhibit and how you can buy their work.
If you did visit open studios, tell us who, and what you thought………
Now that the festival is over for another year, it’s time for us to reflect on all the successes and think about what we’d like to do differently next year. We always like to spend a couple of weeks jotting down ideas, reading through the questionnaires our visitors kindly filled in and catching up with tutors and students about their thoughts.
One of the things we find very useful is to go through all the pictures we took over the two days – it helps us remember how exhibitions looked and all the work that gets created during the workshops. Here are some of our favourite inspirational pictures…..
Pretty eggs created on Donna's Easter Egg Tree workshop
Deborah's fibres for feltmaking - really, how could you NOT want to create something?!
Collaborative pointillism piece created by Karen's Painting & Drawing students
Lots of people being creative during the Saturday morning workshops
Learners enjoying Catherine's mosaics workshop at Inspirations this year
Our 2010 workshops have now been confirmed, and we’re really excited by the range of activities taking place next year!
Not only will we have the free textiles project The Patch Project running on both days, but we’ll also be running 8 tutor-led sessions ranging from 2-5 hours in length.
You can find out more about what’s taking place when on the Workshop page – we’ll be adding in times and prices over the next few days, so do keep checking back.
This year, we’ve decided to advertise the Inspirations workshop in our main prospectus, the Learning4Life guide, so that hopefully we can attract some new faces, as well as our die-hard arty and crafty visitors who make a point of coming along every year. We’ll be taking bookings from Monday 4 January by phone – 01904 553397
Spent most of this weekend enjoying being at home, after slightly terrifying pre-Christmas shopping trip on Saturday morning. Will NOT be repeating the experience in a hurry. Having said that, I’m definitely starting to get excited about the festive season and have even had my first (of many) mince pie!
I’ve been making some felt decorations for our tree, using up some odds and ends from Wingham Wools to make felt hearts. Once the felt is ready, I decorate them with buttons, embroidery and fabric, before blanket stitching 2 hearts together and stitching in a little bit of ribbon at the top to hang them from. They’d also look nice hanging from door handles, mantlepieces and window frames I think, or given as little stocking fillers (Speaking of which – have been drooling over the fab Alice in Wonderland mirrors, brooches, etc made by Sumptuosity, a York based company who I have just added to my favourites – perfect little presents for stylish friends).
Got the idea from Donna’s Hearts & Crafts workshop which I cheekily went on at Inspirations last year, totally abandoning Claire on the reception desk! Due to lots of requests, Donna will be running the same workshop again next year, this time on the Saturday, so you can all take a pretty homemade heart home too. And that’s a tongue twister.
We’re spending the week hoarding fabrics ready for our crafting session at the weekend. All the usual places will be getting a visit from us – including our new favourite stall on York market – fat quarters, bags of buttons, ribbons and threads all at the bargain price of £1.00. Is a bit like Ikea – it’s all such good value you buy two of things, then get a bit of a surprise at the checkout! You can pop along to the market every Tuesday to see what they have in – they often bring different styles, patterns and colours each week. Today, we bought some blue spotty fabric and some pretty pretty pretty floral fat quarters to use in our patches.
We’re also big fans of shopping online of course – the convenience and variety has turned us into fabric addicts! One great place to check out what’s new is by searching on flickr – fabric addicts anonymous often has gorgeous fabrics which people have used to create all sorts of pretty things and include details of where to buy it from yourself.
Fabric flowers made at Brooches, Buttons & Bows workshop
We’ve set up our own flickr group for Inspirations so that people can add their own photos from the 2010 exhibition to the group pool – you can join the group and comment on exisiting photos from the 2008 & 2009 festivals.
We’re spending today searching around for inspirations for…Inspirations! We like to keep up to date with what other people are doing, new ideas and hot tips about new shops.
Today we’ve found a lovely wordpress blog; Fabric, Family & Fun. If you’re looking for some ideas for your patch, we definitely recommend you take a look – great colours and combinations, lovely patchwork and some very nice accessories for your home. Drooling ensues!
A little closer to home, we’re also checking out Sew Recycled‘s fantastic blog – full of ideas for making the most of the season, as well as all sorts of lovely crafty bits.
It’s great to know there are so many people out there making their own crafts and using so many different materials. If you know any great sites out there that you think we should know about , tell us!