Monday 21st July
Looking, drawing, sewing was a day of experimentation, not just the content of the workshop but also the format for the day: a short, optional workshop in the morning followed by an informal talk and discussion in the afternoon.
The day was led by textile artist, Claire Hignett and she started with couple of drawing exercises which were designed to 'switch off our conscious minds'. Claire firmly believes that everyone can draw, but we have either lost confidence or got out of practice. Her workshop is designed to reverse that and prove that with inexpensive tools it is possible to produce designs that can be readily translated into stitch. By lunchtime we had all made paper bookmarks with a motif drawn in pen and embellished with simple stitches.
In the afternoon Claire described her artistic journey: from her inspiration which is drawn from studies of deterioration, decay and the passage of time, to a quirky take on broken or useless items that many of us keep and cherish because they hold special memories for us.
Claire is also willing to take risks with her work and thinks nothing of committing many hours of knit or stitch to a hot wash cycle or devoré paste in the hope that some lucky happenstance will produce a unique piece of work. Fortunately this has paid off and she has created some stunning pieces of work, notably her kantha stitched quilt inspired by Crosby beach.
Claire is currently artist in residence at Ordsall Hall in Salford. You can follow her work on her website www.clairehignett.co.uk.