Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Ice Sculpture and Sewing

Last Friday, John and I took ourselves off to York for the weekend, for the Christmas markets. Above is my only sketch I'm afraid, drawn first thing from the hallway window of the hotel, while waiting for our friends.

Apart from the gorgeous colours of the German sausage stall, the market proved a bit of a disappointment, but this was more than compensated for by other lucky discoveries.

Firstly, there was an ice-sculpture festival on. Under fake snow, pumped from the rooftops, York's narrow, central streets were dotted with various glistening creations, dripping in the sunshine.

I've put a few more ice sculpture photos in the picture gallery if you're interested.

My second discovery was at the art gallery: a wonderful Japanese Sashiko textiles exhibition. Sashiko is extraordinary decorative stitchwork, traditionally applied to work clothing, such a labourer's or fisherman's coats, to 'quilt' layered fabric together, for added warmth and strength.

It went out of favour in the 1950's but has been rediscovered by fashion designers and given a contemporary twist, and both old and new styles are on display, side by side. Interestingly, many of the old garments looked very fashionable and I would have killed for one particular jacket...

There was a third find too: York's Quilt Museum, housed in a beautiful old hall which was bursting with colour from both traditional quilts and also some very exciting contemporary textile design.

I got a good way through making a quilt myself, about 4 years ago, but like many people, never quite finished it off (must do that). I treated myself to a book about the transition from drawing to contemporary textiles, called Connecting Art to Stitch, as inspiration.

So, once again, instead of buying Christmas presents for other people, I mainly bought stuff for me. Ho hum.

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