During March I gave two workshops at Fantasia Textiles Studio run by Norah Stocker near Coggeshall. The two workshops were based on the fertility figure I designed some years ago and which has proved very popular over the years. It all started when I was asked to design a workshop based around beading techniques and at that time I had bought "Beadwork - A World Guide" by Caroline Crabtree and Pam Stallebrass. This lovely book covers the history of beadwork very thoroughly and is beautifully illustrated, you cannot fail to be inspired. When reading through this book I realised most countries had fertility figures that were usually beaded, varying from being simply wrapped with beads to more complicated patterns and in some countries the beads were not only decorative but added status and power.
Although inspired by fertility figures I have given the figures that I designed another function which is that of an etui, i.e. they are designed to hold either needles, a thimble, a pair of scissors or a pin cushion. Below is a picture of the figure I completed this week - the beaded tube held by the figure is a needle holder. The fabric I have used has been rust dyed using an old spade - I added tea to the salt water which gives a darker result.
Also during the last couple of weeks I have started on the garden, seeing which plants have survived, which I have lost, which pots have been damaged by frost, etc. and to my delight I found that the frost had completely cracked an old pot just leaving the bottom - an instant piece of garden art!
And to complete that spring feeling below is a picture of my beautiful black vase full of daffodils - this gorgeous pot is from Made in Cley, a gallery in Cley-next-the Sea. All the products are made on the premises by a group of craftspeople. If you are in north Norfolk you must visit this little gem but if not their website is www.madeincley.co.uk