A celebration of spring at Heart Space Studios’ latest exhibition

I organised and curated the exhibition, Spring Love, at Heart Space Studios. My thoughts about the themes of the exhibition and individual textiles on display are published in a Trebuchet Magazine article and posted below.

Heart Space Studios is a lively and unusual gem in North Bristol with a variety of textiles classes on offer. Peyote stitch beaded jewellery, pincushion hearts and beautiful paper cut pictures are held alongside weekend corset-making classes. Artists from Bristol and Bath lead these workshops and collaborate with the Studios on a variety of events or regular textile clubs, including a popular ‘Knit & Stitch’ club.

Janet Haigh, the founder of the Studios, is an ex-Senior Research Fellow at UWE, Bristol, and was involved with developing textile techniques for vitreous enamel and other materials. She has also written various books on crazy patchwork and embroidery design, and likes to concentrate on drawing and stitching by hand. As a consequence the workshops are detailed and thorough, with a focus on good design.

Susi Bancroft's Kantha stitched works

Susi Bancroft’s Kantha stitched works

Celebrating the arrival of spring, Heart Space Studios’ current exhibition (until 7 April) is appropriately entitled ‘Spring Love’. Supporting the making of meaningful things ‘with hand, heart and eye’ the exhibition puts an eclectic array of textile art on display, including fresh pastel coloured corsets and bold enamel hearts. Heart Space explores ‘love’ from many angles including making craft with love, and the love of materials and techniques.  Continue reading

Behind the scenes at a bridal boutique

This interview is published on Wedding Ideas Magazine

I interviewed Jessica Letheren at ‘Allison Jayne’ bridal boutique in Clifton, Bristol. Besides running ‘Allison Jayne’, Jessica is studying business in Swansea.

P1020426How did you get into this business?

Allison Jayne is my family business, which was started forty years ago in Swansea. We are all from Swansea. Twenty years later they opened another shop in Cardiff. Then we opened on the triangle eighteen months ago.

What are the best bits of being in this business?

The selling is the best bit without a doubt. In this business you are always dealing with happy brides. Developing the customer’s trust is also hugely rewarding.

What are the hardest bits?

What is hard is having to chase things up under time pressure. Some clients only come in a few weeks before the wedding and leave things until the last minute. So dealing with close deadlines is stressful. It is a lot of responsibility.

P1020407How many dresses would you advise a bride-to-be to try on?

On average people try on about ten dresses, although for some people it can be the first one or go up a lot higher. The most someone has tried on is 25! Occasionally people try this number on over a period of a few visits.  Continue reading