We have welcomed many new members in the last year and together with lots of experienced ladies and gents we are thriving. Lots people drop in when they are available so this is just a snapshot of our most recent meeting.
Recently we held an open day at Cwmgors Community Hall to show the work we do and to tell local people about the Guild and our future at Hwb y Gors. If you were unable to attend please have a look at the lovely display of work below and please contact the Guild if you are interested in joining us.
Although the last few years have been difficult for most groups this year has been a very buoyant one for the Guild and we have been delighted to welcome many new members. In addition the open day was attended by some really engaged and interested general public and prospective guild members. There was an opportunity to try your hand at weaving and spinning and a wide range of ages had a go.
Recently a group from the Guild attended a workshop in Swansea on Collography. Anne has kindly written a short piece for us:
“This collagraph print is based on a photo that Menna ( Lead Textile Artist) took of a floor in the former Cwmgors primary school where parquet flooring used to be. I enjoyed doing it because the pattern was repetitive and geometric, but the textures were varied. We each made a ‘plate’ for printing using pieces of card, wallpaper, fabric, plastics : it was quite messy too with lot’s of gluing and inking involved !The print technique was effective, and it was interesting to see the results. It was also enjoyable doing this activity together in a group, sharing ideas, we had fun!”
Sue Harris used a postcard and some lace to make her printing block
Heather used an image of the old Cwmgors School and particularly liked the unusual shape of the roof.
Christine used a photo of the fireplace at the old Cwmgors School.
Liz simply enjoyed herself to create a random design!
Recently a group from the Guild joined others for a cyanotype workshop at the Nuture Centre in Carmarthen.
The morning was spent creating cyanotype prints and the sunshine was useful for developing the images. As well as using objects such lace, leaves and buttons there was also the opportunity to develop images from photographs printed onto acetate.
During the afternoon the group learnt about toning images using natural products such as elderberries, star anise and avocado. Some of the colour changes were very noticeable with some being a more subtle brightening or darkening.
The day was enjoyable and enlightening, a nice opportunity to try a different process.
I have delayed putting up this post until some of us have had a chance to complete our tapestries. It can take some time!
Jane getting us started
In October Guild members had the opportunity to attend a 3 day tapestry workshop run by Jane Brunning. The experience in tapestry weaving across the group was very varied from absolute beginners to some members who have worked many tapestries and attended previous workshops run by Jane.
The workshop started with Jane getting us to cut up pieces of coloured paper and sticking them onto card. It may sound simplistic but was a great way to just create and, in fact one of the group based her final work on this exercise
Paper cutting exercises
We then did more exercises, drawing on these first cut outs followed by cutting up and rearranging print. We could also make a small window and place this over our designs to isolate an area. All of these exercises were carried out very quickly and this was great as it is very easy to “overthink” your designs.
More Paper Cutting Exercises
When this first phase was completed we all had the opportunity to decide on our final designs. This varied from choosing the original cut outs, chopped up pictures or whole or parts of photographic images.
Setting up the frames, making cartoons to guide the work and adding objects
Setting up tapestry frames was next and here we learnt the Jane is a tough taskmaster! Everything had to be perfect and really that is the secret behind good tapestry weaving. Attention to detail during the working results in a better end result.
Early and practice pieces
The next two days were taken up working both practise and final pieces. It is amazing how little one can achieve in quite a long time! The work is slow and meticulous and Jane frequently showed us new stitches and methods we could use, outlining, wrapped stitches and inserting objects. It was great that both newbies and experienced tapestry makers had something to learn and we could get as involved in learning new processes as much or as little as we liked.
Works in Progress
4 months on many of the tapestries have been finished, some are still on the go and a couple of people have decided the tapestry is not for them. It was an amazing opportunity to learn how to do things properly and the first workshop that we had managed to have in person for nearly two years.
Some of the Finished or Almost Completed Pieces from Sandra, Anne, Anna and Clare
Other Recent Makes and Projects
Sue Hallah has been playing with dyeing yarns and making pretty punis!
Never Give Up!
Quite a long time ago, certainly before Covid, Sal and Sandra ran a dyeing workshop on sock blanks. Anna has finished her sock which are gorgeous. Some of our guild projects take longer than others but the results are certainly worth it!