Art in Action 2016, celebrating 40 years

Valerie Wartelle demonstrating wet felting at Art in Action 2016

Art in Action, the fortieth and last show!

Readers of my blog will know that Art in Action is one of my favourite events. Art in Action 2016 is the fortieth one and sadly the last show. I shall miss meeting a wide variety of artists and craftspeople, watching them demonstrate their skills and discussing their work with them. I love learning about different arts and crafts, understanding the techniques and tools used, and finding out what makes one artist’s work different from that of others.

Let me introduce you to some of the artists and craftspeople I met this year.

Jacqui Carey – Japanese braid making

Jacqui Carey demonstrating kumihimo

Jacqui Carey was demonstrating Kumihimo, a form of Japanese braid making, which she carried out on this beautiful wooden round stand. Even though I knew that Jacqui was moving the bobbins in a specific sequence, it was impossible to follow with so many bobbins moving around two wooden circles. Jacqui also demonstrated how to make a simple braid on a small round stand; this was much easier to understand.

Colourful jacket made from kumihimo braids

Jacqui stitched together a large variety of braids that she made whilst demonstrating, to make this stunning jacket.

Valerie Wartelle – wet felting

Valerie Wartelle demonstrating felting

Valerie creates beautiful pieces using the traditional craft technique of wet felting. She is inspired by landscapes she sees in Yorkshire and whilst travelling. She applies fibres to a canvas in a painterly manner. Then she uses hot water, soapsuds and friction to interlock the fibres in wool tops together. Once felted, Valerie uses screen-printing, transfers or free machine stitching to enhance the lines, movement and depth of the composition.

Wendy Dolan – machine embroidery and hand stitching

Sample of machine embroidery in progress

Wendy Dolan uses fabric painting and printing, applied fabrics, and finally machine embroidery and hand stitching to create her stitched textile pieces. She was showing pieces from her current series of work, “A Sense of Place’. These record memorable journeys and locations by using maps in addition to images. You can see the one which she is working on above. Wendy is inspired by landscapes, natural forms, journeys, architecture and still life.

Bobbie Kociejowski – handwoven textiles

Loom and shuttle ready to weave

Bobbie Kociejowski makes beautiful hand-woven scarves and shawls on the lovely loom shown above. Bobbie is inspired by the differences in nature, light and colour seen in different parts of the world. She works mainly in silk and fine wool; she dyes her yarn, so she can experiment with colour relationships and optical mixing when weaving. Over the past few years, Bobbie has been exploring colours in nature, landscape and water.

Other textile artists

Here are some of the other textile artist’s websites:

  • Sarah Burgess – multi-media art using embroidery wrapping, mono-print and stitch as well as charcoal and ink;
  • Jessa Fairbrother – interdisciplinary artist incorporating stitch and mark-making in her photographic work;
  • Jane E Hall – delicate hand-embroidered silk butterflies;
  • Isabel Howe – hand embroidery on laser cut wood;
  • Etka Kaul – embroidered, hand-dyed and printed textiles;
  • Carol Nayler – densely machine embroidered landscapes.
  • Harriet Riddell – machine embroidered portraits
  • Trudie Timlin Brown –  watercolour like silk weaving incorporating text, using an ingle loom.

You can read about Harriet Riddell and Trudie Timlin Brown in my blog post about Art in Action 2015.

Printing by New North Press

New North Press demonstrating letterpress printing

New North Press, an artisan letterpress print studio, were printing souvenir posters for the last Art in Action. They set their wooden and metal blocks by hand, before inking and printing. It’s a strenuous process!

Ceramics by Louise Hall

Louise Hall and her display of ceramics

I first met Louise at Nottingham Trent University, when we were both doing our MAs. This time, Louise had a stand in the Market Place marquee selling her porcelain jugs, forms, vessels and lighting. She starts by rolling out the porcelain clay, then uses fabric, lace and wallpaper to add textural detail. Then she hand-builds her fragile, delicate-looking pieces and manipulates each by hitting them. Finally, she fires and glazes each piece.

Lots of good memories

I think that I’ve been to Art in Action four or five times. I always leave inspired by what I have seen; inspired to use knitting and crochet to create something new.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Anita Shaxson.

    Very interesting.Would like to know the dates and locations of exhibitions you have mentioned.

    1. Being Knitterly

      Sadly, Art in Action 2016 was the last one.
      You can find out about dates and locations of other festivals here.