A Rag Rug from Reading

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Jelly and the people of Reading made a rag rug for Shopmobility in The Oracle inspired by what Reading folk love about their town. Workshops were held within The Oracle where members of the public joined me and Carli Jordan to create a rag rug wall hanging.

The abstract design features shapes from Reading’s architecture, rivers and landscape, sport heritage and past crafts such as brick building. Rag rugging (also known as Hooky and proggy) is a traditional slow domestic handcraft made up from recycled fabrics and materials. This project is made from recycled t-shirts, bed linen, tablecloths and plastic bags from The Oracle.

As people sat in groups to help make this artwork stories were shared, friendships made and new craft skills learnt. Over 80 people of all ages contributed in making this communal rag rug, which took over 200 hours to complete.

Wednesday 24th September is the offical launch day of the rag rug and Shopmobility is inviting people to a coffee morning to view it and also host the Jelly’s first Jelly Tots session of the Autumn term. Come and join us 10.30am to 12.30pm. If you’d like to join Jelly Tots please book your FREE space here: Jelly Tots – Free workshop

The rag rug can be visited any time during trading hours in Shopmobility – 10am to 5pm Monday to Saturday and 11am to 4pm on Sundays. Shopmobility is located within the Holy Brook car park – level one.

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Many thanks to Carli Jordan for all her hours and hours of hard rag rugging work, to Marc Murphy and his team at the Oracle, to Suzanne at Jelly and to everyone who helped us complete the rag rug. This was such a great project to take part in.

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A sketch showing what the rag rug pattern symbolises.

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Hard at work – creating the rag rug.

Summer 2014

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It’s been a busy summer with lots of fun things happening with Jelly. In July Jelly hosted it’s first ‘Open for Art’ weekend where venues across Reading where exhibiting work by Reading artists. There were heritage walks and drawing competitions on Broad Street and workshops. I was located in the Oracle ‘Artist HQ Jelly pop up shop’. We were hosting rag rug workshops and working on a huge wall hanging which is currently on display in Shopmobility in the Oracle (Shopmobility is located in the Holy Brook Carpark).

I also hosted a fashion illustration and vintage styling evening with Alexandra Vintage. We got dressed up and drew each other in our vintage gear. There was fizz, there were giggles and people learnt new drawing and collage techniques.

2014

February has sneaked up on me and already so much has happened. A new year and new beginnings for me – a new baby, hosting an art club, a new collaboration and new work for spring and summer studio trails.

Art Club

I am hosting Jelly Tots at Jelly HQ in the Market Place in Reading. Originally set up by Ella, Jelly Tots is an art club for pre-schoolers. We meet each Wednesday from 10.30am to 11.30am and each week has a different arty crafty theme. So far we’ve made birds, name mobiles, Chinese Dragons and musical shakers. No artist too young. Jelly tots is a perfect place for ‘tot’ and accompanying ‘big person’ to collaborate on a arty masterpiece. ‘Tots’ go crazy with paint, glitter, tissue paper and glue and the accompanying ‘big person’ helps with the fiddly bits. I’m enjoying the class so much. It’s great to see the little ones having fun and being creative.mosaic497fcfae8a18c69bfddf134ef158467286f959bb

For more info on Jelly and workshops please visit here: Jelly website or sign up to the Jelly Tots facebook page and keep up to date with the weekly arty activities – Jelly Tots facebook page

Caversham Arts Trail

I shall be exhibiting my work again this year at on the Caversham Arts Trail at Lou Jessop’s house. Dates of this years open studio days are: 10th, 11th, 17th and 18th May 2014. More info on this will be posted here nearer the time.

Lou Jessop's studio

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Whiteknights Studio Trail

I am also exhibiting on the Whiteknights Studio Trail again – 14th and 15th June but this year I am at a different venue. I will be at Sue Clarke’s house. If you have seen my work at Origin, Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair, Selvedge or Bovey Tracey Contemporary Craft Fair may have met Sue before as she always joins me on shows. She is a very dear friend and very talented artist and I am excited to be joining her this year for Whiteknights. We are working on a collaborative project this year. It will combine Sue’s love of tiny things and my love colour and will be revealed over the WST weekend.

New mum

Kath has been keeping me busy and introduced me to the world of kids clothes. Before she was born I started knitting garments for her but now she is here and her little personality is starting to shine I just cannot seems to knit quick enough to match the speed she is growing. I’ve got so many ideas and stitches and projects I want to try out. A blog of our knitting adventures and projects is in the making and as soon as it’s done I’ll post the link here.

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Christmas Sale on Broad St, Reading 14th and 15th Dec

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Alabama Whirly and I will be exhibiting our work together on Broad Street, Reading in a Chalet style ski hut (AKA a nice posh shed!) on Saturday 14th December 10am to 6pm and Sunday 15th December 10am to 5pm. We will be down the Marks and Spencers, Sainsburys, entrance to the Oracle end of Broad Street so come and find us and say hello.

On sale will be knitted scarves, handwarmers, cushions and a few new Christmas theme goodies.

For more info on the event click here.

Christmas theme goodie - in progress

In other news….I have been chosen as a Texprint mentor and I have been partnered with knitted textile designer and new graduate Gillian Murphy. Go check out her work – she is one to watch – Gillian’s Website

And….I’ve also been really busy making – not so much knitting but making humans this time. Katherine arrived in September. It’s been fun knitting things for her so expect kiddy sized knits appearing soon no doubt.

Art Exhibition with ‘Reading Between the Lines’ Production of Romeo and Juliet

Work in Progress for the Art Exhibition at the Minster Reading

Work in Progress for the Art Exhibition at the Minster Reading

I was invited by the lovely people at ‘Reading Between the Lines’ to create a piece of knitting for an art exhibition to run alongside their production of Romeo and Juliet. The art exhibition opens tomorrow 12th September at 7.30pm and will run until 28th September. The exhibition will feature the work of Reading artists such as Lou Jessop and Salvo Toscano More info about the production and tickets can be found here: – www.readingbetweenthelines.co.uk

My submission for the exhibition is titled ‘Star Crossed Lovers’. The patterns are inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. It is hand knitted with wool from Shetland and I have taken inspiration from traditional fair isle patterns such as a star and cross and love hearts. It’s been a great project to be a part of and I have enjoyed making it.

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Where to find us in 2013

You can find us this year at the following events:

MAY

Coming up first in MAY is the Caversham Arts Trail – 11th – 12th May and 17th to 19th May.

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I am exhibiting at Lou Jessop’s house – 4 Hemdean Rise, Caversham. Lou is a wonderful colourful creative textile artist and fantastic cake baker. Other makers exhibiting at the same venue are:

Brenda Graham – I am so pleased to be exhibiting alongside Brenda as she was my art teacher at secondary school. I used to love those lessons and still have a piece of work that made in her class. Website here

Jan Lewis – Illustrations, cards, prints and sculptures

Su Macpherson – Willow weaving and sculpturing – Website here

Marc Juon – Handmade Jewellery – Website here

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Lots of art to see and creative workshops to take part in are happening all over Caversham over these two weekends in May. See flyer and website for more info on other exhibitors.

JUNE

The Contemporary Craft Festival at Bovey Tracey – Devon 7th to 9th June.

Whiteknights Studio Trail 15th and 16th June.

More info of the June events to follow nearer the time!

A Colourful Christmas Time

Shop the latest collection at Culture Label – SHOP HERE

Stock is limited – so be quick..

…ALSO – It’s the Aunt Elsie’s Christmas do next week 29th November to 1st Dec in the Market Place in Reading. A selection of scarves and cushions will be available on the Jelly Stall run by the amazing AlabamaWhirly