Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Going on a trail

At the moment in Stroud, Gloucestershire the town is hosting the annual Stroud International Textiles season. Every May the town becomes the focus of textiles artists from around the UK and wider world. There is an amazing exhibition at the Museum in the Park as well as 2 weekend of studio trails.

I have never managed to go on the trail, between work and 3 little boys it has been hard to organise, plus dragging 3 little boys around studios is a pretty stressful and pointless activity!

On Sunday however the stars aligned and I only had one monster - yay! Plus this monster loves sewing and  being creative. So when I suggested we spend our day together meeting artists and eating cake he said yes - I agree it might have been the offer of cake that swung it in my favour......

So off we went armed with our guide book, a map and promises of a fun day.....

First we went to Stafford Mills and met Nick Ozanne, who is an amazing handweaver.

Nick has a fabulous and light studio in the old mill. Midi was really interested in what weaving is and chatted to Nick for ages. Nick kindly demonstrated to us how his loom works and explained how many hows it takes to make one scarf. So inspiring!

In the same building there is the studio of Victoria Sangwire-Gould and Gemma Sangwire, two fabric addicts who transform pieces of fabric into cushions, brooches and, our favourite, bunny ears! Their studio was crammed with fabric - my idea of heaven - and sewing machines!

It was fascinating to see into other creatives studios. As we walked back to the car midi told me they worked like me - surrounded by fabric and thread!

Next we needed out first cake break so we stopped in Stroud for cake before heading to the Stroud Valleys Artspace (SVA) to visit the studios of painters, potters and textiles artists. We were fascinated by all the different creative techniques in one space. So many ways to create and touch people's lives. Amazing!

After a look around we headed to Frogmarsh Mill for an artist exhibition of their work. Midi was fascinated by Cleo Mussi's mosaics.

Image from www.mussimosaics.co.uk
They so beautiful!

There was so many pieces of work by different artists - wish I was a millionaire!

Our last visit was to Sharland and Lewis in Nailsworth. We needed another cake break so we visited the Canteen. As fabulous little cafe with amazing cake and coffee!

In Sharland and Lewis we discovered 2 amazing quilters, Liz Brooke Ward and Catherine Kingzett. They were amazing!

Liz Brooke Ward

The work they do is really complex and full of colour and layers. I did loiter with them for quite a while chatting fabric, ideas and quilting. So much lovely work to see!

Catherine Kingzett
They have taken quilting to the next level and it was lovely to see the progression to their amazing pieces of work!

I am so glad we went together. We had a lovely few hours together learning new things and chatting about art. It was a day full of precious moments!


  1. That sounds like a wonderful day out. It must have been great to be able to meet all those artists and talk to them about their work :)

    1. We had a wonderful day out together! Meeting so many people who view the world in the same way as me was brilliant! Cake was yummy too!