Monday, 12 November 2018

The hospitality of strangers and friends.

My UK odyssey has continued for another week and a bit, this time it can also be termed 'international', though thanks to the open borders in Europe, achieving this was not at all difficult.
I flew to Belfast to spend a weekend with the Northern Ireland Patchwork Guild. Looked after by a generous host with many stories to tell of life in Northern Ireland. As you will know, Northern Ireland has had it's share of unrest, and talking about those times with people who have lived through them can help to widen the perspective of an outsider to whom the only understanding of the events was through the lens of the news media. The times are quieter now, though not perfectly calm.
After a morning talk about the work I have created since moving to New Zealand (called 'Down Under and Left a Bit'), we spent the afternoon using the non-fusible or Standard Angelina fibre. By gradually building up a layered background on which stitch can be added, we had fun. It was a joy to hear new connections and friendships developing during the workshop, after all, that is a significant reason to join groups of like-minded people.

Not So Standard Angelina short workshop with Alysn Midgelow-Marsden at the Northern Ireland Patchwork Guild

Not So Standard Angelina short workshop with Alysn Midgelow-Marsden at the Northern Ireland Patchwork Guild

Not So Standard Angelina short workshop with Alysn Midgelow-Marsden at the Northern Ireland Patchwork Guild

Not So Standard Angelina short workshop with Alysn Midgelow-Marsden at the Northern Ireland Patchwork Guild

Not So Standard Angelina short workshop with Alysn Midgelow-Marsden at the Northern Ireland Patchwork Guild

Not So Standard Angelina short workshop with Alysn Midgelow-Marsden at the Northern Ireland Patchwork Guild


Not So Standard Angelina short workshop with Alysn Midgelow-Marsden at the Northern Ireland Patchwork Guild

Not So Standard Angelina short workshop with Alysn Midgelow-Marsden at the Northern Ireland Patchwork Guild
Not So Standard Angelina short workshop with Alysn Midgelow-Marsden at the Northern Ireland Patchwork Guild
Somehow the autumnal tones in the metallic fibres suited the season, drawing thoughts of the dropping leaves outside.
The next day we ramped up the heat using 'fusible' or 'hot-fix' Angelina fibres. The course was 'The Crown Jewels Gone Mad', an Angelina and heat tool fest! It was a particular pleasure that (through unfortunate circumstances) the Guild had had to change venues for the day, and we were housed in the Men's Council Chamber of the local Golf Club. Leaving a few sneaky glittering strands of fibre for the next council meeting might be considered a (very) small nod in the direction of equality! Sadly the light in the room didn't allow for good images. You will simply have to trust me that we had yet more fun, solved some historic problems in the best use of these fibres and added a few more Angelina addicts to the world.

'The Crown Jewels Gone Mad' workshop by Alysn Midgelow-Marsden for the Northern Ireland Patchwork Guild

'The Crown Jewels Gone Mad' workshop by Alysn Midgelow-Marsden for the Northern Ireland Patchwork Guild

'The Crown Jewels Gone Mad' workshop by Alysn Midgelow-Marsden for the Northern Ireland Patchwork Guild
Lots of samples and ideas for work were created, and nothing caught fire!!

I then had a little adventure on the buses across the border and out to the wilds of County Clare. I was to spend a couple of days catching up with Kim Thittichai who now lives in a gorgeous location and has a studio space and accomodation for guests and to run workshops at Sonas Studio. It was so good of her to give up her time to look after me. One of the great things about my life is fitting in visits to see people and places I would have found hard to manage otherwise, and I do try to make the most of any opportunities to catch up with friends when I am anywhere near (even 6 hours on a bus couldn't stop me!)

Kim Thittichai at home

Atlantic drama

Looking out from the Sonas Studio windows - plenty of inspiration and space for thought and experimentation

The Bridge of Ross

Geology and more geology

If the weather had allowed, I would have loved to see more of the dramatic cliffs, waves and sealife. Instead a glass or two of wine, a cozy fire and the company of an incredibly sweet dog and her owner were more than sufficient pleasures.

Cheers from Sonas Studio, Kilbaha, Ireland
The next instalment coming very soon will be the drive to Dublin for the Knitting and Stitching Show second airing of 'Fabricated Narratives'.

1 comment:

Grandma B said...

What a lovely time you are having doing your favourite things, teaching, catching up with friends and making new ones. Marie