Wednesday, 9 October 2013


Top of a large silk hanging.

I was studying the creative Way of Zen, working from the Soul Centre; Japanese Culture and Art.  This piece is taken from a study of a beautiful stack of the backs of road tankers, in this case, huge cast iron ends rusting in the rain.  I don't think anyone else could see the beauty I saw in the circular shapes of the tanker.  It's all to do with the inner vision.  Once that is gone, here is a mere road tanker.  I loved the fact that some tankers were strangled by pipes, snaking around their bodies.  I loved the fact that some carried toxic waste and others carried liquid chocolate!  They carried everything.  Bringing 'Zen' simplicity into the imagery, the space, not as a background but as part of the design
made me work with the Soul and not with the eyes as we do in the West.

'GOLDEN SUN'  hanging, and

In my studio as part of 'Art Trek', the Open Studios Event. 
The simplicity of 'Birth of Chocolate' belies the real amount of work that went into the process to reach this final image and I love it.  It amused me that a tanker would carry a whole load of liquid chocolate.  Imagine diving into that!!  The white chocolate, the dark with a touch of orange, the milk and plain.  The other image is called  'ALIENS',  part of a hanging developed from enormous stainless steel tanker rears glistening in the rain.

Monday, 2 September 2013

'REVOLUTION'. Opening a new collection of Pure Silk' WEARABLE ART'

'WEARABLE ART'  My new collection of silk scarves arrived, 'REVOLUTION' and I couldn't wait to open them.  Created for the strong woman, and our multi-cultural society.  I imagine these selling in Europe, London etc.  The inspiration for these unique and special designs was four-fold. 

'ANGELS'  (lovat)
 Quality Crepe de Chine silk scarf before sewing as I opened the parcel.

1.  Firstly, my visit to the David Hockney exhibition at the Royal Academy, London. encouraged me to be brave with colour, dynamism and originality.  His use of purple with lime green, orange with scarlet etc. blew me away.  His talent and inovation has to be inspiring.


2.    I love working in meditation, surrounding myself with an array of brushes, tools etc. and working directly        onto the silk.  The study of 'Zen' linked with a love of Japanese culture and the work of the Masters.       Working from the 'Soul Centre rather than with the eyes' created beautiful imagery of Angels, butterflies etc. which I was able to transfer into the computer to create wearable art.  Working in meditation from Sound was amazing.

90 cm silk scarf awaiting cutting and sewing

3.  Copying these 'Zen' images and working with them digitally is exciting.  It has taken me some time to be happy with computer creation but recently, I realised that the method is not important as long as you are being creative and working from the Soul, interacting with drawing and 'hands-on' design.  My next phase will be screen printed images with 'free' design created in Healing Meditation.

90cm, Crepe de Chine Silk Scarf

4.  And my fourth inspiration - the backs of road tankers!!   Again the Japanese influence, geometry, the circle, Japanese culture, asymmetric design placed in space.  And when I discovered that tankers carry liquid chocolate - well, if that's not inspiring......?  I will have to show you 'The Birth of Chocolate'

'REVOLUTION' collection

Pure Silk Long wrap 45cms. x 183cms

Another scarf created from images drawn directly onto the silk in meditation

'COSMIC TANKERS'  Pure silk Art Scarf. 90 x 90cms.
Whale Tankers allowed me to photograph tankers whilst being made.  Some of the pieces
are as striking as an Anish Kapoor sculpture.  I saw the 'zen' in the roundness of the backs
of road tankers and especially loved working with the septic tanker.  To make a stunning silk 
knowing it was a septic tanker, but up to me to make it beautiful, was a Joy and a challenge.

'Cosmic Tankers' scarlet and black

Sunday, 1 September 2013


After a great productive day in my textiles studio, sheep maaing at the back door, I was delighted to find inspiration right outside my door.  My new collection of silks, 'Revolution' arrived and I was excited to open the parcel.  Outside the door my Acer was covered in raindrops as was my hanging basket.  Armed only with my little Fujifilm, I took a few pictures.
A single raindrop.

And several raindrops.
Raindrops on a scarlet geranium
And a pink geranium

Tuesday, 6 August 2013


With a love of flying, my husband, Mel took me to a fly- in at Dunkeswell Devon.  Although not that interested in flying, I love the lines of the planes, and the parties were great!

My two flying stories: 

A friend took me up in his Cub.  The sun was setting and there were a lot of bubbly cumulus tinged with red in the sky.  We flew above the clouds and it was stunning.  Even redder tinged clouds from above and I saw my first round rainbow on the clouds.  He put the shadow of the plane in the centre.  Stunning!  I was almost sold.

My second flying story was when I went to a small fly-in locally.  I was bored.  Then an interesting guy flew in.  My eyes lit up. He was a real character and we met up with him quite a bit later on at Cranfield.  He was an ex Luftwaffe pilot who had flown in from Germany.  We chatted and he asked me if I would like to go up in his plane. Exciting, I thought.  Yup.  I'm up for it.We went up and up, above the clouds. Beautiful.  Then he said, 'I think I will take you back to Germany with me', and I realised I didn't know this guy at all and I had told noone I was off on an adventure.  Just as I was wondering if I had been mad, he took me into a spiral dive.  Terrifying but the best flight I had had.  He was a display pilot at the major fly-in at Cranfield!!  Eeek!!

Beautiful lines, the wing sweeps and curves as the sun sets

fascinated with lines and geometry, I can see designs here

A cockpit

and an engine


A plane in the setting sun

Under the wing. 

Tuesday, 9 July 2013


How we pine for a hot sunny summer.  It is gorgeous today but my studio is like a sauna.  Within 5 minutes I was pouring, dripping and I had to leave.  I daren't touch my lovely vulnerable silks.  I went up there to photograph my silks with my new camera but it was just too hot.  How often do we say that??

'Blue Angel' scarf.  Pure silk.  Bespoke design,  70 cms. sq., 90 cms sq., 135 cms sq.  Experimenting with watermarking.

'Zen Awakening' scarf.  \pure silk.  Exclusive design.

'Angel Moon Stole. 

These designs have quite a story.  Each was inspired by the study of 'Zen' on my M.A.  Ultimately, after much  deliberation, I worked, in my studio, whilst in meditation, directly on to the silk. I surrounded myself with various brushes and tools.  I used a layering of dyes which were not compatible, steaming them at times different to those recommended.  I often screen printed a 'base' design, a structure, and then meditated, and whilst in meditation, printed blind onto the silk.  Some of the images looked like Angels, birds and other creatures, quite amazing.  As the Zen Masters do, I worked from the 'Soul Centre' rather than with the eyes.  Working in meditation from sound was an amazing experience.  Other senses, such a hearing, were magnified, isolated, as in those of a blind person.  I opened my studio doors.  My sheep collected outside one door, maaing gently while in the field opposite my studio, buzzards gathered being dive bombed by crows.  Their peace, their fear, their squawking as they dived, the contented pheasants gently clucking as they gathered stray corn, the sounds all went into the pieces.  Later I took these images into my computer to create the above scarves.  Hopefully, they will contain the healing elements which come with the 'Zen' and healing meditation.
I am planning to work this way to produce my beloved Opera Capes and jackets.  Watch this space!!!!!! 

Sunday, 30 June 2013


New Designers, London (Textiles) was so innovative and exciting yesterday.  I am always impressed by the presentations of the students from Bucks University.  Must have brilliant tutors.  What a hot day for lunching in the sun. Glorious.  I connected with many of the students having a good browse around my old colleges' stands - Farnham (B.A. (Hons), Bath Spa University (1st year of M.A) and Falmouth University,( 2 years M.A.).  Up at 5 am, home at about 1 am.  A very long exhausting day.  Colleges and Universities from all over Britain take part, including the Shetlands.  I learnt that, as a Textile Designer, I must present exciting ideas for garments, draping my designs into different ideas for garments.  I was impressed at how students had shown samples in an exciting wearable form.  A simple sample may be shown as a blind or hanging.  It's all about presentation (and design, of course).  Exciting day.

Friday, 21 June 2013


I have been distraught that part of my studio which used to be the hay loft, is collapsing.  I had no idea how worried I was until a builder, David, came last night, put my mind at rest saying it wasn't such a huge problem and he will fix it next week.  I am so relieved.  A lesson indeed.  You get what you pay for.  I had a huge window made in the end wall of my studio.  It was built in situ, no joints and it was never finished - so it leaked, and leaked, rotting the ends of the joists.

I am delighted it will be repaired at last.  I am so happy!!

The hay loft in my studio during Art Trek with lampshade samples and art works.  Offending window in the background

Welcome to my studio in Devon, U.K.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013


What an amazing 10 days.  Sun streaming down on pale backs, everyone smiling, gorgeous coves and - The Chocolate Factory nearby.  What more could I ask for?  Did a bit of gallery research which was interesting.

Helford, hot and beautiful
A stunning purple iris at Kestle Barton, a very rural gallery near Helford. The estate is open to the public 
.and you can walk for miles to Helford or Frenchman's Creek and Penarvon Cove.  A proposal is called for to show my large hangings and structures.
And now, here comes the rain!
There must have been hundreds of rooks in these trees.  The sound was deafening but so special in the light of the fading sun!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013


Today I received my birthday present and I am thrilled with it. It is the very latest Sony Bridge Camera, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX200V. It has 18.2 Mega Pixels, 30x Optical Zoom (up to 60x Clear Image Zoom), 3.0 Xtra Fine LCD and full HD movie - etc. etc. I fell in love with it when I had my tutoring. I am so amazed that my husband remembered. I never took my SLR with me - too cumbersome, too heavy, too big with the lenses. I hadn't thought that a bridge was the answer but I am thrilled and can't wait to PLAY!!! More technology to master but it is the camera I wanted.


Photography was my supporting study on my B.A.(Hons) in Textile Design at Farnham and I have loved it ever since then.  It was also an important part of my recent M.A.  However, frustration reigns in the taking of professional photographs of my work.  I have tried several 'props' - next step - a model I guess!  Everything is so important.  Lighting, background, settings of the camera, skill, knowledge, practice.  I have had a couple of professional photo-shoots done and to be honest, they were awful.

Recently I attended a photography hour long lesson.  I was impressed.  My old Panasonic bridge camera has facilities I didn't know about.  How do fellow designers take these professional looking photos with a pure white background?  Richard of J & S Cameras, Barnstaple enlightened me.  White balance!  Working in aperture priority, click through the settings, click on white balance and set.  Place a piece of white paper in front of the camera - take a pic and hey presto.  Your camera sets a pure white background and colour accuracy.  No more yellow.  In Photoshop, levels, there are three little ticks at the bottom right.  I hadn't even noticed them!  The right hand one is white balance.  (The left hand one is used to click on your black).  Take your yellow pics, click on the supposed-to-be white background with the right tick and wow.  White background and much more accurate colour and professional looking pics. It takes a bit of practice.  I still have a lot to learn and am still not satisfied with my efforts but I am getting there, hopefully.

I had abandoned this photograph of 'Swirls', a pure silk
                     scarf, a powerful design with strong colours from my series, 'The 'Zen' of Road Tankers'.  Not a good pic.  Really dark and disappointing.  The colour is inacurate. and background a dirty yellow.  One for the bin!  I just couldn't improve it.
'Swirls' A pure silk crepe de chine scarf 90 cms sqare.  After my instruction on 'white balance', I am impressed that the colour is correct and although I have not removed all of the background, it is still much better.  I have decided that I rather like a bit of 'base' for the scarf to sit on, otherwise, it looks as if it is floating.  This is just to give those who, like me, don't know about this wonderful facility, an idea of what it does.  Magic!  It just gives an ordinary photo a professional edge.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013


What a great feeling it is to be working in my wonderful studio, lambs bleating at the door and puppy playing with her bone.  Spending time screen printing is a joy, despite its splodges and idiosyncrasies.  The ceilings are high so to work in there in the freezing year we have had has been impossible.  Is summer coming.  We think of holidays, shorts and the beach and we are cheered. 

It is so easy to become a digital designer.  To create the digital designs, I have imported amazing 'Zen' drawings painted directly on to the silk in meditation. The images are unique, often looking like birds or angels.  Now I need more drawing, more photography, more exploration.  Whilst digital designing is magical, who wants to spend their life at a computer screen?  I don't.  How much time do we have for 'Social Media'?  Sometimes I just want to switch it all off and delete myself.  But today, one needs the 'net' to promote our designs, to find the right market place.

In the British Manufacturing field, does anyone have a team who will hand-roll luscious silk scarves????  I really hate the idea of machine hemming them.

Anyway, here are pictures of some of my designs catagorised as collectable by the Antiques and Collectors Guide.  They are very rare and unique.

'MOON' a limited edition print scarf on Crepe de Chine Silk.
'ZEDAR' and 'MOON' 90 cm scarves now collectables.


Studio tomorrow!
I love working in my wonderful studio with my pet sheep crowding around my doors which open onto the field.  I am planning to work hands-on.  Oh Joy!!!  I am up to my ears in digital designing and long to feel the silk, to get lost in the process, to be happy at what I do.  As I said the other day, 'I love working from the Soul and not for profit'.
I am planning to start
1. A large art piece for an exhibition
2.  A prototype for my 'Opera Capes'
So do watch this space for pictures of development.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013


I have connected with two new manufacturers who I am hoping will make ties for me.  Early days yet.  Another decision I must make is to hand-roll edges or to hem.  Nowadays, so few people hand-roll.  Is it still exclusive.  I had a comment recently that the hand-rolled edge did my design no favours.  When I asked what she was comparing it to, she said a machine hem.  Is this now the norm?  Can I bring myself to machine finish my scarves?  Watch this space.  Hand rolling is an art, a love and it has to be beautiful.  I have had huge hems with something like blanket stitch overlapping the edge.  I have had scarves returned with paw prints, blood, grease, all irremovable stains.

Monday, 1 April 2013


Good Lord!  I have managed to access my blog.  It has taken me a long time to reconnect with my Soul, to merge 'Digital Designing' with my hands-on 'Zen' inspired work.  At first, I found working on a computer detached from creativity, cold and distant.  But, I was captivated!  I could use any number of colours.  I could create from any image including my Spiritual 'Zen' ('Zazen') inspired pictures created in meditation from some deep space.  Working from sound directly on to the silk was an amazing experience.  Sounds were beautifully magnified, separated, visual.