Thank you for coming to my blog - I have been posting about my art quilts and my work here since 2014. Unfortunately this platform now insists on adding adverts, and I really don't want that, so I have decided to migrate the blog to my website. All the old contect still exists here, but there is no way to take it with me - so if you want to look at posts from before July 2021 you will find them here at www.clairepassmore.weebly.com/blog.
For new posts please head over to my website - www.clairepassmore.com/blog, or click on the blue pyramids below.
If you already subscribe to my blog you don't need to do anything.
Thanks for following me!
I am very pleased that two pieces of my newer 3 dimensional work are recently featured in the beautiful Art Quilting Studio Magazine. Although it is published in the USA copies are available here in the UK from Rainbow Silks, https://www.rainbowsilks.co.uk/SubCategory.cfm?SubCatId=877 or by subscription directly from the publishers.
The magazine is very high quality, both in terms of the extensive content and the photography, as you can see for yourself if you take a look at the preview pages by clicking on the magazine covers below.
Earlier in the year, in the Spring edition, my small 3D quilts made from stacked and stitched pyramids were featured. I absolutely love making these small fabric sculptured art quilts. I am in the process of making another right now and will share it here on my blog when it is finished. It has some different features which I am still trying to perfect!
For the current summer edition I have written about my larger 3D quilt, called 'Storm', which was one of my earlier quilts made by folding and stitching pyramid shapes together. The article details how I made the quilt and includes instructions should you want to have a go at something similar yourself.
I am also delighted to tell you that in the Autumn edition my good friend, Angela Knapp will have her amazing artwork featured. I am really looking forward to reading that, but if you want a peek at her work before then, here is a link to her beautiful website. https://www.angelaknapp.co.uk/
If you are an art quilter or know someone who is there is, the magazine publishers, Stampington, are always looking out for artists who are willing to write about and share their work. They publish magazines in other genres too, so check out the link below to find out more about how to go about the whole process.
Thanks for reading, and keep well.
Earlier this year a friend invited me to attend a video lecture presented by the Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh. The members were so welcoming and friendly I decided to return a month or so later to watch another. They have an incredible guest lecture programme and for the sum of $5 (approximately £3.50) anyone can be a guest and watch one of the lectures. Below is a snapshot of the next lectures; visit their website for more information. https://fiberartspgh.org/fiberartspgh.org/
After a short time I decided to stop being just a 'guest' and joined the Guild and I couldn't be happier. As I said earlier, the members have been so welcoming and the bredth and depth of talent amongst the members is fabulous.
Since becoming a member I have also participated in their latest exhibition of members work. The exhibition was titiled 'Out of the Funk' and was held as an in-person exhibition at the Irma Freeman Center for Imagination in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was a great priviledge to exhibit my work as a new member and to be able enjoy seeing my work in a gallery setting once again, surrounded by other beautiful textile art.
In these days of virtual galleries the Guild have also made available a video of the exhibition and the beautiful exhibition catalogue is also available to view online. You can enjoy viewing both below:
You can also view the catalogue and the video using these links:
My piece in this exhibition was also titled 'Out of the Funk' and I am delighted that it has now found a new home in Pittsburgh.
I wanted to create a piece of work that reflected a feeling of optimism, rising upward from dark and difficult times. This is the result.
Using a non-woven fabric and a variety of different weights of wool and thread I created a series of indivdually sculpted sections which stacked together to create a tower. The fabric was sculpted with creases and folds and made very pleasing shapes.
I particularly like the vibrant gradation of colour I was able to achieve by repeatedly dyeing the fabric.
You can see the whole piece more easily by viewing the short video below.
I am enjoying my new exploration into creating 3 dimensional layered and stitched artworks - a different kind of art quilt and I hope you enjoy this glimpse of my work.
With many thanks to the members of the Fiberart Guild of Pittsburgh for accepting me as a proud member and to juror Bruce Hoffman for selecting my work for this exhibiton
Thanks for reading and keep well.
Things are looking different in my studio at the moment - because it is almost empty. I am moving house and getting ready to go travelling again, which has meant some serious downsizing. My new plans have also meant I have had a major rethink about what I want to make and what I actually need to make it. At the moment I have kept one sewing machine, an overlocker, a 1.5 metre skinny cutting mat and 3 rulers. It is a shock!!
The rest of the house is almost empty too - which has given me plenty of space to get out all of the work I have made over the past two years and to enjoy looking at it all together. It has given me the opportunity to chosen some of my favourite pieces and have them framed in beautiful waxed beech float frames and I am now ready to have a celebratory limited time sale. If you like my work and would like to own a piece then you can now buy it directly from me from my Art store here on my website. To celebrate I am offering a third off until the end of the month. Take a look in my new Art Store to find out more by clicking the button below to have a browse.
These are the pieces I have chosen:
All prices include shipping within the UK. Please get in touch if you would any further information.
Thanks for reading and keep well.
Today I send a big 'thankyou' to the other side of the world to Lisa Walton, textile artist, teacher, author and former President of SAQA. Following on from the 2 short video presentations of 2 of my newer pieces I shared in my last post, I am delighted that a new video interview featuring my quilt '3 Wise Words' is premiering today today. You can see the quilt on my website here. A few months ago I had the great pleasure of being interviewed by Lisa Walton for another of her very popular 'Quilt Stories'. You can view the video by clicking the image or link below.
Lisa and I met several years ago in Birmingham, UK, at the Festival of Quilts. Meeting people and making friends is one of the great pleasures of attending such an event (as well as seeing all the amazing quilts and galleries) and is something I am sure we are all longing for after the long and difficult period of isolation we have endured due to the Covid-19 virus.
Lisa is a very relaxed and laidback person and makes the whole interview process very easy and enjoyable, and I think that shows through in her videos. She has interviewed over 40 quilt artists so far and all the videos can be viewed directly from her website by clicking the button below. Have a browse through the list and then pace yourself - I'm sure you will want to watch more than a few!
One of the most unexpected parts in the interview was the moment we both discovered another connection we have; Midsomer Quilting, my favourite quilt shop. As the saying goes.... it's a small world. I'm sure De, Birgitta and Chris will be tickled!
Speaking of which, with the relaxation of Covid rules here in the UK next week Midsomer Quilting will be opening for visitors once again starting on Monday 12th April, and as a treat to us all they will be open every day for the first week. For more information see the MQ website, midsomerq.com/
Hope you enjoy the video,
Thanks for looking.
It is almost April and this is my first blog post of the year. It isn't because I have been sitting twiddling my thumbs, quite the opposite. However, today is the day I have time to post! So here is a little roundup of some of the things I've been doing and making.
I have made several new 3D pieces which have already had some success. The first is called Out of the Blue and is from my Connectivity series (click the image above and watch). It is inspired by memories of my favourite beaches in New Zealand and South Africa and I was delighted when it was selected to be exhibited in the latest Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) virtual exhibition 'Impressions of Oceania from Around the World', curated by Jennifer Bowker, Sue Dennis and Susan de Vanny. You can view all the amazing artwork in the gallery by clicking the button below.
The second is called Out of the Funk and has inspired me to look to create something much larger in scale and significance in the future. Click the image above for a look at that.
If you have clicked on the two images above you can see I have been exploring with different (and I hope better) ways to show my 3Dwork using video presentations. It has meant learning a whole new skill set, but I am pleased with how the work looks.
The third piece of work is a development of my piece called 'In Loving Memory' which I talked about in my blog post at the end of last year (click here). The new piece is called 'Light, Life, Love' . Both of these pieces are have been submitted to different calls for entry, the results of which I hope to hear very soon, so I am keeping my fingers crossed for those.
Another thing that has been keeping my busy lately is that I have been busy with online classes via zoom. Yesterday was the largest yet when I taught my Star Sign Mosaic class to 27 lovely members of The Quilters' Guild's Region 16 (a.k.a Scotland). It was an absolutely lovely day, relaxed, fun and v-e-r-y productive. Here is a quick screen shot of some of the work in progress (and even one almost finished!). It was a great thrill for me to be able to 'visit' Region 16, as in more normal times it probably would not have been feasible due to the distance and expense of getting there. In addition I was able to hold the class for 27 people, again something that would not really be possible in a hall. Whilst zoom teaching may not replace in-person teaching it certainly has some excellent plus-points, and with good co-ordination and preparation by all parties it proved to be a huge success. I firmly believe it is here to stay. I would like to thank Judi O'May, the Regional Co-ordinator for the Guild, for her part in making it so successful as well as all the participants. (The excellent service offered by the Post Office was also a huge help).
Something else that is keeping me busy is the preparations I have been making with French textile and quilt artist Genèvieve Attinger (attinger-art-textile.odexpo.com/default.asp). She and I are jointly curating an exhibition of art quilts made by the members of the Europe Middle East Region of SAQA which will be called 'Plurality of Voices'. The call for entry closes on 31st March when it will then be our pleasure to review and curate a beautiful exhibition of work which will be exhibited in a virtual gallery on the SAQA website (www.SAQA.com). I will post a link to the gallery once it is up on 1st May. It is going to be a wonderful experience to have so much superb work to enjoy, yet also very difficult to make our decisions.
I also have some other SAQA related news. From mid April I will be joining the Board of Directors of SAQA. Over the past few years I have become more and more involved and passionate about this organisation and I am thrilled to be able to play an important role in continuing the development and success of this nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote the art quilt through education, exhibitions, professional development, documentation, and publications.
To find out more abut SAQA visit their amazing website to get a feel for what they offer members.
As ever, tanks for reading!
In between a few other projects I have been tidying up my website and exploring how to interpret another traditional quilt block design in 3D. My inspiration came from the exterior decoration on the main Library in Birmingham. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library_of_Birmingham
You will probably recognise it as a traditional orange peel design.
There are many ways to create this patchwork block, some easier than others. Gillian Travis offers a class on an easy technique for those who do not like curved seams.
My exploration began by creating some fabric using organza and the pages from an old book that had fallen apart, a nod to the library. The image below is actually the negative left after I cut out some orange peel shapes.
Using some left over pieces of fabric from another piece I explored folding and pleating curves to create the centre shape to fill in the gaps in the tessellation made by the peels. It was interesting to see how the fabric can be distorted and how new shapes can be formed by this method.
In what turned out to be a fiddly process, I was able to create an orange peel style block with 3 dimensions.
From here it was just a question of repeating the process to join more sections together.
I am looking forward to developing this idea further.
My website has had a facelift, making it easier to view (I hope), particularly on smaller devices. Apparently more people now use the internet on a handheld device than on a traditional desktop computer - so scrolling is the way to go! You can see the new format by clicking the button below
I have also rewritten 2 of my classes so they can be delivered live online or as shorter 'demo-talks'. I have already successfully delivered them to a few groups and have had some very nice feedback. You can see my teaching information by clicking on the button below.
If you have any feedback, good or bad, I'd love to hear it.
In the meantime, thanks for reading and try and keep well.
It is about time I made something new. Now I have finished lots of things I finally had time to get back to creating something fresh. Inspired by a call for entry to a new exhibition I have spent the past month working on a new quilt. The exhibition will be called 'Light The World'.
My initial thoughts were to create fabric that would appear to glow and then work with that. It was good to get out all my old dyeing equipment. I haven't dyed very much in my new temporary studio as I am petrified of spilling something on the carpet. What you can't see in this picture is the huge amount of plastic on the floor!
Here I am applying wax lines to the fabric before painting on thickened dyes - that's what is in the row of pots. I use soy wax as it is easy to wash out and I melt it in a mini fryer I bought for £5 in the British Heart Foundation shop. It is brilliant as the thermostat keeps it at just the right temperature and it did't cost a small fortune.
After lots of very careful rinsing to make sure the colours didn't bleed into each other I had lots of strips similar to the one below.
The rules for this exhibition stipulated that the quilt must be able to be rolled from top to bottom for transport and any protrusions must also be able to be rolled. No 3D work would be considered.
If you are making a piece for a specific call for entry it is really important to make sure you check all these details before you start work. Already the ideas I had in mind seemed to be falling apart as I had wanted to add some dimension to this piece. Rather that spend time making something that would get discounted immediately I got in touch with the exhibition organiser and explained what I had in mind. Fortunately she agreed that so long as the piece was wall hung and could be rolled what I had in mind would be acceptable. Fingers crossed the juror thinks so too.
My plan was to have the long strips of fabric draping in a swag in such a way as to leave a negative space in the centre forming the shape of a flame; I was thinking candles.
I made thin cords by cutting very long (around 6 metre lengths) of thick thread and manually twisted them until they curled back on themselves. It took 2 days to make enough cords and the trickiest part was getting them to finish at the correct length.
When all the cords were made I layered strips of fabric and inserted a cord down the centre, similar to the wick of a candle. I used a simple embroidery stitched down the length of the fabric, trapping the cord using some of my favourite Aurifil 12 threads and some beautiful hand dyed threads I bought from Hazel and Terry at 'In Stitches' from their new online pop-up shop.
It isn't a very exciting photo at this stage, but you'll see why I did it below.
I also sewed a few thousand seed stitches on one of the strips to create the words 'In loving memory' as a void. It was important that the words were created by what was not there, to signify the loss this quilt is about.
Back to the cords.............. by gently pulling, each of the strips gathers up, creating a very soft rippled effect. When hung on the wall it contributes to the candle flame I was aiming for.
"The simple act of lighting a candle speaks beyond words and within the gentle flame one finds warmth, light and comfort. For some the softness of candlelight delivers peace and tranquillity, offering a glimmer of hope in the darkness. For others the flame consoles grief and forms a visible connection with those who are no longer here.
Twisted cords unite us, whether as brothers and sisters, couples, families or communities. In grief we can feel we are alone, but when we look up we see others who are there for us; it is true that many strands are stronger than one.
My solitary flame sends a message of love and hope to those who are grieving or feel alone, especially during these challenging times. Remember, we are united by the flame and the cord."
Claire Passmore 2020.
Thanks for reading.
I have been doing lots of finishing off over the past month or so and have found it very satisfying to not have so many unfinished bits and pieces hanging about my studio. Bringing projects to a close has meant I have had time to think about how to make my classes work online and the first two zoom classes I taught last month went well. The lovely people who joined me as I dipped my toes into teaching via zoom were very kind and supportive and the sunflower bowls they made were as beautiful as ever. I am pleased to say that several of them encouraged me to run another class, so I have been making plans and converting my Star Sign Mosaics class into an online format. This is what the small finished quilts look like
The fabric mosaics are fun to make - and are certainly very bright and cheerful, something I think we all appreciate now the days are getting shorter and as we spend more and more time in our homes. The technique shares some similarities with collage and there is plenty of scope for creativity and you can make whichever of the star signs you wish. Personally I find making them very relaxing as I sit and snip, making patterns with the brightly coloured little pieces.
I have set up 4 separate dates which will run in the next few weeks. I am again limiting the numbers in each class to 8 to make sure everyone has the chance to enjoy a relaxed class which is more like an in-person experience where everyone can ask whatever they like, whenever they like (no hands up or waiting forever for your 'turn') Although technically we could have up to 100 (!) people per class, that would just be horrible as it would be impossible for everyone to ask questions, make observations, converse and interact with myself and each other. During the previous classes we were able to chat freely as if we were in the same room together, and it worked really well.
The dates of the classes are:
Wednesday 28th October Sunday 1st November
Wednesday 4th November Sunday 8th November
The classes start at 10am and run until around noon, during which time I demonstrate live the techniques I use to create the mosaics. This interactive session will be recorded and will be available for 4 weeks after the class. (I have also made additional videos which show the process should they be needed).
We then break until 4pm (time for you to start your mosaic if you wish!) when I run a second session for more questions sharing of ideas and work in progress.
As preciously, booking the class via the Misomer Quilting website, link below:
Kits are also available from Midsomer Quilting but are not a reuirement so you can use your own fabrics if you have them. (link below)
If this sounds interesting to you there is more information on my website, or feel free to get in touch.
Thanks for reading!
For the past few weeks I have been working on a small piece for an online group I belong to called 12 by the Dozen. Every three months we challenge each other to make a small stitched piece from a nominated theme; currently we are thinking about architecture, and more specifically a man named Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. He was commonly referred to as Mies, and along with Alvar Aalto, Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius and Frank Lloyd Wright, he is regarded as one of the pioneers of modernist architecture and is remembered as the last director of the Bauhaus.
Find out more abut him and his work: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_Mies_van_der_Rohe
Finding out more about Mies, his life and work has been very interesting and led me to try something new. The buildings he designed were quite extrordinary at the time and had a huge influence on the architecture we see today. Some of his most famous buildings are: Barcelona Pavilion, Crown Hall, Farnsworth House, Highfield House, 860–880 Lake Shore Drive, One Charles Center, Seagram Building, New National Gallery, Toronto-Dominion Centre, Tugendhat House, Westmount Square. (Clicking on the names will take you to images of the buildings)
The members of the group 12 by the Dozen. interpreted his work in so many different ways, which is also fascinating. The 12 by the Dozen blog (https://12bythedozen.blogspot.com) you will see all the different quilts made. For my piece I decided to try the beautiful Korean art form of patchwork known as Pojagi, also called Bojagi or Jogakbo.
My choice was influenced by Mies's use of light and open space in the design of his buildings, which I also see in the beautiful pojagi wrapping cloths. Instead of using the traditional silk or ramie I decided to try sing the cotton organdie fabric that is my current favourite. It worked really nicely, but wasn't the easiest to stitch!
For my piece I chose to add a little colour. Taking the colour palette from the beautiful marble walls in the Barcelona Pavilion I screen printed some white cotton organdie with a breakdown screen. It yielded the beautiful fabric above. In keeping with traditional pojagi I improvised the cutting and stitching and used a flat felled seam. It proved too difficult to stitch neatly by hand, so I stitched by machine. I don't think it is as attractive as a hand stitched seam, but it does, at least, add another linear element to the overall design.
The rest of the piecing was more planed as I wanted to reference the order and symmetry that was part of Mies van der Rohe's design philosophy, which is easy to see in the building below
As traditional pojagi is a single layer of fabric I decided to add a second layer to hang behind. I stitched Mies van der Rohe, sitting on one of his iconic chairs (also designed by him).
This is the finished quilt- it looks best when back lit. I quite like the garden in the background too!
Thanks for reading