Monday, 22 April 2013

Fabric Book Workshop with Becky Adams at Unit Twelve

Unit Twelve is home to a contemporary craft gallery and artist workshops.
It can be found on Tixhall Heath Farm in Staffordshire and is best described as a hidden gem! Jennifer Collier runs the space and it has her signature attention to detail everywhere. A bright exhibition space full of exquisite textiles work greets you as you enter the converted farm building. Just beyond the gallery is the workshop area and studios belonging to Jennifer Collier, Emily Notman, Louise Dawn Wilson, Julia Jowett and Brady & Proud.
I left home on a sunny Saturday morning in April and drove down to Unit Twelve for a Fabric Keepsake Book workshop with the lovely Becky Adams. Becky is a quietly spoken and witty lady – I could happily listen to her stories for hours! Her art work has a nostalgic feel and at the heart of everything she makes is a snippet of a story or saying. Her ideas and observations are translated into stitch and applique.
Becky had brought along selected sketchbooks and one of her fabric books that focused upon her love of walks along her local pier. She was very generous with her ideas and had a genuine interest in all the stories behind each workshop participant’s creations. The premise of the workshop was to make a fabric book that remembered a personal memory or family saying. We had been encouraged to bring along our own memories such as a photograph, souvenir and trinkets.
I had every intention of making a fabric book and decided that my book would be based around my gardening grandad. I had brought along some of his letters to work with. Just to note, he has written to me every week since university (that is a lot of ink and stamps)! I have kept all his letters and I really treasure them as a record of how both our lives have changed over the years. I started off by making a miniature envelope out of an old gardening book as I was going to incorporate an envelope into one of my fabric book pages. However, I enjoyed the process and outcome so much that I decided to make another one and another one. In the end, I had a pile of small paper envelopes that I decorated with text and fabrics before stitching together to make a book. I used Becky’s stamps to print ‘Dear Clare, love and best wishes grandad’ on to the paper as these words are a feature of all his correspondence to me.
The day was a great success and everyone left with a book to treasure. The beautiful fabric books that other workshop participants made can be seen below.
Many thanks to Becky for being such a good teacher. Thanks also to Jennifer for organising the day and thanks to Julia for being a superb hostess (ie plentiful tea, cake and biscuits!).



 


6 comments:

  1. Great to see you today, and loving your blog! Sophie and I LoVe Unit Twelve!! This looks like it was a great workshop :)

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    1. Thank you Sarah, that's v.kind. Lovely to see you too. Yes, Unit Twelve is gorgeous. Took my Year 10's there yesterday for an Experimental Textiles workshop with Jennifer Collier. Enjoyed that too & blog post imminent. Cx

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  2. I saw an exhibition of work by Becky Adams at The National Centre for Craft & Design - it was wonderful! I loved the way everything was put together. The more you looked at each piece the more you saw. And she does workshops too! I shall have to keep an eye out for one.

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    1. Hi, I am sure she is running another workshop at Unit Twelve in 2014?

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  3. Feeling overwhelmed looking at this work. I'm so amazed how much creativity can someone create with his/her mind. Here, I'm not able to think something creative, where people are creating books for their creative work. Hats off to Becky, and your creative work. Thanks for sharing a good post with us, Clare.

    Reference : http://www.northcroftfabrics.co.uk/

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  4. Thanks Tyra, glad you enjoyed the post

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