Saturday’s strand

As I was talking about yesterday when I wrote about Helen,’edge’ is a group dependent on everyone working as a group and sharing out decisions and responsibilities. Today was just that.

It was our last committee meeting before selection day on the 26th so as you can imagine there was more that a great deal to work out. The main structure is firmly in the hands of the gallery curators and is looking good.There’s a reflective past, a bang up to date present and a future featuring Kilner jars and bulldog clips  – a must see .

But that  basis has to be supported by the house-keeping details you don’t think about but make your gallery visit worth it. We ranged from posters / flyers and feather banners through how the opening on the 2nd will go, to stewarding rotas and teams of helpers during the week before the show; would there be postcards to sell and wouldn’t it be better to use UHT milk and save running out of milk for the cafe ; what kind of catalogue would we produce for the show and what about selection of the A4 unframed pieces.

Those of you who have been involved in organising exhibitions as a group will know exactly the kind of meeting we had today … and hopefully it will have been enough to ease the strain of those 3am. worries when you panic over the What about…?’ scenarios.

We should be able to sleep well.


Strands of time

Today I was thinking of the enormous amount of work that’s gone into edge-textile artists and the love and joy of the members who’ve kept our particular dream alive. And it has been a lot of years and exhibitions just to reach this point.

There are so many members who immediately spring to mind but perhaps today, the focus could be on Helen Hill – someone who has quietly worked away before being a committee member, did her three years stint and then offered to stay on to help out as the ‘Birnam’ link and minute secretary so 5 years altogether while, and I hope she won’t mind me saying, coping with MS.There are so many members like Helen who add together to make such a sold base of talent and commitment – and that gives edge it’s ‘edge’.

And not only that, her work has improved with each exhibition – wonder woman indeed! Here’s a piece from her myths and legends series on Corryvreckan.


Countdown for Strands of Time

OK – so one month from today we open our new exhibition in Edinburgh Palette. It’s a celebration of the fact that ‘edge’ has been exhibiting for almost twenty years as a Scotland-wide group and it’s time to celebrate our particular strands of time – our inspiring past, our exciting present and our intriguing future.

Each strand has a gallery of its own – thanks to Edinburgh Palette’s generosity – and each gallery has a designated team from the group who will be responsible for the pieces that will be on show. There will be Alison King ( our very first chairperson) and Rosemary Campbell in gallery one, showing the best of the past, Jennifer Hamshere and Wilma Graham have the task of selecting the best of our present work for gallery two and Kim Gunn and Ali Ferguson step out into the unknown to create our future in gallery three.

All this plus a pop-up cafe and a sound and light show –  what more could you want.

To whet your appetite, I’ll post an occasional little gem  from of the galleries Do come along, if you can, to see the entire show.

Molly             Bullick            Indigo Mantra

This is one of Molly Bullick’s latest pieces – called Indigo Mantra .


The Sheila Mortlock interview – 2

    Happiest working spot.
I’m very lucky to have a room to work in. It’s packed with bits and pieces of fabric, painting media, you name it, I’m sure I will have it. Some of my textile books are there, a radio, and reference material if I need it. I have my desktop computer in this room which is just off the dining room and the dining table is handy if I feel I need to spread out.

    What was your initial route into textile art?
My mother had been a knitwear designer when she left school and so I grew up with her example of working with my hands. She always had knitting on the go or some sewing, including dress-making which I also enjoy. I have always liked stitching and knitting and find it relaxing as well as stimulating. I find it one of life’s pleasures. At secondary school I was inspired by one of my art teachers in my choice of course at Duncan of Jordanstone. Mrs Russell had studied printed textiles and embroidery there and I thought she was wonderful so I decided that when I got a place at art school those were the subjects I would study. I have never regretted my choices.

Sheila's sampler

    Do you use a sketch book – if not, how do you prepare an idea?

I do use a sketchbook but I also produce mixed media pieces on thin card that are inspiration for work. I enjoy the freedom of working like that, producing mixed media work. When I was producing the Marks in Time pieces I really enjoyed the historical research that went with it. In fact I see that as an important part of the work.

Sheila's sketchbook

    How has your work developed?

When I look back at the work I have produced over many years, the surface and texture of stone has been a recurring theme. I think in recent years I have further developed that to interpreting the marks of the stone in print as well as stitch. The ideas and the means of production are closely linked. I like playing with close toned colour and recently I have been experimenting with a more painterly approach to adding colour to fabric.

Hot off the press, another interview …

Since there was a good response and interest shown over Ali Ferguson’s Textile Interviews,  I decided to make a feature of the format and ask other Edge members to respond to the same interview questions I’d put to Ali. Then we could see just how varied and different each members’approach to textile art could be.

Since Ali is one of our newer members I thought it would be a good balance to ask one of the original members to take part and I’m delighted to say that Sheila Mortlock has agreed.

The acronym EDGE comes from the original grouping of Edinbugh, Dundee and Glasgow Embroiders, and Sheila is a D for Dundee person – trained at Duncan of Jordanston College of Art, taught students there, is now a member of the Textile Study Group and has been invited to do workshops in India and New Zealand to name only two. Still someone who’s work excites  and keeps moving forwards.

I’m sure you can’t wait.


Alison King’s latest piece

If you’re interested in the personal side of history ,would like to view a great piece of textile art and live around the Hawick area, I would thoroughly recommend a visit to the Textile Towerhouse  to catch the last week or so of Alison King’s personal tribute to her husband’s grandfather who was  Padre of the McCrae Regiment at the Battle of the Somme  -a hundred years ago this year.She has incorporated the old trench maps and photographs she found  at home and researched the area visiting where it is now and comparing how it was then.

It was first shown in Sweden and this is the first time it has been on show in Scotland. It will be on display during the summer in St. Giles in Edinburgh to commemorate the centenary of the Somme there. So it’s a rare treat to have it on view down in the Borders.

The exhibition – between myth and l(edge)nd – ends at the end of the month, but avoid a visit on a Tuesday, you’ll find the Towerhouse closed all day.Rev James Black