Norfolk Makers Festival begins on 9th March 2022.
It is held at The Forum in the centre of Norwich and is 12 days of free crafting activities, open exhibitions, workshops, demonstrations and talks. I’ve been before. And it really is a great event.
The exhibition that accompanies the event is called ‘Adjustment’ and features work by amateur and professional artists.
The exhibition was juried by Sarah Impey, Debbie Lyddon and Annette Morgan. All 3 are artists that I admire and I didn’t hold out much hope when I submitted a piece but I got in!
The piece I submitted was originally a 3-dimensional vessel form. I was never very happy with it as it just didn’t sit right. It had 3 openings cut into the sides and that weakened it so it sagged in all the wrong places.
Early in 2021 I decided that I would take it apart and see if I could do something to improve it. My intention was to keep it as a vessel but when I undid all the stitching and laid it flat I found that I really liked it.
Once I decided that I wanted to keep it as a flat, 2-dimensional piece I had to do something about filling in the apertures. I’ve always loved the look of bubbles so decided to use some polyester chiffon to create a bubbled texture. Before making the texture I needed to colour the fabric and used some disperse dyes to colour the fabric.
Once the colour was done I had to tie a lot of tiny glass beads into the fabric. Then it was into a saucepan of water to simmer for a good 10 minutes. The exposure to heat changes the structure of the fabric and sets it permanently into a new shape.
I made 3 sections of ‘bubbled’ fabric, one for each of the openings, stitched them down onto felt to hold the fabric in place then attached them to the main piece.
Sounds easy enough but it took a lot of fiddling and readjusting to get everything to sit in the right place.
After that I needed to make sure the colours integrated well so added a few beads in bright turquoise scattered across the surface .
This is the final piece, mounted onto a canvas that I painted to match the colours along each edge.
You can see this piece and a lot of other great work at the 'Adjustment' exhibition from 9th to 20th March at The Forum, Norwich.
Hi, I’m Alison. An artist and designer/maker.