Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Countdown to Peru . . .

At the end of next week I'm off to Peru for 3 weeks.  To say the least I'm rather excited as it's my 1st holiday abroad in about 12 years! But all work and no play makes Helen a dull girl.  I'll be visiting some fantastic sites; Lima, Machu Picchu, Cusco, Lake Titicaca and the Amazon rainforest.  I've just bought a massive new memory card for my camera so expect to see a lot of photos on my return! But before the off I've got a commission to do, my new collection prep to finish and find time to learn some Spanish (eek)! AdiĆ³s!

Fabulous colour blocking from these ladies on the Uros Islands, Titicaca, I should fit right in!
 Image from here.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Meeting HRH The Prince of Wales . . .

For a little while now I have had to keep a secret.  It's not something I'm particularly good at doing! But apart from spilling the beans to a few of my nearest and dearest I managed to keep schtum.  And now the secret is out . . .

For those of you who follow me on social media you may have spotted that on Friday I met a very famous face, HRH The Prince of Wales!

At the beautiful Nanteos Mansion just outside of Aberystwyth, Cambrian Mountains Wool were hosting a private view to celebrate the work produced for the 'International Design and Make Challenge 2015' project.  I am one of 37 designers who produced work for the challenge. At the event on Friday I was able to meet the fellow makers (one of whom had even traveled over from the USA specially for the PV), the organisers and associates of Cambrian Mountains Wool.  We were told in advance there would be a special guest in attendance but nothing more, but when we were asked for extra information in order to carry out security checks it soon clicked who the very special guest might be!

The Cambrian Mountains Wool Project is part of the Cambrian Mountains Initiative, of which His Royal Highness is President.  It's one of the many projects HRH supports associated with promoting wool. The Prince launched the Campaign for Wool in January 2010 as an initiative to expand the market for British and Commonwealth wool and promote awareness of its environmental benefits.  Wool is my absolute favorite fiber to work with and it was the sustainability of wool that I spoke to HRH about when we met.

photo courtesy of http://www.anthonypughphotography.co.uk/

Now the day is over it feels quite surreal that it actually happened but it was an amazing experience.  A huge thank you to Cambrian Mountains Wool for making me part of their project and allowing me this unforgettable opportunity!

Read my previous post to learn more about my work for the challenge

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Collaborating with Dot One . . .

Last year I embarked on an intriguing commission with product designer Iona Inglesby for her Masters show at the Royal College of Art.  Iona had taken her families DNA and transformed it into a series of bright colour block designs which I then wove using a double cloth.

Now Iona has now set up Dot One, offering up her unique design services for commissions.

Dot One translates your genetic data into understandable colour patterns creating your own DNA 'tartan'. The design embeds trends of inheritance, similarities between siblings or records the merging of two families. All you need to do is a simple cheek swab and let your DNA do the designing!

Iona and I recently met up in London to talk about her latest commission and are now hatching a plan to combine our design skills to produce some limited edition products collaboratively.  Sampling is currently taking place and we hope to have more information about this exciting work very shortly, so watch this space!

 Images courtesy of Dot One