Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Like me, you may feel quite certain that the fluffy toy stage of your life has long passed, but before putting money on it, take a look at the creatures designed by one of the participants of a workshop here earlier in the summer.  Danielle Hanson is another super-creative artist who can make something beautiful out of anything you want to throw at her - ephemera, newspaper, lavender, felt, wool, whatever.   Her driving ideal seems to be that you don't know til you try and her latest foray into the world of childrens' toys is a company called RAGTALES where you'll find to-die-for gloriously soft toys that children and grand children will fall in love with and probably hold on to, as a family heirloom, for their own off-spring.

Hearing about my new grandson, Danielle generously sent me one of her edible (not literally) Darcy Bears, complete with jewel blue duffle coat and an almost too good for small children presentation box, lined with her own unique printed paper.  

To use her own words, "I am currently a designer and illustrator in the toy trade as well as a mum to 3 teenagers and a chaotic household. My life changed several years ago when I won a place on a Les Soeurs Anglaises' workshop where I met so many creative people;  together with the inspirational Julie Arkell they gave me the confidence, support and motivation to go for it.  Les Soeurs have a created a beautiful and magical venue." 

Danielle returned to Les Soeurs Anglaises (for the third time this summer  bringing her mother, the delightful Rosario) in order to share ideas and images once more and to work in an supportive and creative atmosphere whilst discovering new techniques and avenues of creativity she hadn't already been exposed to.

Good luck with your business plans, Danielle, you deserve it.......

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

... star turn....

If you don't know the work of our workshop leader, Jone Hallmark, you're in for a treat. 

The fab Jone Hallmark herself!

Jone has just finished leading her first five day event with us, Sketchbook Thrillers, and it's been a roller-coaster ride of creativity and innovation for everyone involved.  We had a full house of enthusiastic and multi-talented participants from all over the world and the pace of the workshop was both exhilarating and rewarding; whilst Jone pressed people to experiment outside their comfort zone, the atmosphere was in no way competitive and no-one was pressurised to work harder than they felt able.  Jone has the rare talent of being able to explain and demonstrate multifarious creative techniques whilst encouraging and inspiring with ideas and suggestions - everyone adored both her and her work and we at Les Soeurs are very much hoping that word will get out and we can bring her back next year for another adventure.

Here are a few hot off the press photos of the week in question, the work that was produced and the fun that was had after hours.  If you want to seriously push the boundaries of your stitching and textile skills in an entirely comfortable and supportive atmosphere, this is the workshop for you....

"What a wonderful week I had at your magical home with the most lovely group of women and the most gracious teacher! Thank you so, so much. Your warmth, gracious hospitality and the relaxed, fun energy you express provide the perfect ambiance for a rejuvenating and creative experience."  KL USA

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

.... yarn bombing award...

Quiet days at l'Espace - you would think, but behind the scenes we have been busy collaborating with some of the third year knitting students at Royal College of Art, London, on an award for the best Yarn Bombing.  Marion Faole will be judging the shortlisted entries and the most interesting and creative submission in her opinion will win a place on her five-day workshop with us in October, including full board and flights from London to Bergerac.  A great opportunity for a young and aspiring textile designer to work alongside a knitting icon.   

We thought you'd be interested to see some of the submissions and to start the ball rolling (no pun intended) here is one by Amy Bant, called Road Kill, with some of the preparation drawings and a selection of the intriguing individual components used to make up the unfortunate winged creature..

Well done, Amy!

Saturday, 3 August 2013

... the threads of history....

At the end of September, Rosalind Wyatt will be leading her first workshop with us, Text and Textiles.  Rosalind was at 
the 35th Art in Action in Oxford last month, where she was demonstrating ‘writing with a needle'  on the latest donation to her project The Stitch Lives of London’ – a shirt belonging to the actor Jude Law when he played Hamlet, and for which she won second prize!

Rosalind has coined the phrase, ‘Trans-sewn’ which she describes as the act of hand stitching directly onto a textile to emulate the personal characteristics of a particular handwriting.

Never still for a moment, she will be at this year’s Wilderness "NOW" Festival , from 9th-11th August,  giving free daily workshops – check the website for timings