Thursday, 11 July 2013

Kumi Middleton talk on 28th June and workshop on 29th June 2013

On Friday evening, Kumi told us how she came to "upcycle" worn fabrics into stitched pictures and handbags, almost mosaic-like in their intricacy. Using linen, silk and cotton fabric scraps and kimono cast-offs she combines textures and limits her colour range. Flowers however, appear in her work as they appear in nature, often in brilliant colour! 

Kumi draws on her natural surroundings for inspiration, be it twig or bloom. And of course she likes to depict birds also. 

Her pictures and her bags evoke a calmness and a serenity. But Kumi possesses quite a humourous side and she kept us laughing all through Friday evening. Dressing herself in one of her kimonos, providing little anecdotes as she added layer after layer of clothing, we noticed her Doc Martens peeping out! So definitely: "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts!" It was a truly delightful evening.

On Saturday Kumi led our workshop making Cylinder Bags. We used Kumi's starched fabric or our own. This was for the bag exterior and for our 'decoration'. We cut, stitched and constructed our bags. We all included flowers in our compositions! Here is one in the process of being created by Vanda. 

Then we used unstarched fabric for lining the bag and stitched the two together. Magic. And here are finished bags by Shirley R, Mary B and Lyn R.

words and photos by Judy O'Neill