Thursday 29 March 2018

The Eloquent Fold - Creative Retreat Day - May 2018

The Eloquent Fold applied to Tesco Bags of Help last year and were awarded a small grant. Our intention, had we won the whole amount, was to have a walking, book, print and wellbeing project inspired by the Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady by Elizabeth Holden. We have now decided to use the grant to host a creative day at Newton Field Centre in May. We had an inspiring morning scoping and meeting with Georgina Hand, the centre manager. By the time of our visit there should be lots of plants and insects just waiting to inspire those that join us. 

Our setting is the beautiful Newton Field Centre which was once St Faith's Church. The surrounding area has range of habitats and sites within walking distance of the centre. These include semi natural grassland, woodland, freshwater habitats, farmland, a Local Wildlife Site, an Ancient Monument and the villages of Newton and Geddington and adjacent to the Field Centre is a stretch of the River Ise.
We hope participants will be inspired by the small details and the bigger picture that the surroundings have to offer. This is a day to think, dream and explore, The Eloquent Fold will be on hand to help and advise but this isn't a conventional workshop day. During the day participants will be able to create their own sketchbook with the option to design and make your own slip cover. Participants may want to work on loose sheets and assemble your book later. There will be plenty of opportunity to draw, paint, stitch, print etc and generally explore different techniques and mediums under your own steam. A range of materials will be available to try. We hope that participants will join us in a walk to help inspire them (weather permitting)
We are delighted to say that all the 16 places are now filled!

Wednesday 28 March 2018

PROCESSIONS - Week 2 - Inspirations and Designs

In our second PROCESSIONS session at Swan Gardens Phiona showed more video clips relevant to the project

We were unable to show this film but here is a link to Silk, Satin and Suffrage an lovely film showing some to the original Suffragette banners

Ann Leonard brought in a beautiful hand painted banner made in 1930 by The Womens' Co-operative Guild in 1934 and shared images of other Co-operative Womens' Guild banners. 

We were also able to enjoy the wonderful Corby Town Map banner made with the community by Corby Community Arts brought in by Kate Dyer who was able to share the spirit of those making sessions and why they were so important to the women who helped create it. It was made using a variety of sewing and dying techniques and features important Corby landmarks that were in place before the regeneration in the town took place.

We then gave the group papers and materials to use and invited them to start sketching out their banner ideas in the light of the PROCESSIONS Brief

Your PROCESSIONS banner should represent the lives, ideas, hopes and concerns of women today. It should be bold, beautiful and uniquely yours. Whatever you put on it should be heartfelt. Onlookers will only have a short time to see its message, so make it simple, punchy and clear.
Please make sure that you: 
1. Incorporate the colours green, white and violet into your banner somewhere. You can choose any shades of these colours and can do anything from the PROCESSIONS logo stitched in the corner – to the whole thing being made from these colours.
2. Back your banner in black or very dark material. This is so that we will be able to pick them out in photos.

At the end of the evening were shared all the sketches, chose the elements the group wants to use and decided that as well as the DEEDS NOT WORDS slogan they also wanted to incorporate the slogan from our youngest participant - WE WILL CHANGE THE WORLD!

Sunday 25 March 2018

The Eloquent Fold at Corby Mardi Gras

The Eloquent Fold - Carole Miles and Phiona Richards were invited to deliver a family friendly drop in workshop for ArtReach the organisers of the Corby Mardi Gras so we decided that woodland head dresses made form card, paper, reinforced fabric strips would be just the thing. We were kept very busy!

Our lovely volunteer Cerys from the EMERGE festival

Putting together

Just Magical!

Festive Road's Shanti Bird flew / peddled in

We went into the woods and met this character 
plus many other lantern / light creatures

See Phiona's shots of the woodland spectacle here

Wednesday 21 March 2018

PROCESSIONS - Week 1 - Discussions, Questions, Research

The Eloquent Fold - artists Carole Miles and Phiona Richards are delighted to be one of the 100 Artists / Groups selected to create a Processions Banner for Corby. Our sessions are taking place at Swan Gardens - part of mass artwork to mark the centenary of the women's vote. 

PROCESSIONS is produced by Artichoke, the UK’s largest producer of art in the public realm, as part of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s official arts programme for the First World War centenary
PROCESSIONS will invite women* and girls across the UK to come together on the streets of Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London on Sunday 10 June 2018 to mark this historic moment in a living, moving portrait of women in the 21st century.

Made in Corby / The Eloquent Fold is one of 100 organisations working with women artists up and down the country in the lead-up to the event, as part of an extensive public programme of creative workshops to create 100 centenary banners which will form part of this vast artwork.

*those who identify as women or non-binary

Phiona showed the group a series of video clips and I shared photographs and historical information about the campaign for the vote by both the Suffragettes and the suffragists. I shared some old textiles I had made to give people some ideas about materials and possibilities.

We also discussed some of the following questions.

Topics of discussion:
What do you know about the Suffrage movement?
What is the difference between the Suffragettesand Suffragists4
What is the Representation of thePeople Act and why was it made? 
Which participants in your group areregistered to vote? What does this mean to them? Do you feel your vote counts?
Which women in the UK still don’t have the vote? How could they be supported?
Consider the history of textiles and how they have been used throughout history.
What is the suffrage / textile history of your local area?

Women in the group shared their stories and insights about the importance of the vote; the strong women in their families who encouraged and inspired them to use their voices for change and progress in Corby and the wider world. To start the process of deciding what they wanted the banner to say I asked a series of questions. The answers were shared amongst the group and can be read below.

Processions - Week One Answers from the Group 

How I see myself as a women in the present 

I see myself as a person, not a stereotype. 
I am a human being and that is important not my gender. 
Use your voice be heard. No one can tell you what to do, as only you own you. 
I believe now that being a woman you are still a 2nd class citizen. 
We're going to change the world. Continue the fight. 
We have rights use what you have, claim what you need and don't have yet. 
I am free to make my own decisions but not everyone is. 
We should work together. 
Our bodies are still a battleground. 
Deeds not Words. 
Take every opportunity to learn and to use your learning. 
Follow up with actions, use your voice and vote! 

How I see women changing in the future 

Women are strong. 
To live in harmony with mutual respect. 
Be the continuation of the Suffragist/Suffragette legacy. 
Fight your corner as no-one else will do it for you. 
We are strong creatures, don't lessen your worth. 
All ways be strong and be yourself and what you believe in follow it. 
Your voice is valid. You have a voice – you can use it. 
Don't give up. You will be free to make your own decisions. 
Speak up act up. 
Women is not a stereotype, it is our sex. 
Be positive, forthright, be strong and stand up for your right. 
Be you. Achieve a balanced society where everyone regardless of race, creed, colour or gender are sharing humanity. Stay strong, have fun. 

What I dream the women will achieve in the future.

Women can be whoever they want to be. 
Be seen and be heard. 
Use your voice and your votes. 
Be able to pass on my wisdom to my son. 
Staying Alive. 
Seeing the Northern Lights. 
Knowing that the females in my family can be self sufficient and strong. 
Labels don't define you. 
Free education for all girls in the world. 
Every person regardless of all labels has freedom. 
For women's natural bodies to be accepted. 
We are human beings. We have human rights. Be joyous with ourselves. 
We all have a part in life. It is our birth right. 
A proper summing up. To be a mother of generations. 
You can put your mind and body to anything. 
 Express yourself, use your vote!

Monday 19 March 2018

All Fired Up - Bronze Casting at Berrycroft Hub

For my birthday this year my Dad and I went on an adventure together, travelling back in time to find out in a hands on fashion, how the earliest tools were produced in Prehistoric Britain. The workshop was lead by experimental archaeologist and PhD student James Dilley. The course was held at Berrycroft Hub an converted dairy on Berrycroft Farm in the village of Ashbury and hosted by the warm, welcoming and truly amazing Sally-Ann Spence

After our arrival, cake, coffee and introductions James game a demonstration of making the mould with casting sand before letting us loose to make our own moulds.

Lighting the forge

James demonstrating how to work the bellows

A clay crucible containing thin copper 
pieces surrounded by charcoal

Tin, which melts at a lower temperature 
is added at a later stage to make the bronze.

As this style of antennae knife had complex curls 
the mould was opened and warmed through on
the edge of the forge to ensure an even casting. 

Gathered in the almost snow, watching, listening and learning.

Pouring the molten metal into the mould

possibly one of the scariest yet most 
exciting things I've ever done!

After cooling the cast is removed from the mould

and plunged into cold water

Sawing off the excess

Still much fettling and polishing to do at home
but what a fantastic result in just a few hours!

Before leaving we gathered inside for a slideshow and talk about the life and times of Bronze Age people in Europe and the current understanding of Bronze Age technology. Dad has always been fascinated by metal, working with copper pipe and complex pipework all his working life. Our family history is studded with wheelwrights, blacksmiths, carpenters, clockmakers, carters (from Chieveley / Wantage) and farmers and our day out together gave Dad and I the opportunity to share memories and to learn something new about something old. We had and excellent time, we hope to be back in the future! More photos here

Clock by distant relative - Isaac Prince - Chieveley

There are a range of courses covering field sciences and practical crafts, the setting is lovely and you will be made to feel very welcome. To see what is coming soon follow the link.