english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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Made in the Middle Craft Taster Day

Today Phil and I attended a Made in the Middle ‘craft taster day’ at Bilston Craft Gallery.
Made in the Middle Craft Taster Day

Made in the Middle is a touring exhibition which I previously blogged about while it was showing at MAC. Made in the Middle is currently on at Bilston, and today’s taster day was a related event with five of the artists with work in the exhibition demonstrating their techniques and allowing visitors to have a go.

Clare Willard allowed visitors to create a version of her laser cut brooches. The brooches me and Phil created are pictured below. Phil’s is the neater one (on the right). Clare provided the laser cut pieces which we stuck together based on a pattern provided. The reverse of the brooches were specially made up with the text ‘Bilston 2013’ which was a lovely touch. I’m pictured modelling mine below (and pulling an awkward face as is my habit when photographed) in the park surrounding Birmingham Cathedral.

Made in the Middle Craft Taster Day
Made in the Middle Craft Taster Day

Me wearing my Clare Willard brooch from Made in the Middle Craft Taster Day

We also spent time with sculptor Ruth Spaak who creates sculptures from glass and found/recycled objects. Ruth talked about how she visits car boot sales to find objects to recycle into works of art or for her pupils to recycle into works of art at the various classes she teaches.

In the session with Ruth we threaded beads, buttons and other interesting bits and bobs onto crocodile ties to create the objects pictured below. As you may be able to guess Phil’s is the one on the right (browns & greys) and mine is on the left (pinks and purples)!

Made in the Middle Craft Taster Day
Made in the Middle Craft Taster Day
Made in the Middle Craft Taster Day

We also got chance to talk to Charlotte Clark about her process for creating glass sculptures. Charlotte is participating in a very cool upcoming Urban Pony Exhibition, taking place at Art Space Dudley from 24th May, where various artists will customise a vintage My Little Pony in a way which reflects their own artistic practice. There are workshops taking place as part of the exhibition where participants will have the chance to customise a pony. I’ve definitely got to attend one of those!


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Made in the Middle

Last Tuesday me and Phil went to the MAC after work for a valentine’s day screening of Brief Encounter. Prior to the film we visited the Made in the Middle craft exhibition which is currently located at the MAC prior to going on tour. Going to a craft exhibition after work isn’t Phil’s first choice for an evening out but as it was valentines day he couldn’t really say no:) Plus he had a film screening afterwards to make up for it.

The Made in the Middle exhibition features work by regional artists working in various crafty mediums, which this year included paper, textile, jewellery, and pottery. My absolute favourite pieces were by Clare Willard who creates amazing images which have a print-like quality and boldness by laser cutting and laminating wood:
Made in the Middle at MAC, Birmingham UK

One of the key themes of the exhibition was the background of the artists and how they had gotten into craft careers. It was really fascinating to see the number of artists who had moved into artistic careers through evening courses.

Below are a handful of images of pieces from the exhibition.

by Madana Thompson:
Made in the Middle at MAC, Birmingham UK

English Hedgerow by Andrew Tanner and Unanico:

Made in the Middle at MAC, Birmingham UK

Made in the Middle at MAC, Birmingham UK
Made in the Middle at MAC, Birmingham UK

Disembowelled White Goods by Laura McCafferty:
Made in the Middle at MAC, Birmingham UK