Blog

June 26, 2020
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And sew it begins again at Eau Brink Studio.  The workshops are going live again and we already have a waiting list for some as we have had to reduce the numbers for safety.

Workshops

princessWorkshops we have already gone live  are the Diamond Art on the 4th July and Alison Hulme on 30th and 31st July which I have to say has 1 space remaining. So if you want to book get it booked quickly as I cannot increase the numbers. Happy to take details if you want to be informed of any cancellations though. One to one sewing lessons are also beginning in July including sewing machine tutorials  for small groups.

Retail

I am happy to report that my lovely Pfaff has been in the shop and returned so that I can now sew without it snagging and chugging along. It purrs again.  This means that the sewing begins again with earnest. It was only in the shop for a week but I did miss it.

It has meant that whilst the Pfaff was not working well and went to be serviced I have had time to work on the kits again for free motion embroidery. Not long now and we can get them in the shop with the others.

The shop is doing better than I thought it would already. It was a good idea to move it into another unit. Now I have more room and can buy more fabrics too. I have increased the haberdashery area and will continue to do so as time goes on. One new item is a rotating cutting board which I love.  How on earth I have managed all these years without one I just do not know. If you want more information on these just pop over to my YouTube channel and you will see a little demonstration on them.

Progression

After many weeks of meeting on video calls we are now able to meet in person again and our first meeting will be on the 1st July. Though we have decided to keep the video calls available during our physical meetings for anyone who cannot make it and wants to pop in. A new way of working so we can all be involved at all times.

It is looking increasingly probable that we can have our Granchester exhibition after all. So now we are working hard to get this organised and for us to begin sewing specifically for exhibition again. You would think we have been sewing away during our enforced quarantine but the reality has been been very different. Trying to get materials has been an issue, but the biggest has been motivation. It is easier to work towards a goal than to work in the hope of having a end goal.

We are already planning next years exhibitions so watch this space.

Smallholding

What have our animals been up to? Well as some of you are aware we have had a fox visiting and it has devastated our chickens. so a lovely man has been and put up rags of foul smelling fox deterrent and so far it has worked. Our girls are more settled again and the new boys are happy with their houses. Though they do keep trying to encourage each others girls into their houses. This can cause a huge amount of jealousy between them and a few spats that goes with the territory.  Our plan is to hatch more eggs in the incubator as the poor girls have been unsuccessful due to the fox visits. Crows and Magpies are also a problem as they go into the houses and pinch the eggs.

On the upside we have managed to hatch out 2 duck so far this year and they are doing well. Hopefully more to come. We will build them a new home for when they can go outside and encourage mum into the enclosure with them. With a bit a luck she will look after them and show them the ropes of duck life. Also she will get a rest from being constantly harassed from the males who do not leave her alone and she is looking a bit worse for wear now.

The moorhens has hatched out two broods without any issues and any crow or magpie that goes anywhere near them gets chased off. Feisty little birds.

The sheep are finding this hot weather too much and spend a lot of time in the cool under the trees. Even though we have had them sheared they are still too hot. Mind you it does not stop them from pinching the chicken food if they get the chance.  When it rains they just stand in the middle of their paddock getting drenched. But they do not like the thunder storms. They go into their shelter when they are about.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



.  We are Opening again on Saturday 4th July for our first Post Covid-19 workshop at Eau Brink Studio.

This workshop is a little different to our usual line up.

Diamond Art Taster Day by Dawns Gems is a two hour taster class. Dawn will provide kits for all the family to try their hand at Diamond art. Dawn will be with us for a morning class commencing at 10 am. And then an afternoon class commencing at 2pm.

Our class numbers will be a maximum of 10 at this moment in time. However, if we are able to increase them nearer the time we will do.

It will be even better if we can move it to outside but that will of course depend on the weather.

So What is this Diamond Art then?

Diamond Art is a craft that includes a pre printed picture with glue already on it ready for you to place small coloured crystals in place. Once the picture is completed you can frame it before hanging it in your home.

Each kit comes with a stylus to help you pick up the diamonds and a small amount of putty to help them stick to the stylus before placing onto the picture or household item.

Dawns Gems keeps a good stock of items for all budgets. Dawn likes to keep up with the current new items being brought out by her suppliers which means her stock is changing all the time to keep you busy.

Keeping Safe While we are open again.

During this uncertain time we are living in we are asking visitors to the studio to keep to some new rules. I am sure you all know what I am going to ask of you but I have to ensure you are aware.

Please do wash your hand at regular intervals throughout your time in the studio. To ensure your safety I have installed a new soap dispenser with foam antibacterial soap in it. We already use paper towels and I have some hand gel by the door too use on the way in and on the way out.

There are disposable gloves and aprons available but no fabric aprons. Of course you can bring your own to use.

You can if you feel you want to use your own face masks or face visors or shields.

Please be considerate to others when coming in and out of the studio keeping your distance.  If you need any help with your equipment I can help you unload your car and will wear gloves to do so. Please let me know if you will need any help at the time of booking. If you are unsure please do call or email before booking.

When in the studio we will only have up to 10 persons at any one time until we are told we can increase the numbers but sometimes I may limit the numbers to 6 or 8 depending on what we are working on.  With this in mind I do need you to book in through the booking system so I can monitor numbers.

I ask you to place all cups, glasses, plates and cutlery into the dishwasher once you have finished with it. That way I can just put it on when the class has finished.

The Tables will be covered with a disposable covering which will be changed between classes.

And Finally

It is important that to me that you enjoy your time at Eau Brink Studio once we open again, so please do let me know if we can help you in any way before, during and after a workshop.

 

 

 


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Here we are in Week 11 and the Lockdown is beginning to slowly move towards freedom.

But not for me at Eau Brink Studio just yet. I am staying closed until July at the earliest. This is due to myself and many of my friends and customers being in the vulnerable category.  This does not mean that I am not working though.

The Studio

The studio has has a thorough cleaning  and a new soap dispenser has been installed as well as a dispenser for the gloves and aprons. The funny thing about that is I spent the first week of this happening looking for the box of open medium gloves and could not for the life of me work out where I had put them. The the dispenser is by the toilet door which I have walked pass it several times. I have removed the fabric aprons so you need to bring along your own apron to wear or it will be a  plastic disposable apron.

I am currently working towards a new programme of events to structure the regular workshops. One I am hoping to introduce is Dawns Gems. Dawn teaches Diamond Art and provides kits for all ages and abilities.

Diamond art is a fascinatingly addictive art where you stick little coloured diamonds to a base that already is prepared with the glue and colour numbers. It is very popular because you can make anything from small to large pictures, clocks, books and other smaller items. Just perfect for you during week 11 if you have no gardening or sewing to do.

As many of your know John does like to help us out where he can and he has been looking at sharpening my rotary cutting blades as they are expensive and the sharpener that is available is very expensive especially if you do not use your cutter that often. With this in mind he has been sharpening my blades for me. And is keeping an eye on how many times he can do this before we have to replace the blade.

EBS Retail

 Is currently moving from beside the tea room to a larger shop next door in The Emporium. Two reasons for this are its is a better shop and it means we can expand the tea room ready for opening and social distancing .  I have already been in touch with a number of fabric suppliers, I will increase the haberdashery supplies and will be adding quilting supplies too.  Of course I will still be selling my hand made items along with the items to raise funds for Progression where the members are making items to sell.

I have also engaged a photographer to take real pictures of the stock which can be used on all social media and on line shopping. I am really looking forward to seeing the results. Especially as I am fully aware the only nice picture I have taken is the one of the peg bags hanging on my washing line.

Progression

We continue to meet regularly during lockdown virtually. It is lovely to see everyone but I for one cannot wait for when we can meet in person again. 11 weeks is a long time to not see your friends. We have been working on our exhibition items as well as books to show how we are feeling during this period of our lives. These books will be displayed at our Granchester exhibition if we are permitted to go ahead with it. We also work on a postcard over a two week period and they will be displayed also during the exhibitions.

Small Holding News

11 Weeks of looking after our lovely animals has also been a little challenging.  The lack of rain has meant that the grass is not growing and trying to get hay for the sheep at the beginning was a huge problem. Although they do have sheep nuts too again getting the feed for them was problematic. The same for the birds getting their pellets became something of a mission. I fail to understand why everyone ran out of everything. Now though its not so bad at the big suppliers.

The sheep have been extremely naughty by spreading they hay around instead of eating it. Which the chickens seam to enjoy sitting in. Also they have been escaping by jumping on the fencing until it breaks and then the chickens follow them out. I appears to me to be a collaboration with the sheep being the muscle and the chickens reaping the rewards.

The result of all this escaping is they have eaten my strawberry plants, tomato plants and the few flowers we had. So back to square one.

Bertie and Gertie are once again trying to nest but have no idea how to keep their eggs safe. When they remember to sit on the nest they forget to sit on the egg. Resulting in the crows and magpies pinching the eggs. It is their first year so maybe next year they will have learnt. We did try to put some in the incubator but they did not hatch.

The moor hens have hatched one brood and are now sitting on another clutch of eggs. So they are doing very well.

Stay Safe

Anita

 

 

 

 



The 10th Week of the Covid-19 lock down has started with a Bank Holiday.And it is a lovely sunny Monday just right for working in the garden and planning the future.

EBS Retail

The shop is being moved from beside the tea room to a larger space at the Emporium. This is in readiness to become a agent for The Quilted Bear company and stocking their items.

Also we are working to stock fabrics of various types including Lewis and Irene fabrics amongst others. A staple fabric is Calico at 60 inches wide as well as a good cotton.

This picture is from Lewis and Irene Humming bird collection. The aim is to purchase one collection at a time to build up stocks and see what customers like. The only problem is I will want to keep it all.

 

Eau Brink Studio

I have spent many hours planning what to do with the opening of the studio after what seems like an endless break. And I feel that we need to have an open day full of cake and tea. Just to chat and meet again before we get back to the real business of making fabulous art and of course making a mess.I am looking forward to seeing friends old and new again as it has been 10 weeks and counting.

Depending on what the Government say on Thursday we could be opening again for July. That will take us up to week 15 which will be a good break for safety precautions. My intention is to open on Monday 6th July all being well.

Keep an eye out for social media confirmation for this date as well as further emails.

Progression

Our fortnightly Zoom meetings are a huge success. We love getting together and chatting as well as showing what we have been up to. This has kept us inspired and working towards our goals.We are hopeful that our last exhibition will still be able to take place at Granchester . With this in mind we are planning what we can do to make sure it is a success. To keep up to date with out news just pop over to our Facebook page and check us out. I

And Finally

And finally the 10th week has found me looking around the website for Eau Brink Studio and discussed with my techy guys what we can do to improve it. So over the coming weeks you should see some changes being made.

Also Amazon Handmade is being up dated too and we will have some fabulous new pictures to use for all our on line presence. Including our shop on the website and social media. Can’t wait to see them when they are ready.

Take care of yourselves

Anita

 

 

 

 


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Another Week in quarantine at Eau Brink Studio and the weather is like winter now.

Week 8 started with a freezing cold wind  and grey cloudy sky. The fire was lit in the evenings to keep warm. Just like winter time again. The result of this change in the weather was a damaged garden brolly and the felt being ripped off my shed. So urgent repair needed there.

fleeceThe poor sheep had a hair cut the week before when the sun was shining and far too hot for them. But they do not appear to care as still wondering around munching anything they can get to. And I have 4 lovely fleeces to process.

Then back to spinning practice again.

Small holding update

We have been very busy sorting out the animals. The fencing is now all completed and the sheep have access to two areas. Much to the annoyance of the chickens. Who also share the same areas. But they will all settle down I am sure.

We are getting plenty of eggs each day now and the baking has commenced with earnest. That keeps the family happy.

Unfortunately the geese did not manage to hatch their egg. They are off the nest now and back on the pond with the ducks. Such a shame as I was looking forward to seeing the goslings. That reminds me. Those of you who visit regularly will know Tina the brown duck. She is very old now and coming to the end of her days. But she still manages to get about and is eating well. But she does fall over a lot. So we will see how she goes.

The moorhens have hatched four babies who are running around with the parents quite happily. They even go to the chicken food and pinch it.

The Studio

I have had a major clear out in the studio and this week will be no exception. I am planning to get the rest of the unfinished work completed which will free up space. Projects will be moved to the Long Sutton Emporium out of the way.

We have put up a new soap dispenser in the facilities which has a antibac foam hand cleanser in it. We always had paper towels so did not need to make any changes there. Also we have put up a new dispenser with three sizes of disposable gloves in and disposable aprons too. Although we have always had this equipment available it has not always been visible and easy to get to. So now it is.

It is hoped that we can reopen for workshops in the beginning of July. I am going with the government guidelines on this so if we can we will operate with limited spaces in the workshops and insist on customers being sensible and not attending if feeling unwell in any way.

Workshops

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This is how to do it girls

If we can open in July then Alison Hulme workshop may be able to still go ahead. I will discuss this with Alison when she is ready. As we will need to look at numbers and decide if it is safe to run this very popular workshop. Those who have already booked will be notified first  and any other spaces with be advertised nearer the time.

All other workshops are either still running with safeguards in place or have been rescheduled to another time. Check with the website as they will be on there but you may not be able to book as I have closed some of the booking dates.

We are still not taking any bookings until the week commencing 3rd July at this time. But this may change over the coming weeks.

To have a full programme again we are looking at next year now. Why don’t you let me know what you want us to put on? Just email at [email protected] and say who you want to visit as a tutor and what you want to learn. I will contact the tutors and ask them if they can fit us in. We need to act now on this as many are already booking up next year and beyond.

Whats New?

I have spent this time sorting out new packs for the shop and kits which I hope will be ready soon. To find out more keep an eye out on the website shop and social media.

There are new cushions in the shop at Long Sutton, New needle cases, cards, and zippy bags just to mention a few.

Fabric, fabulous fabric. I am looking at stocking more fabrics. And of course Jelly rolls. I am not looking for the cheapest but good quality such as Irene and Butler, we will see what I can get. Also a greater selection of threads. Possible Gutterman or Madeira.

There will also be more quilting supplies and lights in the shop so keep an eye out. If you want anything specific let me know and I will get it in for you. Deliveries are now arriving more quickly as more companies return to work.

YouTube

Just a quick thank you for looking at my YouTube channel and for following me on there. This has been a challenge for me as I am not comfortable in front of a camera but I think with each one I am improving a little. You never know I may get the hang of it at some point.

 

Take care and stay safe

Anita

 


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Do you realise we are at week 7 already. Well those of us who received letters are.

What a long time but it does not appear to be so long. I have kept busy with clearing out the studio, cleaning the house of course and clearing up the garden.

Very similar to everyone else.

YouTube

I have also started to at long last put regular videos onto my YouTube Chanel.  They are improving each week as I get more confident with being in front of the camera.

So far there are 3 on Gelli plate printing and 3 on Soluble film. The next one will be how to put these elements together to create a piece of art.

VE Day

Week 7 is also the week we celebrate VE day. I am currently making bunting for family members to put on there houses ready for their street parties. Of course they are doing this by using their front gardens to join in due to social distancing. A cracking idea I am looking forward to seeing how everyone manages to party with social distancing. I know of a few people who have managed to continue to socialise over garden walls and fencing with the partitions still in place.

Shop

You would think that due to the weeks I have spent at home that I would have a huge stack of items to sell in the shop. No not a all. I have been finishing items that have long languished in boxes or been tucked away as unfinished items. Some I have given away as have no interest in them.

I have got some great ideas for kits and new products. I am about to join a company as an agent which sells many of the quilting items I love to use. In particular the turn table cutting boards. Different sizes and not only square but circular boards too. They will be in the shop once I can reopen.

I will also be selling lights and scissors too.

Progression

Thank goodness for technology. Our members of the Progression Group have in the last 7 weeks been meeting virtually every fortnight. I is great to chat and see what each member has been up to. We are still working on items for our exhibitions once we can restart them.

It is hoped that Granchester will go ahead but we will see what happens.

 

Workshops

As I eagerly away the governments decisions about reopening  businesses I am in contact with artists who have had to move their workshops this year. So far we have moved Rachel and her pen an ink Drawing class to October. Alison Hulme is the same date unless we cannot open and Amanda Hislop also remains the same date.

The regular workshops are on hold until further notice. I am hoping July they may be able to resume with lower numbers attending to keep us all safe.

Eau Brink Smallholding

What do our animals think of this 7 week safety procedure so far? Who knows but they are getting a lot of attention.

The sheep have been sheared and are all healthy but not happy at being penned in now. The chickens are happy and laying massive amounts of eggs. Only 2 of the cockerels are fighting. And that is because one of them coverts the others house. We will see how that plays out. They are at opposite ends of the fields but that is not stopping our Steve wanting what the little one has.

Two chickens are broody.

The geese are sitting on an egg which we hope will hatch this week. The moorhens has hatched 4 eggs so we have little pompoms running around the garden now.

All that’s missing is a dog. I think I will have to remedy that as soon as I can get out and about.

Keep safe everyone

Anita

 

 


April 27, 2020
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What are you doing? This is what I hear from John when he pops into Eau Brink Studio.

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I have spent the past week in the studio reorganising and cleaning.

Clearing our cupboards that have been in need for a long time now.

Making decisions on how to move forward for the future. And this is what I am going to do.

Powertex

What are you doing about the Powertex? I have decided that I am no longer going to work with Powertex or teach it. I am still in two minds whether to keep it in the shop but we will see.

My decision for stopping this service is based on my having taken it as far as I can with my textiles and have found the only thing I really do enjoy making with it is the brooches.

Schools

As many of you know I have already given up going into the schools to teach art and crafts. I had been approached to return to two schools but have decided against it. This is because it takes a great deal of preparation for the small amount of time I have with the students.

Progression

I love this group and with the members we are planning great things for our future. Exhibitions are our intention. We are also considering a stand next year at the NEC. Including workshops by our members. Other exhibitions will include open studios, The Makers Fair in Norwich and hopefully Granchester. We of course will be looking at other venues to exhibit. Our exhibitions include the sale of our work and in some cases we will encourage sales tables from other artists. We are very excited about our future. Even at this time we hold a regular Zoom meeting to keep each other motivated.

Workshops

I am planning next years workshops now and am approaching artists to join us at Eau Brink studio. What am I doing? I am ready to add to the calendar some workshops for eco dyeing, Procion dyeing, and resist dyeing.

Other workshops will include the Experimental Wednesdays which I am considering making more structured as they used to be. With a different technique each month to explore.

Print and Make
Alison and her lovely pinnies

I am hoping Alison Hulme will return but this is not the time to contact her about work. But of course I will update you on her workshops as I know.

Amanda Hislop too which we will discuss at her workshop this year if we can still go ahead in September.

Cas Holmes may also visit next year if she is free.

Melanie Missin too of course as we had to cancel this years workshop.

These are just a few of the artists I am in contact with for the new years calendar.

West Norfolk Artists Association

This groups exhibitions are always popular and as an exhibitor I can say I do look forward to them. The artists are all very focused on producing high quality art which is popular. I will continue to exhibit my work through this association in the coming year.

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Just finished this hat.

My personal work will involve two things.

I am looking to concentrate on using the heat press for as long as I can get new things to work with it. I love the speed of it and the different results I get with different media. The plan is to work with the heat press and soluble film. The combination can either be fabulous or disastrous but we will see what happens. Could add another element such as Tyvek too.

Most of the items I make are going into my shop at Long Sutton.

The other aspect of my work is also in Long Sutton at the Tearoom.  I have been playing with cakes and deserts during this enforced closure and can report that our customers who have home delivery are enjoying the new flavoured cheesecakes as well as the little sweet pies. I am looking forward to returning.

John will always say What Are You Doing to me when I am in the studio as he does not understand what I get up to but he does like some of the results. Particularly the new work.


April 21, 2020

I am working on a new set of videos for my Eau Brink Studio  YouTube Channel.

There are a number of videos recorded but they are not the best quality but I am thinking to still use them  as it will show how I am progressing with the whole recording thing.

Do you find it uncomfortable talking to a camera? I certainly do. Though I am very happy chatting away at nobody while I work. So I will be trying that  more than me standing talking.

I have just posted a  video about using soluble film. It is aimed at beginners really but I am going to post more on this subject.

This first video is showing you how to transfer your picture and to stitch it on a sewing machine set to free motion.

Then the results as it dissolves.

Soluble film is one of my favourite things to use. I love the freedom of it. You can use it as a flat piece of delicate work or build up the stitches to make a rigid 3 d piece. It makes the most wonderful lace. Which I did for my hat front.

You can also layer up the pieces to create depth in your work.

I am thinking of four videos but may extend it as I get over enthusiastic about it all.

To watch just pop over to https://t.co/UNF2clGwMz?amp=1


April 17, 2020
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Not Much Sewing going on at Eau Brink Studio at the moment.

I am spending a lot of my time cleaning and sorting out.

Fabric

The fabric stash has been greatly reduced. I have worked on a three pile theory. The first I am definitely going to keep. The second is going to the charity shop in Wymondham and the third I have  put aside to use during this period of working from home.

The largest pile by far is going to go to the Big C at Wymondham once they are able to receive items again.

Beads

This part of the clearing out has been more challenging for me than the fabric. I suspect you know that I love beads. Many of my pieces have beads on them in one way or another. Even the Powertex.  But I do have a small amount of beads I used at the schools for the children and will no longer need them as I decided earlier in the year to stop working in the schools.

Threads

No I am sorry but I cannot get rid of any of them no matter how hold they are I will find a use them.

Paper

You would not believe how much paper is in this studio. Much of it will never be used so its in the fire and onto the compost heap. Of course the brown paper and specialist papers will stay to be used during workshops.

UFO

All unfinished items and projects will be re-evaluated and if I want to get them finished I will endeavour to do so but if I have absolutely no interest they will be made into a kit or a card. I think I have a few.

Documentation

There is so much documentation in here all over the place and it has to go. Unfortunately I do have to keep quite a bit of it for the powers to be to scrutinise if they wish. So the loft is the obvious place in secure boxes of some sort. It is unfortunate that I cannot stand up in the loft as I would put a filing system in there for it all.

This is only part of the reason not much sewing is going on. Though I have completed a few pages in my Progression sketch book. And stitched a few fabric bowls too.

The Smallholding

That’s what is happening in the studio at the moment but also I am working with the boys to clear and fence the garden at last. We have move three chicken houses into the none existent orchard and sheep pen. We have almost finished the fencing to keep them all in but as the geese are nesting in that area we cannot complete it all. Don’t want to disturb them if we can help it.

Trees have been trimmed and deer fencing is being put at the base of the trees. This is to not only keep our animals and birds in but to try and keep Mr Fox out.

And if I can get the plants I want a lot of planting is going to happen in the coming weeks. I also need John to get the rotivator working for my veg patch. Hurrah no more sheep eating my lovely sprouts this year.

Talking of sheep. They will be sheared in a couple of weeks so more fleece to play with. I do miss not having any lambs but we will get them tupped in October ready for next spring.

Then we will see lovely scenes like this one again.

 

So now you can see why there is not much sewing happening at the moment but that does not mean that it will continue. I do have a fair few items in the planning stage and once I am cleared up I will get onto them.

 

 


April 11, 2020
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Keeping Going at Eau Brink Studio during our confinement.

What does that mean?

It is easy to sit around and worry about what is going to happen. Watching the the news does not help at all as I find it all very depressing. I would prefer it if they told us about the good things. Such as how many people have recovered from this dreadful illness.

Now I find I do not watch the news anymore. Nor do I respond to anything negative on my social media feeds. Eau Brink Studio is looking to the future. And that means a huge clear out of items not used or not likely to be used.

Fabric stash first.

Looking at it all has made me realise I do not use most of it. So the outcome is to use it up over the next few weeks and I will post on Social media what I make with it all.  What on earth can it all be used for? We will see what transpires. At the  moment I am using some of it to make fabric bowls. Sitting in my garden outside the studio. This is helping me stay focused and keeping the studio going.

My favourite fabrics are 100% cotton and hemp. Old hemp is far better in my opinion but can be equally expensive.

Were you aware that Hemp was part of our heritage? It was important for textile, paper, rope and oil production. Indeed, hemp was so important in England in the sixteenth century that King Henry VIII passed an Act of Parliament which fined farmers who failed to grow the crop. … Hemp, as a fibre crop is like flax (which is used to make linen).

It is returning but not to the same degree unfortunately. What a great way to restart another of our industries by producing affordable hemp fabric in the UK.

Alison HulmeI like plan fabrics that I can print on or dye. That way I am in full control of my work and not working around others colours and patterns. And one of my favourite workshops is with Alison Hulme who visits once a year to help me and others to do just that. Print all we can for two days. So far we have kept Alison’s workshop open as we are hoping the restrictions are lifted by the end of July.

Keeping Going means with a bit of luck we may be able to open by the end of June and we can then plan to bring back the delayed workshops. It will be a welcome change to meet friends again. Eat cake and discuss textiles, art and crafts. Something to look forward to.