City & Guilds Star no.1

Over the next few days at Gardyne Campus, Dundee College City & Guilds students’ work is on public display. One student to look out for is Viv Harrison who completes her study with these two pieces. Her two panels are entitled Sunward I’ve Climbed and WIndswept Heights and both were developed from her Research for Design topic, Flight. Viv has undertaken the 7113 Certificate these two years after a break of a few years and the first thing students at Level 3 have to do is decide what subject they are going to explore for the period of study. Viv’s choice of Flight gave her several options for design development and last year she produced a piece which looked at bird flight and feathers. She chose a five piece felted hanging incorporating machine embroidery and net panels in neutral creams and copper.

This year’s work, two panels are in a beautiful colour palette of burnished  coppers, blues and gold. Viv has used sheers, painted bondaweb and embellished fabric to create the rich background fabric . She has then added other elements of machine embroidery, photo transfer and wrapped cords before taking the soldering iron to the surface to create wonderful linear marks in the fabric. The result is rich and textured with areas of detail that take the eye round the whole piece.

The important source of inspiration for these pieces was a poem by a young Canadian Air Force officer, shot down and killed during the last war. His poem High Flight has become a tribute to and in memory of ‘all pilots of all generations.’

almost there!

The annual Dundee College C&G exhibition is up – well as good as. I have one or two things to do tomorrow but fingers crossed they shouldn’t take too long. I do think about the room we had in Graham Street Campus, and how nice the work looked in it. I always felt it was the best room in the building – big, square but adaptable and white! I know we had to give the boards a coat of paint every year, but the work had plenty room to BREATHE. Anyway, for this year we have to make the best we can of two small rooms and I think that the work looks fine. First job on Thursday when the students arrived was to pin white paper on to the blue boards and I must admit it looked a lot better once that was done. By the end of the afternoon I had quite a few pieces up in their places and by the end of Friday I left with only the final things to do.

So I think it looks as well as we can make it given the constraints of the room, no reflection on the work, but I’m looking forward to next year when we will have the lovely exhibition space at Dundee Art Society. Large, beautifully lit, and white! Photos to follow.

Busy days

This is the start of the busiest time at college. Well maybe the start of the year with new students is another, but from now we have an exhibition to assemble, that’s after we fix the rooms, and the next week we have the Fashion Show and the week after Karen Birch our External Verifier is coming and there is also an EV for the HNC Professional Design Practice coming. Of course the fashion show despite all the work is a wonderful time, exciting, fun and a great way for the HND Fashion and Textile students to end their years with us.

This year things are going to be different as we are in the new building, Gardyne Campus, so it is all new. We had the setting up of the exhibition down to a fine art in Graham Street, but it’s all new spaces to be negotiated in Gardyne. I have always seen the exhibition as an important part of the C&G course and it is important for the students to be part of that process. It gives them an awareness of what it takes to organise an exhibition and all the bits and pieces that go towards the opening. 

I’ll be posting some photos once the work is up but in the meantime note in your diary the dates – 29 May – 8 June, 10-8 (hours are variable so check before you make a journey). The college will be closed of course for the 2 days for the Jubilee Holiday.As well as the C&G exhibition you will see the Fashion and Textiles work, and the Fine Art. So come along!


London May 2012


This week’s visit to London was interesting on a few levels, and thought provoking. I was attending a meeting at City & Guilds HQ but travelled down on Wednesday morning so that I could have the afternoon, able to see a couple of things. First stop was the recently re-furbished St Pancras Hotel which is wonderful. They have restored the colours and patterns of the hotel when it was in its prime as a railway hotel. It’s now owned by Marriot Hotels, but the staff are obviously quite used to having nosy visitors in to see how it looks. I was able to photograph inside and in fact had things pointed out to me as good aspects to photograph. I wasn’t allowed to go up the stairs obviously but the view looking up the stairs from the ground gives a hint of how it must look.

Calicostitch’s new blog

These pages will be a place for my City & Guilds students to check and see if there is any information for them. I also plan to talk about exhibitions I go to see or articles I read, in fact anything that I think you may be interested in. How does that sound?