It’s all about the wool!

Wool week is only two weeks away – it runs from the 15th – 20th October. Last year we had such a good time – there were demonstrations of felt making, spinning & wool preparation; the knitting group from the Oakwood, knit 1 sip 2, sat outside in the sun and knitted sheep to hang from the Christmas tree. So what shall we do this year?

We have a felt making workshop on the 20th; led by Hannah Dodd this is an introduction to wet felting techniques including nuno. Just today I had a lovely phone call with Monica who is coming over next week to talk about a spinning or weaving demonstration on Friday 19th. And we have a new knitterly get together on Friday lunchtimes, Klunch, for knitters who lunch.

My personal contribution is to cast on the Pia Snood in Rowan Felted Tweed (which is mostly wool) and the shawl from Artesano new British Wool Pattern book with their wonderful 100% British wool in a chunky weight. I think that even I can mange to knit some lace in chunky!


Cultural Identity: Some Thoughts by a Swedish Artist

I have just had a wonderful week with dear old friends visiting me from Sweden, so when asked to contribute an artist blog I was instantly thinking of what it means to me to be a Swedish artist, living in the UK for many years now.

Years ago people started commenting that they could observe my Swedish (alt. Northern or Scandinavian) origins in my work. At that time I remember being surprised, as I was not aware that my so called cultural identity was particularly evident. Since then, however, I discovered a rich source of inspiration going back both physically and spiritually to my roots to draw on my cultural and personal heritage. From the Millennium year I consciously travelled back to collect and retrieve information, memories and experiences, resulting in a three stage series of exhibitions, “Sources, Symbols & Signs” (Stockport Museum & Art Gallery 2004); “Åter-vinning” (Vännäs Konstförening 2005); “Retrieval” (Buxton Museum & Art Gallery 2006). It was an extraordinary creative and personal journey and eventually something of a relief to have completed it and thus processed my story.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

‘Frozen Green House’ and ‘Silver Birch Tree’ from the ‘Celebration’ Triptych 2009;

The Big Thaw I & II (2011);  Aurora

In the past five or six years I have felt more of a freedom in how I express myself as a Swedish born artist living in the Peak District. One Christmas (2009) was richly snow laden in the far north of Sweden and I came back with magic images around Advent, Christmas and the New Year.

In the beginning of 2011 I spent some time in the north skiing in the forest, and experienced that amazing time in smells, colours and light which constitutes the sudden shift from winter to spring, the big thaw.

 It inspired me to do a very ‘textily’ couple of images showing the actual change in colours and light seen on ground level. I also created a triptych (or more loosely a ‘trio’) called Northern Spring. One of the images came out of a late evening in the very last days of March when the northern light visited unexpectedly over the farm where I grew up. A magic experience.

This year I have been immersing myself more in the magic of the Peak District which is my home of almost ten years, the result of which can be viewed at Smithy Studios’ autumn exhibition “Landmarks, Legends & Legacies”. Welcome to go and have a look!


14th September 2012




What’s going on…

These are exciting times for the Studios. We have new members joining our studio users group, the development at Howard Town Mill is almost complete & due to open in early October and we have a new exhibition in the gallery shop. Add to this  autumn bringing new wool and yarn to the shop and you’ll get the picture.

I’m not going to write about all this today but just get back into the swing of things by telling you about our current exhibition. Ingrid Karlsson-Kemp is a mixed media artists using mono printing, collage, recycled materials, machine stitching, crystalline water colour and tissue paper to create her images.

Clearing II

Her current exhibition Legends, Landscapes and Legacies features a series of four tryptics; Clearing, Legends, Temples and Legacies. We also have prints and some of her fabulous fabric collage kits for sale.

Nine Ladies

Next Saturday, Ingrid will be leading a textile workshop with participants creating a fabric collage, stitching in recycled materials their own story about a landmark, legend or legacy that has a special resonance for them. Unfortunately, this workshop is full but you can find the details of Ingrid’s workshop programme on her website.

Solomon’s Temple

Ingrid will be writing a guest post for the blog so keep checking back!

Odin Mine