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On Saturday 18th May 2019 The Tutors Exhibition  – at macbirmingham opens and in it will be one of my pattern design pieces and products – would you like to hear the story of how it came about?

I recently watched The Creative Brain on Netflix, which advocated the importance of open-ended play for creativity to blossom and this, is very much a story of that process too.

It all began with a painting I did one afternoon where I textured up a piece of watercolour paper with a lovely deckled edge and then overlaid white paint leaving the negative space to describe birds flying. And that was it – that piece of creativity sparked something else and off I went down that rabbit hole leaving this painting in the plan-chest drawer for a few months.

Then by a series of serendipitous events I found myself a member of the wonderful SteamhouseUK community where I get to play about with the most amazing array of machines and learn techniques and processes that have been invented since I was last in college.

Sublimation printing (or dye sublimation printing as it is sometimes also known) is the process of transferring images onto a fabric (or other substrate) using a heat-press to print the image. At macbirmingham we have a heat-press and we use disperse dyes to paint and print onto paper which can then be heat-pressed onto fabric (if you think that sounds fun come along to my Tues afternoon class and have a go!)

But I had never hoped to ever have access to using an actual Sublimation printer until now! In this case the disperse dyes are in the printer ink cartridges and the computer sends your image to print onto heat resistant paper in wide format.

At Steamhouse the heat-press can print onto fabric up to 175cm in width. The heat-press technique is also great for capturing textures in designs onto fabric. The Tutors show was coming up. All this got me thinking what could I make with the size of fabric that I could print to exhibit for the show?

One morning I woke up with the answer ringing clearly in my mind and it didn’t take long to make it a reality – I’m single-minded like that sometimes – use the Swifts painting to make a pattern and construct a kimono!

The pattern had to be cut down the back and re-seamed in order for all the pieces to fit one at a time into the heat-press for printing and the Swifts pattern was easy enough to put into technical repeat using Photoshop so that I could use the sublimation printer to print an all over repeating pattern.

After that it was a steady job to sew it all together nicely including a partial lining so it looked good hanging up for exhibition.

If you’re local and can make it to MAC to see the show ( – Tues – Sun, 11am – 5pm, First Floor Gallery) you’ll see that kimono hanging on the wall and who knows, after the exhibition is over I may even wear it 😉

Still catching up my blog – back in January I re-introduced myself on Instagram after realising that even my old friends weren’t really sure what I do day-to-day. So here it is for any of you who’d like to know too 😉

Hi friends, family and followers HNY! 🍾
I met an old friend who’d I’d lost touch with and it made me realise that these pictures here don’t fully describe my Work Life and so I’m starting a fresh year with one of those little Insta intro’s people do….
28 years ago I graduated in Textile Design specialising in Printed Textiles.
26 years ago I got my teaching qualification and began teaching Primary-aged kids with a specialism in kids with Additional Needs.
7 years ago I stepped out of the school classroom and into other places and spaces where I can teach people, work with kids and develop my own art practice.
👩🏻‍🎨 I’m an artist at heart and I love to paint. And print. And add colour to things. And meet people and share art and creativity and the good it brings.
📆I hardly have a typical week (which I love) but it might look like this:
🖼 I spend some of my time painting pictures to sell and until May 2020 I have the whole of Winterbourne House and Gardens @winterbournehg to inspire me as I am Artist in Residence there @artist_winterbournehg come and follow that account too if you like!
🌳🏢I work regularly @macbirmingham teaching Mixed Media Textiles on a Thurs night, Pattern-design/Screen-printing and Heat Transfer-printing on a Tues afternoon, running a Baby Creative class (messy/sensory play) and also the cutest Toddler Art Group. 👬👭
Then there’s work that comes in blocks such as delivering a whole range of multi-disciplinary workshops locally at places like @birmingham_mag and @winterbournehg for adults and children, working with local and national social enterprise groups developing skills with a group of refugees and offering paint-therapy for ShelterUK and I also take workshops and demonstrations on the road to art groups as far as my travelling time can take me.
🤫I design patterns commercially using any number of ways; print methods, stitch and all sorts of paint techniques and a local print agent takes them out to the textile fairs to sell them on my behalf. It’s secret work (copyright issues) and not often seen here.
📺 And of a night I still knit, weave, stitch and crochet in front of the telly because I love to.

Thank you for reading if you got this far x

One of my favourite ways to work is with a gelatin plate for mono-printing.

The process itself is messy-fun and the result, although not always what you expected to get, is always something interesting and useable.

When we’d been to Amsterdam a few years back, I did a lots of gelatin plate printing of the cute houses found there.

You can make effective stencils by cutting photographs directly – the gloss coated paper is great for this kind of printing.

I like to sew and applique into these prints to add details, further colour and visual texture and interest. But you can print effectively onto paper or fabric and they are a great source for any printmaker, scrapbooker or artist who might like to print and use texture, pattern or imagery to paint with, collage with or work further into with textile treatments.

If that’s got your interest and you’re within reach of MAC Birmingham then I am running a gelatin plate printing class on Thursday June 21st – tickets here.

If not then have a ‘google’ and give it a go – it’s a lot of fun 🙂

 

 

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Did you notice I’d spruced up the website? New, fresh work samples in the portfolios, updated text and more representational photos of me…i.e. older looking!

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As any sole trader will tell you, there’s a gazzillion things one could do with every hour of working time and for me the thing that slips is the website maintenance. But it’s been worth all the slog as I think it looks great and just like any good clear up (once it’s done) its been cathartic and satisfying.

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Hope you enjoy it too.

Hello! Today is the first day here that truly feels like Spring. It’s also the first day in a week that I feel well (stupid virus, nothing serious) and maybe it’s a combination of those two things that has prompted me to tidy out my iPhoto library today and come say hello with pictures.

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It’s not that I haven’t been busy creating (apart from last week) but quite the opposite and once there’s too much to say I find it becomes harder to say anything.

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In the last weeks the dresser got Spring cleaned – I found myself picking out yellow and pink china and it snowballed from there.

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I was thrilled to get the opportunity to begin teaching one of the MAC’s adult evening Textile classes (insert whooping and cheering). This has taken me on a journey back in time and a re-birth in skills once learnt and used. I studied all kinds of Textile art for my degree before specialising in Print and it has been really invigorating prepping samples to show the students – here’s some batiking I did inspired by these gorgeous anemones.

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I’m excited to see how teaching this class will develop my own work as these things always have a synergistic effect.

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You know the saying “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” well this couldn’t be truer in the context of me teaching my daughter to crochet. First she knocked out her own gorgeous Granny Square blanket as her first project, then set about a huge Granny Square blanket as a friend’s birthday gift (here’s where I got jealous!) then for Mothers Day she made me this beautiful cushion cover for a pillow on our bed 😍

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And the making = love message has been strong in our house of late as we celebrated a BIG birthday this weekend. We can’t believe our kids are 18 and 20 – where did the time go?

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Lemon and Blueberry Buttermilk Cake with edible flowers for the girl who gave up chocolate for Lent.

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And following the tradition to have a special item to commemorate a landmark birthday like 18, this little pumpkin asked me to knit her a cardi! Ahh…

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It did nearly kill me as it’s the most complex thing I’ve done yet but that’s how you up your skills level isn’t it!

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Here’s a little snap of my Spring inspired work table to leave you with. Hope the sun’s shining where you are.

Do you like vintage china? pattern? painting? Want a lovely day out with a scrummy home-cooked lunch?

Then this could be just for you –  the lovely Bev and Nigel of Old Bank Studios have booked me to teach a Pattern on Pattern Teacups watercolour (gouache) class on Saturday 5th March. 

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All abilities are welcome. We will work from a still-life set up and approach the painting in stages.

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Or you can go at your own pace and follow your own creative leading. Either way Bev will still cook a lovely lunch for us to eat together 😛 Booking details are here.

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Then on Sunday 6th March I’m teaching All Things Bright and Beautiful (Mixed Media) again at Old Bank Studios so why not make a weekend of it? It is the Mothers Day weekend – treat yourself or come together and treat your mum!

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This is a fun way of working: layering up collaged papers and paint layers, starting out loose and experimentally and then adding increasing levels of detail. I’ll be bringing bird and butterfly reference material but you can make your canvas of any image you want.

If you want to make a weekend of it I’m sure Bev will happily suggest local accommodation – email her here or phone her on 01255 242930. You can book onto the course here.

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Harwich is a bit of a drive but don’t let that put you off! (all the more reason to come for the weekend…) Bev and Nigel are two of the loveliest, most genuine people I’ve met and Old Bank Studios is a lovely setting to learn and create in. Oh and did I mention the delicious lunches…

Happy New Year one and all – I wish you a happy, healthy and fulfilling one. I got this new mug for Christmas- it’ll help keep me focused for 2016 while I sip my tea 😉

I have just finished up filling my current sketchbook and wondered if you’d like a peep?

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There is a trend for sketch booking at the moment, particularly doing something in it everyday.

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I think sketchbooks can be a place to experiment, log thoughts and images and experiment without a necessary end. I don’t work in it consistently but have phases.

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I feel like mine are an extension of my brain; a place to gather and record thoughts that I know will disappear in the busyness and constant flood of visual inspiration.

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 I will often look back through one and pick up again on the way something was painted or a collage technique that I liked.

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I’m a great magazine snipper too and can end up overwhelmed by bits of this and that lying around waiting to inspire me. Sometimes I’ll have a few hours really looking at them and asking myself what it is about the image that captures my interest and then trying to work that out in the sketchbook.

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Often enough this kind of playing will result in a motif for a pattern too.

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I began this book in September 2103 so it may be another two years before I can post like this again!

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I took Art, Inc.: The Essential Guide for Building Your Career as an Artist by Lisa Congdon on holiday recently.

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There’s nothing like a change of scenery and routine to open up the psyche to some old truths that need hearing afresh and maybe to some new ways of thinking.

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I had resolved to not keep buying books written by artists making money telling artists how to be artists, but this one appealed (round corners!) and Lisa has a nice writing voice – it was refreshingly constructive.

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I decided to write down words or phrases that resounded with me while I was reading it; and I have since re-written them and pinned them up around the studio so they can seep into my subconsciousness.

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I keep glancing up and seeing “Do uncomfortable things” – ah, surely not!



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In a moment of summer madness, I have decided to have a studio de-stock.

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That is I am going to sell eighteen original watercolours and acrylics at vastly reduced rates in order to make some room for all the new stuff I’m working on and thinking about.

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This is your advanced warning of the sale which will open Friday 14th Aug at 6pm GMT.

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I’m going to post a quick feature of each painting that’s going in the sale over the next couple of days so you can see some larger photos and decide if there’s anything you fancy and then I’ll open the sale on Friday 16th Aug at 6pm GMT.

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It will be first come, first served, to make a BACS payment once I’ve emailed the payment details to you (fuller details will follow with each specific picture posting).

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So watch the blog, Facebook or Instagram (links in top side bar) if you fancy a Claire Leggett painting at a snip! ✂ ✂ ✂

Copyright notice 2015

All images, text, and content on this site are the sole property of Claire Leggett and may not be used, copied or transmitted without the express consent of Claire Leggett.

If you wish to link to this site or to a post from this site, please ask first before doing so and then give appropriate credit for content.

Any other inquiries please email me at hello@claireleggett.co.uk

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Spent a lovely (and last workshop day before Xmas 🥳) making #textileart and #drawingwiththread ➰🧵➰ @mac_birmingham From painting to collage to appliqué and stitches- fun, fun, fun 😝#illustratedstitch #applique #handstitched #textiles #workshop #stitchersofinstagram #stitchery #textilepictures
This Sunday 📆 @paperdollshandmade market 🛒 the @mothershipprojects #MARKit ladies will be selling their #hand printed and #hand sewn products for the first time 🥳 🎉 👏🏻 Please show them your 💙love💜 and be quick to snap up the cutest tea-towels ☁️ (swipe to see just some of the stock) 🏢Custard Factory, Digbeth #refugees #handmadesocialenterprise #everyonewelcome #refugeeswelcome #printedtextiles #socialenterprise #screenprinted #supportlocalartists #womenempoweringwomen #birminghamcity
Yesterday I taught Teacup Totes Embroidery @winterbournehg 🧵 ➿Here’s my sampler for class (finished in front of Strictly last night) #embroidery #embroideryflowers #embroideryart #broderie #stitchersofinstagram #stitch #slowstitching #frenchknots #daisystitch #stemstitch #teacups #stitchlovers #sewingfun #mindfulstitching #drawingwiththread
Ending my part of the #MARKit project @mothershipprojects today with a grateful heart 💖 Grateful for the chance to have shared my creativity and knowledge to welcome, build friendships and empower these awesome women 🙌🏻 #welcomerefugees #empowerwomen #refugeeswelcome #walkamileinmyshoes #motherswhomake #whorunstheworldgirls #craftforchange #womeninbusiness #artchangeseverything #makeadifference #fromstrengthtostrength #socialenterprise #sharelife

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