Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Stitching Together

Last week saw the final two sessions at The Booth Centre and Life Matters. The four weeks have flown by and we only wish we could go back every week! At The Booth Centre we had a lovely relaxed session where the group sat and embellished their textile prints with embroidery over a cup of tea and great conversation. 

When were planning Connecting Threads we were hopeful that the social aspect of embroidery- sitting together to create something with a slow and focused process, would allow participants to connect with each other in a natural and unforced way. In my experience of facilitating art and craft workshops with a huge range of different people, it is amazing how getting involved with a shared task can break down barriers between people and open up conversation. 

During the exhibition we will have a large communal piece of embroidery for visitors to add their own stitches and doodles too. We're hoping for a friendly and welcoming atmosphere with visitors feeling at ease to interact with us, the volunteers and participants in the space. The sessions in the centres may be coming to an end, but were hoping that connections can still continue to be made! 

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Exhibition News!

We have a very exciting update on the Connecting Threads exhibition. The lovely people at  Manchester Digital Laboratory also known as MadLab are hosting an exhibition of the work created during the project from 16th-22nd September. 

The show will be open to the public 10-4pm on Saturday and Sunday and from 11-6pm from Monday to Friday. All visitors to the exhibition are welcome to participate in creative drop-in workshops exploring some of the themes and techniques from the project such as printmaking and embroidery. Refreshments will  be provided so call in for a brew and a biscuit! 

If you would like your community group to visit the exhibition and take part in the project, we are also offering free workshops facilitated by the artists for group of up to 15 participants. Contact for more information and to make a booking. 

All are welcome to the opening preview on Friday 14th September 4-7pm. 

We'll keep you posted as we prepare for the exhibition!

From Print to Stencil to Stitch!

In the third week of sessions with Life Matters and the Booth Centre, we began to stitch. The beautiful mono-printed line drawings had been transferred onto lovely creamy calico using stencils cut from acetate prints. The participants then began to explore embroidery stitches, adding colour and detail to their work. The response to the stitching element of the session was very positive, people who had never sewn before were surprised how quickly they could pick up the skill. 

Over at the Mustard Tree, we had some new people taking part in the session. Some fantastic mono-prints were created and the participants were really enthusiastic about having their artwork exhibited. 

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

More Inky Prints...

We are almost half way through the project now having done 5 sessions already. At Life Matters and the Booth Centre participants have transferred their beautiful printed images onto calico fabric ready to begin stitching next week.  

New participants from Life Matters, The Booth Centre and The Mustard Tree have been experimenting with monoprinting techniques and graphite rubbing to create unique postcards. These have been making their way across Manchester in a miniature touring exhibition. The first batch have arrived safely, embellished with bright orange postmarks and the Queen's head!

We'll keep you posted (!) on how the stitching element of the project develops. 

Sunday, 5 August 2012

The First Sessions!

We've made a start! Last Friday saw the first two workshops of the project, held a   LifeMatters and The Booth Centre. It was an action-packed day and by the end we were two tired but happy facilitators!

At Life Matters we facilitated a drop-in session experimenting with monoprinting images of Manchester. We were a bit worried at first that people wouldn't be interested in joining in, but after a while people got stuck in! The participants made some beautiful prints and handmade   postcards to send to other people taking part in the project.

At the Booth Centre we had a big group of enthusiastic people ready to get inky! Each participant quickly generated a collection of expressive prints which will be developed into textile works during the project. Photographer Anna White documented the sessions beautifully.

We had such a brilliant time getting to know the participants and felt relieved to have made the first steps towards creating something special together.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Getting Going...

After a flurry of activity over the last few weeks we are just about ready to begin our series of workshops! 

We have made connections with three fantastic organisations who do excellent work supporting people affected by homelessness in Manchester; The Booth Centre, Life Matters and The Mustard Tree.

This week sees our first workshops begin; getting to know people, getting inky with printing and hopefully giving participants something interesting and exciting to get involved with. Watch this space to see how it went! 

If you would like to get involved with Connecting Threads as a volunteer or as a participant please contact: