Sunday, 16 November 2008

A Whirl of Colour

My head's an explosion of colour at the moment, following Thurday evening's trip to Toppings (a lovely independent bookshop) in Bath with Threadspider and my SUP buddies to see Kaffe Fassett. Regular readers may recall we met him earlier in the year at Bath's Blue and White exhibition - that was so enjoyable, we were determined not to let a second opportunity pass us by in less than a year.

The evening's objective was the launch of his new book, Country Garden Quilts. I'd been intrigued when I heard of this as the quilts are not only all on a theme that's close to my heart, but they were also photographed at Great Dixter, a garden on my must-see list. I'd wondered whether the strong colours and luxuriant foliage of Great Dixter's borders might clash with the vibrancy of Kaffe Fassett's work. On the whole I needn't have worried.

Prior to the book signing (and after a brief introduction from another of my needlepoint heroines, Candace Bahouth), we were treated to an hour long talk and slideshow, where Kaffe Fassett took us on a whirlwind tour of the world, showing us pictures from his wide-reaching travels. These had inspired subsequent knitwear design, needlepoint, quilts and fabrics. It was a jaw dropping explosion of colour which made me itching to get started on my first quilt and to pick up my needlepoint again. Kaffe Fassett first came to the UK in the 1960's and spent much of his time in and around Bath, so he had plenty of anecdotes to share with us, from both locally and world-wide. He also revealed that he started painting white-on-white in his early painting career, which was most surprising. His easy, relaxed style was inspiring, amusing and thought provoking. An absolutely fabulous evening and of course I left with another book and treasured signature!

You may be wondering where the above photograph fits in. The first pig is called Primavera Pig and was designed by Kaffe Fassett using the flowers from his Primavera fabric design. It gives you an inkling of the whirl of colour we were treated to last week. I took the photo at the Farewell to the Pigs event I told you about last month, where the pictured pigs were in a secured area as they were considered to be the most valuable. On Thursday we were told that Primavera Pig had raised over £5,000 at the subsequent charity auction. No wonder it was under guard!

12 comments:

  1. VP,

    I loved the mosaic work that both Kaffe and Candace have done...it inspired me to just go ahead and break that vase (or whatever) and use it in a design! Both are talented artists. Their mosaics were incredibly rich and colorful and his rug designs are fantastic. What a treat and with good friends, makes it an even better time!

    The Great Dixter, from my brief glance, looks like a garden to spend time wandering about and the piggies are too, cute!

    Gail

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  2. Glad to hear you had such a fab time - I like both too, and have more than a couple incomplete tapestry kits I have been given as gifts over the years.

    I would finish them but my eye sight is so bad in the evenings I cant see well enough to do them (tried day light bulbs to no avail), and prefer to use daylight for getting out and about.

    One day something will make me stay put long enough to get one of them finished. How wonderful to have been able to listen to what inspires them both. Fascinating.

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  3. It was such a good evening, wasn't it? It is a joy to listen to an artist who loves his work as well as providing inspiration for the rest of us.
    And perhaps next year we'll make it to Great Dixter..

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  4. How fabulous.
    Wish I could have been with you.
    K

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  5. Thats sounds like a good evening - like Karen I wish I could have been there too.
    I think I had a Kaffe knitting book years ago

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  6. Gail - I see you have mosaic as one of your interests in your profile. I spoke to Candace about the mosaic pig she did for the Bladud pigs event. She said it was very fiddly to do and took a long time. I'm not surprised as it turned out so well. She also did a mosaic garden for a garden festival near here a few years ago. Her needlepoint is exquisite too.

    Zoe - I've lots of completed kits, but even more incomplete. I've now branched into my own design. The great thing about Kaffe Fassett is he's so generous - he said on Thursday to go ahaed and use his stuff as a starting point if we wanted. The imporatnt thing is to just get started. So inspirational.

    TS - it was fab. And yes, it would be great to get to Great Dixter, those borders were fantastic.

    Karen - we'd have loved you to have been there too!

    PG - there was lots of knitting. We had sneak previews of collections for next year and the year after.

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  7. Oh me, oh my. My heart rate picked up a little when I read that you actually got to see Kaffe Fasset!! Wow. That must have been a great time.

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  8. Amy - it was fantastic. Our hearts raced a little too!

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  9. I wonder if those lovely little piggies have heard of their Liverpool counterparts - the Super Lamb Bananas
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_pictures/
    7457506.stm

    These creatures were scattered throughout the area this summer before being auctioned off for charity.

    Lucky you meeting Kaffe Fassett - it must have been a special evening.

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  10. Hi Anna - I did wonder about that when I heard about what Liverpool was doing. The Bladud Pigs are one of the best things that's happened to Bath.

    And yes, meeting Kaffe Fassett was magical.

    BTW I've found your blog!

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  11. Likewise,the Super Lamb Bananas have been marvellous for Merseyside.
    Oooo-err - I had not realised that I had unveiled my blog - you will have probably guessed by some of the incomplete sentences that it is still a work in progress :)

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  12. Anna - the Bladud Pigs are in the process of being auctioned off for charity too. A local Sustrans project so the area around Bath will benefit. Promise I won't peek until you're ready to launch yourself on the world properly :)

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