By jane2012, Dec 18 2016 11:39AM

The second new piece of work I presented to the world this week is another skull. This one has been done specifically for MK50 which happens next year. As the name suggests, 2017 is the 50th anniversary of the founding of good old Milton Keynes, my home town. There will be lots of events and celebrations happening throughout next year to mark the momentous occasion including a touring exhibition organised by Maker-Artists of Milton Keynes. You can find our more about them on Facebook by searching for @makerartistsMK.

For those that have grown up in the town, the red balloons will make more sense. For those that didn't and don't remember the adverts, then I will explain: In the 1980s when MK was at the height of its growth period and the Tory government was pushing home ownership and aspiration, an advert was produced to raise awareness of the new city. It followed a young boy and his red balloon; he and his balloon got on a bus and travelled through the old and new areas of the city, finally ending up at what is now the National Bowl where there were thousands more people all with red balloons. At the end of the advert, they all released them into the sky. Heart warming eh? ;)

Anyway, I will post more information next year about where the exhibition will be visiting, so if you live in the area or will be coming to see MK then check back shortly. In the meantime, I hope you have a memorable Winter Solstice/Christmas and New Year, and lets hope 2017 is less of a shit show than 2016 proved to be!

By jane2012, Dec 18 2016 11:19AM

This week I've added two new works; I know, they're like buses right? Nothing for months and then two come along at once!

Well, they do take a long time to produce - the batik process itself is generally quite quick and if my time isn't interrupted by the mundanities of life, such as going to work, eating and sleeping, then it can take me about a week to produce one. It's the stitching that takes the time. Not one for socialising a lot, I am more than content to settle in for the evening with my favourite programme on the TV, my lap-top tray, magnifying lamp and some embroidery cotton! If I could I would do this constantly but I have discovered through extensive research that I can only stitch for a maximum of 2 hours at a time. If I do more, my eyesight starts to fail and deep vein thrombosis sets in. Oh well, we are supposed to suffer for our art aren't we?

This particular batik incorporated bleach into the process to lift colour out of the background. I wanted to go for a print effect; I love Japanese woodblock work with those bold outlines, and I'm really pleased with the result of this one. It's definitely something I'm going to try again.