Sunday, 24 December 2017

Gleipnir, a magical rope

 The rope to bind Fenrir the wolf is complete and now becomes the next piece in my series of charms,the first being 'Sheela-na-Gig', a charm against crazy people. Gleipnir is a binding charm for beasts of all kinds.
more charms to come..........

Happy Christmas to you all!

Friday, 22 December 2017

Gleipnir: a bear's nerves

Nerves look more like white elastic but here I made a furry bear coloured twin stemmed piece.
Now the set is complete and the rope to bind Fenrir is ready to be made.....

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Gleipnir: a fly's saliva

'difficult not to be a little disgusted by this one! But then I got to use some super fine stainless steel thread and my favourite off centre beads.

The steel thread is caught into the stitches all along the stem, gathering in the bends and meanders.

(if this is you first sight of this piece please read the previous posts to make sense of it all!)

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Gleipnir: a fish's breath

  Embroidering a fish's breath ...........air passing through red gills,bubbles rising.

Gill red thread stitches between each silver bead as it loops around,some grow into gills of their own.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Gleipnir: a cat's footsteps

and so we come to the footsteps of a cat. A silent thing, an invisible thing. Four little shadow paws grew from the stem using chaining buttonhole stitches and they don't make a sound.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Gleipnir: a woman's beard

 The second part of the mythical magical rope requires a woman's beard but how to represent that in needlelace? I wanted elegant linear structures which symbolised their 'ingredients' so with this one I imagined what womens' beards would be like if the beauty business got hold of them! 
  This piece has a looped back chain structure hanging from the main stem and a single glass bead at the very tip. The subtle shades of this deep red cotton gave it some female wisdom......

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Gleipnir: the roots of the mountain

 I have been fascinated for a while now by the tale of Gleipnir in Norse mythology. It is a magical rope made to bind the great wolf Fenrir and is made from six extraordinary things:
1.the roots of the mountain
2.a woman's beard
3.a cat's footsteps
4.a fish's breath
5.a fly's saliva
6.a bear's nerves
so I made them in needlelace.....or rather decorative cordonnet work with raised sections along the length. I used cotton covered wire from a cake decorator as the cordonnet and simply covered the lengths with buttonhole stitch. For the first time I used vellum as the backing.
  Here you see the first of the six, the roots of the mountains, made using space dyed threads with french knots scattered along the branching stem.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Miser's purse

   An unfortunate name for a lovely thing! I was given a fantastic book 'The Accomplished Lady' by Noel Riley and read that misers' purses were a popular pastime for women of the 19th C. It seems that it wasn't considered appropriate for a lady to hand over naked cash when she paid for something and so the purse was left discreetly.This was especially true when paying the doctor and many collections of these purses have been passed down from relations in the medical arts.
   As a gift for a friend (a surgeon) I decided to make a miser's purse in needlelace with a few old pennies in it.They were usually netted for the purposes of payment, the fancier knitted and beaded ones were for personal use, and so a simple needlelace one seemed right for someone whom I had taught the basics to.
  I chose a space dyed thread which I then worked in repeating rows of single, double and then beaded brussels stitch. The rings were worked onto brass curtain rings to match and then I put two tassels on the square end and one on the round end. I read that this shaping developed from coins originally being kept in stockings!
  The bag itself is a rectangle seamed partly down the long side, the centre being left open. Then the bag is slipped through the rings and money is put in one end first.Sliding both rings down to the coins then leaves the other end open (gold in one end,silver in the other) and one ring is drawn back to seal both ends.
  In this case the payment is only tuppence ha'penny!

Sunday, 8 October 2017

here there and everywhere


 In case you're wondering where I have been don't forget to read  Museum for Objects of Vertu  and  Thread Management too!!

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Tate Exchange

   Next Saturday afternoon, 7th October,at Tate Modern I will be talking with Roger Kneebone and Rachael Matthews about the worlds of textiles and surgery and what we are learning from each other.
   It is part of  Tate Exchange (link here)  and our talks are curated by the artist in residence Claire Twomey. Her 'Factory, the seen and the unseen' will be on level 5 of the new Blavatnik building and we will be in the adjoining Southwark room. The talks begin at 2pm and we are on at 4.45pm

Thursday, 8 June 2017

teaching dates

 I am teaching in a few places this summer both for 'vintage' embroidery and stumpwork.

    In Ipswich I will be showing  how to embark on a stumpwork project, looking at basic techniques and how to plan the project. If stumpwork feels a bit daunting or beyond you I can show you how to make simple techniques very effective and give you a step plan to finish your work. This is a residential three day here  in a hotel with use of pool, sauna and jacuzzi !!!!Perfect for aching fingers.
  At West Dean I will be getting students started on the best basic embroidery stitches, talking about colour and design and enjoying the garden !!!!It is a lovely time of year to take inspiration from the plants around you and West Dean has an idyllic garden. I will be there for four days, firstly for a three day course and then a one day taster course also in embroidery. Both course details are here.

There is also a further stumpwork course in Milton Keynes this September which I will write about soon.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Sheela-na-Gig is finished !!!!

   She has been a long time coming! After a false start and then a total aversion to finishing her my anamorphic  Sheela-na-Gig is finally complete.
  She poses here on a lovely old gilt edged bible which is tied with horse hair. I found that when I removed her from her backing cordonnet she curled up as if already in a reflection (some anamorphic objects have to be viewed in a curved reflective surface) and I liked how she felt like a curled up leaf in my hand so here she sits.

She will also be the first of a series of charms that I am making.... she represents protection from crazy people.

The rest of her story is on this post.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Closing the Shop


 UPDATE  16.5.17
The shop has a brief reprieve and will stay open until the 31st.
I am sad to say that my Etsy shop will close this week on the 17th. I will be looking about for new premises and will of course blog as soon as I find something appropriate. And most importantly a big Thankyou to all my customers on Etsy over the past nine years.

                                                      The Glass Pingle on Etsy

Friday, 3 February 2017

Teaching in lovely places

 This year I am teaching in some lovely places ! Above is Theobalds park in Cheshunt where I will be teaching stumpwork in May with Anglia Leisure Learning . There is a link in the side bar too where you can download the flyer for the course. I will also be teaching during the summer at another venue with them which I will post about later. We will be looking at basic stumpwork for you to use in your own projects including some needlelace and raised stitches.

   I will also be at West Dean in March and then July teaching embroidery . The first course in July is a good starter course for embroidery where we have a vintage  theme and take inspiration from 1930's embroidery. Then there is a one day taster course in needlelace . Both places are beautiful and relaxing environments for learning with gardens for evening walks and great food.
   I'm looking forward to seeing everyone and having a lovely time at these beautiful houses.

Monday, 30 January 2017


 To start the year I think a little map is in order. I realised that I have three blogger blogs, a tumblr account, two Etsy shops and a website ! My corner of the internet may need some arrows.....

The Glass Pingle: This one here where I show my work as it gets done with studio shots and work in progress.
Thread Management: My experiences of being artist in residence to Imperial colleges vascular surgery department. There is nothing for the squeamish to worry about but there are needle and procedural references.
The Museum for Objects of Vertu: this documents the objects in the museum in the corner of my studio.It is where I examine delicate ideas .Sometimes it opens to the public.

The Glass Pingle Studio on tumblr : here is a lot of stuff that inspires me ( I've linked to the archive page as that is how I use it but you can navigate to the main page).

➳➳The Glass Pingle on Etsy: all my embroidered buttons and jewellery
➳➳Fleur Oakes On Etsy: the big stuff when there is some to sell.

Fleur Oakes: The website , finished work and commission information.


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