Zoe Walker and Neil Bromwich are artists (see their website here), I thought I'd introduce you to them, partly because I also want to show you a piece I made for Zoe, commissioned by Neil as a gift for Zoe's Birthday.
A boat on a tea cosy.
But not just any old boat, a magic boat, a boat that shimmers and sparkles and is also a radio station, almost as if it had flown in from another planet.
The piece I made for Zoe is based on their work of art, 'Celestial Radio'.
There is a wonderful photograph and more information about this work here. It's absolutely breathtakingly beautiful and magical, I urge you to have a look at the link.
My brief was to create a tea cosy, with a beaded boat on the top, that resembled something between Zoe's drawing of the boat (for a map that was produced), which you see in the first photograph, and the actual boat.
Celestial Radio was to be embroidered on one side, and the equivalent Gaelic words on the other.
There were a few considerations, like the tea cosy being able to support a beaded object which could be too heavy for a knitted tea cosy. After discussions with Neil, I came up with what you see above. A week of long hours working on it produced the finished piece. It would have been less than a week if the radio mast on the boat hadn't presented me with problems, my fifth attempt at it produced what you see above.
Perhaps I should have placed this beaded boat I made against a black backdrop, and lit it so it sparkled, like in the beautiful photograph you see in this link.
Neil had suggested putting a couple of patchwork squares on the tea cosy, and that led to me doing quite a detailed patchwork tea cosy.
I became very involved in creating the patchwork. As I hand sewed each piece of fabric together, it started to represent the stories that Neil and Zoe gathered, to broadcast from the boat. I imagined little old ladies and men, relating their histories over mugs of tea, warming their toes by an open fire.
Neil said that the tea cosy makes having a cup of tea a real joy, that's a wonderful compliment, don't you think?
(You might wonder where my beading has suddenly sprung from............ I've been doing it for many years, though very little over the last year or so, it's very time consuming. You can see some of the beading I showed on my blog a few years ago, in my beading section here, just to show it's something I've been obsessed with in the past. I taught myself how to bead from books, just in case you're wondering where I learnt).