The studio is Open

This weekend we threw open our doors and windows and invited guests into our penthouse home and studio for Devon Open Studios, 2012 which runs from the 8th to the 23rd of September.

It’s great fun.  I love meeting people and talking with them about my artwork, their artwork, creativity, technique, risk-taking, artists and places which inspire us.  In short, everything.  This is my 3rd Open Studio at 20 Court Street.  It’s a great way for me to show my artwork.  We love having people over and I feel very confident and comfortable because I’m at Home with what I make.  At other times when I’m ‘out in the world’ with my artwork, at a gallery, show or fair I take the confidence which began with my Open Studio experiences with me.

Visitors first arrive in our foyer hung with some of my earliest art quilts and my first experiments with hand stitch.

Celestial Jewelbox and Leaving the Garden

When I greet people, I offer a guided tour or to let people wander on their own. All of my work has a story associated with the making of it.  We’ve put short descriptions up next to each piece and I’ve put a book next to a couple of my art quilts for people who may want to learn more.

‘Manhattan Angel’ inspired by photographer Lee Miller

‘Le Mariage du Fleuve et du Ciel’ inspired by painter Marc Chagall

Hallway outside my studio

I love the hanging rails and multi-directional light fixtures which allow me to quickly style the gallery spaces in the hallway and the foyer.

Self portrait

I’m normally in the north wing where my studio is and Steve floats between the living room and kitchen, where we serve tea, coffee and homemade cake.

Enter the Forest of Dreams

We have artwork in every room in our home.  People are very respectful of our space and wait to be asked over the thresholds of my studio and our bedroom.

Our marriage and wedding quilts

I love to tell the story of our wedding quilt  ‘Cleaved’, illustrated with the actual pieces of river-gathered slate, our wedding invitation and a ‘just married’ photograph from our wedding day.

‘Cleaved’ – a love story

I also have a few retail opportunities.  As Steve said to one of our visitors, “This is what our home normally looks like, but with price tags.’

Pop-up shop

Magical card cases and silk brooches printed with my photographs

Pop-up business cards:  just pull the tab and your card will magically appear!

Silk Mexican loteria card & sterling silver milagro magical card case

Beside my art quilts, I’m showing some smaller works with my photographs printed or composed onto silk or cotton sheer fabric.

The South Bank Group

A Winter’s Tale – machine applique and stitch on organza and tulle

I’m usually up to some sort of work in my studio in between visitors

Photographs and fragments of an old London map

You Are Here – Ravello, Italy

and take every opportunity to show off my new lamp to people!

We’ve set ‘Enter the Forest of Dreams’ up in our living room.

Steve usually shows the bed.  I’ve been so involved in the construction and making of it over the past thirteen years and nine months that I’m still getting used to it as a finished piece.  Whereas Steve, who is a natural-born writer and story-teller can weave a tale about the bed from its inception in 1999 through today.  So I usually perch somewhere on the edge of the room and listen and watch.

Steve describing the River of Dreams bed quilt which flows from Love Imagined to Love Found, then onwards to Love Eternal

We’ve put my templates for the valance on the wall near the bed.

Sir Richard and his Lady Aleyne de Creke

And when there are a few people gathered round, we will remove the bed quilt and mattress and show people the knight and his lady who rest beneath the forest floor and the river of dreams.


So it has been a great start to this round of Open Studios.  A couple of people asked me if it has been a ‘success’.  I’m not quite sure where they’re coming from, but my definition of a successful Open Studio is setting a good vibe, meeting some amazing new people, spending time with  familiar friends over the kitchen table and knowing that many of my visitors leave with a full heart.

Oh yeah, I’ve finished my Inner Critic and have been introducing it to people and letting then know about my ‘Stuff Your Inner Critic‘ workshops on the 15th and 22nd of September.

Meet Sue, my Inner Critic

I’m open for the next two weekends – details here.

Come on up and see my etchings, er, art quilts!

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