Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Creative Twinning - Ruth Singer

As part of the Creative Twinning project and event I got to meet up with textile artist, writer and tutor, Ruth Singer. I had already got to met Ruth earlier this year when I was opposite her at the Melbourne Arts Festival in September, and it eas great to be able to put a face to a name I had only known from Twitter.

Ruth Singer creates one-off textile artworks inspired by historical textiles, museum objects, personal heritage, memory and stories. Ruth uses hand-stitched construction techniques such as pleating, gathering, applique and structured stuffing to create dense surface texture and she explores layers, scale, proportion, structure and repetition using hand-cut, stitched and assembled elements. Many of her techniques are developed from the study of historical textiles, based on her own research and first career in museums.

She is also the author of two books, Sew it Up (2008) and Sew Eco (2010), and has a third in the pipeline due out in 2013, as well as having contributed to several others. She is a passionate and inspiring educator, specialising in working with adults and community groups, collaborating with museums and in developing innovative and challenging creative projects. Ruth has worked with a wide-range of audiences through her museum and textiles career including schools, families, targeted communities and young people. In addition, Ruth works as a creative consultant and project manager for arts and heritage projects, both small and large. Recent projects include creative consultancy with young people for 'Our Sporting Life' and managing a schools & museums project for Mantle Arts called 'Spin A Yarn'.

In January 2012 Ruth Singer won The Big Idea competition run by Leicester's Haymarket Shopping Centre. The competition aimed to find a new local entrepreneur and help them start a new business. Ruth's proposal for Ruth Singer Studio, a craft and making workshop venue, won the competition. Ruth Singer Studio won £1000 cash prize and a month of rent-free space in a shop unit within The Haymarket Centre during April 2012.

Ruth Singer Studio will reopen in Makers Yard, a new designer-maker studio in Leicester's cultural quarter in January 2013. Ruth Singer Studio will offer a range of beginner and advanced sewing workshops including Ruth's trademark fabric manipulation techniques as well as craft parties, private tuition and much more.

So there you have it in a nutshell, this lady knows her stuff and has accomplished so much in her creative career so far. Having dabbled in Textiles myself throughout my Foundation Course I was really interested in getting to find a bit more about why she had joined up with Creative Twinning. This is what she had to say…..

‘I thought Creative Twinning sounded fascinating - I enjoy collaboration so it seemed like a good opportunity to explore this more. I am unable to make the trip to Germany in June but I am still involved in the other aspects of the project. I am preparing to launch new work this autumn so this seemed like a perfect opportunity to get feedback from other makers and to meet new people. Getting more involved with other designer makers is really vital to my creative development and my ongoing work, so I am keen to share more with other makers and see how they are working. I am also exploring new avenues for selling and promoting my work so this will be useful to me to find out how others do this.

In the last couple of years I have mostly worked on larger exhibition pieces rather than smaller work to be sold in galleries and shops, but I am exploring ways of making my bigger work more accessible and commercial and I hope this showcase will help. I am also really interested in being involved with mentoring; I have benefitted from mentoring during my career and have recently been acting as mentor to new designer -makers. I find it very rewarding and interesting and I love to see how people can learn from my successes and failures as well as explore their own way in the world and create exciting new work.'

If you want to find out more about Ruth you can check out her website here, her blog, and also on there are details about her courses, books and current exhibitions.

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