Winter Solstice 2015

peace 1 - susi bancroftpace 2 susi bancroftpeace 4 susi bancroftWinter Solstice – precious daylight and an honoured long night… A time to think of peace and connection, the rhythm of our world, and wishes and hopes and the strength of togetherness …

Solace – a project by India Knight

Have a look at this post by India Knight

Is it fluttering there still, my pennant – together entwined with others from around the world and gently moving in the breeze? I look out across the sky tonight …

(..thin cloth from an almost exhausted indigo dye bath embroidered with a single word in french knots – a stitch which for me which is about my language to represent prayers / thoughts)


threads - susi bancroftI just mentioned this image on the Brunel Broderers blog

Rich dialogue as usual between us whilst working – this was what I was stitching

susi bancroft kantha in progressKay mentions our meeting on her own blog – here

One of the topics was about artist’s pre-occupations, fascinations – when did these begin, was it in childhood or beyond, and what connections do we make and notice?

I have been sorting out my studio and delving into collections, sketchbooks, samples and found a photo I took a few years ago which reminded me of my recent kantha work…

Drawing on the walls!


One of the real joys of last week turned out to be our ‘drawing wall’ where anyone who wished to was invited to join in – we started with our own bee drawings (mine is in the middle there!) and it just blossomed! Tucked into the hallway and therefore with a little bit of space and privacy it was a delight to watch this grow throughout the week




Turmeric and Tea

Back in May – turn back time for the story of an Artist Working Studio week at Walcot Chapel, Bath


Turmeric and Tea – a spice of healing and meditation mixed with a reviver and comforter…these scents drifting through the air as I dyed the cloth and watched it dry in a soft breeze

susibancroft.2 An open receptive space with fellow artists which evolves through the week – the public come and go, return and interact and the various conversations with visitors and each other stimulate work and spark directions and connections – last year it was in July 



I had imagined Prayer Flags on these withies – but, in the spirit of responding to the place and experience, every morning as I placed them along the path they seemed enough in themselves – people smiled at the welcoming arms drawing them in. Such a joy to work with this – not to stick to predetermined plans, and take risks..



Catching fragments and working with a stitch vocabulary – of which more in the next post!


Hearts for Valentines Day…

A stormy day again …  are the birds safe I wonder? The snowdrops are dancing madly in the wind…

susi Bancroft snowdrops

Valentines Day was traditionally called ‘the birds wedding day’ but ooh, I do hope ours are tucked away and I have great concern for people out in the cold and wet or without home or heat.

Paper hearts, paper thin  – fragile and strong – linked.. joined they are stronger… the threads stitched as kisses throughout their centres. As a child I used to spend hours cutting chains of paper dolls especially when ill in bed – they scattered across the eiderdown – and this unfolded into my mind at a recent workshop – have a read of this Heart Space post for explanation and this Heart Space one too! Janet Haigh‘s mention of the strength of repetition made me reflect, as did her suggestion and reference to the cross stitches as tiny kisses…

susibancroft hearts 4

The sound of the needle piercing the paper and the thread running through – the trailing threads suspended in the air – reaching out, the tell tale elements of my practice make the work flow… There are links to this – threads and for hearts here and again here and audio pieces here and here and also a further couple of posts here and here!

susibancroft hearts 5

And so, I have been making, and woke with a special sense of anticipation – to film my offering to the birds, fluttering paper stitched hearts beating in the storm – confetti but joined – chains linked create a strength in this world

Hearts and rhythms are a theme in my practice too, and so a workshop captures something renewed in paper cutting, and connections in threads stitch sounds and more…

Susi Bancroft Paper heart chain from Susi Bancroft on Vimeo. The film definition is better quality on the vimeo link!!!!

Caring with crochet

It started with winter present making and a desire to keep loved ones warmly held

Neck warmerAnd, yes, loving the chunky texture and ‘big-stitch’ look of big wool after delicate thread stitching!

Crochet is wonderfully rhythmic and I don’t feel stressed about any un-picking like in knitting, as one tug on the strand and it easily unravels so I can remake stitches.The repetitive action relaxes my mind – back to the meditative again and those interesting connections!

There was a continuation too – the finishing of a small random blanket from bits and pieces of leftover wool that someone had watched ‘in the making’..

Crochet blanketSome research into making mittens brought me quickly back to Attic 24 and I so enjoy the colourful joy here! Christmas night had me finishing a pair of these till 2am – hey ho – I had made a mistake and didnt see it until I laughed at the resulting muddle – quietly though, as everyone was sleeping! I am fascinated and intrigued that the children in my family then got so involved and enjoyed the designing and decisions they could make in requesting neck warmers and mittens for me to make for them during the rest of our stay. They shared the mistakes, the problem solving, their thoughts about colour, and watching the process and this was as much a part of giving as the ready finished gift… why do we worry so about these matters of presents, when actually I realised this ‘making’ time was what was a memorable delight ..

Mittens with bobble edgeBobble edge courtesy of Attic 24 – SO easy and flowing to follow for someone like me who often finds patterns really hard and frustrating to understand

MittensAnd so to sew – next time the trials and tribulations of keeping warm and of some very ad hoc curtain making! Oh, and in the background new exhibition work brewing in my mind…