I was recently given some enormous, if somewhat bruised, windfall quinces. So as a great lover of cheese I decided to make some quince jelly, sometimes known as quince cheese. Suffice to say as soon as I wanted to make the jelly I couldn’t find a recipe. Then I found buried amongst all my other cookery books a slim volume called WI Book of Jams and other preserves written by Pat Hesketh and published in 1984. It has over 100 recipes tried and tested by the women’s institute.
So I turn to the page for Quince Cheese, on the same and facing page were recipes for cumberland rum butter, apple butter, marrow orange cream and bramble cheese. Fruit butters are a softer consistency than cheeses and are usually spiced and should be hermetically sealed. They are usually served as a spread. Cheeses are cooked to a stiff consistency and set in small moulds so that they can be turned out for serving and cut into wedges.
500g quinces chopped into roughly 1cm pieces
Wash the quinces and cut up into pieces
Place in a pan and barely cover with water.
Cover and cook until reduced to a pulp.
Pour through a sieve and weigh the liquid. (discard what is left in the sieve).To each 500g of liquid add 500g of sugar.
Cook over a low heat to dissolve the sugar.
Continue cooking until a thick consistency is obtained.
When a spoon is drawn across the base of the pan, it should leave a clean line.
Pour into prepared moulds. I used small glass pots used for ‘Gu’.
Make some fabric tops by cutting out circles with pinking shears.
This post is a quickie and more visual than word inspired. For Autumn /Winter 2019 Anthropologie are getting cosy, the Scandinavian way, with natural woods and welcoming – home warmth. A contrast of textures, weaves and fleeces and velvet are used in abundance.
There are some beautiful metallic small home accessories including flickering lights, organic scents and subtle glimmer.
Beautiful bedding includes layers of plush and pin tucked texture for a guaranteed good night’s sleep.
Lovely sitting room furniture and accessories including sumptuously deep cushions and a Kershaw chair.
The Monroe Accent Chair comes in two different shades of velvet teal as shown here and also silver grey
When this book fell into my in box I was
delighted as it is a technique that I have tried out myself and the results can
be rather random. Heather Fletcher is a true professional and manages to get
great results, and with her clear, photographed step by step instructions you
dear readers will be able to do the same.
Heather is a surface designer who works in many different mediums including marbling, suminagashi, pochoir, linocut, and woodblock printing, Heather incorporates them into her current practice focused in the following areas: artist books, hand lettering, graphic design, surface pattern design, quilting, and illustration (hand and digital).
a brief introduction to the author, the book opens with a short history of
marbling. The first half of the book divides into three chapters starting with
the studio and how to set up, the tools and materials needed and paints and
the bonuses of choosing marbling as a craft is that it requires very little in
the way of specialist tools, most of them you will find in your house. You are
given instructions on how to make your own marbling combs.
teaches classes on marbling and other surface design techniques at Minnesota
Center for Book Arts, Textile Center in Minneapolis, and around the world.
are many “systems” for marbling paper, each using a different kind of paint
(ink vs. watercolor vs. oil
acrylics) and different substances to float color on the surface. In this book,
we use fluid acrylic paint and carrageenan. Through teaching marbling, I found
that these two materials are the easiest to work with for marblers of all
levels—from beginners to seasoned professionals. Both carrageenan and acrylic
paint are easily available through online retailers and at your local art
recipe is given for making your own carrageenan ‘size’ and as it is a seaweed
extract it is often used in the food industry as a thickener. It can be safely
poured down the sink after use.’
second part of the book is called patterns and describes and shows the
foundation patterns and further patterns based on those.
reader is then given techniques to marble on paper and then on fabric. Finally
there is a troubleshooting section and a resources guide.
Heather’s surface designs are represented by MHS Licensing and licensed to manufactures and put onto products for home décor, hydration, wall art, tabletop, wallpaper, and quilting fabrics.
By Esther Choi Published by Prestel on 1st October 2019
Home-cooking meets highbrow art in this one-of-a-kind cookbook that
uses food to create edible interpretations of modern and contemporary
sculptures, paintings, architecture, and design.
The nearest I have ever come to a book like the one i am about to review, is the 1987 Artists Cook Book by Jocelyn Stevens and Henry Moore. That one was a series of recipes illustrated by artists who contributed to the book. This one is much more inspired and original in its concept .
From the mind of Esther Choi comes Art-Inspired Recipes as Contemporary Sculptures. The writer, photographer, and artist has compiled a list of recipes inspired by artists, designers, and their creations, all staged in contemporary arrangements. Recipes seek to distill the practices of figures such as Frida Kahlo and Barbara Kruger into their best and most delicious aspects—like the crisp and bright Frida Kale-o Salad, or the crimson-coloured and acerbic Rhubarbara Kruger Compote.
The idea was first launched
during a series of participatory dinner parties Choi hosted in 2015 after
discovering a 1937 menu designed by artist László Moholy-Nagy for Bauhaus
founder and architect Walter Gropius. After creating her own set of detailed dishes,
she decided to compile them into a book that would be a playful spin on the
artists she admired.
“I hosted the first in a
series of ‘Le Corbuffets’ in my Brooklyn apartment, a project which carried on
until 2017,” she explains on her web site. “Offering meals to an assortment of
guests, these social gatherings revolved around the consumption of absurd,
pun-inspired dishes that referred to canonical artists and designers. As a
commentary on the status of art, food, and design as commodities to be ‘gobbled
up’ by the market, the project deliberately twisted idioms to explore the
notion of ‘aesthetic consumption’ though taste and perception.”
You can see her photographs, in Le Corbuffet will be published October 1. 2019 You can see her photographs, in additions to snippets of recipes from what she describes as “a conceptual artwork in the form of a cookbook” Esther was one of the six recipients of the 2019 Richard
Rogers Fellowship, an award and residency program at the Wimbledon House in London, the landmarked residence designed by Lord Richard Rogers for his parents in the late 1960s. The six fellows named for the 2019 cycle were chosen from nearly 140 applicants from around the world. Since its inception, the Richard Rogers Fellowship has drawn serious scholars from a range of fields and backgrounds to London, where they have engaged with that city’s great research and design institutions.
As Charleston, the Bloomsbury home of art and crafts, holds the exhibition ‘Post impressionism living Omega Workshops’ 14 Sept 2019- 19th January 2020 . I interviewed one of the designers selling in their shop, Debbie Siniska.
I know you as a Hooked rug
maker, Can you tell me did you train in textiles?
No, I’m self taught
Did you go to art school and
what did you study? If not what did you
do when you left school?
I used to practice drawing at life class,
but never went to college. I did a City and Guilds in Feltmaking. My very first job when I left school was for
Barclays bank in a tying pool, it was deathly boring
Rug hooking is a very old
rural craft born out of necessity. What
got you into hooked rugs and why?
I was interested in learning to weave, but
that didn’t quite do it for me. One day whilst foraging for fabrics, I came
across some old hand tools, and began to make hooky mats, its recycling in its
Have you ever worked for
anyone else, or done any collaborations? If so, with whom?
I have been part of Creative Partnerships,
a government initiative, in schools. I
was also sponsored by Brighton and Hove City Council and Kent County Council,
with the War on Waste team, to take my ‘Creativity in Schools’ textile eco-art project
into primary schools in Brighton and Hove, and in Kent, which was
televised on local TV, and culminated in
a public exhibition of children’s work in Brighton.
One of my most recent largest commissions
was a 7’ x 4’; Treescape, which I made for a friend of mine who had just
What is a typical day for
No two days are the same for me – If I am
teaching at a school that day, the morning will sometimes be prep – I often
have work on the frame, so I may do a couple of hours in the workroom. I have to attend to emails and also spend a
lot of time searching for teaching opportunities, and contacting galleries. If
there is hand stitching to do or assembling prints and cards, I can work
listening to great music or watching a film.
What do you love most about
what you do?
Making, and watching pieces come to life on
the frame. I love hand stitching and
working with colour.
What do you dislike most
about what you do?
I don’t really dislike any of it, It’s all your own work and it’s what you make of it!
What made you want to start
your own creative business?
I couldn’t work for anyone else – if I
wasn’t following my own creative passions, what was the point of anything. Being true to my own instinctive creativity
is what keeps me going. Sometimes its not all about the money!
Can you describe your
For my own work, I get an idea, an image in
my mind, anything can inspire me, music, nature, colour, texture, stories,
bonfires and people. This idea stays
with me, and I start to search for textiles in the colours I need – I wait and
watch for an image to come to me, then I will set my frame up and chalk out my
design. If I am working on a green man,
or animal, I always begin with the eyes. If they work, then the rest of the
I do love hares, the green man, birds,
fishes, plantlife, sky, trees – lots of my inspiration comes from nature, of
If I am commissioned, I have already spoken
at length with the client, and if we agree, I can begin with confidence that I
can create what they are asking for. The
best commission is from someone who likes my work and trusts my judgement!
What are your biggest
Working to commission is always a bit nerve
racking – talking about your work to 250
people, while you are being filmed, that’s quite challenging. Making decisions about a certain colourway,
when nothing is working, and putting the right price on a piece of work, when
its taken a month to create! Working on your own, in your studio, making all
the decisions is hard sometimes. Lastly,
trying to find time to experiment and go off on a tangent, a rare thing for me.
In what way has social media
impacted on your work
I am on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/debbiesiniska/this helps me chart my pieces of work, and I get feedback from other artisans that I follow – and sometimes I get commissions/sales from Instagram. I advertise workshops, and of course it’s a great way to see what other people are doing.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in your field today?
Starting out, starts with learning your particular craft, and having a passion for it – go to textile shows and events, and talk to the makers. Don’t be put off by mistakes, see a project through even if you don’t think it’s working – because it just might. Sometimes great things happen when you least expect them.
Compared with when you started, do you think it is
easier for designers to set up on their own nowadays or more difficult? Why?
Everybody’s doing the ‘creative thing’ these days – I try to be true to my ideas when I work, and not be too influenced. Sometimes people cannot tell the difference between mass produced or hand-made, and won’t pay the price for pure artisan hand-made piece of work. There is a certain saturation point and seeking of approval that comes with social media. In the end it all becomes a blur. Creating/designing something new is becoming harder and harder.
One of the reasons I am interviewing
successful women who are over forty is that they have often had to take a
career break, or had to slow down to deal with child care and or aged parents.
Have you ever had to deal with either of these of issues and did it impact on
your creative life or business?
As a mum I had to care for both my parents, whilst
running my shop and working as a maker, and teacher. At times, it was
impossible to keep focused and find the momentum to continue creatively.
Have you exhibited? If so, where?
I have been featured in the Sunday Times and Sunday Telegraph newspapers, My work has been exhibited in the V&A, I appeared on channel 4 TV with Kirstie Alsopp, on her Homemade Home series 2. I created several Bloomsbury rag rugs for the Tate Gallery shop in London to accompany an exhibition of Bloomsbury art.
I was commissioned by Charleston Farmhouse, home of the literary and art group of the 1920’s and open to the public, to create a facsimile of an old Bloomsbury style rag rug, that now lies in Maynard Keynes bedroom in the house. I take part in Brighton Open Houses, and am part of the Heritage Crafts Association.
written or contributed to any books if so which ones ?
I self published my books Rag Rugs Old into New. Most recently I contributed projects to ‘Craft’ by Dorling Kidersley, and have also had projects in several other project based ‘how to’ books in the past. I created projects for two craft magazines, and was sponsored by a couple of beadwork companies.
What are you currently working on?
My next two shows coming up this month, and in
November. I also have three commissions that I am currently working on.
What is next?
I want to exhibit with my daughter, who is a painter,
and do a ‘makers’ book for kids.
Do you teach or run workshops?
If so where and to whom?
I run my own textile workshops in East Sussex, and I occasionally teach for the National Trust and in adult residential colleges, including West Dean College near Chichester. I also teach in schools, and sometimes visit a school for a day for arts week/green week/eco week. I currently run Eco Art Club, at two primary schools in East Sussex. I have done, and will be doing many one day workshops for the WI, these are great fun, and I get asked to talk/teach for the Spinners, Weavers and Dyers and Embroidery Groups.
Just a glimpse into this gorgeous book will affirm Lucy Haywood’s love of all things vintage, a love that was inherited from her parents. They spent all their free time at antiques fairs and so she grew up in a home filled with old furniture.
Her first flat was adorned with antique
finds and vintage clothing and she realized that she was drawn to a creative
When her daughters were tiny she created a business that would work alongside her role as a mum. She began by hiring out her vast collection of vintage china for weddings and other events. This led to opening first a little shop in Sussex and, then as the business grew, a large, draughty barn, inviting other collectors that she met to sell alongside her. She hosted sales in village halls and gardens, and The Country Brocante was born.
grown and evolved from its humble beginnings, and now hosts seasonal fairs at
stately homes and estates in Sussex and the Cotswolds. The exhibitors
specialize in various different eras and styles – some offer classic French
brocanterie, others have a traditional English style, and some a blend of both.
faded elegance of France and the English cottage charm of vintage china and
chintz come together to create a uniquely beautiful look that is, the essence
of the Country Brocante style which is captured in this book.
The book opens with examples of the
colour palette, which is oh so instagramable. Examples are given of Pale pinks,
Washed whites, Seaside blues and Soft greens.
As Lucy explains, there is a myth that
White is cold hard and clinical. The secret is to search out muted, chalky
whites that provide a perfect backdrop for the time worn patina of antique and
vintage finds. White-painted furniture only grows more beautiful with age, and
when it is teamed with old linen sheets, white sofas and all-white china, the
effect is easy, relaxed and lived-in. If you have a collection of mismatching
modern pine furniture, invest in a pot of one of Farrow & Ball’s
just-slightly-off white shades and give pieces a lick of paint for instant
shabby chic appeal.
To create a Country Brocante home using blues, seek out subtle shades from silvery pale blue to faded indigo.
elegant and feminine, for me pink is the most romantic of colours and effortlessly
exudes vintage charm. Even the smallest of details, such as a posy of pink flowers,
will bring warmth to an interior’ says Lucy.
using pinks, If pastel pink feels too sugary, try a rich raspberry shade
instead, which looks fabulous against pearly grey or duck-egg blue walls and natural
colour of 2020 being Tranquil Dawn a soft green hue inspired by the morning
sky, and Lucy waxes lyrical about green.
colour could be more reminiscent of the rolling English countryside than green?
It brings to mind the exterior of an old garden shed, lichen and moss growing
over a weathered stone garden ornament, or a simple green bucket holding roses
just picked from the garden. But green is for indoors as well as
out. There are so many shades that work in a country-style home, from faded sage to olive to sea foam. Just keep your shades subtle and sludgy and you can’t go far wrong. At the Country Brocantes, a keen eye will seek out the softest, most subtle green pieces, choosing battered enamel buckets and garden chairs to take home and treasure.
As well as colours the book shows examples of
architectural antiques, time worn textures , art, and shows examples of how to work
them into your home.The houses included in this book, whether old Suffolk
cottages, Georgian farmhouses or modern properties all have in common the
inclusion of timeworn objects. There are salvaged shutters and doors, shelving
fashioned from old scaffolding boards and pieces of painted furniture still
clinging on to their original finish, flaking and peeling though it may be.
Despite their age and their state of repair, these items manage to look
current, exciting and utterly beautiful in their current surroundings.
book! What a look! I highly recommend it, as much for the gorgeous images by
Ben Edwards as for the valuable information given by Lucy Haywood.
Annie Sloan paint in Provence and Aubusson, Annie Sloan furniture wax, Old tapestries, Thread, Paper to make a pattern, Upholstery tacks, Decorative upholstery nails, chair to upholster
Equipment A cotton rag, Sandpaper Paint brush, Needle-nosed pliers, Pins, Paper Cutting Scissors , Dressmaking scissors, Sewing machine, Iron and ironing board, Small pin hammer
1. Using the needle-nosed pliers prize out
any old upholstery nails and tacks. Carefully remove the fabric and pin the
pieces, right side up, on the paper and draw round them and then cut out to
make a pattern. Cut out the patterns.
2. Place the tapestries on the chair and arrange and re-arrange until you are happy with the composition. When you are happy, create sections of tapestry patchwork by machine stitching oblongs onto one another. Iron all the seams flat.
3. Pin the paper pattens onto the wrong
side of the tapestry patchwork, allowing at least a 5cm (2inch) seam allowance
all the way round each piece. Lay the sewn patchwork on the chair and check you
are happy with it before cutting it out.
4. Paint the Provence paint onto the wooden parts of the chair and leave to dry. Paint the Aubusson over the Provence and leave to dry. Sand back parts of the second colour. To finish the paint work, rub in wax with a cotton cloth,
5. Pin each section of the tapestry onto the chair. Start attaching the pieces using the upholstery tacks. Start with the front of the chair. Begin in the middle and work outwards, stretching and pulling as you go. Apply a tack every 3cm(11/4in). Pull the fabric so it is as taut as possible before you put in the tacks. When you have reached one end, go back to the middle and start again, working in the opposite direction.
6. Repeat the process to attach the other patchwork tapestry pieces on the chair front and then the chair back. Always work from a centre point outwards, applying tacks in one direction and then the opposite direction, so that you don’t get twisting and distortion. Check that you are happy with your work and make adjustments as necessary.
To finish hammer the decorative upholstery nails down the sides at the back of the chair, covering the tacks you previously hammered in.