Thursday, 28 August 2014

The Sewists

I am pleased to announce I'm featured in the brilliant new book by fellow sewer Josephine Perry. It's called The Sewists (published by Laurence King ) and contains projects and interviews with 20 designers. The book has clear step by step instructions and comes with a CD with the templates and patterns. Pictured below is my contribution, a furry bug called Bertie. It's available now from all good book shops.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

The Glorious Flock

This week we set up our exhibition "The Glorious Flock" at Sage Gateshead, a collection of 37 3D pieces and 27 framed pieces. We also have two display cabinets (guarded by Wilko). One contains a collection of Jonathan's original sketches and work-in-progress shots alongside other bits of FM paraphernalia and the second, to coincide with Gruff Rhys playing Gateshead in September, contains the work I recently did with Pete Fowler for Gruff's film, American Interior. Pete designed John Evans, the felt character I made for the film, and was kind enough to send some of his original working sketches and designs. These are displayed alongside work-in-progress photographs and an earlier version of John's head and arm. The show runs until the end of September. It's an amazing space to exhibit in and a great team to work with (thanks guys for all your help!). The Sage shop also has some signed copies of Creature Couture available as well as some other FM goodies. If you visit please post pics and use the hashtag #thegloriousflock I'd love to see the pics. You can also listen to The Glorious Flock playlist here

Thursday, 15 May 2014

American Interior

For those of you who follow on me on any social media sites you've probably noticed me going on and on about my involvement in this film. Back in 2012 when I first received the email from Pete and Gruff asking if I'd be interested on working on this project I jumped at the chance. I've worked with Pete before and he's always a joy to collaborate with. His designs translate perfectly to felt. I'm also a huge fan of The Super Furry Animals and all of Gruff Rhys' solo work so it was a dream job.

There are no images of John Evans in existence so Pete and Gruff had to do some research and figure out what he might have looked like. I met up with Pete in Foyles' Cafe and a folder was handed over containing Pete's design of John Evans. Over the next couple of weeks I created John Evans in felt. He stands over 3ft tall. He was packaged up in a box (with air holes!) and posted to Cardiff.

After that I didn't see him for almost a year while he followed in the footsteps of his real life namesake. It was exciting to get various bulletins showing me his progress through the American interior. He has been home to visit once or twice for some much needed TLC and I must say he had much more experience behind the shiny plastic eyes than he did when he first left. I've even had friends calling round, while he was here, to have their photo taken with the film star!

Since then I've seen him up a mountain in a purpose built shrine designed by Pete Fowler (including hand appliqued flags I made from Pete's designs), in magazines, in an app, in a music video, on the front of an album cover and on the big screen. We went to the premiere in Cardiff a few weeks ago. This was the first time I had seen the film. I was blown away. It's an amazing story beautifully told (directed Dyl Goch, beautifully shot by Ryan Owen Eddleston, produced by Catryn Ramasut). I found the whole experience quite emotional. If it's in a cinema near you please go and see for yourself. You won't be disappointed. Also buy the album, read the book, download the app!

I'd like to thank Pete, Gruff, Cat and Dyl for letting me be part of such an amazing project. Diolch!

Monday, 16 December 2013

The Hiber-Nation

IHere is a selection of photos from our exhibition at Wales Millennium Centre, it's on until January 5th so there is still time to go visit (and give The Hugger a hug) Apart from the three oversized pieces, which now belong to the Centre (the Queen, The Hugger and the Storyteller) all artwork is for sale and can be purchased thought the Milllennium Centre (they are also elligible for the Arts Council Wales collectors plan, 0% finance) All the paintings Jonathan produced can be viewed here and his blog post about the show is here

The striders stride across bringing with them the winter weather and monitoring the progress of the frost and snow. They report back to the Snow Queen. Striders grow from the feet up. Strider children can be tiny but with gigantic feet which makes Strider nurseries extremely noisy places to be. 

The Hiber-Nation Queen
Once the Striders have cleared the way the Hiber-Nation Queen travels the land bringing with her frost, ice and snow. She is accompanied on her annual journey by Ffrinton her faithful frost fox. 

Trunk & Loggins
Trunk and Loggins are the two main members of the woodland quiz team, The Tree of Knowledge. Winters are spent revising obscure trivia and testing each other's knowledge for future quiz tournaments. They are based in the countryside surrounding Cardiff as they like to be close to the Only Connect studio.

Myfi Snark
Fashion correspondent for the Hiber-Nation Times, Myfi divides her time between the frosted pathways of the Welsh woodlands and red carpets events worldwide.

The Storyteller
The storyteller is responsible for teaching the young ones the ways of the Hiber-Nation. Sometimes it's the history of prominent HIber-Nationals, sometimes it's advice on buying knitwear. Occasionally it's an anecdote about what happened to him at the post office that morning or a recipe for stew. You never know what you're going to get. 


The Twins
Frib and Drib (the Prib twins) are never apart. They appear like clockwork every winter and work their magic on the landscape. They enjoy placing frosted mittens on gateposts and shaking a snowy branch just as you're walking below it.

Mai Ffrai & Bonto Kring
Mai Frai, lead singer with all-girl rock band "The Hiber-Nations". A darling of the music press she was rocketed to worldwide stardom after the success of their single "Bringing Secsi, Bach!". 
Bonto, currently in a relationship with Mai Ffrai, is the guitarist with woodland math-rock band, Cwadratig. Recently photographed, alongside Mai, by Snapper Duvall for a spread in Cwmbran Vogue.


Fernando Mulch
Fernando enjoys reclining in piles of decomposing leaves with his feet up. His parents were Abba fans from Abermaw hence his unusual first name. His sister, Chiquitita, works in a call centre in Newport and often visits the woods for Sunday lunch.

The Poet
Inspired by the wintery weather Ferris appears ever year at the first sign of frost. Found sitting on his own in the woods he can be heard reading aloud from one of his many books of poetry. 

The Listeners
Ffrimp, Dybol, Grwblyn, Plwc and Moslyn are the current group of youngsters listening to the the Storyteller. 

The Pondtificators appear from lakes and ponds during the winter months providing essential advice which ranges from household repairs to the best way to remove a red wine stain from a sheepskin rug. During the rest of the year they stay in their underwater lair watching Cadfael DVD box sets and eating waterlogged Battenburg cake.

Idris Grimp
Professor Idris Grimp is a keen entomologist  and a visiting lecturer at St Grunk's University. He travels the word collecting unusual specimens for his collection and brings them home to Wales where they're displayed in his converted Yew tree. One day he plans to launch his own signature pipe tobacco.

Mupsi is the youngest of the Hiber-Nation characters appearing at the Centre. She enjoys colouring in, unicorns and colouring in unicorns. 

Myfi Snark

The Hugger
The Hugger lives to hug! If you're in the woods feeling a bit chilly just call for the Hugger and he'll be there within seconds. He's won numerous awards for his hugging skills and won Gold at the 2013 Hugolympics in Zurich.

If you visit the Centre and get a hug from The Hugger please post your photos with the hashtag #yeticwtsh It's great to see everyone's hug photos. I was a bit disturbed by how squashed his poor feet were getting but after watching some tiny toddlers just smiling at him then collapsing on top of his furry feet I think it's worth it. He's certainly loved :)