Anne Kelly: Tool kit

Anne Kelly: Tool kit

Welcome to the fourth edition of ‘Tool kit’, a new series for TextileArtist.org.

In this series, we take a look at some of the favourite tools used by professional textile artists. Each item includes a description of the tool itself, as well as its brand, model, and year.

Here’s another look at the previous editions:

 

This latest edition of ‘Tool kit’ gives us an inside look at the tools Anne Kelly is using in her work.

Item 1 - Sewing machine

Item 1 – Sewing machine

Item 1 – Sewing machine

Brand: Bernina

Model: 1015

Year: Purchased in 2015, date of manufacture unknown

Why do you use this specific item?

I love it for the smooth stitching and ease of switching between straight stitching, zig zag and free motion embroidery. It is solid and yet not too heavy, and a joy to teach on as well. I always advise my students to look at vintage machines when they are looking, as they are so well built.

How do you use this item in your practice?

I use it almost every day, for preliminary stitching of work, layering fabrics together and finishing stitching and embellishing.

And where did you buy it from?

This vintage sewing machine was in mint condition when I received it from a seller on eBay. I had used a 1008 model before, which is similar, but this one is special.

Item 2 - Sewing scissors

Item 2 – Sewing scissors

Item 2 – Sewing scissors

Brand: Serra Sharps

Model: Professional

Year: 1986

How do you use this item in your practice?

I use them constantly for cutting out shapes and trimming fabrics – they have been sharpened a few times and still work very well.

And where did you buy it from?

These were a gift from my mother in law, before I was married in 1986. She was trained as a dressmaker and has a very good eye for fashion and textiles. She was pleased to discover that I was interested in sewing and gave me these scissors shortly after she found out!

Similar scissors are available for purchase.

Item 3 - Vintage sewing box with stranded cotton

Item 3 – Vintage sewing box with stranded cotton

Item 3 – Vintage sewing box with stranded cotton

Year: Found and recovered in 2015

Why do you use this specific item?

I do a lot of hand stitching and it is now so much easier to find colours and keep the stranded cotton in a reasonable state!

How do you use this item in your practice?

I used free motion embroideries of cityscapes on an old linen tablecloth, which I then cut up and recovered the top and inside lid.

And where did you buy it from?

I found this sewing box at a jumble sale – it was in a very sorry state but looked solid. I decided to recover it and use it as a repository for my tangled collection of embroidery cotton.

It was fun to bring the old box back to life and clean it up.

Similar sewing boxes can be found on Etsy, and stranded cotton can also be purchased online.

Item 4 - Covered sketchbook (a)

Item 4 – Covered sketchbook (a)

Item 4 - Covered sketchbook (b)

Item 4 – Covered sketchbook (b)

Item 4 – Covered sketchbook

Year: 2004

Brand: Seawhite

Why do you use this specific item?

I like Seawhite sketchbooks, as they use good quality cartridge paper and are relatively inexpensive. They also make lovely landscape format hard-covered sketchbooks. They have a factory shop in Partridge Green, W. Sussex, near Sussex Prairies Garden where I was artist in residence last season.

How do you use this item in your practice?

I use sketchbooks constantly, for making notes and keeping fragments of inspirational papers, postcards and photographs. Having a nice covered one makes it easy to find and is good for travelling.

And where did you buy it from?

This was a gift from a lovely student, Natasha, who gave it to me as a present. It has travelled far and wide and covered two sketchbooks.

Item 5 - Paints and coloured pencils

Item 5 – Paints and coloured pencils

Item 5 – Paints and coloured pencils

Year: 1986 onward

Brand: Koh-i-noor artists products

Model: Anilyniky

And where did you buy it from?

You can buy these online.

Why do you use this specific item?

I first discovered Koh-i-Noor when I visited Prague in 1986 on my honeymoon! They had and still have a shop in the centre, where they sell all kinds of treasures, like these super dye paints and colouring pencils. The dye paints work well on paper and also work on fabric, but are not colourfast.

The pencils are excellent quality and came in a lovely souvenir box. I bought them on a recent visit to Prague after exhibiting in the Patchwork Meeting.

How do you use this item in your practice?

I use dye paints frequently when working from life. I also use them with students, who like the brightness and clarity of the paint/dye. I love the way that you can mix colour pencils together and use them frequently when drawing – layering and blending the colours.

Anne is an artist, tutor and author based in Kent. Get more info on Anne here: www.annekellytextiles.com

She is co-author of ‘Connected Cloth’ with Cas Holmes, published in 2013. Anne is currently writing “Textile Nature” for Batsford/Pavillion and it is due out in 2016.

Here are her previous contributes to TextileArtist.org:

Is there a particular artist whose ‘Tool kit’ you would like to see featured? Leave a comment below and let us know!

FREE E-BOOK: How my journey into textile art began, a fascinating insight into the work of textile artist Sue Stone
Sunday 22nd, October 2017 / 10:11
Joe

About the author

Joseph Pitcher is the son of textile artist Sue Stone. He is an actor and voice-over artist and has worked at the RSC, the National Theatre, West End theatres and several other leading regional venues across the UK. Find Joe on Google

View all articles by Joe

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