Made in the Middle

The touring exhibition showcases contempory craft made in the Midlands. Celebrating 30 years of successful showcases, Craftspace promotes recent craft with a regional connection.

Clare PentlowClare Pentlow - Patters Play Paper (1 of 1).jpgPatters Play Paper

The artists ability to create complex geometric designs from paper is an incredible work of art. Cutting, folding and layering patterns turning the ordinary into the extraordinary. The hypnotic collection on display appears to move with your gaze. The artists mesmerising creations are like nothing I’ve seen before. Her ability make paper look razor sharp by hand and laser cutting the delicate material is highly impressive.

A well deserved winner of the ‘Best Exhibitor’ prize for this exhibition.


Michala Gyetvaimichela-gyetvai-islands-1-of-1Islands

Her love of nature and poetic landscapes led her to create these miniature threaded textile pieces. Influenced by English Romanticism the stitched islands she drew inspiration from a the following quotation by William Blake

“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eye of a man of imagination nature is imagination itself”

The award winning, widely exhibited artist works in pastel,  then ‘paints with fibres’ on old dyed blankets, “moving around the piece like a dancer inhabiting an imaginary landscape”. The tiny intricate pieces will have you woolgathering for hours.


Tim Boswelltim-boswell-optron-1-of-1Optron

The artist hand pulled two kilometres of glass thread in 25 colours to achieve the chromaticity on display. Inspired by op-art from the 1960s and fabric from the 1970’s he credits Paul Klee’s comment “drawing is taking a line for a walk” for the collection.

The fused glass creates a unique visual experience that will have you in awe of his talent.

Theo Wrighttheo-wright-when-waves-collide-1-of-1When Waves Collide 

The former computer scientist became a weaver and a regularly occurring theme in his work is the affiliation of weaving and mathematics. The handwoven artworks are based on sine waves, here we see two different mathematical curves collaborate. Each piece is created on a 16-shaft mechanical dobby floor loom.

Worthy winner of the prize ‘Best Newcomer’, he experiments with colour and dedicates immense time to produce these pieces, I highly recommend viewing the impressive selection of scarfs for sale on the artists website [].

Robyn Smithrobyn-smith-let-me-pick-your-brain-1-of-1Pull yourself together bird brain

robyn-smith-pull-yourself-together-bird-brain-1-of-1Let me pick your brain

Using digital technologies the interactive pieces throw light on experiences of mental health issues. From studying the different therapy approaches the artist ponders if they work. The artwork depicts the paralysis of self-imposed mental barriers. Indicating the vice that keeps people glues to their sofa is preventing them from achieving their goals. Having experienced a  “Prozac-fuelled total psychotic breakdown”, the artist states; “My illness has given me a broader view of the world,”


Kay & Cynthia Williamsonkay-cynitha-williamson-correspondence-give-it-a-whirl-1-of-1Correspondence: Give it a Whirl

This adorable hand knitted piece started in Stockholm as a swatch. Kay started to knit in a free formation, without a pattern or plan. When finishing a section, instead of casting off properly the artist threaded red cotton through the unfinished stitches, ready for it to be picked up by her Grandmother Cynthia in Birmingham. The two spent two years sending the piece back and forth, each adding a unique section to create this spectacle.

Forming part of Kay’s postgraduate research into the potential impact of sharing skills between craft makers and formally educated makers.

The Made in the Middle Exhibition is touring venues; The Herbert (Coventry), Parkside Gallery (Birmingham), National Centre for Craft & Design (Sleaford), Brewhouse Arts Centre (Burton upon Trent) and Rugby Art Gallery from 2016 to 2018.

See for the full itinerary.


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