Textile artist Jenny makes scraps pretty as a picture

TRIMS from old pillowcases and cardigans, scraps of tweed and jewel-coloured silks are proving to be the foundation for new artwork.

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Jenny shows some of the raw materials she uses for her work in her studio at her home in Glasgow  Picture: Martin Shields
Jenny shows some of the raw materials she uses for her work in her studio at her home in Glasgow Picture: Martin Shields

Textiles artist Jenny Duncan has carefully pieced together the scraps over the years with a magpie-like eye for glittering detail.

Using fabric, embroidery and beading she creates individual pieces of art, from small cards to large works that can be framed.

Layer upon layer, different fabrics are combined, with hand sewing and machine stitching, to recreate seascapes, landscapes, dancing fields of flowers and woodland birds.

After studying at the Scottish College of Textiles in Galashiels, Jenny worked with Jaeger, Pringle and Nike as well as the Theatre Royal, creating costumes for Scottish Opera and Scottish Ballet, including the Swan Lake production designed by Jasper Conran.

There is a theatrical hint to her work with a fairy tale feel to some of the houses and rambling gardens created with crochet flowers and sparkling pearl buttons.

"It probably has a bit of a theatrical feel," agrees the artist who is based in the South Side of Glasgow. "It all goes in the pot and you maybe don't always

realise why.

"My most recent inspiration has been the garden, especially flowers.

"In among all that, I like to use words and sayings if I think they are relevant.

"I recently sold a piece to someone in America which is tied around a blackbird in the garden and it had: 'Let nature be your teacher' embroidered on it."

Annual trips to the East Neuk of Fife gives Jenny the colour palette she needs for jaunty seascapes with warm blue skies and sailing boats drifting across sparkling water.

"I use a lot of fabrics with embroidery and beading, occasionally a bit of mixed media," explains Jenny.

"It can be quite time consuming, depending on the subject.

"More recently I have started adding buttons and beads for texture.

"There are lots of different layers, they give depth to a piece and pick up on the fact it's quite a tactile thing I have created."

Jenny's work is for sale at her website (www. jennyduncantextiles.co.uk), as well as her Etsy shop and on Facebook.

Browse the online gallery walls or commission your own piece of art.

She said: "One woman recently wanted a piece for a wedding gift and asked me to put words in Gaelic across a landscape that was tied to a place the couple were fond of and that was lovely to make.

"Because it was a Scottish place it seemed appropriate to go for tweeds and the colours were influenced by heather and the green of the hills."

Cards and accessories, including cushions, mean Jenny's work has something for every budget.

To see it up close, look out for her at Pittenweem Arts Festival from August 2 to 9 and the art sale at Glasgow's Greenbank Gardens on September 27.

Arts and Entertainment

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