Exhibitions and Events

African Odyssey – A Common Thread Exhibition 24th June - 2nd July

Three well established textile artists present a new body of work using fabrics and inspiration from Africa as the overall theme, hence the common thread. Janice Gunner, Liz Hewitt and Magie Relph, three friends who share a passion for using African Fabrics in their own way have joined forces to present an exciting and varied exhibition. Each artist, working to their own style and interpretation of the theme will show a cohesive exhibition to interpret their actual or metaphorical travels with fabric. Work will include a wide variety of techniques including hand and machine stitching plus weaving as they embark on their African Odyssey. Stitching is a vital part of Janice’s life, whether by hand or machine. She always has a piece of work in progress. Janice likes to think her work is continually evolving. Recent work has featured Shibori techniques, screen printing and Improv piecing. For this exhibition her work will include a variety of techniques using a wide range of African Fabrics, including those dyed in Indigo and Kola nut. Janice has taught patchwork and quilting for more than 30 years, 25 of these as a specialist City & Guilds tutor.  She was President of The Quilters’ Guild of the British Isles 2005 – 2008. Janice’s most recent awards are the City & guilds Medal for Excellence as a Lecturer in 2018 and she was honoured to be the inaugural recipient of The Lifetime Achievement Award for Quilting by Upper Street Events in 2019.                                                    

Magie is a quilter, textile artist and author of African Wax Print: A Textile Journey. Her 35-year love affair with African fabrics has taken her by truck, bus, car and donkey cart to villages and markets across 32 African countries - researching and buying African textiles for her fair-trade business The African Fabric Shop. http://www.africanfabric.co.uk/ Magie will have a 'POP UP SHOP' in the barn during the exhibition. Inevitably, the colours, designs and textures of Africa are her key influences. Her work is driven by what she does: from travelling, came the Postcard Quilts and sourcing vintage African scraps led to the Fragments scraps.  

A Common Thread - a free talk by textile artist Magie Relph Saturday 25th June 4.30pm

Join us as Magie takes us on a journey through to West Africa to discover the stories behind the stunning fabrics that make up our African Odyssey exhibition. Magie will bring to life the places, people and techniques involved in the creation of the textiles, and the stories of how they have been sourced and made their way to the UK. 1 hour approx  

Textiles play a central part in Liz’s life - being the silent companion of us all; used to protect, comfort and decorate. For this exhibition Liz is showing the different ways she uses strip cloth, based on the traditional uses – Bogolan (mud cloth) with its strong marks and indigo dyed cloths.  Firstly, the traditional uses and the language bound within mud cloth.  Liz has been experimenting with natural pigments to create her own mud cloths. The symbols used, are not only derived from traditional patterns, but also represent trees, which have a special significance to Liz. She has also been using rust to make marks on the strip cloth and combining this with strips of Mud cloth. Liz will be teaching a workshop 'Little Books of Africa' on Monday 27th June. Secondly, the use of mending to preserve a precious and much-loved textile. In a time before our throwaway society, textiles were highly prized possessions and were constantly mended and modified to lengthen their useful life. This has inspired Liz to use patching, piecing, Kantha, Boro, and fragments of vintage Indigo fabrics collected from around the world, to mend and create new cloths, honouring the original makers and preserving the beauty of the cloth.

Cowslip Summer Fair

Our summer Fair will be returning this year on Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th July, from 10am - 4pm on Saturday and 10am - 3pm on Sunday.  We will have lots of exciting stalls ranging from vintage to jewellery, craft to art, something for everyone.  Parking will be on site.

 Vintage Gypsy Memory Bangles Workshop  Friday 29th July, 10-4pm          Cost £45 per person  Contact Claire for bookings; scarybiscuits13@icloud.com, 07967 584333 

A fun day of assembling two bangles, with Claire from ‘Elsie Hates Harvie’, using recycled pieces of fabric, or anything that has a memory for you. Please feel free to bring along any tiny treasures that can be sewn into to your bespoke design.

 We will begin the day making a wire frame, then cover with fabric. I will bring my little old typewriter along, in case you want to pop a secret message into your project as we progress. We then sew trinkets and treasures to further personalise your memory piece.

I will provide everything you need, including vintage and antique beads and ribbons from my personal collection to create two bangles.

Tea and biscuits will be provided.



Flowerpatch Quilters & Creative Stitchers - Launceston Tuesday 2nd - Saturday 6th August

An exhibition from local quilters and stitchers.

Creative Stitchers – Launceston

Exploring and Enjoying Stitch and Textile Crafts

Having evolved out of a West Country Embroiders group, our heart is in decorative stitching.  We became an independent group in January 2022 and welcome all creative stitchers, whether they wield sewing or knitting needles or a crochet hook. 

Between us, we have a varied mix of skills and experience and are always happy to share our knowledge and ideas.  Some of us are very confident and competent stitchers with years of experience whilst others have only recently begun.  Some like to work from kits, others to “do their own thing”!  Some enjoy very fine and detailed stitching, other have a “looser, more organic” approach.  Some of us stick to the same type of stitching – others like to flit from one thing to another!   

This exhibition will be our first in 3 years and we are looking forward to sharing what we have stitched.  Lockdowns have affected us all but not necessarily in the same way.  Some have welcomed the enforced isolation as an opportunity to settle to our projects, whilst others have found any creativity impossible.  Obviously, we have also had long periods without meetings and our usual workshops.

We are looking forward to more normal times ahead and, in the meantime hope you will enjoy our exhibition. 

Anne Kelly - 'A New England Barn' - 26th -29th August 2022

Whilst Anne is here teaching she will also have a wonderful exhibition of her textiles in the barn .

Beyond Blue – Janice Gunner 3rd - 9th September 2022

Beyond Blue premieres at Cowslip Workshops. In this new, solo exhibition of work, Janice draws inspiration from the natural world, Africa and Japan using indigo dye and Shibori techniques on natural fabrics. Together with some signature techniques (arashi – pole wrapped shibori) Janice makes work that includes other colours into the indigo palette to complement the wonderful blues achieved when using this dye, known as “The King of Colours”. Janice will use fabrics from other countries to complement her own hand dyes and some pieces of work will be exclusively using fabrics from Africa and Japan.

Included in this exhibition is will also be the work Janice made for the MA Textiles she studied for at the University for the Creative Arts, Farnham. Janice’s work explores the effect a diagnosis of a progressive neurological disorder has on a relationship and is called Touching Absence.

A series of workshops featuring Indigo will be taking place at Cowslip Workshops throughout the exhibition