Canoeing is one of my fondest hobbies as there is nothing so relaxing as gently paddling down a river, watching the banks pass you by. My favourite place to go is the Tamar River as it is a short distance from where I live and it is filled with a great variety of life from Salmon to more unusual birds, like the Reed Warbler. Last year whilst paddling along side the reed beds hoping to see a Heron's nest a little closer, I was surprised when a small bird shot past me going straight into the reeds. It stopped and looked in my direction, in it's beak held a red Mayfly. Within that moment a load cluster of chirping came from deep inside the reeds. I sat patiently floating on the water making sure I did not disturb them as the parent disappeared into the reeds. When the parent left I gently edged a little closer. There is was a nest threaded around the reed and inside five babies sat. Worried that I would disturb them I moved away from the nest, and as I did so a parent flew in, I watched as it fed its young, who's mouths were wide open. I was unsure at the time what type of bird it was and after some research I found it was a Reed Warbler. Inspired by my trip on the water I have created this piece the 'Warbling Quintet', after the five babies in the nest. I loved making the whole piece and am particularly pleased with the texture of the nest I achieved and the different characters of the baby reed warblers. It is know one of my favourite pieces not only because I love the finished piece but every time I look at it I am transported to the place of peace and beauty, the Tamar river.
I used a number of different techniques and mediums in creating the piece including, machine embroidery, hand embroidery, quilting, fabric painting and three dimensional textile techniques to capture the moment.
I am keen to get back on the water again if only it was a little warmer outside!!!