Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Julie Arkell Oh So Sweet!

Not so very long ago, when I came across this picture on Pinterest, I just knew that I had found someone delightful.
 After a little research, as it turns out, that first impression was quite surely true. Julie Arkell is described as a much loved folk artist. When I saw her work I understood why, immediately. She creates what many people describe as "delightful whimsical creatures" that bring a smile to your face. It seems that Julie is also a collector of words & phrases & clearly possesses a very fine wit that is keenly evident through out her imaginative work.
Sadly, I will most probably never have the opportunity to meet Julie in person or attend one of her popular workshops, but I feel sure that some of you, dear readers, would be delighted to know about her & her creations too. 
"Julie Arkell, is one of the UK's best recognized contemporary folk artists working in papier-maché and mixed media. She combines stitch, knit, ephemera, vintage fabric and papier maché in her own distinctly personal and sophisticated way. Everything is produced by hand using knitted adornments, curious accessories, ribbons and found objects. The results are magically appealing and unique."
Isn't she just so sweet!

Do follow the link to read for about Julie over at Lovely Textiles. Elvis describes her encounter with Julie like this:
"Meeting Julie Arkell was marvellous. Her energy, gracious nature, her interest in everything, her quietly powerful work was really inspiring."
Thanks so much to Becky at Vintage Fairy Tales for the use of her pictures. You will find several posts about Julie over at Vintage Fairy Tales as Becky & Julie are good friends.

If by any chance you were to find yourself in the South of France this coming July you could have attended a 5 day workshop with Julie at Les Soeurs Anglaises situated in the heart of the Dordogne countryside, only sadly, it's already full.
 Julie says on the workshop website : 

"I love to make things with materials that have 'seen life'; embroidering words and stories onto old cloth, stitching into books and paper, repairing, darning, making dolls, toys, jewellery and objects of eccentricity. We will spend a couple of mornings during the workshop scouring the local brocantes and marché, and inspired by our finds we will combine the wonderful old fabrics, trinkets, braid, lace and threads with the items from your personal collections to make inspirational mementos."
Julie has written a book called, quite simply, "Home" you can see it here

If you fancy seeing more of Julie's work just google Julie Arkell images.
Not until you've got to the end of this post though of course!
Embroidery magazine Nov/Dec 2008

via TreeFall Design

On the Contemporary Applied Arts website I found these creations of Julie's..
Rabbit Saint

 Not Quite the Ticket

& another of Julie's own descriptions of her art.
"Words and phrases I hear, read and put together inspire my creatures. I use paper and glue to mould the figures. Sometimes they have wool features, doll heads, or painted faces. Their arms and legs can be papier mache or plastic, taken off old dolls and re-assembled. The clothes they wear are knitted, sewn and crocheted, with parts of their story embroidered on to them. Houses, boats, trees, chairs and prams are constructed to make up their environment."

photo courtesy of Becky

What better way to finish off...yes! do keep safe dear ones! You are close to my heart.


  1. Thank you for sharing this. I have often admired the little doll in the advertisement for 'Loop' in many of our magazines. A very talented artist and I love her style.

  2. Thanks for sharing Catherine, her pieces look wonderful! I love her outfit in the first photo.

    Aren't the shots amazing in your last post, amazing colour, but very scary too. I remember the sky turning black in the day during the Canberra fire a couple of years ago, it was very scary.

  3. Lots of lovely things to check out - thanks.
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  4. Hello sweet Katie-sister!
    Oh, I LOVE this post! She is adorable and inspiring, right?
    Wish I could find her book! I'll try!
    Don't you love her clothes? I know you do, because I do, too!
    Oh, I feel all zippy and inspired. Thank you, sweetness-spreader!

  5. Such a lovely post , thank you for cheering up my day Catherine, I love Julie's work xx

  6. A wonderful post about a wonderful artist, I will be looking for her work from now on :)

  7. Lovely post Catherine. It's on my wish list to one day make it to Briançon and take part in one of Julie's workshops. Wouldn't it be fantastic if she could come here instead. Becky's images are wonderful, and take it from me she is too.


  8. I am lucky enough to have been on 3 of Julies workshops at Hope & Elvis in Nottinghamshire and The Yorkshire Sculpture Park. She is a very lovely person and is full of inspiration. Thanks for sharing the photos of her and writing such a lovely blog.
    Daisy xxx

  9. You are right, she really is a lovely lady. I was lucky enough to do a two day workshop with her last Summer and made some lovely pieces of jewellery. I enjoyed it so much, I am doing a 4-day workshop with her next week. Hopefully lots of photos of that on my blog to follow. Thtnks for the reminder and getting me all excited!
    Hen x

  10. That's the loeveliest expression of socks and sandals that i have ever come across.
    Julie's work reminds me so much of Vanessa Cabban of\
    Thanks you Katie, i loved this.

  11. Wow she looks and sounds wonderful you can see she has a gentle soul by her work those are full of fun and life. Thank you for bringing her to our attention. dee x


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