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Flock Friendly Group Volume 1: Issue 5 November 2008

Welcome ……… to the 5th Flock Friendly Group newsletter. With Christmas approaching it’s evident that flock continues to be a popular part of the festive season’s decorations. Christmas cards, baubles and party dresses are now in the high street with a many a touch of flock. This issue highlights more examples of artists and designers working in flock. We were delighted to be contacted by Kathryn Wightman regarding her flock artwork. In the next newsletter we’ll be introducing more designers working with flock. Happy Flocking! Fig. 1 (right) and Fig. 2 (above) Flower Bomb by Kathryn Wightman, 2008

Flocking and Glass with a touch of class! We are delighted to showcase Kathryn’s work in this newsletter and she discusses her work further on the next page. We met Kathryn earlier this year and were intrigued by her work with flock on glass. The vibrant colours and mixed surface-feel produce memorable creations.

Kathryn Wightman blows hot glass! She is an award-winning artist, designer/maker of quality/quirky, funky/fresh, stylish/sassy handblown glass. Her products include one off art pieces, functional objects created for an interior led market as well as a stunning range of glass ‘art for wearing’.

Association of Flock Industr y Europe Dear Flock Friendly Group, Have you heard about the Association of Flock Industry Europe already? Let me introduce ourselves briefly. The Association was founded in 1981. We are an Europeanwide Association. Our members are all involved in flocking; suppliers of flock, adhesives, machines, moreover contract flockers, universities and institutes which investigate flock and the flocking process.

We are a central representation of interests of all participating companies of the flock technique. Our main aim is to forward the advantages of the flock technology. On this behalf we participate at fairs and organise a symposium every 2 years The symposium comprise two days full of information about flock and a good chance to meet people of

this industry. The next symposium is in Berlin in March 2009. It is also part of our work to advise members and interested parties in all flock technological questions. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us. We are happy to help you. Susanne Thaler Association of Flock Industry Europe

Flock Friendly Group

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flat tear drop and ball shaped forms with sandblasted black and white stripes and flocked palm tree patterns to match the wallpaper. It was a bit like ‘where’s the glass’ amongst all this pattern.

Whilst working with glass Kathryn has developed innovative techniques based on the layering of screen printed transfers and sandblasted patterns and also flocked detailing which creates a luxurious velveteen texture.

Flocking and glass may seem an unusual combination but ‘it works’. The smooth reflective surface of the glass contrasts beautifully with the truly sumptuous texture of the flocking resulting in sexual objects to be desired and touched.

Her inspiration stems from textiles and fashion from the world around her resulting in an explosion of colour, pattern, texture, image and text. She uses the technique of layering to create an intriguing illusion of depth. Sandblasted silhouettes hide and reveal images or create pattern. The process is laborious. With her fastidious attention to detail, the results are beautifully simple yet challengingly complex, worth the effort and demonstrate the confidence she has with her medium and her willingness to push the boundaries. Her work is often tongue in cheek and gives her audience something to comment about, often introducing a rhetorical statement. Flocking Hell (2007) consisted of a group of retro inspired mould blown cylinders incorporating positive and negative flocked palm tree patterns in a limited colour palate of black, white and yellow. They were displayed against a backdrop of contrasting black and white striped wallpaper with yellow flocked palm trees. This series also included

Fig. 3 (top) Flowerbomb, 2008

Kathryn is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of Sunderland and she hopes to develop her budding relationship with glass and flock. As she is an attention seeker striving to create her own visual language and ultimately become the Stella McCartney of the glass world this will be an interesting journey. Watch this space!’ Prices range from ₤100 up to ₤2000 depending upon the piece of work.

‘Flowerbomb, 2008 …. a fun

but conceptual body of work incorporating hand blown bomb shape forms with a fluorescent flock coating and cartoon style writing….. an unconventional way of creating a flower explosion’.

Fig. 4, 5 & 6 above Flocking Hell, 2007

Kathryn can be contacted directly at: For further information please see: We are committed to showcasing the various contexts in which artists, designers and companies work with flock. Please contact us if you’d like to highlight your flock activities.

Images: © Kathryn Wightman

Julian Opie: This is Shahnoza in 3 parts Saturday 18 October – Saturday 15 November: Exhibition at Alan Cristea Gallery, 34 Cork Street, W1 A pole dancer called Shahnoza is the subject of a new series of nine, life-size works by Julian Opie, titled This is Shahnoza in 3 Parts, and featured in the exhibition of the same name at Alan Cristea Gallery. This is Shahnoza in 3 Parts features linear images of the pole dancer in nine different poses, each divided into three framed panels. In all of the works, the line of the figure is made using a combination of silkscreen and flocking. This marriage of techniques gives a rich, black and velvety surface texture which contrasts with the pure white acrylic support panels. Flocking is the process of adhering fine textile fibres to a surface. Historically it is associated with wall coverings that became popular during the reign of Louis XIV of France and its use continues, in various forms, to the present day.

The depiction of Shanoza has been a recurring theme in Opie’s work and earlier projects featuring the same subject include lenticular acrylics of Shahnoza dancing Naked and Shahnoza dancing in White Dress, in which the figure appears to move when viewed from different angles, a set of screenprints of the model in various dancing poses and a life-size vinyl wall sticker.

There are a number of flocked ornaments that relate to religious themes and icons. Flocked Buddhas, angels and devils are some of the many figures that take shape incongruously as money boxes or simple decorative items.

The exhibition coincides with the publication of a major new monograph entitled JULIAN OPIE. Installation photographs, source material, studies as well as an exhaustive illustrated back catalogue of his work to date. It will be the most comprehensive publication on his work is being exclusively distributed in Europe by the Alan Cristea Gallery. Opie has always wanted to break down the illogical barriers set up by the “Art World” between painting and design, sculpture and objects, and over the years has made a large number of items which feature his signature images. See: Opie’s new on-line shop

Pam purchased the fuchsia pink Buddha in TK Maxx but other versions can be tracked down in wider shops and outlets. The amazing colour is accentuated by the flock.

Flock on the High Street Ruth Morrow of girli concrete contacted us to report on one of her finds. She writes: ‘I was in London last week and came across a flocked Mary moneybox in Paperchase. It rang so may bells (heavenly and earthly): a reference to our fine flockage friends; a hint of girli concrete tactility and lovely blueness …...and a clear hole that had to be filled in my husbands collection of religious kitsch. All in all it's worth a lot more that the £4 it cost! and isn't she beautiful!’ Paperchase also produced pink flocked Jesus– shaped money boxes and currently have glitter versions in their stores. Paperchase comment ‘we like a bit of flock’ and regularly produce cards, wrapping paper and novelty items in flock. This year they sold some very reasonably priced flocked badges. Fig. Flocked Mary: Image © Ruth Morrow

Fig. Flocked figures: Image © K. Hardie

In search of flock…… We’re on the constant look out to source flock items— especially unusual items or where the application of flock is used in unusual contexts. News of sightings of flock or locations where flock can be purchased are always good to share so if you have information please contact us.

The Flock Friendly Group (FFG) has been formed as a specialist interest group to promote and celebrate all things flock. The FFG aims to provide a meeting point where flock can be shared - to develop and encourage an interest in flock and its history and uses; to further the understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of flock by all. The FFG aims to bring together people of all ages, backgrounds and levels of interest and experience in flock to promote and disseminate their personal and professional flock experiences. The FFG as a forum aims to provide information and to link artists, designers, manufacturers, organisations, institutions, researchers and scholars etc; to contribute to flock’s promotion and development internationally. FFG aims to create a series of future flock-related events and activities to further promote and celebrate flock. It is hoped that an annual flock meeting will be established to encourage wider awareness and appreciation of flock cross discipline and cross culture – to bring together flock fanatics and flock experts. If you are interested in joining the Flock Friendly Group please contact us.

We’d like to include your flock news, views, activities and developments in future newsletters. What a discovery… a recent purchase from ebay is this rather unusual shopping trolley in flock. The brown flocked trolley folds flat and is surprisingly compact. Whilst shopping trollies are quite prolific… regularly seen wheeling along the high street.. alas their reputation as design icons is still amiss. The classic tartan trolley is still popular and newer designs see a range of different shapes and colours. This trolley in flock is a stylish example.

Should you be interested in holding the flock exhibition at your venue - or re interested in a flock workshop - please contact us If you have images, text, information or web links please contact us so we can feature accordingly. We look forward to hearing from you!

Kirsten Hardie Pam Langdown

Fun flock

Functional flock

Amazing flocked gnome money banks. These little chaps are exquisitely flocked to produce a really luscious flock coat. These were located at the Dream in Plastic website:

To stop garments slipping off, flocked hangers are the answer.

We aim to publish the next newsletter in at the beginning of December 2008.

These examples are from Morplan’s website:

If you would like to contribute to the newsletter please email Kirsten with news, questions and images accordingly: housewares/blue-flocked-gnome-bank/ prod_73.html We are particularly keen to feature the work of key companies - internationally and the creative work with flock— design, artwork, fashions etc. The newsletter is distributed digitally and enjoys a wide international distribution. Readers are many and the newsletter reaches wide and diverse audiences. The Flockage:the flock phenomenon exhibition aims to be staged in a new venue in 2009 - and will exhibit more flock artworks and designs. For further information regarding Flockage on tour, please contact Kirsten.

Flock Friendly Group Newsletter  

An international newsletter that focuses upon the creation nad application of flock in art, design, craft, industry and manufacture.

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