The fabulous Snippets Exhibition at Waterwheel Gallery last weekend was created by artists from the UFO Creatives. The pieces showed how the simple needle and thread, or slow stitching as it is called in some circles, have the ability to transform textiles into absorbing works of art.

The Waterwheel Gallery itself is a work of art, the walls are made from granite rock and massive recycled timbers, with a flagstone floor, all built by the owner Michael O’Neil. Michael also created the wrought iron balustrade that encompasses the mezzanine display area. The downstairs gallery-space houses artists including Julie Fearns-Pheasant, Sydney Philips, Aggie King-Azzam, Sharon MacKay and Jeanette Dyson to name a few. And not to forget co-owner and Gallery Manager Cheryl James-O’Neil who, in addition to being a multi-media artist herself, keeps the kitchen well-stocked and the pastry cupboard is never bare! Thank you, Cheryl and the UFO Creatives, for making us feel so welcome.

According to Creativefabrica a snippet “is a long piece of paper or fabric decorated with bits and pieces of paper, fabric and findings”. There are no hard and fast rules, the artist determines length, width and style. Once completed, the snippet is rolled and stored for later use. Traditionally, small pieces were then “snipped” off and used to decorate other projects.

CAP Gifter Artisans Linda Stokes and Mo Woltersdorf were among those exhibiting. Linda has more of her textile art on display in the Gallery too.

The Snippet rolls were very diverse in style, ranging from hessian rolls – oversewn with stamped hessian, and embellished with lace, buttons and Suffolk puffs (yo-yos) – to fabric crumbs sewn onto larger pieces, then sewn onto a roll. Sometimes the fabric pieces were also embroidered, either by hand or machine, before attaching to the roll. Embellishments included text and, as well as adding embellishments, some fabrics (either crumbs or larger pieces) had been hand or eco dyed before inclusion in the snippet. One had a maritime theme, again attached to a hessian roll, with muted colours for sand, and bright colours for the sea, sky and coral, with shells as part of the embellishments.

Another Snippet had an antique theme, one a Christmas theme and one even had a bird’s nest and egg attached. In contrast, there was a pastel baby theme and a rust dyed piece giving an industrial feel. The details are revealed in the close up photos. Overall, the use of colour and texture by these artists was very clever and, although I would love to see how they could be used traditionally and incorporated into other projects, they are very fine art pieces in their own right and should be displayed “unsnipped”.

The exhibition was installed by Assistant Curator Ash Thomas, who worked closely with the artists when setting up the display. Ash initially trained as a graphic designer and is expanding his art practice through his channel Askrwayy Designs. We hope to give you more insights into Ash’s art soon.

The Snippets Exhibition was an inspiring display of fabric and textile art. Excitedly, two more of the group, Julie Fearns-Pheasant and Sharon MacKay, have chosen to come on board as Gifter Artisans. You can find their items on

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