Saturday, September 27, 2014


This is one way to build up layers of words and writing on both paper and fabric; I have shown some examples in my sketchbook video.
So you can work on either fabric or paper whichever you fancy or both. Taping the edges with masking tape makes a nice edge to your work. Work on a smooth surfaced fabric such as calico or poplin.

Write some words at varied angles on the surface using a permanent ink.

Stencil over areas where you have words using acrylic matt medium.

Allow to dry and then paint over acrylic paint , I used Craft Acrylics; before the paint is thoroughly dry wipe it away, using baby wipes, in the areas which you have stencilled with acrylic medium, the medium will act as a resist.

Add some masks in areas (freezer paper works well for this) and then add another colour of contrasting paint. In the areas that you mask out you can add some more words.

Using varied scales of words adds to the overall effect; if you have a letter stamp trying using that in places.
Add some large scale writing using a Sharpie Marker or similar. Swipe some areas of pearlescent/ iridescent paint in areas using an old plastic card or pallet knife.

~Do this just for fun or make up the fabric for items such as book covers, wallets etc.Add some free machining for another layer of 'writing'.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Video 'Words in my Sketchbook'

September is my month to decide on the theme for The Sketchbook Challenge Blog and I have chosen WORDS. Take a look at this month's theme over on the blog.

To go along with my post over there I have taken a short look through one of my sketchbooks seeking out where I have used writing and words.

Words in my Sketchbook from J Bowcutt on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

'On the Shelf' Three

My three day course at City Lit last month was ‘Monoprint on Paper and Fabric’ non-traditional applique and hand stitch. The course tutor was Amarjeet Nandhra   who now runs the Windsor Textile School; we had a laugh when I took in some photos of her some sixteen years ago when we were completing City and Guilds Embroidery part two together at Great Missenden Abbey.
We used binder and pigments to work with on a base of acetate sheet; I have not used pigments and binder before and am still wondering about the outlay for these new materials compared to acrylic paint and textile medium. Any opinions on this would be welcome. We worked on a mixture of papers including brown and tracing paper, and fine and medium weight cotton poplin.

The left hand side of this piece is fabric and the right is tracing paper.The middle folded section is paper. You can get a better  idea if you click to enlarge the image.

 Paper,tracing paper and fabric.

It was good to use hand stitch, but of course always tempting to go in with the sewing machine. One of the best parts of the course was seeing other peoples’ work and having show and tell sessions built in. It is always nice to be in the company of people who have similar interests, and to see how different and individual results can be. The worst part was definitely travelling into London three days in a row, especially as trains were horrendously delayed on the first day. One person used insertion stitch, which I have not used since my final piece for C&G’s, and it really appealed, I have stored the idea away.

 Monoprint on fine fabric.
 Monoprint on drawing paper and brown paper.
Monoprint on fine fabric.

For my sample pieces I worked on adding texture, and layering paper and fabric.The sample below was much too busy and I learned a good deal from inserting the blue bottle shape.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

'On the Shelf' Two

For the next step I made some ‘prints’ on paper using blocks made from ‘fun foam’. I liked the black lines left on the prints when I drew the shapes with pencil. 

I made a stencil cutting out some of the shapes I saw in the photographs. I worked into these prints in various ways,  spraying through stencils and drawing into them etc..I used acrylic paint and textile medium in a fine tipped bottle to add writing. I also used a dimensional white paint to write with.

 It was all very absorbing.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

'On the Shelf' Part One

This week I have been on an interesting course at City Lit in London which involved ideas for monoprinting on paper and fabric and non-traditional applique with hand stitch. In preparation for the three day course we were asked to take along some objects or images to act as inspiration. I thought I would go for something prosaic and easily at hand, but with scope to lead to other ideas and interpretation, so my theme is ‘On the Shelf’; an expression which used to mean that you were long past it, and had no chance of the ultimate goal i.e. marriage and babies, I suppose the equivalent nowadays would be ‘past the use by date’. It probably doesn’t really have an equivalent as goals have changed and certainly age perimeters have done. At the moment I am simply taking it as what you find on a typical shelf in the average home, and probably never give a second glance to.

I took some photographs around my home and then manipulated them on the ipad with a number of apps..

Fabric applique like patterns can be built up using the iColorama app..

Friday, July 25, 2014

'Art in Action'

‘Art in Action’ is an annual event held in the grounds of Waterperry House near Oxford, we have not been for some years as the last time as we parked in the field car park the heavens opened and throughout the day there were storms.  The poor artists were occupied trying to save their work from the deluge. This year rain and lightning was forecast but we soldiered on as I had bought tickets, our luck was in as we had a lovely dry day with just the right amount of sunshine, so that the marquees were not horrendously hot as they had been on the previous day. Here are a few photos to give a glimpse of the event for those of you not fortunate enough to be there:

Roanna Wells working on her perfect stitching, an aerial view of the Tour de France bike race.

Here is a new hero of mine, whoever thought of performance art using the sewing machine, and who could possibly be brave and talented enough to set up their sewing machine in an Indian market and start making portraits on cloth of the locals, surely
only Harriet Riddell


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Stitch Archives

Just looking through the archives.

Hand stitch over a machine made grid.

I was given a large bag of jewellry chains:

Heavy stitching varying the thread.

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