Friday, December 31, 2010

'Persian Palaces' 2

Coming up to Christmas I was working hard on the Persian Palaces hanging and even liked it at times, but I must say that visitors ,eating, eating and more of the same has certainly slowed things down and I will now have to make a real effort to get going again. Not that I won’t be working on something but I could so easily get distracted; it will be easier I think to keep focused as I am making the hanging for a definite audience.

Isn't one of the best parts when you see all the possible colours and threads together?
I put the sari ribbon up against the background and decided that I liked the idea of an almost stripped affect and have stitched words onto some of the strips. These came from a random book page I used in my sketchbook. In some ways the figures are making their way through the Persian Palaces, and it is hard to say if they are threatening or coming to help, but certainly ‘She will need help in the Persian Palaces’. Perhaps there is a fire.

More in 2011.

This year I have particularly enjoyed the blogs of the people in my links, I am quite addicted to Melanie Testa’s blog and do tend to look in on her ‘Every Single Day’.
The work of Jude Hill on Spirit Cloth and her atmospheric videos are inspiring.
Many more have suitably distracted me and given great pleasure. I thank them all, as I do
those who follow my progress and keep me blogging.Also a big thank you to the buyers of my book.
To those who stay a matter of seconds, manage to download several images, and never even comment - well the less said the better, but of course they will have no time to read this anyway!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

'Persian Palaces'.

I am working on a hanging for my greatest critic; it is also quite large for me, so all in all a bit intimidating. I have used some images from one of my life drawing classes, and transferred them to cotton poplin using monoprint and foam stamping. I used liquid acrylics with an Open Medium so that it was not too harsh on the cloth.

Figures added using foam stamps.
I dyed the background using Procion MX dyes and a low immersion dyeing method.
I mixed the colours, teal and jade, but I think the result is a little too much on the green side. I plan to dye some fabric orange for the border. I will probably use Dylon when my washing machine is repaired, as I was kindly given some by the company and it is waiting to be used. The sari ribbon is just there for colour inspiration at the moment.

Well that is as far as my thoughts about it have progressed, so we shall see what happens, probably in 2011.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

A productive workshop.

I am really pleased with the work done by the people on this five week workshop
which finished today - despite some heavy snow in my local area. I came down
the slope along the track from my garage with great trepidation, but the main roads
 were clear. On the way back I got half way up the track when my poor car refused
to go any further and we had to back down. Still it was a good morning.

Here is some of their work. I was particularly pleased with how sketchbooks
 were started with samples to go back to for the future.

Melanie Testa has been inviting people to join in with her project sketching
 with a ruling pen on fabric. I haven't joined in but it has been interesting to see the
 results.This week she extolled the virtues of the Rapidograph pen and reminded me
 that I had one some twenty years ago. I spend many hours finding it, working out
 how to put it together and finaling cleaning the nib,which involved shower gel and a beading needle. Imagine my thrill when today, after a long soak it worked.
 So this is for Melanie(see my links).

I know this post is set out very strangely. Blogger is having a
strange afternoon, and I have given up trying to set it out more neatly.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Inspiration from Ethnic Textiles

As some of you may know, I just started running a workshop at The National Needlework Archive based at Greenham Common. The plan has been that over five weeks we will use my collection of Ethnic Textiles as inspiration to design an embroidered panel. The idea has not been to copy the textiles, including mud cloths, Kantha pieces and Indian hangings, but rather to use them as a jumping off point for original designs.

I have worked alongside the participants, and started with a small counted thread piece which I brought back from Dubrovnik.

Initially each person chose a textile, used words to describe them before making some quick sketches.

We then worked with twigs, sponges, feathers etc. making marks using Indian Ink.

The next session was used to colour varied papers, such as brown paper, greaseproof, magazine pages etc... We then looked at ways of making stamps to transfer the designs from the initial doodles and mark making.
This is my final design.

In one session we looked at working with Shisha both in traditional and non traditional ways. I decided to incorporate my working examples in the stitched piece.

This is how far I have progressed. The course has two more weeks to go, and all being well I would like to offer it again in the Spring.

Monday, November 15, 2010

What are you doing with your old Envelopes?

I know that people have been saving the varied papers from the insides of envelopes for quite some time and a while back I posted about a photo book I had made from old envelopes.  I still have a large‘collection’ and continue to find them useful.

This is a sketch of the view from my window and one interpreted in ink and stitch using envelope paper.

Ro Bruhn has done some lovely paintings using her old envelopes, take a look at her post for 30th September and she may inspire you. This is one of mine on a journal page with a monoprint in the window made on magazine paper.

'Hens Teeth' on Flickr has done some of my favourite  monoprints using the cellophane windows in envelopes.

Recently I found Carrie Holder's blog; she does some interesting experimental work and this is a link to her blog where she shows some of  her work using envelopes.  I’m sure you have come across loads of different ways of using envelopes on blogs or Flickr. Leave a link in your comments and others can go and have a look.

Here is a link suggested by Jackie the Prepaid Envelope Art Group on Flickr.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Pattern and a book

On Friday I went for the second session of the Contemporary Textile Workshop which I am going to for six sessions during the academic year. There were a number of design exercises using a piece of fruit or a vegetable. I must tell you that I was very late having missed the train due to my bus being half an hour late. I don’t cope well with being late as I am usually a' first there too early type’. It completely put me off for the first exercises, but I was ok later and enjoyed the afternoon exercise. I had no idea that Klimt was our inspiration, having missed the introduction, but enjoyed looking at his wonderful pictures full of pattern during the lunch break.

Basically the exercise in the afternoon consisted of making a sandwich of coloured papers and cutting through the layers, and then rejoining them. Confusing but worthhwile for the unexpected results. I don’t have any plans to use the resulting designs at the moment, but it would be an exercise worth repeating with other images.

I made a little book using some of the waxed paper experiments for the cover. Thank you all for the various suggestions about using wax. I am continuing with the experiments on paper.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Wax and more.

I just bought WaxWorks’ West DVD about Encaustic on Paper. A real impulse buy. The ladies give an awful lot of information, but I really had not thought it through, I was taken by the idea of wonderful waxed papers, and the emphasis is on encaustic, using lots of equipment I don’t currently own – though I could be seriously tempted. If you read this regularly you will know how fickle I can be. So a bit of a disappointment, which is not really to do with the DVD but my expectations. Anyway, it has encouraged me  to play with the wax pot again. I have decided that on the whole I prefer beeswax to soy wax, although the latter has great advantages when working with fabric and is environmentally good, but it does have an unpleasant smell; at least I think so

These are some papers I have worked on. My favourites are the coffee filter with holes and graphite powder, and the pattern on teabags using a batik tool.

Here is a link to some lovely work by patti of Missouri Bend Studio. I particularly like the beaded book page; I like the work so much that I am jealous that I didn’t make it. By the way she does have an etsy shop:

Here is another link to some experimental knitting by' Wax and Wool' on ordinary objects such as bus tickets ,take away cups etc. which is fascinating. She has a new blog so drop by and leave a comment.
This is the very last chance to book for the course starting on November 3rd at the National Needlework Archive. If you are anywhere near come and join in; it’s a real bargain and hopefully lots of fun. I'm just about to go round the house taking down the mud cloth, kuba cloth etc. to use as our design inspiration.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

'Stitchworks' book on Blurb

The first few pages of my blurb book. Available over at Blurb.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Collage and Stitch

At the start of the month I went to the first session of the Contemporary Textile Workshop I am attending twice a term. I went on the train and got thoroughly soaked before I found the college, but apart from that it was a good start.

We were asked to take a colourful object and then to draw and paint a still life from the grouped objects. We went through the process again from a different angle and added one colour to each piece of work by the other participants before joining and cutting up our collages into four six inch pieces.

I printed out two of the ‘designs’ using ink aid and added some hand and machine stitch.

On the second one I added some pieces from old book pages using gel medium.

A while ago I was given some T-shirt transfer paper and as I had never used it thought I would have a go using the other two ‘designs’. The outcome was not so good as the colours are not true and the texture strange, but I have used them to make a small book. I sewed the pages onto cable ties using the method I learned for medieval binding.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Found Object

I started this piece after reading Cas Holmes’ new book ‘The Found Object in Textile Art’. I used her basic process of layering papers and fabric onto a piece of cotton using wallpaper paste.

I have a fairly large collection of sweet papers etc so it was no problem finding the papers. My theme is Dubrovnik in case you had not guessed and I used one of my sketches, machining from the back which is one of her tips. Another suggestion from the book was to soften papers by using a form of a Japanese kneading method called 'momigami'; I used this on a piece of brown paper which had been layered with paint and acrylic wax, and it did take on the feel of fabric.

I also used foam stamps of faces for the crowds which are ever present in the old town.

At this point I really didn’t like it, so having added a layer of net in places to knock it all back a bit, I then followed the advice in the book and cut it up. Val Campbell-Harding would have been proud of me.

I used a layer of Japanese tissue from Faulkiners in the gap and have now machined and hand stitched a new image of the cathedral emphasising the crosses made by the building planks. I will have to leave it for a while now to hang on my wall and see what I think when I come back to it.

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