Thursday, April 29, 2010


Over on  ‘Things Handmade' there is a bit of a reflection as to why the author is making, pricing items , exhibiting etc.; especially when she believes she is making work to satisfy herself and not primarily to sell.

I must say I was delighted to sell one of my two Cyrus Cylinders in ‘The Made to Fit’ exhibition. I had priced them both but with no real thought of either of them selling. I was pleased with both pieces, both the thinking behind them and the execution. When I heard one had sold I was genuinely surprised, but as I said delighted that someone literally loved my work enough to pay good money and give it a place in their home. It is still a strange feeling, as unlike selling items on a craft stall I have no idea who the piece has gone to, and there is a certain sense of loss – but that is only minor.

Here is a picture of the Flare Magazine display at the NEC recently.  It was worthwhile entering to get myself into action; I like to be motivated by exhibitions, competitions etc.

I have over dyed the pieces of cotton and silk, manipulating the fabric again and immersion dyeing. I also made a stencil in the Jane Dunnewold fashion and used this with opaque fabric paint on some of the pieces.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

More Stash

The good news is that I am working steadily through my stash of dyed, painted and printed fabrics, merrily cutting curved seams and making a variety of blocks to be used together at some stage. On the less sensible track I decided to dye some more material, in fact to use up most of my store of cotton and silk which I bought prepared for dyeing. I will have to look at Whaley’s updated price list so I can get tempted.

I don’t know about you, but the more I read about dye recipes the more confused I get. This is despite the fact that I once wrote a dyeing workshop for Workshop on the Web. I think it’s a bit like felt making, everyone seems to have their own pet method which tends to come over like it is written in stone. I have been watching the Complex Cloth DVD and decided to go back to basics. I have started with a low water immersion using an initial colour, binding the silk and cotton, and then intend to go for over dyeing for the next step. I am even using up my Procion Dyes which is another good thing as I have had them for a long time.

There were two enthusiastic people joined in the Doodles (Tadley) printing workshop this week. We printed on envelopes and old book pages using water based printing inks; by the end of the session there was some creative buss about and I enjoyed that very much.

I have put this together using a 'new' to me version of blogger,which should make it much easier to place pictures, when I get used to it. It was a steep learning curve for me when I started this blog, when I had to ring my son to check out how to insert code. Things have become much simpler since then, but I am stuck in  my ways, and felt a moments panic when the familar uploading was nolonger there.                   

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Cyrus' Cylinder Part 2

For my second piece for the ‘Made to Fit’ exhibition I made another version of Cyrus’ Cylinder, this time, influenced by my course with Louise Baldwin, I used various papers,including some very delicate Japanese papers, stitched into the seams around the cylinder. On some pieces of Vellum I printed either lines from the Bill of Rights, or some of the quotes from the actual cylinder.
On a trip to the British Museum I asked where I could see the cylinder but had a blank response. Fortunately in the Enlightenment Gallery, I found a number of incised cylinders and presumed one of them was the one I was looking for.

This is a piece I made in Louise Baldwin’s workshop which relates to the finished piece.
I stitched a piece of calico with a twin needle to get the shape of the cylinder. This is the inside, I stamped both sides with a handwriting stamp and added rolled beads made from book pages as in version one.

How to get the pieces to keep their shape; it was simple in the end, when I got the idea of using empty cardboard toilet rolls. I did paint them nicely with gesso.
Here is a tip if you haven’t thought of it already.

When I went to throw away my old window cleaning spray, I thought how useful the spray attachment looked.
Cut down it works well should you want a sprayed background, especially on the days when you haven’t enough puff for the diffuser or the tiny spray bottle is too fiddly.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Next Workshop.

The next workshop at Doodles Tadley ( see link for website) is on Wednesday 21st April.

Called Recycle/Reuse we will be making art on book pages from 1pm to 3pm..

Cost £12.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Friday, April 09, 2010

Video fun.

I really enjoy watching craft type videos at the moment; I am sure that for me it is an ideal way to learn. If you have ever filled in one of those questionnaires about learning styles, I must be a visual learner. Its not only the techniques, I also enjoy observing how people work, their setting and in general their accents and mannerisms.
My three favourites at the moment are the amazing Jude Hill on Spirit Cloth, (see links), I imagine many of you will have been avidly watching her technique for weaving strips of cloth and I see chequerboard patterns springing up across blog land.
Even more generously on You Tube you have three video lessons from Alicia Merrett showing how to cut and sew curved seams. If you Google her, she has an interesting website with information about her workshops in the Glastonbury area. She shares the whole process in a lovely clear manner and doesn’t try to sell us anything, other than wanting us to share the fun which, of course, I had to do after buying a new blade for my rotary cutter.

For a good laugh you can watch the phantom one handed felter here.

For no reason other than to be nice, Chris Gray has sent me some of her faux leather papers. Chris is to be admired for sticking to her ethnic theme and exploring it in her textiles and sketchbooks; so, not at all like me. I'm off to cut some more curved seams.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Thursday, April 01, 2010

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