Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Squared Circle Group on Flickr is fun. Stitched circles don't really fit neatly, but no worry as someone has started a group for those photos which are 'dumped' from the original group as not being entirely to the rules.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Life Drawing and Monoprints

Over the next academic year I am going to attend two workshops a term at a local college, a ‘Creative Textile’ workshop. I think the idea is mainly to concentrate on design work and it will be good to work with other people. It is a local education college so, at the moment, relatively cheap compared to some of the London courses. I have also signed up for a short course on’ getting to know your DSLR’ camera, which hopefully will leave me less confused.

Back to the course, we are asked to produce a summer sketchbook with a hundred ‘sketches’ which has a wide definition including photos and stitch. So it’s likely that you will be seeing some of the pages here.

At my last life drawing class we did some contour drawing and some monoprinting, both of which were really enjoyable. These are some of the monprints I made at home using water based printing inks. Some on magazine pages.

I have just organized a morning workshop on Transfer Paints for a mother and two daughters. They were v. enthusiastic, which was nice, but I must say that I feel tired out now. I think it may be time for a cup of tea!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Avocado and Flowers

Some of you may remember that not long ago I won a virtual voucher from Gerdiary to use in her shop, I’ve used it now to purchase a pack of her pretty pink materials dyed with avocado skin. Take a look at her posts for more information about this process.

Before using the material I decided to experiment with ‘flower pounding’ which I have been reading about recently. There is plenty of information on the web about it. Basically you take a flower and place it carefully onto your material, put a piece of baking parchment or similar over it and gently pound with a hammer; I only had a piece of heavy metal. Then I turned the sandwich over carefully and worked on the material side, increasing the pressure slightly. The results are pretty, and quite detailed. I have no idea how long they will last and that isn’t too important to me.

I decided to use the material to make a mini long cloth and have very much enjoyed the process. I used every scrap of the material and also the stamp and pieces from the envelope sent from Berlin. I think it was particularly enjoyable as I don’t usually do ‘pretty’ and apart from the pinkness all the fabric was also light and delicate to work on.

As you see I harked back to some of the patching and darning of fabrics we had to do at school but never put into practise. I coated the paper with Acrylic Wax before machining it.

I just have to finish the edges and put on a backing now.

Look out for a blog giveaway in August.

I had a stall at a craft event this weekend, my first since Christmas. It was an enjoyable day, I sold enough at least to cover the cost of being there and had lots of lovely chats, including one with someone who reads my blog.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I am really pleased this year to have my book accepted for the’ We Love Your Books Exhibition’; this is especially so as my book on the closure of Woolworths theme last year was not selected. I felt quite daunted having another go this year, but it made it more special to be selected.

You can go to the website to find the books which will be in the exhibition and the full range of sketchbook spreads which will also be in the catalogue. Each year the organizers,Melaini Bush  and Dr Emma Powell lecturers from the University of Northampton and De Montfort University, ask for an additional element to the artists’ book and this year it was a photo of a landscape sketchbook spread.

The theme is E-motive and I worked on the idea of the colours linked with emotions. I used a series of collagraph prints printed onto cotton with the help of ink aid. I used an actual embossed ie colourless collagraph for the final spread.I made the prints on a Sunday printing course at City Lit. in London. As I now had the prints on fabric I could add some stitching.

It’s unlikely that I will get to the final exhibition but if you live in the area here are the details.

It’s worth having a look at the photos on Flickr as some of the books are really fascinating.

Great Linford Arts Workshop, Parklands, Great Linford, Milton Keynes MK14 5D2

from 28th Aug – 25th Sept, with a preview on Thursday 26th August from 6-9pm.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Mini Tutorial

Some ideas for making interesting papers to stitch, for journaling or just for fun using recycled papers, and minimum resources.

You will need:

Old magazines, advertising papers etc.
Brown paper.
Black acrylic or water based printing ink.

Printing ink gives a better impression with detailed stamps and dries less quickly.
Tip if you spread the papers out to dry after using printing ink, be careful where you walk with bare feet!

Old brushes.
Spare scrap paper not too thin.
A brayer/roller if you have one.
Cotton buds or use the pointed end of the brush.
Incense stick.

Spread the ink or paint onto the scrap paper with the brush.

Make marks with a cotton bud or other implement. Here is the advantage of printing ink which gives you more time to work. Put the piece of paper you want to transfer the marks onto face down on the scrap paper and roll with the brayer (or rub gently with your hand).

Once the marks are dry you may wish to stamp over them with a favourite stamp; I used a handwriting one. If you have used ink at this stage you will need patience for it to dry.

If you work on brown paper and want to ‘antique’ it you can rub with some tea or coffee. I also added a couple of tiny drops of Walnut Ink. Use this sparingly as it can be very dark.

Scrunch up the paper regularly but gently.
Tear the edges to look aged. Rub with a gold crayon, markal or similar.
I used a smoking incense stick to burn the edges and some holes in places. Do this over a sink just incase you get too carried away.

Then rub the edges with a black wax crayon or similar.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

E-Motive Exhibition.

Jackie Bowcott
Originally uploaded by rejectamenta
My sketchbook spread selected for the 'We Love Your Books Exhibition'. See some of the others on Flickr.
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