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.

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