Monday, February 28, 2011

More birds.

I started the week by working on the bird sketchbook, I’ve been a bit distracted since, but at least I have done something for this year’s theme. A year goes so quickly, and last year I sort of stopped and never really got into it again.

I have done some brief sketches of birds illustrated in the book 'African Textiles' by John Gillow.
For anyone near enough there will be an exhibition of bags (last year’s project) in various styles made by ‘Material Girls’ in the library Tadley (Hampshire). The exhibition will be put up today, Monday, so look out for it. There are some very well made and nicely stitched bags, so do take a look if you are local.

I did some monoprinting; one of my current favourite things using water based printing inks.

This one is pretty rough but fun, done on the back of a used envelope.

I also made a cover for my sketchbook; this bird was drawn with Derwent Ink Tense crayons on cotton and then covered with fabric medium. I then washed it to remove some of the plasticy feel of the medium, which took away some of the colour and gave a nice fresco like look. As it is not going to be washed I suppose, thinking about it, I could have just used water to bring out the colours

Christine has asked about Egyptian applique, sorry I can't get back to you, but hopefully you will see this. P150 in John Gillow's book he has a whole illustrated section on this style of applique, which apparently used to all be made in the Street of the Tent-makers.It seems to have mainly been turned hem work using figurative, geometric or calligrphic motifs. I'm sure you would find some examples on the net.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Wax and Rust

There used to be four guinea fowl in the garden where I work. From a distance they are a very cute and characterful bird, following each other in line like hunched backed old men. Closer up they are really strange, wearing what looks like white masks. Now there are only two and at times they seem to be quite viscous to each other. Their black and white spotted feathers are beautifully patterned.

A group that I belong to have the theme of ‘birds’ this year and are working towards a group display of some kind. Now I have quite a phobia towards anything which flutters, but I have braced myself to collect a few feathers and am making an effort to accommodate the idea of our feathered friends as a theme.

This is a combination of rusted paper, with some branding with a wood burning tool and wax. I have bought some dharma crystals and following instructions on You Tube have made my own encaustic medium. The only difficult bit was straining the black bits out of the dharma. I found that only a very thin layer of material is needed for the filter otherwise the wax cools quickly and and seals the filter. I am using an Batik beeswax, which is actualy much yellower than the pictures show. I like the yellow tinge, but I know that I probably should use refined beeswax. I will not be adding pigment so perhaps it doesn't matter.

If you want to have a go here is the link to the video. I left my wax in the wax pot rather than making little ‘cakes’ as it is the only way I can melt the wax at the moment. I painted on the wax with a brush and then ironed it flattish. Making the medium is quite a smelly process, so you need to have good ventilation in case of fumes. Also stir the beeswax and dharma well; otherwise it tends to congeal at the bottom of the pot.

The January session of my course consisted of making a lino cut having made a pattern from a randomly selected postcard. The results were limited but I made a couple of birthday cards for my sons and a sort of pouch bag from the material I printed on the day. I can’t say I that I felt satisfied by the day, and didn’t feel I learned much or came away with any new ideas or inspiration. Perhaps it was just down to my mood?

Its just occured to me that the bird may swallow the spider; I hope not, I feel quite protective of my new pet.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Nearly finished, Persian Palaces.

I’ve been doing little bits of stitching each day on the hanging. One day last week I had a burst of energy and decided that I had done enough and it was time to tackle the backing and binding. It went well using 505 spray which is one of my favourite products to attach the layers before adding the binding. For both the binding and the hanging sleeve I referred to a CD which came with one of my copies of ‘thr3fold journal’. on which Linda Kemshall demonstrates how to do these finishes, which it is easy to forget when you don’t do it very often.

I have read Design Matters monthly newsletter regularly for a long time, and have a copy of their book ‘The Painted Quilt’. I haven’t succumbed to their TV show on-line, but that may happen one day. So for their help with this project I will make them both my blog heroes for February.

It is not quite finished yet, a few more stitches needed on the hanging sleeve, and we have agreed some kind of dangles on the bottom edge, what these will be I have yet to decide, washers or beads??

Welcome to people who have recently started to follow the blog, I try to get back to people to say  'hello' but that's not always possible.
      By the way I hope you are not frightened of spiders!

Saturday, February 05, 2011

'Black and White' detail.

For the February Sketchbook Challenge 'Opposites'.
Geometric with a hint of Klimt pattern.
Black and white gesso,and a white gel pen.
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