Wednesday, March 28, 2012

50/50 Exhibition

Yesterday I had a day out in London with a friend; we visited the Contemporary Applied Art Gallery in Percy Street. We visited particularly too see the 50/50 exhibition by Matthew Harris and Cleo Mussi. I have admired images of Matthew Hariss’ textile work for a long time and it was interesting to see it in reality and to see the paper cartoons which he worked prior to the textile pieces Also on display were the sources of inspiration for their work which focused on items collected during their trips to Japan. I had not expected to like the mosaic work as I think it has in general a bad image, but it was fascinating and could I have afforded one of her reclaimed plates I would certainly being admiring it on my desk now.
We then went on a trek involving two buses to a related exhibition at Circus. CAA have an arrangement to use a display area in an office building, it was worth the effort to see three pieces of Louise Baldwins’ work. Next door was the Conran shop where we oowed and swooned at the furniture and beautifully displayed items. They had used old books stripped of their covers piled up as display items  - if I had the space I could do the same as I do have piles of old books!
I also took some of my work to City Lit. for their textile exhibition which will be from April 23rd to 7th May; so if you are in London do go and have a look.

For Morna here is some information about Cocoon Strippings, they are very cheap and very useful.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Cocoon Strippings

A few pictures of some ‘paper’ I made from Cocoon Strippings related to the theme of disintegration and the rabbits skeleton which I found and drew from recently. I intend to work on this theme over the next months.

This sort of fabric paper, in case you have not come across it, is made by placing cocoon strippings on a piece of net or similar, spraying with water, covering with another piece of net and then gently ironing. The strippings contain natural serecin gum and this enables them to stick together. Last year I made an artists’ book using quite a lot of this ‘fabric’ and included pine needles, and fragments of writing. It is quite easy to add bits and pieces as you layer it up.

This sample is not really successful but I was also trying out edges and ideas for using my new Embellisher. I had to have one and you know I deserve it!

The holes were made by burning with an incense stick and using a punch. As you see it is also possible to draw onto the ‘fabric’.
Don't forget Stitched's March blog hop,details in the previous posts.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Material Girls

For any of you in the area you may like to visit the above exhibition; come  to the opening morning on Saturday 24th and enjoy a piece of cake as well.

Don't forget this months blog hop tutorials celebrating 'Stitched'.

March 1st: Deborah
March 5th: Paula

March 8th: Mollie

March 13th:  Cindy Caraway

March 15th: Jennifer

March 20th: Kelli 

March 22nd: Tracie
March 27th: Alma

March 29th: Ann Tucker

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

'Stitched' Blog Hop Tut. Part 2

Now to make the fold book, decide on the pieces of printed fabric which you prefer. A useful tool is a card window made by cutting out two pieces of card at right angles.

These can be used to frame the areas of any design work to decide the area with which you would like to work.
Cut out the pieces of fabric about three by two and half inches. Use pinking shears for a decorative edge or fray the edges by removing a few threads on each side. Choose some white and some black pieces.
Here are instructions on how to cut and fold the card. Perhaps try it out on scrap paper first.
Fold 1.

Fold 2

Fold 3 & 4

Spread the card with its folds out in front of you and make a T shaped cut as shown outlined in white. A sharp blade and a safety ruler are ideal. If you use a blade gently stroke the line to be cut rather than trying cut in one stroke.

Your card should now nicely concertina into a folded book.

 Now add the fabric pieces working on both the back and front pages of the book. Fix with foam dots or glue. Use a white pen to give the front cover a title of your choice.
Decide how you want to fasten the book. You could use ribbon. A nice idea is to measure a piece of the printed fabric about eight and a half inches long by four times the finished width. Fold the edges in and stitch. Add a fastener, a small popper or similar.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Blog Hop Tut..

In this tutorial you will print fabric with ‘found objects’ and use your ‘prints’ to decorate a simple fold book.

Small pieces of both black and white fabric.
Found objects.
Black and white acrylic paint.
Sponge pieces.
A padded surface, such as a plastic bag over newspaper; or wrap a towel round a piece of board and cover this with a sturdy plastic bag.
Masking tape.
An A4 piece of black card.
Foam dots or glue.
A white gel pen.
Ribbon or a small popper for the book fastener.

Look around for lids, cotton reels, pieces of foam or card, combs, nails etc. to print your patterns. Beware, you will never want to throw this type of ‘stuff’ away again.  All sorts of packaging material will become addictive and begin to hold wondrous possibilities. In short you will soon run out of space.

For printing you need to tape your piece of fabric to a padded
surface. You will dab the paint onto the object, being careful not to use too heavy an application of paint. You may want to dab onto a piece of tissue before you print. Keep practising until you get a feel for the right amount of paint.

Old cotton reels make some of my favourite shapes and are often quite intricate.
Print one shape inside another. Overlap shapes. Use a piece of card to make crosses etc. Build up patterns.
Corks are useful. Print with them as they are or carefully cut out a simple shape at one end.

If you have some old embossed cards, I don’t suggest you use your credit card, but perhaps an old membership card of some kind, you can print with them to add letters and numbers. They will of course be in reverse. Using scissors you can cut shapes out of the plastic to add more interest.

So enjoy yourselves and I will be back later to show you how to 
 make a fold book and decorate it.

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