Friday, 15 February 2008

Textiles in Focus '08

There were some great traders there too so of course I just had to treat myself, well it would have been rude not to. The recent Jan and Jean Books have been on my list of 'must have' for ages and the new one from the Fiberfusion team (also exhibiting here), so lots to keep me amused for awhile.

resolved samples with such originality... love the knitted knickers.


first year students sketch books ....... always a joy.







extremely organic wearable art by the final year students and so gracious allowing photographs.





I've had a truly lovely day today (actually yesterday as I'm writing this in the wee small hours), went to Cambridgeshire to the Textiles in Focus exhibition held at Cottenham Village College. A smallish venue but well worth a visit if your around the area this weekend or just fancy a drive out and a 'textile art fix'. I'ts on until Sunday and admission isn't an arm and a leg, there's some lovely inspirational work and displays.Tracy A. Franklin is lecturing on Saturday and I believe there's a plethora of workshops too. Some of the college students are exhibiting their final pieces, they definitly had the wow factor.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

shaping up

I love the way the tulle has created shadows, this is exactly what I tried to achieve with my hanging.


it's good to see a piece of design work in another dimension, suddenly there's possibilities.

Friday, 8 February 2008

bags with paper and stitch

The general idea is that you cover the reverse side of the fabric with coffee or tea dyed newspaper, free machine stitch in 'meandering vertical lines' then brush, teasel or pull away pieces of the paper - scissors are not allowed as the edges would be too neat. Sounds a piece of cake, doesn't it? Well as you can see from my samples all i seem to manage is a furry mess. If anyone has attempted this please feel free to offer advice ... before the whole lot is binned.






I've been playing around with 'papers as background fabrics' for years, preffering to recycle rather that buy. So finding isobell Hall's book 'bags with paper and stich was a revelation, now there's something to make with all of the papers i produce. At college everyone is at it too, we are all producing the same bag but obviously with our own individual interpretations, should be interesting. Ms Hall recommends that the right furnishing fabric is key to this project, you need a design that is loosely woven at the back for distressing purposes. This sounds easier said than done, I must have raided every charity shop, market stall and furnishing shop in the area in search for the elusive 'loosley woven fabric'. Along the way I've sampled up with anything that looked right for the job but so far just mitigating disasters

Thanks Again

Thanks again to everyone who left such lovely comments, not sure what i'm up to but they refused to show, hopefully it's sorted now.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

I in contrast my second piece is so very different. a soft throw/hanging in layers of black tulle with random blocks of coloured sheers. This piece of work gave me nightmares! I wouldn't like to say how much black tulle i actually used, think i've kept John Lewis in business this past month or so ! and the piece is barely a metre in length, it took so much sampling.

a completed piece

After all of my trials and tribulations this little clutch bag just fell into place. The fabric paper behaved beautifully while i lined it with silk and turned the whole thing inside out. the many layers of waxing had eventually paid off.For detail i added a small manipulated piece of embroidered and burned felt as a clasp.

quilted paper


After many sheets of tissue paper which had been inked, waxed andwaxed again i returned to Carol's journal cover where i used a twin needle for some interesting but uncomplicated stitch and thought how well it had worked on the 'made fabric'. i've tried to replicate the process here with added pieces of felt squeezed between the lines (not an easy task!) the results were ok, had a real problem keeping it supple and waxed.
just love these surfaces; more inks and waxes, but this continues to be an exercise of desperation as i still dont know where i'm going!

moving it along

the painted papers really worked especially once some stitches had been added,this particular piece was aimed at my first idea; a vessel of some sort but i hated the hard cut edges ... back to the drawing board as they say. I then began to experiment further with layering crumpled tissue paper over a calico base string was trapped between. I then used diluted walnut inks with highlights for colour but no stitch. the surface and texture is awesome, very crinckley but a strong fabric because of the pva coatings.
in contrast this 'fabric' has equal strength it's made from a similar recipe minus the pva. instead used lots of waxes which have given a much nicer surface ... reminds me of hide.
stamping ..... not a lot more one can say about this other than the colours!
this is where things begin to get interesting for me - a little EUREKA moment. papers; layered pulped,embellished, gesso'd, stitched painted, waxed tea and coffee stained ... lovely

still sampling (yawn)

this is an inked sample using bleach to discharge the pattern/design, i then folded the paper and stitched ... still not sure why?
various dyed fabrics and papers using coffee, tea and acid dyes
The stencilled design transfered to acid dyed kunin felt. I then Free machined an outline and burned out areas with the soldering iron...... this piece has possibilities
this was a sample of synthetic velvet, foiled and finally embellished with the design highlighted from the back ...... not so wonderful, as it felt like a piece of axminster
more kunin felt, this time with the positive stencil and raised cable stitch.

from my pencil sketches i then isolated 'interesting areas' and made positive and negative stencils, which proved to be useful later on.

a pencil sketch trying to capture the markings and textures within the blocks, accompanied by a sample block of painted cartridge paper in which i have trapped lengths of string for a raised effect.
these are my prefered colours. A couple of random samples using Dylon image maker from a photocopy and a pencil sketch.

rubbings and mark making, as I only had a purple crayon with me that day some improvisation was necessary.
I always seem to have to go through the same old designing principles before getting to anything worthy of stitch, taking me forever to 'get it off the page' (as Carol T will no doubt testify!) I love the process but sometimes it takes over and i tend to go off on one so if anyone has any helpful tips/advice all will be gratefully received.After quick sketches and painted papers I decided to continue my theme of using recycled paper. The quality of Some of my photographs leave a lot to be desired but hope you'll get the idea.

The wooden blocks which made up the staircase were a wonderful source of inspiration. They resembled the small printing blocks used in the newspaper industry many years ago without the lettering but had so many interesting individual markings. It wasn't long before i was on all fours taking rubbings with pencil and crayons! I used these later when i was creating the journal for Carol.

work in progress

Life happens when your busy doing other things.....

I do apologise for my blogging inactivity of late but i have kept very busy with my design and stitch despite having had a tough time with family illness.
Peterborough museum are currently hosting the Meniscus exhibition, of which I'm part and have submitted a couple of pieces of work. I have to admit to feeling right out of my depth as work from the others is absolutley stunningly fabulous, if any one lives nearby please drop in and have a butchers. Admission is free and the museum is open daily 10am - 5pm ( although not sure about mondays)