Wednesday, 16 April 2008

A Textile Challenge

I realise it's ages since I last posted, no excuses but have tried to keep my fingers busy. Thought you might like to see what I've been up to of late. The above little arch was made especially for kiwicarole in New Zealand, We're both taking part in the monthly arch page challenge set by Carol T. of Textile challenges group. My task was to produce a piece of work entitled 'My Garden'. Now at the time the only blooming things in my garden were daffodils and tulips which are still going strong I might add, but not truly inspiring, however the lovely dried, aged hydrangea heads left from last year were compelling and beckoned to be recycled. One problem............

the British weather turned spring into a Christmas scene overnight, we had at least 3inches of snow, just as I was already to create. Thankfully it didn't last long and I was able to proceed.

After separating the flower heads and allowing them to dry fully on some kitchen paper I prepared a base of bandage skrim plastered thinly, so some of the skrim shows through, with tinted paper perfect (you could also use gesso with a hint of acrylic paint to colour instead) and allowed this to dry overnight.

The surface wasn't exactly right so I then placed some little pieces of 'glue gun motifs', these were left overs from a previous experiment but so easy to achieve. I highlighted these with some coloured wax before adding the flower heads with tiny spots of bondaweb and using parchment to protect the iron. The wax melts slightly so care is needed here, don't be too heavy handed with the iron! The petals need to be protected too or they would eventually disintegrate, I tried giving them a coat of acrylic wax but found that to be insufficient, the only remedy was to trap them under the lightest of white chiffon, again the wax melts and a lot of the gorgeous background fades a little.

this is what I really wanted to achieve ..... so I'm afraid it's back to the drawing board!

These are but a few of the 'glue gun' motifs, it's a fun method for further experimentation with loads of possibilities.

This post card I sent to Carol T. It was given the aging treatment with patination fluid then coloured further with wax, placed on a background of twin needled sheers, chopped up and reformed.

Remember the rustic bag I was endeavouring to make and having such a terrible time trying to fathom out just how to create the look that author/designer Isobel Hall achieved? well it's all but finished, and just a few more stitches around the top - hence the pins. I had a stroke of luck earlier this month when visiting sewing for pleasure at Birmingham, the lady herself was there exhibiting and what a lovely person she is, so giving and generous with her time and information (don't you just hate it when they are over precious and act like it's never been done before!) I mentioned the blood sweat and tears that Id gone through trying to get a backing fabric that worked and she told me that the fabric she had actually used was ages old so that was probably the reason!!!!!! Now you tell me!

Anyway, I've completed, well almost, and in true recycling tradition have used every last thread from the backing fabric which had been pulled, teased apart and re-stitched, having used metal piping for the handles I stuffed these with said paper and fibres a) to make them more robust and b) to give them a sense of belonging, I think it works.

can you guess what it is yet????? yes, a double glue gun motif which has been pressed into a rubber printing mat while the glue was still hot ( just remember to allow the glue to go cold before removing from the mat) there's so much texture in this it seemed wasteful not to use it. Afterwards it was patina'd, waxed, painted and stitched to the front.

Do hope your not all bored to tears yet?

I have to mention about the recent exhibition at Peterborough, It appears it was a great success and my little recycled clutch bag was sold.I have mixed feelings. I do hope her new owner loves her and takes care of her.

Unfortunately all was not good, Fran's beautiful little beaded pin from her shawl was stolen - how rotten is that? This is a big learning curve for all exhibitors -BEWARE.

I'm now in the process of getting my next piece ready for our forthcoming exhibition at Oxford University. This exhibition is named ' ...... and thereby hangs a tale', It's an exciting one for me as we are using hangings which we all have previously made under the guidance of Cherrilyn. Mine is my large C+G piece 'fossiled evidence' created from 'silk paper' with embedded ephemera, definitely not for sale ...much too precious. hopefully I'll have some photo's later.

Many thanks Carol for nominating me as one of you inspirational bloggers, that was way, way back in March so sorry for the delay ... you know what I'm like! as for me my list of reading is endless so I couldn't possibly begin to choose, and anyway I'm such a novice at this I can't manage anything but the simplest of posts. Still haven't worked out how to add links to people and groups by placing the word 'here'. .... all instructions gratefully received

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