Working on my life’s journey in maps of all the places I have lived, there’s far more of the early years as my mother dearly loved a move. Her idea of a fun Sunday afternoon trip out was looking round building site, before health and safety made builders screen them off. I think there will be more to come as I map all the walks I used to do with my friend Libby.
Spending a few days adding a little minimal stitching to (hopefully) enhance my large Shibori piece. Proving a pain in more than one way as I’m suffering with a really painful thumb joint which makes pulling the needle through excruciating so it’s been going very slowly. Hoping I’ve finished but looking at the pic just wondering if I need more.
I had a great day recently with the lovely Vinny Stapley at her studio on Mersey Island on the Essex coast. We were exploring the Japanese Paste resist technique, Katazame. We were using a simple flour and water paste but I think traditionally the Japanese used rice flour paste. A technique that I had not heard of before.
The first method we used was applying the flour paste straight on to fabric, spreading it thinly with a spatula allowing it to dry and then scratching marks into it. Also applying the paste through a needle nosed bottle. Then applying colour using screen printing inks, not a method I would normally use being more familiar with procion dye paste but the screen inks are more instant.
We then squeezed the paste through a commercial stencil and lastly through a hand cut stencil.
A really enjoyable day learning a new (to me) technique, one I think I will probably use in the future but using my preferred procion dye paste.
|The rather splendid venue was Stoke Rochford Hall, near Grantham, Lincs. Very imposing on our arrival and even more impressive at nightime, all lit up.|
We were asked to bring a small collection of natural objects to work from either
shells/coral/barnacles or seeds/pods/cones, mine are pictured above.
The first evening was spent with loosening up drawing exersizes, working big and with the
wrong, in my case, left hand. making interesting marks from our chosen objects.
|We then went on to some relaxing stitching, working with our ‘favourite’ stitch and trying to exagerate it’s qualities – open/closed, stretched, thick/thin, big/small, high/low.|
|The following day we made large drawings from the marks on our subject matter|
|We then went on to make similar marks on the long rolls of emulsion painted fabric that||Kay had prepared for us|
|We continued to stitch on the fabric using the stitches we had familiarised ourselves with earlier. Both the marks and the stitches are an expressive interpretation of the source material.|
Looking for a change of direction I have been visiting some exhibitions lately in the hope of finding inspiration.
A recent visit to the NCCD at Sleaford with Lorna where we met up with Mary Sleigh to see two exhibitions, the first of some wonderful weavings. Sadly no photography was allowed so no pictures here to show you. The second exhibition – ‘Soft Engineering: Textiles Taking Shape’ showed some wonderful skill and artistry, Alison Ellen’s creative knitting, Ann Richard’s wonderful woven Jewellery, although maybe better described as body sculpture. Ann uses a variety of mediums in her pieces metal, silk,linen and polyester to name but a few. She uses the different way each material reacts to wet finishing to create the twisted, pleated finish. Deidre Woods weavings, using a narrow loom to weave braid-like pieces which she then combines with folding to make complex forms.
My second outing was to attend Jane Callender’s book launch at the Warner Textile Archive in Braintree. Jane is an acknowledged expert on Indigo and Shibori dyeing. I have been making some very inexpert attempts at Shibori recently, particularly attending a class with Jude Kingshott using stitched Shibori on previously Procion dyed fabric which is then overdyed with Indigo, and find myself fascinated by the technique. So maybe this is the way to go.
The final image here is pole wrapped Shibori on fabric pre-dyed with Pottasium Permanganate and then Indigo.
Returned last evening from an exhilarating if tiring Group weekend workshop with wonderful Diane Bates. Almost all of us were there including our mentor Anthea Godfrey, just Ellen and Janette missing the fun, although Janette managed a visit yesterday afternoon.
Anthea and Susan during the Saturday evening discussion.
|A 3d piece by Lorna|
|Work by Melinda|
|Another 3D piece this time Anthea’s|
|Libby, Anthea and Lorna and above some of Libby’s work.|
|Tricia and felicity hard at work and to the right a piece if Felicity’s work.|
We all had a great time and maybe some of the work will feature in future exhibitions. Also our thanks must go to the Zinc Arts Centre in Chipping Ongar (Essex) for the use of their excellent facilities andfriendly staff.