Monday, 23 March 2015

Embroidered Bag ...first of many?

On Saturday, I spent an enjoyable day at the North Herts and Beds Embroiderers' Guild on a bag making workshop, which was tutored by Alex Waylett . A girl can never have too many bags, I say. 

We each chose a piece of patterned fabric for the front of our bag and embellished it with machine embroidery and added a few beads and sequins for good measure. 

It's not often that I get an 'action shot' but this one was taken by my friend Jill came who came with me as a guest.  Jill is very creative but had never done any machine embroidery before but she made this lovely bag and is planning on making more. It's a shame that she doesn't live nearer or I'd be getting her more involved in all things embroidery related, until her conversion was complete : )

I could happily have spent a lot longer embellishing my fabric before I made it up my bag but quite rightly, Alex made sure we all left enough time to learn how to make up the bag before going home...and we all had a lovely finished bag to home with. 

It would be nice to embellish some of my growing pile of hand dyed and printed fabrics and to make them into bag. I bought a spare bag frame so what am I waiting for? If you would like to make a similar bag, Alex has a number of workshops scheduled this year at different venues, including some at Art Van Go

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Still writing with dye.....

Fortunately, I'm working on a piece that is made up of five separate pieces, which means that I can avoid working in the cold garage on a large table and can work on each piece individually in the kitchen. In the garage I balance a large piece of board between two trestle legs but in the kitchen I have used a smaller piece of board balanced between one of the trestle legs and the work top. It slopes down a little but I'm quite pleased with how the set up works and I can work for longer because I'm warmer. I'm layering colour by writing text, in layers on the fabric until I get the colours that I want. Partly due to the fact that I am printing on a thick linen and partly because I'm adding colour cautiously, it's taking some time and so being able to keep warm is important.

I've got plans to create a stitched sample for a completely unrelated piece and seeking inspiration I had Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn's 'In stitches' DVD running on my laptop whilst I was printing. How's that for multi-tasking?

This is the fabric after it was washed. I'm trying to create the type of colour variation that you would see in vegetation on the horizon and this is starting to build but is still some way off, albeit that it isn't quite as washed out as it appears in the photograph. Much more layering of text to do....

Monday, 2 March 2015

Taking Textiles Further - Inspired by Graffiti

Last weekend I enjoyed another Taking Textiles Further workshop. We only meet 3 times a year but even so, it seemed a particularly long since we last met. This time we were continuing with the theme of text but used graffiti as our inspiration.

This was my first attempt at graffiti and I'm sure that from now on, I'll be paying more attention to graffiti designs when I see any.  In my graffiti, I incorporated elements from my landscape photographs and used some landscape related words I've been 'playing with' recently. I even filled the letters with the textures I created for my flamingo in my lino printing workshop,  so one thing builds on another.

I cut and folded the page of graffiti into a book form to see if any interesting or abstract designs would emerge. 
I've used this folding and cutting technique before and have previously been pleased with the surprise designs that emerged but not so this time. I think this is probably because I don't really like seeing the obviously incomplete words, especially when it's such a large element of the overall design. 

So I did go back to the more traditional method of using two 'Ls' to isolate a few areas for consideration. To some extent this has the same issue but I do like the depth in the 'TES' piece and that this could be an idea worth progressing. 

We also cut out words relating to our theme and randomly over laid them...or as randomly as my brain would let me.

We then isolated areas of the words to draw, hoping some interesting and original designs would emerge. I think the first drawing has potential and I'll give it some thought about how I could develop it. Can you see which areas of the words I drew? No, I thought not.

Graffiti is far removed from my usual style of working but I really enjoyed it. I would like to create some more graffiti designs, probably using colours more akin to colours in the Chilean landscapes and putting a little more fore thought into it, now that I have a better idea of what I would like to achieve. I might even borrow some books on graffiti from the library. On the other hand I should read some of the books I already have in my pile first. I'm very inspired by my current project and am torn between following all the trails my research is leading me down and actually creating something. I guess it's better than having no ideas or leads to follow.....