A blog about making art and other things using cloth, paper, paint, colour, stitch, and all sorts of exciting techniques, some of which I'm sure I still have to discover! I hope that the joy all this gives me is visible in what you can see here.
Friday, 30 July 2010
Here is the finished article from the piece I started at the weekend. I have to say that it hasn't really lived up to my expectations, not sure what the problem is, but maybe I'll put it away for a week or two, then have another look and maybe re-consider whether to make any changes. I suppose that when we decide to experiment with something, with no real idea of what we want the outcome to be, we're taking a risk! Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn't. The main thing is to have fun though, and to be honest, I'm not sure what else I could have used this fabric for anyway, so there we go!!
Well, I've made a few changes to try and improve things, it is better, still not as I'd hoped, but that is definitely it now, no more messing about. I took Maggi's advice and tried some darker values at the top, and some lighter ones in the distance. It has certainly helped, so thanks Maggi, a fresh eye can often see what is needed.
I've been feeling a bit uninspired recently, so decided to play around with some leftover bits and pieces and trials from other projects. No pressure to create a wonderful piece of art, but to simply enjoy playing! I jiggled the bits around on top of some wadding until I felt they made a pleasing arrangement, and then filled in the gaps with some hand dyed cottons and silk. I quilted all this down, then covered the joins with some black/purple knitting wool which I couched down by machine. Certainly not a great masterpiece, but I had fun, and it's given me an idea for a fure project!
I came across some fabric today that I had tray dyed, but wasn't particularly fond of. Some of it reminded me of Autumn trees against a blue sky, so I decided to cut this section out. Another section had lots of green, a very grassy green, so I cut this out too, turned it on it's side, and placed it below the first piece as a foreground. I also found some pinky, orangy brown cotton that I had hand dyed, and decided that this would look good as tree trunks in the foreground too. That's as far as I've got so far, but will continue to work on this as I feel it has promise.
I wish I'd taken a photo of the screen after I'd prepared it for this print. It was a "breakdown" screen, and to start I dropped lots and lots of elastic bands down onto a large piece of clingfilm. I placed the screen down on top, and then spooned petrol blue and golden yellow print paste into the well of the screen. I pulled the squeegee across the screen four or five times to make sure the paste had really penetrated through the mesh. I carefully pulled off the clingfilm, but left the elastic bands on the screen until the print paste had thoroughly dried. Once I'd removed the bands, I used uncoloured printe paste on the screen, because the dried paste gradually "broke down" as I printed onto the dried, pre-soda soaked cotton cloth. Each print has a slightly different depth of colour, but I'm quite pleased with the results, although I'm not sure yet what I'll use them for.
I recently spent a day at Box Hill in Surrey, and as we went to sit on an old log to rest from the hot sun, we noticed these amazing patterns. Where the bark had fallen off it had exposed what had been going on underneath, surely the work of some beetle or other insect that had been burrowing beneath the bark. I just had to take some photos, because I'm sure I will be using these wonderful patterns created by nature to inspire some of my own stitch art.
If you look back at my post for 17th February you'll see the pieced quilt top that I had constructed from the hand dyed fabrics produced on my C2C workshop. Well, having looked and pondered over it for the last few months, I decided against the discharge work on the dark areas, and instead, appliqued some extra dark pieces onto the lighter areas, and then used three colours from some markal sticks to colour areas of the dark strips. I've also heavily quilted the whole surface, but used the markings of the lighter areas to dictate the patterning, and used sraight lines on the plain surfaces. Hopefully some of this quilting will be visible from the close-up photos below.
Here is my July Journal Quilt for the cqgb. The same techniques were used as for the May and June quilts, small pieces of fabric bonded onto background fabric to build up a mosaic like pattern. Machine quilted and finished with metallic fabric paints.
Two months ago I started by mixing up some dye paste, quite a dark greeny grey, almost black, and decided to have a go at sucking it into a pipette and then "drawing with it onto a metre of cotton sateen. I had previously scraped with an old credit card over the surface of this fabric using a dark brown dye paste which had given it a bit of background texture. The dye paste was a bit too runny, and the pipette had quite a large hole, so my results were a bit dissapointing and too splodgy. (Top left)
I decided to overdye the piece with an olive green which I quite liked, but the whole effect was rather dark. I was still unhappy with the heavy splodgy pattern, so decided to use some discharge paste over this area to see if I could improve it. You can see the results above.
Today, I have used even more discharge paste, and having washed it and hung it out to dry, (bottom photo) I think my next step will be to overdye the whole piece yet again. I may use lemon yellow, or maybe a light blue. Either way, the olive green shouldn't be affected too much, but the discharged areas should take up the colour. The fabric looks more yellow in the bottom photo, because I photographed it on the washing line with the sun shining through it!! I will keep working on this piece until I'm satisfied with it, which at the moment I'm not, but this is what makes it such an interesting challenge.