Today was one of the most enjoyable days I have spent with my passion for textile art for a very long time! A workshop run by Cas Holmes, where the theme for the day was 'Text and Image', is to be thoroughly recommended. Cas is an extremely inspirational textile artist, whose work, created mainly from found objects, and her wonderful ability to transform the seemingly mundane, into something profoundly beautiful and meaningful, is also a very generous teacher. I loved her phrase, 'design enema' which was how she suggested we approached the workshop today. After selecting three papers and three pieces of fabric from our own stash, we were then also allowed two pieces from a collection that we each donated to, and which was handed out to us by Cas.
To begin, we were encouraged to make rubbings onto our chosen fabrics/papers, and then to further experiment with simple mono prints. We used leaves, grasses and anything else that we had with us. It was such a good excuse to play, and see what results we could achieve with simple tools, and a restricted array of materials.
During lunch, we stitched as we ate, playing around again with our papers, fabrics and a needle and thread. At this point, we also added any text by either printing, or writing onto some of our peices. To be honest, I was so enjoying what I was doing, that I think I could quite happily have gone without my lunch, something that for me is almost unheard of!!
At this point, Cas demonstrated the next stage that we needed to carry out to take our work forward. This was where her expression 'design enema' became meaningfull! Using the papers and fabrics that we had worked on during the morning, we had to layer and collage them together, using a watered down cellulose paste, but WITHOUT giving too much thought to how we were placing things! I think most of us found this quite difficult, I know I did, and it made me realise that more often than not, I probably over think my design ideas on most occasions.
The result of my efforts is in the first photo at the top of this page, with the two underneath showing work in progress. Below, you can see two more attempts that I had a go at once I had returned home. All three need to dry out, and then have further work done on them, which could include further printing, collage, stitching, or even being cut up and reassembled.
Above are some examples of Cas's work which she had brought with her, and they really are very beautiful, these photos in no way do them justice I'm afraid. Below are further examples of her work, the booklet shows the work, Urban/Nature that she will be exhibiting at The Festival of Quilts in Birmingham from the 16th to 19th August this year, and again at The Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace in October also this year.
Above, a piece by Cas Holmes using a simple onion for inspiration, where the theme was 'bulbs'.
If you are going to the the FOQ's or the Knitting and Stitching show at Alexandra Palace, I can thoroughly recommend that you make visiting Cas Holmes exhibition, Urban/Nature, a priority!