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.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Dying and Inspiration in the Garden.

Inspired by Maggi Birchenough's blog posts here, I decided to dig out my dyes and other dying paraphernalia and have a go with the soy wax technique. It was a warm dry day here on Saturday, so an ideal day to play around in the garden with it all. Above you can see my tubs of thickened dye. with the sample colours, (they all look so dark in the pots I couldn't tell which was which!) Below, are the three screens I made with the soy wax as a resist, and you can see that I'd used one already when I took this photo.

Now I haven't done any dying for at least two or maybe three years, so it was all very experimental, but I scraped colour onto my samples of  soda soaked cloth, and played around with my screens. There are a couple where I didn't use the screens, and the leafy piece was one of those, but I quite liked the way the leaves printed.

The colours are rather garish in some of them, I'd forgotten just how lurid the yellow can be but hey, it was good fun, and I have some dye paste left over, so hopefully another day of fun to look forward to later this week.

Still on the map theme, I've been exploring ideas in my sketch book, and decided to focus on a couple of the squares from my July jq, (see my last post by scrolling down the page.) 

On the left page above, I have actually stitched a small sample, and I like the effect of the heavy stitching in white on the fabric surface. I have, however, decided to do away with the wave shapes at the bottom, and I will probably base my August jq on this design.

A couple of years ago I went to the exhibition above at The British Museum, and as you can see I bought the book. There are some wonderful examples of Aboriginal art in this book, and I've been studying them again today for inspiration. The examples below I feel would translate into stitch so beautifully, but of course there has to be some personal relevance to anything I produce.

Again, thinking about maps, and my fascination with ' a bird's eye view' aspect, I had the idea of looking down on our garden, simplifying the shapes, but using line, texture and a monochromatic palette. I stitched black on black, with the idea of giving it all a thin wash of white gesso afterwards, but I'd hoped that the black polyester thread would repel the paint! This didn't happen, so I used a cream paint for the dots, and then re-stitched over certain areas in black. I need to rethink this technique/idea, but I'll leave you with my results, and many thanks to you if you've managed to stick with me to the end of this rambling post!