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.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Scrappy Cloth Moth Book........

.......Goodness, try saying that too fast! Anyway, I've been having fun again, making another scrappy cloth book. I can get quite inspired by moths, or rather, their wing patterns and colours can really inspire my imagination! The first photo shows the front cover. I made another card collagraph plate, loosely based on the Privet Hawk Moth, and printed it a number of times on a combination of either cloth or paper.

I've built up the backgrounds with odd bits and scraps of cloth, mostly from my own hand dyed or printed cloth. The remnants of colour/print on these scraps also informs the way I decorate them with either free machine stitch, or machine embroidery.

I find that as I'm machining, a little story starts to build up in my head.

For example, the scraps and colours on the page above, and where they were placed made me think about toadstools and snowflakes! These thoughts helped me to decide where to stitch, and what to hint at.

Some of the moth prints have been left without too much detail, like the one above, whereas the one below has far more detail, added with crayon as well as stitch.

These little books are all about experimentation, and will hopefully lead to me making some finished art pieces for the wall.

Above the back of the book, and below, the card printing plate for the moth, and  for the Christmas cards I've also been making which you can see below that.

The cards don't seem to have photographed very well, the backgrounds look a bit dirty, and the trees a bit dull. They are much brighter, but maybe it's the glitter glue that hasn't come out too well. Such wonderful stuff though, and quite addictive!

Christmas is coming folks, if it's something you celebrate too, I hope your preparations are well under way! See you next time.

Friday, 15 November 2013

A Little Sampler Book

I've been experimenting at home this week with the collagraph and layering techniques we were taught by Cas Holmes last weekend. I have used the same collagraph plate of the boat for all except one, but have used it differently each time. I decided to make them all up into a little folding book. The cover, which you see above has a monoprint of another boat, plus a collagraph of a lighthouse, both taken from my sketchbook. I've used scraps of my own dyed/printed fabrics for the layering up, and I think they have added interest as a backgrounds.

The above image was printed with red and black paint, giving the sky a stormy sunset effect. I decided to cover the boat with some light open weave fabric, letting the paint show through, but giving me a lighter, textured surface to stitch into. I also gave the lobster net a similar treatment, and added the shell for interest.

Just the lighthouse on this piece, with some lace for a stormy sea effect, and yellow netting for the beams of light. 

This time, I printed the boat onto rag paper, using brown and red paint. The paint probably wasn't think enough, so I cut the boat shape out completely, and appliqued it down onto the fabric background.

Collagraphed onto some rusted fabric, and then stitched.

I made a rubbing with brown and red oil pastels using tea bag paper over the collagraph plate. This was then placed pastel side down onto the background fabric, and ironed. The heat melted the oil pastel, blending it into the fabric with a good soft effect, and the stitching helped to define the boat shape again.

This is the back of the book, made from something I had stitched previously, with another shell print. I thought it fitted in well with the theme.

These last two images, are to show how the book has been constructed into a concertina. I have really enjoyed playing around with these different ideas, and the little book will remind me of the techniques I have used and experimented with.

Now I need to think of a new theme for my next project using another collagraph plate. Hmmm, I think this could become addictive!

Thanks for looking in!

Monday, 11 November 2013

Collagraph weekend workshop with Cas Holmes

A brilliant weekend workshop led by Cas Holmes. We started by making a collagraph plate with thin card, and I decided to use this fuchsia flower image for mine.

In the middle of the above image is my collagraph plate, but by this time I had used a selection of dark acrylic paints on the surface, so the detail isn't showing here. I had also added a key and a keyhole cover in brass, for a contrast to the flower shape.

We also layered up our prints with a selection of papers and fabrics, holding them together with Cas's technique using watery wallpaper paste. They were left to dry over night, and then we spent the following day working into them with hand and machine stitch. Above, before stitch was added, and below after.

These were all just experimental pieces, but I was very pleased with the results from the collagraph printing, A technique new to me.

My second piece, showing a detailed close-up of the stitching.

Cas also encouraged us to consider the back of our work, because it can sometimes give very pleasing results. Not too sure about my piece below though!

Above, the results of a very interesting experiment where we had to draw the person sitting opposite us without taking our pencil from the papers surface, and keeping our eyes on the face without looking at our paper. I think I've created the next alien for Doctor Who!!!

I decided that I really wanted to own a piece of art by Cas Holmes. so bought the small Water Iris you see above. I'm really thrilled with it, and can't wait to put it in a frame and hang it on a wall. Below, is the back view of it, and every bit as interesting as the front, but without the colour.

Today, I just had to have another play with this, new to me technique, and made a small plate (below), from the sketch in my sketchbook above.

I think the image below has worked quite well.

This one has been layered up with some other bits, and I will hopefully stitch into it tomorrow when the paste has dried.

Above, is a totally different textile that I finished today. It is for a challenge called 'All in a days work', and is A3 size. There never seems to be enough time in any day for me to do everything I want to do, so I thought that the inner workings of a clockwork piece would fit the bill! It's certainly a huge contrast from what I did at the weekend, but at least it will hopefully keep me from getting stuck in a rut!

This is the second workshop I've attended led by Cas Holmes, and all I can say is that personally, I find her an extremely inspirational teacher, and someone who encourages a very relaxed, serendipitous attitude to the techniques that she teaches. If you get the chance, I can thoroughly recommend one of her classes.