Friday, 17 November 2017

Excited for creativity in 2018

There's still 6 weeks or so of 2017 left, but my calendar is filling up already with creative things to do.

As regular readers of my blog are aware I regularly sign up for far too many online courses.  Earlier this year I determined that I would try to do less online and more in-person workshops.  I haven't been totally successful with the online courses but I have booked some great workshops for next year.

Leslie Morgan: Unlocking the Mystery of Creative Play
‘How do I make better work?’ We will look at simple language and principles of design found in the physical world. Working from a personal starting point, discover tools to create contrast and harmony using colour, value, size, shape, and texture. Bring your curiosity to discover what you like and how to achieve the elements you need to work with your theme and create effective compositions.

Amanda Hislop: Developing Sketchbooks as a Rich Resource
A two day creative workshop working with a free approach to generating ideas through a working sketchbook, exploring abstract ideas and personal themes relating to land and seascapes. Explore mark making to develop exciting sketchbook pages, work with loose marks on paper with drawn lines, resist wash and layered tissue to develop a surface to fragment creating a series of abstract images to develop into personal sketchbook pages, with the option to include hand stitch to further enhance the surface.

Debbie Lyddon: Exploring Place
Discover new ways of inspiring your creative work by using all of your senses to observe the world around you. Part of this workshop will be spent outside – looking, listening and touching – to collect information from the environment. This material will be documented with drawing, sound recording and writing. Back in the studio your collections will form a starting point for experiments with paper, cloth, stitch, mark-making, collage and printing to create a unique and personal record of your exploration of place.

Cas Holmes: Spaces Places Traces
The colours and textures in the urban and natural landscape, from light raking over a ploughed field, bright summer flowers, to buildings reflected in water can provide stimulus for the design process involved in the creation of the narrative, formal or abstract qualities in textile and mixed media work. We will use a range techniques from the application of dyes and paints ,to create marks, to informal collage, appliqué involving the bonding of fabrics best described as ‘painting with cloth. This will include the application of sun printing techniques, weather allowing, as part of this explorative process.   These newly created surfaces, with the addition of stitch, will evolve into individual samples and pieces reflecting the locality and places which inspire you.

Julia Triston: Analysing Colour
This is a design workshop all about analysing colour. There will be several practical sketchbook based exercises working with papers, paints and threads. We will investigate compositions, collages, colour proportions and colour distinctions. Students will work at their own pace to develop a range of ‘samples’ which may be used as inspiration for stitched textiles. An ideal workshop for those wishing to develop their design skill basics further and really get to grips with using colour in their work.

Alice Fox: Land Marks
Exploring the wonderful surroundings we will use a variety of ways to record the landscape around us. Using gathered materials in a range of techniques we will make marks that record our experience, bringing these together into tactile book forms.

The first one is in January and the workshops are spaced out across the year as far as September.  I think I need to stop booking classes now!

Thanks for joining me today.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Cutting up a piece of work

Last year I did an Art Cloth course at Littleheath Barn with Liske Johnson.   In my last post about it I said I was going to quilt it.  Well I didn't.  It's been on the back of a chair for months and then I took it back to Littleheath Barn and printed on it some more.

I was still not very keen on the art cloth so I cut it up!  And tried out various compositons using some fabric I had bought (and loved) and not known what to do with.

After some thought and a conversation with Sushi who is a quilter I made some headway with it.  Although first I ordered some more fabric from The Bramble Patch.
The fabric on left, whilst it matched some of the images on the art cloth, was too bright so I decided to use the fabric on the right.

I cut some strips and machined them together.

I cut a strip of the strips and machined it to the art cloth and added the strip at the bttom.

 I did the same with the bottom piece and machined the pieces together.

Then I added the pieces on the right.

Sushi suggested I made a binding with the strips and I've just placed it (rather badly) on the cloth to see what it looks like.

Before I quilt it and bind it I want to print some more over the top of the whole thing to try to integrate the strips into the whole thing and hopefully knock back some of the white.

There's a new Art Cloth course starting in February.And I'm going to be doing it.

Thanks for joining me today.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Jackie Cardy Workshop

At the end of last month I went to a workshop led by Jackie Cardy.  I went with two friends from Traverse - Dia and Cath.   The workshop was organised by Becca from Textile Explorations.

We started with a practice piece.

 After felting and drying.

Then we moved on to pre-felts which I don't remember ever doing before.  We made double-sided pieces.

In the afternoon we moved on to making our main piece.  This is the background.

I didn't take any photos whilst I was adding the pre-felts so my photos skip to the felted piece.

The piece needed to dry overnight so that we could start sewing the next day.

We started machining on our practice piece.

Between my inability to free machine properly and my dislike of the black thread I didn't get along too happily.  I switched to navy blue which I preferred.  Then I moved on to my main piece.
Photo by Becca Birtles

I really struggled with the stitching because I thought I had to get it really accurate and around the shapes but once it dawned on me that it could look more like this drawing I did, I relaxed a bit.

After the machining I started adding handstitching.

I'm not totally keen on the fact that the uprights are slanting so I may cut it up.  I haven't yet but this is what it would look like using cropped photos.

I loved the technique and may start another piece soon.

Thanks for joining me today.

Friday, 3 November 2017

Textile Tags

Recently I attended a workshop called Textile Tags at Littleheath Barn Studio run by Liske & Claire.  We were encouraged to rummage through their scrap bag to find fabrics to print on.

I chose the pinks and oranges and after printing on them with stamps and thermofax xscreens I tore them up and collaged bits onto a piece of fabric-backed bondaweb.

I did another A4 sheet starting with the blues and neutrals but added some colour when it looked too neutral.

I used my machine both with straight stitch and preprogrammed stitches

Then I machined shapes on the collaged fabric and cut them out.

I didn't like the shape of the one on the right so machined it again as a triangle.

I've still got some of the collaged fabric left.  Not sure whether I will make more tags or do something else with it.

Thanks for joining me today

Monday, 30 October 2017

Photos for Inspiration

While I was away I took lots of photos that those who do art or craft of any kind will understand.  They are of strange and wonderful things - not at all related to the holiday in terms of memories but inform your creativity.  I have whittled them down to 24!

A rusty roof


Rusty chain on a boat


 Decaying wood


Weathered rocks that look like rust

Kauri tree bark at the Kauri Museum

Weathered rock

Fountain and its reflection


Rust on old trains

I don't know that I will ever reproduce any of these photos exactly in my work but they will inform my thinking as I work on my projects.

If you would like any of these photos let me know.  You can download them directly from the blog or email me and I will send you the better quality versions.  Blogger insists you compress the photos for uploading so are not really print quality.

Thanks for stopping by.