Sunday, 22 November 2015

Painting with texture and stitch

Ice dyed fabric
Usually at this time of year, I'm up to my eyeballs at craft fairs. I decided to give them a miss this year as I've not been making the "gift" type of work recently which is ideal for the xmas markets.

This means I've been able to concentrate on projects more suitable for the textile/art fairs I want to be exhibiting more at next year. These are larger textile artworks and smaller cyanotype prints, available framed or unframed and a more varied colourful palette from my usual indigo!

The photos are of the ice dyed fabric, mentioned in my last blog post which have been applied some textural effects. I have used heat expandable paint and coarse pumice gel to give a dimensional surface and then stitched with embroidery thread. Acrylic paint was also used in some areas. I love the dramatic colours that have developed through the dye process, reminiscent of a nebula!

Sunday, 15 November 2015

New work in progress

Moon and stars textile work
Moon and stars. Textile work.
I've been working on new work over the last seven months, producing samples, trying new techniques and hopefully producing satisfying results. The objective is to have a cohesive body of work to exhibit at my next show at the Contemporary Textile Fair in March next year.

Developing my previous use of indigo dyeing, cyanotype printing and Japanese boro, shibori and sashiko techniques and also doing something new such as ice dyeing.

Sometimes my ideas are just organic, that I take a piece of dyed fabric and apply texture and stitching to it with no preconceived idea. Other times there is an overall thought and look that I want to achieve. There are misses and there are hits. That's the creative process!

I enjoyed trying ice dyeing as though there is a choice in the general colour scheme, the end result is a pleasing surprise. If you have not heard of ice dyeing, it's applying dye pigment on top of ice cubes (or snow!) layered over a pre soaked fabric and letting it all melt. It gives a kind of random tie-dyed look. 

My instagram feed has more regular postings of my work in progress if you would like to follow that here.

Ice dyeing
Ice dyeing!

Dyed fabric
Finished ice dyed fabric

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Contemporary Textile Fair 2015

Contemporary Textile Fair stall

The last couple of months have been leading up to this event which took place at the Landmark Arts Centre in Teddington last week.

It's an important event for textile artists to show off their work, gain new admirers and hopefully sell some work!

There were over 70 makers of all textile disciplines from felt makers, hand knitters, textile print designers and fine artists. 

I had a small corner in this lovely former church to display the work I have being making since December. As well as my best selling lavender bags, there were textile pictures, dipped dyed shopper bags and sun printed purses.

My new digital printed silk scarves also made their debut. Made from a lovely soft silk cotton blend, the design is based on a Milky Way illustration by a Victorian astronomer Edwin Dunkin. A nice stylish accessory for the starry eyed!

On show were my sun printed pictures (cyanotypes) which gained much attention of the making process. "The moon printed by the sun?" The zip purses were also made by the same method. The other textile pictures I made were inspired by some Japanese dyeing and stitching techniques (mentioned in the last blog post).

It's was my first time showing at this textile fair so was opened minded as what to expect.  There were as expected, lots of textile enthusiasts who were interested in the technical aspects and were happy to pick my brain on how I did things! I would happily show at this event again as though not as busy as Christmas events, it was a great event to build up a following, sell some products and chat to nice friendly people.

Milky Way printed silk scarves.

Indigo dipped dyed Constellation bags
Dipped dyed shopper bags
'Through hardships..' textile picture
'Backbone of the night' textile picture
Stitched pictures in vintage frames
Stitched pictures in vintage frames

Constellation bags with stitched stars
Constellation bags with stitched stars

Sun printed pictures
Cyanotype (sun printed) pictures

Textile fair stall
Stall view

Textile pictures
Textile pictures

Sun printed star purses
Sun printed zip purses

Brooches and scented lavender bags
Lavender bags and brooches

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Research for new work

Leading up to my next textile fair at the Landmark Arts Centre, Teddington on the 5-7th March, I have been researching and brainstorming some ideas. I've been attracted to some techniques recently that I wanted to explore further, namely "Boro", "Sashiko" and "Shibori", all Japanese methods of dyeing and stitching. 

Boro textile
Boro was a patching and repairing method for clothes and quilts of poorer folk. Instead of throwing away fabrics, they were kept for repair by topstitching over worn patches to form new layers. This patchwork effect of different materials offers interesting textured surfaces and a lovely worn distressed appearance.

Sashiko is an all over stitching, usually with white thick thread on indigo fabric sometimes in a running stitch or a uniformed pattern. The stitch length is the same throughout and patterns are precise.

Shibori is a method of resist dyeing, a Japanese version of tie dye, which had particular wrapping and tieing methods to form patterned cloth. Traditionally using indigo dye, sophisticated patterns were made through stitching, clamping and folding round bamboo poles, shapes and even dried beans! 

Sashiko textile (Met Museum)

Shibori textiles

The Festival of Quilts

Map of a celestial journey. 2014

My quilt at the Festival of Quilts 2014

 I know it's been a while, so I'll just update from where I left off...

My quilt was displayed at The Festival of Quilts in August last year at the Birmingham NEC. It did look wonderful hung amongst other quilts on show. I've never been to the FOQ before so took the opportunity and a very reasonable priced train ticket to visit.

Inside is a huge venue with displays, exhibitions, workshops and huge amount of sellers of all things textile related. It's definitely worth a visit if you live nearby just to stock up on haberdashery and fabrics and I managed to come away with a few lovely fabrics for future makes.

There were hundreds of quilts on show with great skill which must have taken many, many months to complete, with a variety of techniques from traditional quilting to more modern and abstract approaches. I'm more a fan of the modern myself!

There was an amazing quilt by Sarah Impey, who is known for her use of text.

This is the quilt that won the Fine Art Masters category by textile artist Brigitte Kopp. 

If I have time I would like to produce a quilt for this year's FOQ but this time, more of a miniature sized one! A great show for textile lovers.