At last, with urgent commissions out of the way and exhibition entry deadlines met, I have been able to indulge this week in a bit of decadent stitchery translating one of my favourite monoprints from the recent life workshop (see post “Inky Fingers”) into stitch. The result is “Bev (Seated)”. Hope you like.
Regular readers of my musings will be aware that a common theme in my work so far this year has been exploring form, both how to effectively depict 3d in 2d, as well as 3d work itself with my textile sculptures. The Blackwork Rabbit embroidery workshop the other weekend got me thinking about the use of pattern as a tonal medium and has started me on a series of experiments using one of my charcoal torso drawings as the starting point.
I have just finished experiment number one which uses patterned fabric, hand pieced together (quite therapeutic but sooo fiddly) and some hand stitching through three layers (I won’t offend any real Quilters out there by calling it quilting!) to give the torso form.
I am happy with the end result although lots of colours and patterns makes it somewhat busy for my personal tastes. I would have preferred a black and white version (maybe next time). Overall though, lots learnt during the making of this piece:
1. U tube is your friend when you have no idea what you are doing
2. An ironing board is not just something that sits in a cupboard providing hanging space for dog leads
3. Don’t put the nose of an iron too close to your fingers when you are pressing, that steam is HOT!
4. Freezer paper has nothing to do with food or freezers (i.e. you can buy it in Hobbycraft but not in Sainsburys)
5. A hanging sleeve is not the latest feature of fashionable sweaters
6. Those magnifying lenses that you can buy to clip onto your glasses are not just for comedy effect
Overall, I quite enjoyed this brief foray into “quilting” and woven fabrics but will be happy to return to the far less dangerous sport of knitting (the needles are less pointy and the ironing less fiddly).
And while posting, just to let you know that I have recently started a Facebook page where I post more regular updates on work in progress, along with links to exciting stuff that inspires me, so for any of you who use that particular form of social media please do give it a visit.
A month or so back I had the great idea of entering a quilt into the 2013 Festival of Quilts despite never having made one before. I cobbled together my effort and entered on line, and after checking carefully the requirements for each category I opted for the “Contemporary” competition as sadly I was excluded from the more appropriate “My First Quilt” on the basis of having a qualification in Textiles. A few weeks after entering I got my labels and a printed version of the rules of entry in the post only to note that disastrously there is a minimum dimension requirement and my quilt is 30cm too short!
So, after a bit of swearing, a lot of unpicking, a couple of trips to Hobbycraft, a near sewing machine catastrophe (it just wasn’t Man enough for the job!) and a midnight finish yesterday, version 2 was posted this morning, just in time for the deadline of tomorrow. Phew! Despite it’s many technical shortcomings, I am rather pleased with the result, particularly the texture contrast between the knitted and the cotton fabrics, and I am glad I made the effort to do it again (it was touch and go as you can imagine!). The Husband has even marked out a space on the living room wall for it when it arrives back after the exhibition.
Great artist’s reception yesterday evening at Hanger Farm where I am exhibiting with my textile group, neuf. It truly is a wonderful building, full of character, and the technician’s were so helpful and good natured that the hanging process was a breeze! We are there until 27 April so if you are in the Hampshire area do go along and sample the atmosphere of this lovely listed barn, while enjoying a coffee in front of some unique textile art. An example of what to expect is shown below.
It’s been a manic week, but framing and labels are now all done and I can breathe a sigh of relief ahead of the grand hanging tomorrow at Hanger Farm, Totton, in Hampshire. As a member of Textile Art group, neuf, I am excited to be exhibiting throughout April at Totton College’s performing arts facility and professional community arts venue set within a Grade II listed 18th century converted barn. If you are in the area please come along and view what is sure to be a diverse and entertaining exhibition entitled “moving on” to mark our first independent exhibition as a group since graduating last summer.