Monday, 20 August 2018

Summer School 2018

Our tutor at the distant Stitch Summer School this year was Sheila Mortlock [ Calicostitch] and member of the The Textile Study Group. Thank you Sheila!

Our workshop was entitled Edges and looked the potential of edges of paper, card or fabric. Sheila had asked us to chose a colour scheme and bring some photos of our choice. I decided on red and green as I'd recently returned from a fabulous holiday in Costa Rica rain forests which I felt represented the vegetation and the tropical flowers there.

In the work shop we started by choosing a word with which to work and use for our edges. I chose 'fold' and was intrigued by the effects once I got the hang of it!

We took 9 squares of papers / card and worked on them using our chosen word
We cut, tore, ripped, stitched, made rubbings of the surfaces with various mediums etc and then drew around them, stacked them and drew the resulting shapes again!

Charcoal rubbing:

We then experimented with larger sheets of paper to create interesting surfaces with Gesso, white emulsion, candle wax, bubble wrap, stamps, paint, oil pastels, text, photos, screen printing, stencils. All great fun!

These provided great ways of covering the papers before we folded them into beautiful and exciting concertina books.

This last was my favourite as this sheet :

was transformed into this beautiful book full of pages like this

We had to choose one page to take forward as an inspiration for a design on fabric:

I got this far before Summer School came to an end. 
Calico with white emulsion and Koh-i-dor paints, screen printing, printing with bubble wrap and natural sponges, tissue paper colograph using sprigs of leaves and stems from outside applied with acrylic wax plus chiffon fabric laid in strips across. Some beginnings of stitching!

When I got home I decided to make some edges more based on my holiday to Costa Rica. These magnificent Emperadora flowers were growing just by our cabin balcony in La Fortuna, Costa Rica and were frequently visited by Hummingbirds coming to feed on the nectar. I felt it was so humbling to see such beauty and this image has stayed with me ever since. Sadly it wasn't possible to photograph the Hummingbirds feeding as they were so swift!

My Emperadora 'edges'

I moved the papers to repeat. Interesting shapes resulted.

I used these shapes as inspiration in completion of my final piece.
I'd been experimenting and playing with how to take this work forward using a Emporadora stencil shape as a view finder and loved the patterns which were showing through so I used a sheet of Inkjetprinting with silk to reproduce an image of my work to use for making more shapes for applique and reverse applique.


I'm very pleased with this as I feel it sums up my excitement and sense of wonder at seeing these amazing sights in Costa Rica. 

Before finishing I decided to experiment more with surfaces on paper so that I have some ideas to return to a later stage. Very pleased with these too:

 I love that this technique produces such serendipitous and evocative images, I'm very happy to have resolved my Summer School project and look forward to coming back to these in the future.

Now back to coursework and my resolved piece for Mod 5 ch 12. 

Friday, 17 August 2018

Chapter 12 Stitch trials - using extreme contrasts

This is the final chapter leading up to a resolved piece for this module.

As you can see I've chosen cow parsley as my chosen design. The design is divided into textural areas which I've numbered to link in with the samples which follow on the coming pages

 I have to take each textured area of this chosen design and work out how I can translate it in any textural way with fabric manipulated methods and hand stitching so I've uploaded my sketchbook pages with my comments about plus some close up detailed studies. I'm delighted with these and will need to choose which ones to take forward for my resolved sample.

Samples 1. Fabric manipulation, hand stitching and a combination of both

Detail 1a

Detail 1b

Detail 1c

Samples 2. Fabric manipulation, hand stitching and a combination of both

Detail 2a

Detail 2b

Detail 2c

Samples 3
As before Fabric manipulation, hand stitching and a combination of both

Detail 3a

Detail 3b

Detail 3c

Samples 4
At this point I may add some colour as these samples will represent the leafy shapes around and underneath the florets of the cow parsley. I worked it in both green and white to see the contrasting effects and then I'll need to choose between the two. The details of each are written up on my sketch book pages.

Or white:

I took these to Summer School to discuss with my Tutor Sian Martin and my fellow Distant Stitch students.

I decided to work with samples 2a, 3b and 3c to represent the florets plus the green sample [4b or c] not sure yet!! to represent the leafy shapes along with the centre / background as a base. 

Next step - my resolved sample!  

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Chapter 11 continued

I have decided to add a few more experiments using textural surfaces before I proceed with the next chapter and my resolved sample.

These are the beautiful grasses seen earlier. Sian suggested that these could be sub-divided in their own right. They certainly lend themselves to making interesting shapes.

More wonderful teasels, I'm very pleased with these.
This time I've used bleach on Quink ink - one of my favourite techniques. I have dragged a seed head which has been dipped in Quink to give these fabulous patterns and then added the dried leaves and seeds to give added texture. I love the energy generated here. Lots of opportunities for tucks and pleats, chain and fly stitching.

Ivy clad ditch
The surround is comprised of a leaf monoprint but again the relief textures bring added energy so I'm intrigued. The texture is provided by dried garlic peelings in the centre, and dried rose petals to the left and right both of which have been painted with white acrylic paint. Lots of opportunities here for stitching and fabric manipulation; I can see Fly Stitch, gathering techniques, N American Smocking.

Ivy Stick in Undergrowth
The addition of a different patterned paper [rubbed coral reef fossil] along the top adds energy alongside the relief strips [dried rose petals and garlic peelings] and the leaf monoprint along the bottom. I can see gathering, N American smocking, Fly Stitch.

Cow parsley
I adore cow parsley but I felt this lacked energy despite the relief surface [hole puncher waste and hollyhock seeds]. The background is a simple monoprint with the addition of a rubbing using hole puncher waste.

I therefore decided to change the background and went for a different patterned paper - a leaf print to offer more contrast to the cow parsley 'florets'. Here it is! The frothiness I've been looking for. Now I'm excited!
I've experimented more with the 'florets' using printed cork and biro ends to the left, painted hollyhock seeds to the right and hole punch waste at the top.
Lots of opportunities for stitching maybe woven wheels and knots plus fabric manipulation using samples 8.4 and 5.

I took this chapter to Summer School to show to my tutor Sian and fellow students as I paused to think and decide on the way forward. 
I have now worked samples for the Cow Parsley idea as a resolved sample and will post tomorrow.
Another day!!

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Chapter 11 Design from landscape

1. Use of texture

The first step for this chapter was to decorate some papers with flat textures and others with raised textures, these will then be used for cutting up and developing my designs later in the module.
My aim will be to create several design ideas and the select one to take forward into the next chapter for translation into manipulated fabrics and stitchery methods.

The module suggests that we stick with one colour to ensure that the textures remain the main focus.
Although I could bring colour into the process I've decided to stick with white partly because I'm really enjoying working in monochrome but also because I have some gorgeous new threads to use!

I started the process of designing by selecting a few images from my research in ch 1 to inspire ideas for creating marks which would relate to the textures there. I then used these to decorate some papers.

 Flat textures
 11.1 Printed marks using a range of 'utensils' and white acrylic paint and Quink ink with bleach:

11.2 Rubbings using Neocolor wax pastels and Markel sticks:

11.3 Monoprints using white acrylic paint:

I particularly like the monoprints and used a viewfinder to look at textures and shapes.

11.4 and 5. Ivy leaf print, I felt this may be a little contrived but I was pleased to see the wonderful abstract shapes within the viewfinder:

11.6 End of cork with added rubbing with Neocolor wax pastel over fossil and hole puncher waste:

11.7 Plus some Quink ink with bleach prints using the side of a piece of cord and

11.8 Quink ink with bleach added by the dragging of a cocktail stick and dried grasses:

Relief textures
To create raised surfaces. I added a skim of white acrylic paint to highlight the texture in most except for those where I may consider using tea to colour fabric and threads later in the next chapter.

11.9 I like to work with sources from nature as much as I can and I enjoyed using these to make some relief textures starting with baked [ for drying] garlic peelings and dried rose petals. 

11.10 Dried hollyhock seeds  and long grain rice. Baked and sliced onion skins below.

11.11 Straw packaging and dried grasses. I'm particularly pleased with the grasses and the way they created a lovely rhythmic pattern on the paper

11.12 Tissue paper spread and manipulated on the page:

11.13 Baking parchment folded into a concertina and leaf shapes cut out, I've then used the shapes within the remains of the concertina on upper right.
The same methods repeated with the tissue paper middle left.
Bottom left - strips of ripped and twisted corrugated cardboard plus a swathe of sand trapped in PVA on the bottom right: Skim of white paint added.

2. Use of shape:

Whilst referring to my resource photos I looked for simple shapes to see how the images could be sub divided.
 I then took one of my flat textured papers [cut to post card size] and drew one of my subdivisions on the back before cutting or tearing along the lines. These were then laid on another piece of [contrasting background] paper  and in the correct order with gaps inbetween each to define the divisions.
I had several goes at each image taking notice of the lines in the images inviting division, negative spaces or gaps to look through plus any abstract shapes.

11.14 Ivy roots
I chose a print made using Quink Ink and bleach to represent the roots although you'll notice the image has come out in the reverse but I don't think this matters to much to the design. The divisions have helped create produced a strong image with an impression of movement.

11.15 Cow parsley: 
For this I chose a monoprint using white acrylic paint and the end of a wine bottle cork with added rubbings using a white Neocolor pastel crayon and a fossil [brought back by a friend from The Great Barrier Reef] and a sheet of hole puncher waste glued to paper.
I've tried to create the wonderful frothiness of the cow parsley and I can just see it in the subdivided images although I think it is better captured in the Fibonnacci strips on the bottom right                                         


11.16 Ivy, stick and undergrowth
For this I chose the monoprinted leaf prints, I'd though at first that this may be too obvious but I love working the natural sources whenever I can and I really love the abstract shapes and negative spaces produced by this. The top right could be my favourite!

11.17 Teasels
Quink ink and bleach with marks produced with a bottle brush and the swishing of dried leaves from the garden. Beautiful images and another potential favourite

11.18 Ivy clad ditch: 
More leaf prints and a stab at colour but I really want to stick with monochrome.
I could clearly see a leaf shape with the source image and would love to try and repeat that in some abstract way.

I'm now looking forward to the next chapter when I'll work on my resolved sample.
I need to choose one design to carry through and so will take a little time to consider carefully bearing in mind the opportunities for fabric manipulation and stitchery.