an artists' view

an artists' view

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Dyed Fleece 2

Dyed Fleece; the fleece I brought back from Islay.
The bottom of the photo is just washed fleece; the chunk of wool at the top of the photo, has been dunked in a dyebath of oak leaves. It's a very, very subtle shade of beige. Both of these pieces of fleece have been carded/combed. All ready for using in making future felt pieces!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Dyed Fleece

A small piece of the fleece I got from Islay last summer; dyed with the procion dye from my textiles course.
I have to card it yet; it's dyed patchily, but I think that will be quite effective. It's quite dark; with some lighter areas here and there. 

Friday, 25 May 2012

Uffington Horse 3

This is the second felt that goes with the brown felt (below) that depicts the Uffington Horse; the second piece of the diptych.
The colour has changed; the tiny stitches at the forefront of the felt, isn't blue, as it appears here, the cotton is a 'silver-grey', from Green Fibres, an organic cotton thread.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Felt & the Uffington Horse 2

I've been embellishing the Uffington Horse felt piece. Using space dyed cotton I dyed on my course, I stitched these marks. In the background is the stitched Uffington Horse.
The second part of this diptych is about completed I think.

Birdbox & Nesting

The birdbox that Jon put up outside the window, is now home to some blue-tits.
I can see the parent birds flitting back and forth (and boy, do they!) taking food to the nestlings, as I sit in the living room, on the sofa. Yesterday I went out and took the photos above, and the blue tits hardly broke their stride! I didn't disturb them at all. They just kept on, feeding those nestlings! The cat was pretty interested though, so I might have to keep an eye on that, when the baby birds begin to fledge. 

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Flour Resist

A piece of cotton dyed with procion dyes, onto which I then painted a flour resist. 

I've since added magenta procion dye; and another layer of flour paste resist; and then painted the grey/black procian dye. In class, I used a batik tjanting, and added another black procion dye to the outlined shape. Got to iron off the wax now.

In the conservatory I've begun a tin-can 'rust dye' experiment. I've wrapped linen fabric around a tin can and added pennies. Soaked it through with tap water, and await the results with interest! 

Wednesday, 16 May 2012


Oil on canvas; a painting from 2008.
From one of my visits to Luce Bay up in Scotland. 
A late night walk along the shingle beach, bouncing over the scrunchy kelp and almost stepping into a scrape nest of three eggs.
Oystercatchers like clockwork toys, running to avoid the waves.
The boom of the sea on the shore; the undertow of the pebbles. The cries of the seabirds.
The smell of the beach; salt; kelp; putrefaction.
Something mysterious beneath the shingle.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Dyeing - Shibori

I folded cotton, and stitched pleats, pulling them tight before dropping the fabric into black procion dye.
The dye wasn't fresh, so it faded to this attractive grey hue.
I'd use this technique again. I like the results.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Felt & the Uffington Horse

Some embellishment on a piece of felt I made recently on the G&Guilds course. Based on my visit last year to Wiltshire, and camping at the site close to the Uffington Horse.
I'm stitching onto a second piece of felt which will sit with this one....a diptych of felt/s!

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Dye-ing, Spinning & Weaving

Today I've spent a lovely afternoon, in gorgeous sunshine, at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. There was a demonstration from the Hallamshire & District Guild of Weavers, Spinners & Dyers.
Some photos I took, show the plant-dyed wools from North Yorkshire Wool; spinning using wheels (it was like being in the middle of a fairy tale!) and drop spindles; and weavings done with a peg loom, and a back strap loom. It was a fascinating afternoon, and I longed to get my hands and feet on the spinning wheel, and have a go!
Understandably this wasn't encouraged!

I had an interesting conversation with the woman from North Yorkshire Wool, who told me about using Cow Parsley as a dye.
I remembered when I was a child, cow parsley was known as 'mother die', and that if you picked it, your mother would die!
Well, I had the realisation that I'd go the word wrong; it was Mother DYE! Cow parsley is the mother of all dyes! Quite a few other people remember this folk tale from their childhood, so I'm not the only one.
The whole afternoon begins to take on more and more of a fairy tale experience!


Saturday, 5 May 2012

Malta - temples

As I was looking through my photos from Malta, to illustrate the post about Divine Women, I remembered this photograph I took at one of the Temples. There are lots of temples on Malta and Gozo, and I wasn't there long enough to see all that I wanted to. 
But what did strike me during one visit, was the way this stone had been cut; it's a doorway, or a window. 
An entranceway. 
A liminal site. 
And I immediately thought of Barbara Hepworth's carvings, with the characteristic 'holes' she carved.
I love all these connections and re-visitings. 
That carvings from Neolithic times resonate with sculptures created in the twentieth century, and with me, in the twenty-first century. 

Thursday, 3 May 2012

More Dyed Cotton

The textiles course is back on with dye-ing again. Small samples, mostly. We hear that next year there will be opportunities to dye larger pieces of fabric.
This is using a magenta, and blue procion dye. I folded it to create a kind of tartan pattern.
I used the blue, watered down, to dye a second piece; on which I've been experimenting with flour paste resist. That has been overdyed with the same magenta as I've used here. I'm onto the third overdye-ing, and second flour paste resist, on that fabric. 
I'm using abstract expressionism as my starting point for that piece.

I've noticed that I'm limiting my colour palette again this time around. As I did with the felting work. Interesting, that. 
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