an artists' view

an artists' view

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Rust & Tea; Rust Dye-ing #2

Th fabric I'd wrapped round the tin can, with tea-bags underneath, has now been unravelled, and opened out flat! It's much darker than the first rust print...the effect of the tannin from the tea, I suppose.
Since it dried, the fabric is paler than the photo below. And slightly less pleated and 3D. What a difference an iron makes! 
But I'm pleased with how these first experiments in rust dyeing have turned out. As my friend asked 'what are you going to do with them?' and at this moments, I have no idea!
Maybe use larger pieces of fabric? Find a way of working on a larger scale? Mmmmm, that sounds interesting! 

Sunday, 24 June 2012

subversive stitch

So up I went; up into my loft, to seek out this 'seminal text', from 1984. I thought, as I'm doing so much textile work at the moment, I should go and re-read this feminist classic.
And somewhere in my boxes I have a poster from Barnsley Cooper art gallery, where they held an exhibition of the same title. I didn't see the exhibition, but was given the poster a few years ago when I worked in Barnsley.
When my garage studio is completed, I'll dig that out, and put it proudly on the pristine walls! It feels good to consider what I'm doing as subversive!
Sadly Rozsika Parker died last year.  

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Blue SeaScape

A textile piece I started on the Creative Textiles course last year; only recently completed. Well, a lot of hand stitching went into it. It's layers, and collaged fabric, and machine & hand stitching. I think it's finished now....knowing when to stop, that can be difficult.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Rust Dye-ing # 2

More experiments from the Alchemical Kitchen!
Experiments with rust dye-ing.
This time I'm using tea bags to see what difference that makes. 

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Summer Solstice

Happy Solstice!
A stormy sea view from last summer on Islay. Camped up on a fantastic beach site, and the sun setting over the western side of Islay. An orange ball, dropping into the horizon.
The weather had changed from hot and sunny as we camped up, to cloudy and windy. It fits the weather we're having right now. Lovely hot, sunny days, that have shifted to cooler, wetter, and grey sky.

Here at home I've been boiling up a dye-pot of eucalyptus leaves. Three bundles in the pot, awaiting unwrapping. What surprises are in store? Who knows. The kitchen is becoming, in the words of Leonora Carrington, 'an alchemical kitchen'!

Monday, 18 June 2012

Rust Dye-ing

Rust printing; well it's certainly a revelation! I didn't quite expect this. 
I wrapped some crochet thread around the linen which was wrapped around the tin can. The white circle is from the top of the tin can, on which I placed a ring-pull lid. I expected some colouring to develop there. But it gives an effective contrast to the patterned areas.  

A close up of the linen; hanging on the line, drying in the sun (yes! it's been sunny today!). The sunlight behind the fabric.
And wrapped around the can, the linen  looked like this. The can is nicely rusted now, so it's ready to have another piece of fabric experiemented on! 

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Stitching & Dye-ing 2

A 'work in progress' of the organzie overlay of stitched collaged fabric/s. This is the 'top' of the length of organzie. Approximately one third of the length of the whole piece. It's quite a small piece, 28cm wide, and 91cm long. It has an almost three dimensional quality, too, as the organzie puckers and crinkles under the machine stitching.
I like that.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Fossil & Printing

We've been doing some stencil printing on the Textile course. 
My original drawing was from an image of a fossil tree; the lepidodendren which formed the basis of the coal measures.
This print was from an acetate sheet, which I burnt through using my soldering iron (for textiles). It's black paint, onto cotton. And as yet, I'm not sure what the next stage will be. But that's fine; like a lot of the pieces I'm making, I will let it settle, and see what emerges.
I've made a number of these prints, on different fabrics; to see what I can do with them. Overlays (!) and stitching I suspect?

Here at home there's lots of work going on; the roof of the garage needs replacing, so I have lots of clearing out to do, to make it ready for the builder. And I'm having some of the garage converted into a workspace, so I can have a home-based studio to work in. Exciting, and daunting at the same time!

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Stitching & Dye-ing

Using the fabric that I've dyed during the textile course I've been attending, I decided to sew rows of stitches....sashiko-style.....The blue/pink fabric is dyed using procion dye; the stitches are sewn using sashiko thread; and overlayed this, is a length of organzie I'd embellished with machine stitch, more than 12 months ago.
I'm making a collage of fabrics onto which I'm stitching rows, and overlaying these, with the embellished organzie.
The top photo shows the layers; the bottom photo shows the fabric in the process of being stitched.
The starting point of all this was seeing photos taken from the air, of features in landscapes which are invisible from the ground. Air photography has changed the way that archaeologists have looked at the landscape. They show us hidden forms.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Michael Rosen

A blog I follow is by the poet and writer, Michael Rosen.
The address is

He has lots of interesting things to say about the current 'austerity' situation, as well as commenting on education and learning strategies.

Friday, 8 June 2012

'Spurn Point & the rest of it'.....

'Flotsam & Jetsum'

Today I've been over to Spurn Point; where the River Humber meets the North Sea. I've not been for a few years, and it felt time to visit the sea-side again!
I went with Tracey and Charlie; we had a great walk along the beach, which blew all our cobwebs away!
The batteries had gone on my digital camera; so I dug out my 35mm compact, and took some photos using that. It felt odd how used I've become to digi-cameras when for years I used 35mm with rolls of film.....I have to get the film developed now....which is weird, because the film was half-way through. And I have NO idea what's on it!
As Tracey said, 'you'll have a lovely surprise when you get the photos back'!

We saw lots of kestrels on our way over there; and a deer was in the long grass as we drove down to the point of Spurn.
I've often seen deer when I've visited Spurn. They are such secretive creatures, it always feels special when I see them. This time was no different.

 'The Larkin Trail'

You can see Alice Fox's artist-in-residence work at Spurn Point here

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Felt; Bags & Boots! by Jill Halsall

Some examples of Jill's feltmaking!
I have no idea if she will be exhibiting these in November. Knowing Jill she'll have made a whole new set of felt-works by then!
Jill & I have an exhibition of felt at Westgate Studios 'Project Space' in November, for the Artwalk. We're calling it 'Woolgathering'....a reference to the material, and also a small nod to Patti Smith, who has a book called the same. 
I'm a big Patti Smith fan. And when Jon and I went to Iceland a few years ago, we were lucky enough to be there the same time as she was doing a gig.  It's the third time I've seen her; she's touring again this year. Has a new album out entitled 'Banga'.
As might have become noticable on this well as art, I'm passionate about music!

Monday, 4 June 2012

'Spem In Alium'

Yesterday I went to see Thomas Tallis' 'Spem In Alium', sung by Leeds University Liturgical Choir.
It was wonderful. 
I love acapella music; the sound of voices unaccompanied by instruments is beautiful. The singers stood down each side of the Hall, and along the front, and we were inside the music. A very magical experience. It was one of those 'hairs-standing-on-the-back-of your-neck' experiences!
I thought this sky fitted the post; the sun setting viewed from the Hepworth, Wakefield. 

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Rust Dyed Fabric

The experiment of rust dye-ing fabric!
This is still rusting, and colouring, as I write. I expect it will take a long time to complete.
It's in the conservatory, and as we've had a lot of got sunny days recently, the fabric has often dried out by the time I've got home. I'm keeping it wet though; and I look forward to seeing the results.
I'm going to use this idea as a session in one of the groups I work with, and see how they work with it. It's a long-term dye-ing process, and not one of instant results, like with the procion dyes on my course.  

Friday, 1 June 2012

Flour Resist 2

The completed dyed 'flour resist' experiment! Though some of the vividness of the colour has washed out. The black uprights were done in my textiles class, and 'drawn' by tjanting and wax. Then painted with black procion dye. I've yet to decide whether to do any embellishments on it.....for now I think I'll let it just sit.
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