an artists' view

an artists' view

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

shibori silk

Firstly I dyed this piece of silk in a 'space-dye' way; then I stitched it, shibori-style and added a blue, and grey/black procian dye. The fabric has retained the pleats of the stitching, giving it a look of shirring, often spotted on small girls clothes in the 1950's!
Today we've been transfer-printing in my textiles class; and I made a collography plate which I could use for this purpose. It's worked really well. I'm very pleased with it. I've come home and ironed a transfer print onto a piece of fabric I pole-dyed last week. That piece is evolving; and I now know what I'm going to do with it to complete it. 
I've painted some transfer paint onto a sheet of paper, and will iron onto the fabric. Then I've dug out some nylon rope threads, and I'm going to stitch them onto the piece. It feels such a shift, to be able to plan what I'm going to do. At least one of the 8 sample pieces is underway now. 

Monday, 29 April 2013

silk dyed with tea

The result of dying a section of the silk wedding dress using tea. Above is the bundle I wrapped. The photo below is the unwrapped bundle. The bottom photo is a close-up of the wrapped/folded pattern.

The tea has coloured the silk beautifully; a subtle golden shade. The wrapping/folding, has given a nice pattern. I don't want to iron it, and risk losing the lovely creases. They quite shimmer in the light.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Miss Haversham? silk?

Yes, silk.
A whole dress full of it. A whole wedding dress full of it! A LOT of silk!
I hung it from the garden whirlygig, to capture as much of it as I could. It looked like a sad Miss Haversham, desolate in her jilted-ness!
My friend Berenice found me a (very!) cheap silk wedding dress on ebay, and got it for me. Hurray for friends like Bea!
So I'm cutting it up (actually, a very therapeutic actitvity!), and starting to dye it.
Not only are pieces dunked into plant dye, I've also got silk bits dyed from my Textiles class, using procian dyes. I wrapped a piece of silk around tea-bags, and got a gorgeous pale gold colour, plus the pattern made from the tea-bags.
There seems to be a lot to catch up with, and update here! And I have to download a lot of photos I've been taking, too, so I can illustrate my posts.

I've been offline for a while now as my pooter went off to be fixed. I'm not entirely sure if it's been a successful fix, but I have contingency plans in case it's terminal. However, while pooter is back, I'm seeing how it goes, and trying to continue blogging. X my fingers! 

Monday, 15 April 2013

collograph & water colour

I decided to colour one of my collograph prints on paper using water colours. I'm thinking about whether to add stitches later. Undecided as yet. 

Sunday, 14 April 2013

spring 'as sprung

The daffodils are finally out, hurray! A bit different from how they appeared a few weeks ago when we had the snow (see photo below). And the weather is getting steadily warmer, the days lengthening.
As a postscript, margaret thatcher has died. I feel in two minds about mentioning it. Partly I want to turn my back on her, and her noxious prime minister-ship which saw the gap between poor and better-off widen. 

I've been very interested to listen to people's responses. 
Looking on Billy Bragg's website; Chumbawamba's website; listening to Elvis Costello's song 'Tramp the Dirt Down' on Youtube;talking to people at work, my friends. Interestingly no-one I know has had a good word to say about her, or her political policies. Though there are different opinions as to how it might be appropriate to 'mark' her death. 
Well, I live in the North, don't I? Where the ramifications of her deeds still linger. 
And it's interesting that our current governments 'austerity' programme doesn't include not paying for her peasants will all be stumping up for that. 
We have local elections coming up shortly. I wonder if there will be any impact on the results, due to the government paying for her funeral? Don't we just live in interesting times!

Did you see what I did there? I used bad grammar/lower-case so as to not give importance to her name and job-title. Other names have been given due prominence. Well, as we chanted at Greenham, and throughout the bitter dispute of the Miners' Strike, I suppose it's easy to see 'Which Side Are You On?'

Sunday, 7 April 2013

collography on felt

This is the second collography plate, printed onto a piece of felt I made in my textiles class. I'm going to embellish it with some stitching, though I suspect this may be quite minimal.
It reminds me of rock art; as though it's a stone surface, which has been decorated. I like that look. And it was unintentional. This is the exciting part of felt making, that unintended things occur!
On Tuesday I take possession of an amount of silk...courtesy of my friend Berenice, via ebay! Second-hand, so ok for me to use!
That story will have to wait!

Thursday, 4 April 2013

collograph print on rust

Printed onto a piece of linen/cotton mix fabric; the second collography print. Less defined than the plain fabric print. So it will be interesting stitching on it; finding spaces where the stitching works.
I've also printed onto a piece of felt I made on the course. No stitching done on it yet. 
And I'll be printing onto some of the fabric Lynn gave me, too. 

Berenice has kindly offered to lend me one of her sewing machines, on a long-term loan! That'll set me up for a while! Exchange is no robbery, and I've offered her the long-term loan of my big drawing, 'Chun', from a passage tomb in Cornwall, 'Chun Quoit'.
I've started planning my next term's textiles on the course. Feeling excited about that. Bring some of the skills I've learned, together in the samples we have to produce. I'm going to use the landscape of Alkborough, in North Lincolnshire, as my starting point. It's going to be a busy few months.

Monday, 1 April 2013


Sewing threads; 'pure silk' it says on the box.
Gifted to me by my friend Berenice.
 One of these rolls has been dropped into the sycamore dye-pot I've started. I'll see what changes that makes to the colour.
I don't often work with silk; so far I've used cotton/linen mixes of fabrics. I decided I wouldn't use new silk, but that second hand would be ok. So on that basis, I can use the silk gifted to me.
And above, is a selection of fabrics gifted to me by Lynn, who's on the same textiles course as me. A mix of natural and man-made fibres. Some cottons, linens, and a few bits of silk......once more, the type of silk I can use. I've got one of the silk pieces in my rust-dye-bath. A tin can, with fabric wrapped around it! The silk in the sycamore dye-pot comes from this collection. 
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