Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Stitch doodling - taking a stitch for a walk

 Saturday saw the talented Kathleen Murphy, from Murgatroyd and Bean, showing us how to take a stitch for a walk. She bought a few examples of her work to show us.

Kathleen started the day with a short presentation, telling us about the textile artists who currently inspire her work

and showing us examples of the work they produce (more links on her website)
Then she showed us about the vintage linen cloths she uses to produce her work on and some examples of vintage embroidery, and the types of stitches used on them to great effect
Having explained to us about stitch families (groups of stitches that are similar to each other) Kathleen told us a story and we stitched the story into the linen on our hoops. 

After lunch we moved on to stitch sums - combining one or more stitches to make new combinations. we also looked at ways of setting out our work and stitching over appliqued fabric.

The day just flew past and all too soon it was time to pack up. We had a great day and some fabulous work was produced.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Louise West "Cotton, Concrete and Beyond"

Today we welcomed Louise West who began with a question.
We looked at the work of lace makers,

 Here the wing has been added later and using stab stitch it gives a three-dimensional effect.
Harry Armstrong designs. He traded under the name of Mrs Armstrong - 1911
Louise followed a City and Guild's course in 2006 then a BA which was a year of weaving, printmaking and machine knitting. 

Whilst studying she was asked to design a lace pattern which was to be made into 11 ton concrete panels around a building. 
 Here is the finished design which had been digitally reversed to get the reflected design which Louise had originally worked in hand made lace
 We can see the heavy columns of concrete being hoisted into position.
93 concrete panels were fitted with the lace design 

 So, what is lace? Spades by Cal Lane
Contemporary lace
 Wire lace by Lauren Sundin
 Nora Fok's intricate work
 The work of a Belgian artist. Life size JCB - lazer cut lace patterns.
Louise followed an MA course looking at 5 petal historical flowers

Louise used 2oz polyester wadding and compressed it under textured weight and heat to flatten it and then curl it with hair curling tongues.

         Work in progress around a column
 Restoration work completed by Louise at a National Trust property Kedleston Hall.
 Here is Louise (before the hair cut) receiving the Heritage Crafts Association Award, nominated by her students and finishing third as Trainer of the year.
... Louise after the hair cut.
A commission for the Danish Royal family wedding anniversary. "Daisies" 15" placemats.
 Each lace designer commissioned received a very limited edition of a book depicting all of the commissioned pieces from around the world
So...what is lace?

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Eco Dyeing with Caroline Bell

We spent today creating the most incredible fabrics using leaves from local plants and trees under the guidance of Caroline Bell. We created 5 pieces of dyed silk using different methods and mordants.
It was a great day and and everyone was really excited by the results.
We started the day using onion skins. Fabric did not need to be mordanted

we layered the onion skins within the concertinaed silk and then rolled it up.

here are the rolls tied and labelled and ready for the pan.

some of Caroline's beautiful work

Caroline's work using some of the leaves on paper

some of the leaves ready for using

We then got to use eucalyptus leaves, again they did not need a mordant

The leaves were placed within the fold of the fabric and rolled around a pole and fastened with string

Again ready for the pan

We were then set the task of stitching some small pieces of silk to a background fabric ready for dyeing later in the day

The onion dyeing cooked and ready for unrolling.

Then the excitement of unrolling the onion fabric

The next piece involved placing leaves on the fabric folding it over and then folding it over a piece of tin or copper. The metal being used as the mordant

ready for the pan

all ready for the pan

some more of Caroline's work


more work from Caroline

Our eucalyptus fabrics are cooked and ready for unrolling

lovely red marks


Caroline introduced us to modifying. Where dyed fabrics need some change then an alkali or acid solution is used to make fabrics more yellow or red or ferrous sulphate is used to dull the colour

Time to unwrap the tins''

leaves were then included in folded fabric that had been soaked in ferrous sulphate then rolled and tied and cooked. 

some lovely results

This time leaves were mordanted rather than the silk and folded within the pieces we had stitched and then cooked

what follows are the brilliant results of a a great workshop . sorry if there are repeats but I didn't want to leave anyone out.

Our final stitched pieces emerging from the pan and unrolled

How happy are we!
Brilliant day thank you to  Caroline. You have left us with lots of lovely fabrics to stitch and loads of ideas about moving forward with this.