Tuesday, 23 August 2016

September workshop meeting

Some more info about the first meeting in September.
Mel has given a list of items that could be useful for our burning, heating, distorting experimental, fun workshop.
Mel says......
For Saturday September 3rd we will be concentrating on burning, so the following would be good:  we need table covers and a heat mat if you have one, respirators / Breathing masks (Amazon have whole face ones for £4.50 or half face for £9.50 -don’t ask me why).  Tyvek is good, Angelina fibres, fabrics that melt/burn organzas, kunin felt etc, fabrics that don’t burn or melt to stitch pieces to or to give stability.  I found that sweet wrappers (ie Quality Street) do not melt with a heat gun. Colourful plastic bags, embossing powders/paint (Stewart Gill paints are good) or acrylics, inks, whatever takes your fancy;  puff paint, expanding medium etc.  Heat gun, soldering iron,  glue gun and glue.  In fact all sorts of things that the imagination can think of.  Apparently Lutrador is good, but I have never used it.

I can say that I love Lutrador, it is a wonderful fabric to sew, colour and heat and gives a wonderful texture when heated. It is however quite dangerous for your throat and chest. If you are going to burn Lutrador then please use a mask and work in a well ventilated area. I had a dreadful sore throat after using it once and I learnt my lesson so I would urge you to make sure you use the right safety equipment. Most plastics will give off fumes as will acrylic paints if you add them to your materials first so again, use a mask.

I have set up a pinterest page on heated textiles so if anyone would like to join and add their own pins then let me know and I can send you an invite.
There is a pin on there about a course that uses laminated fabrics for a burning project. You could heat some fabric, stitch them, or add sheer layers to them (not too much) and then try putting them through a laminator. The laminator can then be reheated or embellished with a soldering iron.

Looking forward to having a fun experimental and investigative day in September, start collecting your materials now!

Also don't forget you will need to bring your sewing machine and associated items (extension lead, threads etc) and hand sewing items if you want to join or combine materials or stitch them first to create a resist. This works well with Tyvek.

Hope everyone is enjoying the Summer, we have had a few lovely days. The puppy below is just because I love him! He's so sleepy!

Adding embellishments

Not sure if I have posted this picture before and I apologise if I have but I decided to add some embellishments to my gelli  print background. I made the gelli prints during Sheila's workshop and decided to add organza as they were a bit bright. Then added the face and flowers on the top. I added the metal embellishments using gel medium. I am not sure if you are familiar with gel medium but it is super stuff for sticking down almost everything. If you don't want to have to stitch pieces down then you can use the gel medium. You can get it now in most craft or art shops and I think they also do it in some places like the Range. It comes in gloss or matt but this will not matter if you are only using it to stick down items. There is also a 3D version and a heavy body version (mostly from Prima or Liquitex- you would have to get them from an art shop online) and they are wonderful for sticking down heavier items or larger ones.
Anyways thought I would post the picture just in case there are any of us that don't know about the gel medium as it is a fab product. I can always get some for people if you would like to use it.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Have a look at the link opposite!

Just a quick message to ask you to look at the link opposite called Textile Artist.org. There are some very interesting articles on there and I found one by Anne Honeyman and her fabrics are amazing. She specialising in the fragile using machine embroidery. The work is very interesting and the link is here

There is also an article on Sue Hotchkis whose work I know has inspired Averil in the past. She does lots of lovely pieces on rust and .... cracks!

Also there are a few articles on Cas Holmes whose work I really like


Please check it out as there is some lovely stuff on there!

Themes for the next stitching year!

I am not sure if everyone managed to make a list of the different themes we would be covering next year so I thought I would put them onto here for people to have a think about.

The themes are

Texture with Heat - this is an investigation into how we can create fabrics through heating and burning or manipulating fabrics with heat. Obviously care needs to be taken with this as not all materials burn without fumes or hazards. Please if you are experimenting with heat this Summer break make sure you work in a well ventilated space and wear and appropriate safety mask (please make sure you use a good mask not a little paper one, invest in a proper safety mask it is worth it. I am certain that I damaged my throat through burning lutradur a few years back and now I have an alien looking mask- it's very funny but it is also very safe!).
It might be useful to start collecting materials that you can use- careful as some plastics do not manipulate - Mel says that quality street wrappers do not work but Tyvek is good, Angelina fibres, colourful plastic bags, fabrics that melt/burn organzas, kunin felt etc, plus lutradur and I think solufleece also works but I don't think you can stitch into it afterwards.  Don't forget that we will need fabrics that don’t burn or melt to stitch pieces to or to give stability. We could also try trapping items within fabrics before heating them to create some interesting sculptural designs (try putting buttons inside heat mouldable polyester and it creates a bubble effect when heated.
You can also add embossing powders/paint (Stewart Gill paints are good) or puff paint, expanding medium to add different effects.
Don't forget you can also use a soldering iron to heat and burn not just the heat gun.

I was thinking of setting up a Pinterest Board for heating and manipulating fabrics so if anyone wants to join it and add pins that they find of interest then please let me know and I'll invite you.
 I'll also try to find some links to blogs or interesting ideas on heating if I can.

Cracks - I have set up a Pinterest Board on this one! so again if you want to join and add pins of your own or just browse what I've added then visit pinterest and search for Cracks and it should come up or let me know your email or pinterest name and I'll add you.

This is an interesting topic and has so much scope. I was trying to think of cracks in terms of buildings etc but also cracks like lightning or cracks in the surface with emotions, things breaking down. Any good ideas or articles that would be of use to us all please let me know!

Paper and Stationary- I am so looking forward to this as I love stitching together paper at the moment! I also love the work of Becky Adams who makes paper books and pictures using fabric and paper together. I have seen some lovely work with strips of paper that have been painted with subtle water colours and then images stitched on top. I think that this just feeds my inner magpie and allows me to collect all sorts of papers - silk, banana, kozo, handmade paper, papyrus, parchment, rice paper, tissue.... ooo so many to collect!

Within these walls - I am not sure where to guide you with this one as I think it is very individual and open to interpretation. It could be literally inside the walls, or it could be whatever lives there like lichens and algae. It could also be creatures that live in there or holes. It could also be rooms or places within the walls looking at structures and architecture I think. Would love to hear your ideas on this one!

Beneath our feet- also a fun thin I think as this could be any walked on surface natural or man made. Could be earth, sand, water, wood, tiles, bricks, ice etc. Please if you are out and about this August don't forget to take photographs of what is beneath your feet as they could be used to create an individual piece or maybe even a group piece if we all found different surfaces like tiles or patterns within floors.

Barking mad- this is also a more natural theme looking at bark and trees. This is a wonderful opportunity to have a good look at creating texture through fabrics and threads. You could make a really deep texture through layering stitches and fabrics or combine some of the burning techniques to add layers of different materials and then stitch on top. Could also create texture through cutting back or burning through. Don't forget that layers can also be more delicate and sheer, so you could create a feeling of bark using thinner fabrics and adding paints or inks as well as fine stitches. Look at the knitted or woven wire of Anita Bruce as well.

Beaches - you can draw together some of the things you have already done such as the beneath our feet theme and use sand as a context, you could also go for water and the sea, waves, shells, pebbles, rocks. This is a lovely topic that again lends itself to textures but also scene building like the work of Sandra Meech and her art quilts but also look at the work of Cas Holmes

Holes- A popular theme in schools ! This could be stitching over (which I love!), drawn thread work, burning using the soldering iron. Manipulating fabrics around items making holes through felting. It could also be creating layers of holes or making fabrics through stitching and burning through to create a net of holes. I would be very interested to see your ideas on this one!

Obviously these themes are going to run over the year and you don't have to start work on all of them now. I wanted to make people aware of the themes so that if they are out and about this August they could start to collect ideas or take photographs of anything interesting that we could work on either as a group or individually. So if you visit an abbey don't forget to take photos of the walls and the floors and the pillars and the ceiling! Don't worry if people think you are very strange for photographing pieces of wall or interesting textures on doors it will all be wonderful!

If anyone has any ideas they wish to share please let me know and I'll add it to the blog. Also let me know if you are interested in adding to or creating more Pinterest Boards for inspiration.
I'll add more ideas as I find them which will be mostly texture through burning and cracks to begin with!
Happy photographing and collecting !


Update on the felting
Thank you everyone for bringing in your finished felted pieces. It was delightful to see them fully "shrunk" and so interesting to see how they turned out. I am always fascinated by how much the felt shrinks and the textures that it creates.
Here are some photos of the pieces that we finished. Makes for an interesting section of an exhibition I think !

Keep felting through the Summer break! I wish I had the space but it's a challenge for me and I get water everywhere ! I am still working on my nuno felted pieces and thinking about what to add to them or how to change them up a bit. Not sure if they need it so might end up posting the pieces as they are after a few investigations into what to put on them ! Never mind it's all fun!

oo here are some pictures of Mel's weaving over a stone. I really like this and think we could make up a rockery of different stones with different effects on. Would make a fabulous installation type display if we could think of different ways or decorating a stone and combine them all together....?