Friday, 27 June 2014

'Doorway' Challenge...

This challenge was inspired by the artists Sans Robinson & Glenn Massey. The aspect of their work which I enjoy is the technique of embedding corrugated cardboard, words and newsprint. I wanted to try incorporating these materials into my textiles and stitch.

I started looking at keys and ornate door fixings...

sketch book work
After working on a mind map my thought lead to dreams and discovery, keys to a doorway that can be unlocked allowing us to be creative.

sketch book mind map
I then sampled a page of mixed media materials, embedding them with PVA, then a covering of gesso and paint.

sketch book sample page
This was completely out of my comfort zone, but that's the point of belonging to this group, to explore, push ourselves, try new techniques and it was great fun, also I like to use things I can recycle.

I sampled this next piece using mixed media as before but this time onto a backing of calico and wadding with a layer of tissue paper applied with gesso, adding machine and hand stitching and 'your dream' cut from a magazine.

At our next meeting it was suggested that I apply this sample onto one of my sketch book pages to create the background, which I've done with foam pads to raise it off the surface and added my cut-out keys to unlock my doorway.

Here's my finished piece mounted onto a painted stretch canvas...


This has been another great challenge that has inspired me to try something completely different and something I want to do more of in the future.

Thanks for reading

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Flaming June

Hello once again Dear Reader
It has been quite a while since I put a piece of my work on the blog but I am very pleased to present my interpretation of the challenge 'Doorway'.
I had already done an old door some time ago for the Revival challenge so thinking of a door but avoiding my preference of an old garden door with planting beyond I immediately thought of the doorway to Hell from Dante's Inferno. You all know the quote - "All hope abandon-ye who enter here".
Dante wrote about several circles of Hell and I have chosen to depict the fiery furnace.
I started with a layer of pre- felt in pink and laid down a full cover of post box red merino tops. the second layer of wool tops were laid crosswise on that base and I used several colours to give the impression of moving flame including yellow, orange, burnt orange, plum, dark brown and black. In amongst the wool tops I put some chiffon -green and red, some threads, some gold threads, bamboo tops and some coloured scrim. After felting I put it through the washing machine spin cycle to tighten it up a bit and behold the piece is ready for embellishing.

Incidentally if you are following our blog you will know that we are collecting money for sewing machines for Africa - well guess what - we have enough for two and a half machines already!  
Thank you to all Maids who bring unwanted items for the sales tables and the Maids who buy them.
Thanks for reading
Toodle pip

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Skin/Coverings Challenge...

I've previously mentioned that I wanted to re-visit my sketch book for our new challenges, to expand my ideas resulting in a different outcome.
So for this next challenge I dipped into my Pompeii sketch book. My starting point was the covering of Ash that fell over the entire city and suffocated all its inhabitants.

But what to put under the Ash?

I had already done a sample of free machining onto painted vanishing muslin and fabric, depicting the elaborate mosaic design from The House of the Large Fountain.

sketch book sample
This was a beautiful site and amazing that it stood there for us to admire after the terrible disaster that took place in 79AD.

The House of the Large Fountain Mosaic
I liked the above sample but decided to use my hand dyed colourful fabrics for the background to show the richness of their décor, layered with painted vanishing muslin for texture.

To represent the Ash I chose mono printed fabric and grey fabric, which was a piece I had rusted but thought the rust marks would represent the lava falling onto the city, this is beginning to sound very grim but hopefully that's not how you will view the finished work.
However, after the background mosaic design was stitched and zapped with a heat gun, the Ash fabrics and hand dyed scrim was layered with wadding and free machine quilted onto the mosaic background, revealing what was...

'Under the Cover of Ash'
Thanks for reading