Thursday, 28 May 2009

Quiet day

Fibrecircle had a quiet day this week, with several members away. It was a bring-your-own-work day. The photographer was also not very efficient, so there's no record of show-and-tell this time.

Tricia was stitching on the work she began at Fibre Forum at Orange a few weeks ago. The class was with Jan Irvine-Nealie, whose work is heavily stitched, and this has really inspired Tricia. This is her class sample, with her own photograph as inspiration. It's a fantastic piece of work, and I'll try to get a photo from her when it's done, to show here.

Carol was making hyperbolic crochet for an art exhibition at her children's school. She likes to contribute something that either the children can do for themselves (last year, it was ATCs using many different techniques)or that stretches their minds (the concept of hyperbolic space should do that quite nicely!). I really love the spherical one.

Helen was embroidering as usual but I didn't take a photo of what she was doing (sorry, Helen!). Hopefully I can grab a photo next time.

Nola was painting with fabric paints, on a piece she's been working on intermittently for a couple of years. She has blogged about it here She now thinks the painting part is almost finished, and soon she'll be ready to add some stitch. She got quite excited when she saw Tricia's hand stitching, so perhaps this piece will have some hand quilting too?

Monday, 11 May 2009

Prue's other activities

Prue spent some time today playing more with sun prints. She produced these beautiful pieces earlier. The green and purple ones were made using Shibori-like bunching and bundling, but using the Setacolor Soleil paints. Aren't they great? The pink one was made with doilies laid onto the wet fabric, but the doilies obviously let some light through while the paint was drying, so the effect is very muted and hard to see in a photograph. It's quite delicate and really lovely.

She also made some pieces for our next challenge, due in June. Carol rescued some coffee mugs that have a space between the clear outer and the inner mug. We decided we would make a piece of art to go in this space, and have our own individual art mugs. Prue made three sun prints today: Aren't they gorgeous? So already she has three beautiful "looks" for her coffee mug. Look out for more finished coffee mugs next month.

Making stamps

Today, we decided to make ourselves some different kinds of stamps, to use in our work. The main reason was the availability of these great cheap erasers: At 15cm x 5.5cm (about 6in x 2 1/4in), they are a great size for larger stamps, though today we mostly cut them smaller to experiment. They carved quite nicely and we got some great results. We also made some string stamps, like the ones Nola made about twelve months ago. Carol brought along a clever hot wire gadget for cutting craft foam safely and cleanly, and some special glue for gluing foam together, so most people tried that too.

These are Beverley's stamps: The top two on the right are really clever, because she carved them as positive-negative of the same images, on opposite sides of the same stamp. You can only see one side of the carved stamps, but you can see the two images in the prints beside them. The left hand one wasn't quite finished at going home time. The bottom one is made from polystyrene foam (a meat tray)cut with Carol's hot wire machine, and glued to a wooden base. Beverley intended it to be used as a border.

Prue was doing other things for part of the time, but she also made some stamps. Most were made with the hot wire machine from craft foam or polystyrene foam, and mounted on wooden blocks. The top right hand one was made with dimensional paint, like the ones Nola made in January from the tutorial by Terri Stegmiller at FibreandStitch. The top left one is a string stamp, made by gluing ordinary cotton string onto cardboard with PVA glue.

Nola made four carved stamps from her eraser. The one that looks like folds was the most fiddly, as the erasers were a little crumbly, under the smooth surface, for such fine work. The top one was made by gluing two commercial foam craft shapes of a frog on top of one another onto cardboard, using PVA glue. Two identical shapes were used to increase the height of the stamp, which would hopefully result in a clearer print. The idea was to test whether PVA is a suitable medium for gluing foam shapes or whether they would fail to hold together or fall apart once they were wet. The bond held well enough for the stamp to be used and washed successfully. The top right stamp was one that Carol made last year to test the usefulness of lightweight craft foam for freehand stamp-making. She found that the surface could be incised, but the pattern was not very deep and is probably better used as a rubbing plate than a stamp.

Carol made some beautiful stamps using the polystyrene and her clever machine. Photos to come...