Monday, 26 October 2009

October bring your work day

Today in chilly wet Sydney, we enjoyed a bring-your-own-work day. Lots of interesting show and tell, and some progress on our graffiti project.

Prue opened her bag to find the gremlins had been at work on her knitting:
"A metaphor for my life," she laughed.

Last meeting, we were talking about transfer media that you paint onto paper pictures, allow to dry and "just rub the paper off". We discussed how easy, or not, that might be to do. Today, Helen brought a piece she made using that technique, on which the paper stubbornly refused to depart. Eventually, she incorporated the white sections into her design. The original print was mostly just colour shapes, but the resulting print looked like a figure in front of a rolling sea, so that's what she made!

It's called Windswept Girl. Without the story, you'd never know there was a problem, would you?

Beverley was working on her ATASDA nametag. It's like an ATC - how clever!
Helen brought along her finished Graffiti Project piece. Last meeting, she had combined the fabric with a red fabric in a Stack and Slash method. Here is her finished book cover. Isn't it striking? She is, of course, the first to finish!

Carol was also working on her Graffiti project piece. She coloured in her fabric with Sharpie pens, cut it into A4 sheets and laminated them. She cut holes along the edges with a hole punch and, by the end of the day, had constructed this much of a bag. The sections were sewn together with ribbon. Brilliant!

Next meeting, we plan to play with rug canvas. Last year, Helen gave each of us a piece like this: We all had great plans to use it but somehow that hasn't happened. So we are going to work on our rug canvas pieces next month.

To inspire us, Helen brought along some pieces she has made. This one is a little triangular bag, about 12cm high. She layered ordinary canvas, scraps of fabric and the painted rug canvas, and machine-stitched between the grids of the canvas with a metallic thread in a zigzag stitch.Then she cut the strip into three segments and hand stitched them together, adding a plain base. The stitching threads became handles for the bag.

Helen often uses the rug canvas as the basis of book covers. This one has quite simple stitching - satin stitching along the horizontal lines of the grid, which had been painted green. The feature hand stitching uses a more complicated knot stitch and some feather stitch with variegated ribbon.

This one has the rug canvas painted orange, with brightly coloured fabric strips woven through the mesh. Some of the horizontal lines of the mesh has been satin stitched by machine. This one also has the rug canvas painted orange, but the stitching is with threads by hand. Most stitches used are variations on embroidery stitches, such as stem stitch, satin stitch and chain stitch. A square of felt was inset into the rug canvas by cutting away the mesh and stitching from behind. Some lines of the grid are machine satin stitched as well.

This one has the canvas painted black and is stitched by hand with bright blue ribbons. The book pages are also blue, though the book has not been assembled yet.
This satchel shows the colour of the rug canvas if it isn't painted. The colour shows through much more, which is why Helen usually paints it now. This one has woven strips of ribbon and cord, and inserts of very fine cross stitch, one on the front and two on the back.
The rug canvas can also be deformed, even though it is quite stiff. This sample has beads stitched along some sections, and the canvas brought around them and caught together, to make a hollow. The horizontal lines have also been machine satin stitched.
The canvas also can be shaped, by dampening it and tying it to shape while wet. Once it dries, it holds the new shape very well, as this wonderful bowl deomstrates. The grid was satin-stitched in variegated thread first, to hold the layers together.
Finally, Helen has made exhibition pieces using this medium. Here is one of a series on the seasons, Canada Autumn: The canvas was painted red and woven and embroidered with strips of fabric and ribbon.The third strip from the right is made with waxed paper, twisted into beautifully even shapes as it was woven.The whole piece was mounted on Plexiglas for hanging.

Stay tuned to see what we can manage with this medium next meeting!

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