Thursday, 26 January 2012

January - aren't summer holidays wonderful?

January often passes in a blur for many Aussies. I guess we feel the same way about it as northern hemisphere people feel about July. Holiday season, and not much gets done in the studio, even when the weather is as unreliable as it's been this year. It certainly hasn't been good weather for dyeing or deconstructed screen printing or many other creative activities!

Here at Fibrecircle, we've been in holiday mode too. We have met together, with a much smaller group, as people came and went, but we haven't really been in creative mode. This week, most of us were lolling about, reading creative books and gathering ideas for the coming year. Sounds like last time, doesn't it?

Helen was busy, of course, though at one stage, she had her sewing in one hand and a book in the other. Multitasking, she called it. Here's what she was sewing, when she had both hands on the job!
This is a gorgeous rich purple - it was quite hard to photograph well.

She also brought along her embroidered jacket, which was her major work for last year for an embroidery group she belongs to. We last talked about it here. Now you can see the finished garment!
It really is beautiful. The background fabric is a warm wool, so it's quite warm to wear.

Maz was working on her tile for the upcoming travelling suitcase exhibition from ATASDA, which will go on the road in late March 2012. The title is Marrakesh and, in addition to the main works on the theme, it will have many of these small works, inspired by Moroccan tiles, made from a kit of materials. They'll be attached together with buttons and loops to form panels for hanging. You can see more about the exhibition here. The works haven't all arrived yet, but we hope to have some photos on the web page shortly after they do. Meanwhile, here's Maz's tile in progress:
As usual, on our second meeting of the month, we swap postcards. Nola had been making a postcard but she didn't like the way it was going. So she spent the day making another one, from a piece she'd started previously. It's another in the Bush Road series, of manipulated photographs. The original photos was adapted using a design program, printed onto fabric, drawn on, painted and embroidered, before being backed with fusible Vilene and fabric. She edged it with a hand picot stitch.
Helen's postcard relates to one of the works she's made for the Marrakesh exhibition, inspired by Moroccan tile work. The typical eight-pointed star of Arabic architecture really lends itself to canvas work, her favourite embroidery style. The centre star is very strongly textured, as are the blue bars on either side of the central motif. Click on the image for a better look!
See you next month!

Monday, 9 January 2012

Happy New Year

Today was our first meeting for the year. We were a small group, because many of us are still on holidays. We didn't do very much today - it was a hot muggy day, ideal for lazing about, reading textile books. We had Isobel Hall's Embroidered Books and Janet Edmonds' From Print to Stitch. Plenty of inspiration there!

However, we haven't been idle since you last heard from us! Helen was working on an embroidery in shades of blue, but it's not ready for photography yet. I'm sure you'll see it soon! She also brought along her finished Sunflowers challenge from last year. It's a gorgeous piece of embroidery, filled with a stone to give it weight.
Isn't it luscious? It's like  a field of sunflowers distilled down to the essence.

Maz made a piece of art cloth as a gift. She began by folding and twisting the fabric, holding it together with elastic bands for the first dye bath.
The first dye bath was yellow. Then she added some areas of stitching and bundled it up again as before.
Then the cloth was dyed with red with a little rubinole.
Then she screen printed squares, and stencilled, and drew marks on the cloth. She felt the dark screen-printed squares were too strong, so she did not heat set them for the full 10 minutes, but only half as long. Finally she dyed the cloth again, in a blue dye wash, to unify  it. When she rinsed, some of the dark colour of the squares also washed out, as she'd hoped, revealing the marks underneath from the earlier dye runs.

Here's the finished cloth:
...and here's some detail shots.
Maz said, "This was my first attempt at a piece of cloth and the recipient liked it, so that was good."  I bet she did!

Nola was working on a piece of cloth, one of her "paint rags", that she began drawing on some while ago. Here's what it looked like when she began today:
and here's how it looked when she stopped:
It had been painted with Setacolor paints and drawn on with black Sharpie pens and fabric pens. Today, she drew on it with the new Sharpie fabric pens called Stained. They are a little strange to use since they have a soft brush point, meant to be something like a paint brush. It's an odd choice for fabric pens. Nola wasn't very happy with them, since the black pen bled on fabric in the same way as the usual Sharpies can do, the pink and orange were fluro and the yellow is actually an acid green. After playing with the pens for a while, she changed over to colouring with Inktense pencils to add some flat colour, which she brushed with water. It will be interesting to see where she goes with this.

More in a fortnight!