Sunday, 25 August 2013

Knit the Bridge

Jan shared some images of this project of her guild in the US. The plan by the Pittsburgh Fiberarts Guild was to bring people together in Pittsburgh to yarn-bomb the Andy Warhol bridge. It's taken a long time to come together but finally, it's happened.

The project is described in more details on the Guild's website and on the blog about the project. You can see a video of the installation here and there's lots in the US media about it. Here are just a few:

Or Google knit Warhol!

Jan said it was an amazing project in the way it brought local people together. For example, one requirement was that the installation be monitored the whole time it was on display. The Guild contacted the local homeless community, many of whom shelter under the bridge, and they took great pride in keeping an eye on their bridge, with its amazing knitted coat.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

More journal themes

Last meeting, we also brought along our journals to share. The theme for July was Doors.

Tricia began by writing the word Doors all over the page, to stimulate her thinking. She started to think about significant doors she has seen. Her first door was a photograph of one from a church, which she manipulated in a graphics program.
On the facing page, she wrote words of blessing that relating to the door. I love the gorgeous texture and colour in the image. It would make an amazing textile work!
She had other doors but she hadn't yet written the words - they'll come along later.

Maz also listed words that relate to doors, with associated thumbnails, and sketched a pair of double doors.

Then she listed and sketched thumbnails of  parts of doors. Her final sketch was another door on a stone building.
The sketch was from her imagination, which is so clever. She's got a great eye for detail.

Helen found images of different kinds of doors...
 and drew a door that opened to show..

...more images of doors and a door image manipulated in PhotoShop, which shows when the first door is opened.

She began a list of words for doors and drew another door
I love the fish jumping through the porthole!
Nola began by drawing a front door with pen on salt-dyed paper. The door opens to show layers of pages underneath..
 The next page is inside the first door and some words about the door.
On the facing page is a tiled doorway opening, showing another door underneath (part of what was visible when the first door was opened)...
 On the back of that page are words about that door.

The next image shows a refugee camp, with a tiny, red, opening door on the right. The opening shows only bricks...
..but the other side has a different message...

Jan's door wasn't actually in her book; she was inspired to make a small textile art work.

Her first door, with an embellished strip and a handle made from a twist-tie, opens to show..

...a pair of doors of a woven cloth, like the opening of a shrine, opening to… ethnic embroidery given to Jan by a friend. Isn't it clever?
Our theme for this month is Idiotic Flowers, chosen by Helen. It comes from a time when schools streamed people according to their academic ability. Being in the Art Stream meant you were too dumb to do Business Studies and the Business Studies people were considered too dumb to do Academic stuff like Latin. Helen was condemned to Business Studies while her friend got to do the interesting things in the Art Stream, like creating Idiotic Flowers. I'm grateful that I got to choose electives that interested me, so I could study Art and Latin and Commerce, if I wanted to. And now we all get to create Idiotic Flowers.
Jan also brought along some dyeing samples she had done earlier and brought back from the US on her recent trip. They are all silk organza, white unless indicated otherwise, dyed in different ways with the same kinds of dye.
This first one was first wood blocked, clamped and degummed. This removes the gum in some places but not others, affecting the resulting pattern. Then it was unclamped and dyed with mx Procion, 75% yellow 25% chino. Then it was reclamped and vat dyed, 50% red, 50% blue.
The second one was initially pole wrapped and degummed. Then it was unwrapped and dyed with mx Procion, 75% turquoise 24% fuchsia. Finally it was rewrapped on the pole and vat dyed 75% yellow 25% blue.
The third sample was wood blocked, clamped and degummed. Then it was unclamped and dyed with mx Procion, 75% yellow 25% chino. Finally it was pleated and tied to rope with two sizes of string, vat dyed 75% yellow 25% blue.
The fourth sample was also wood blocked, clamped and degummed; unclamped, dyed with mx Procion, 75% yellow 25% chino; pleated, tied to rope with two sizes of string and vat dyed 50% red, 50% blue.

Sample 5 was again wood blocked, clamped and degummed. Then it was unclamped and dyed with mx Procion, 75% turquoise 25% chino. Finally it was reclamped and vat dyed 75% yellow, 24.5% red, 0.5% red/brown.

Sample 6  was also wood blocked, clamped and degummed first. Then it was unclamped and dyed with mx Procion, 75% yellow 25% mixing red, and finally it was reclamped and vat dyed 90% yellow, 10% red brown.

Sample 7 was initially clamped and degummed and then unclamped and dyed with mx Procion, 75% turquoise 25% better black, Finally it was painted with vat dyes, green (80% yellow, 20% blue) and orange (25% red,75% yellow).

Sample 8 was on black silk organza. It was wood blocked, clamped and degummed twice, with very little discharge. Then it was reclamped and vat dyed, 90% yellow 10% red/brown and then unclamped, scrunched on a rope and dyed with mx Procion, 75% turquoise and 25% better black.

On sample 9, after being wood blocked, clamped and degummed,  she unclamped it and dyed it with mx Procion, 60% mixing red, 25% yellow, 15% chino. Finally she painted it with vat dyes, green (80% yellow 20% blue) and orange (25% red,75% yellow) and steamed it.
 Sample 10: After being blocked, clamped and degummed, it was unclamped and dyed with mx Procion, 50% turquoise, 50% mixing blue. Then it was painted with vat dyes, green (80% yellow 20% blue) and orange (25% red,75% yellow) and steamed to fix.

Sample 11; After being blocked, clamped and degummed, it was unclamped and dyed with mx Procion, 75% mixing red, 25% yellow. Then it was reblocked, clamped and vat dyed 50% red, 50% blue.
It's a wonderful collection of samples, because it illustrates how different procedures and dyes work together to give varied effects. The multiple processes result in complex pieces with a lot of depth.

See you next week, when we are swapping postcards again and working on our Nine Squares project.

A new project!

Everyone loves starting something new and we're no different. Here at Fibrecircle, we've started a new project, which will run until we get sick of it. It's called Nine Squares (thanks, Claire Brach, for the idea!).

Each person (except new member, Yvonne) was given a snaplock bag to fill with materials for this project. To help them choose a collection of colours to work together, they each drew out a simple theme. They could use this theme for their works or just as a guide for selecting a colour scheme. Once the bag is filled, everyone is limited to the materials in the bag, so the contents took some thinking about. The aim is to make as many Nine Square pieces as possible from their bag of materials. Members can use any tools of their choice, so needles, scissors, (sewing machine?) and so on don't need to be fitted into their bag.

Each person brought along her bag of materials when we met together last week. From their bag, they were instructed to make as many finished Nine Squares as they liked. Nine Squares refers to the footprint of each piece, which must consist of nine, 1.5cm squares in any arrangement. Some examples of possible arrangements of squares were provided:

Carol decided to work with 4.5cm squares (nine squares in a three by three layout) and her original theme of Sky and Sand. Here’s her first one:
She included paints in her bag, so she painted some fabric and then added the corrugated card and shell on a card background.

Her second square used net beads and sequins on a fabric square, mounted on card.

Her third square is a night beach scene, made from stitched felt, net and sequins.
Maz also worked with 4.5cm squares. She constructed a series of squares, joined by fabric strips, which folded into a 4.5cm concertina book.

(Truly, it does fold into a 4cm square!)

Nola also included paints in her bag, as well as fabric strips and embroidery threads. She chose to work with her theme, Sydney Spring.
She painted some plain dyed fabric as the background and added stitch. This square is slightly oversize, and will be trimmed back to size when it has its backing added.

Tricia decided to work with a more complex shape, like a fish. She mounted fabric onto stiffened cut to shape and added beads.

 It's actually quite challenging to work as small as this, as anyone making Inchies will tell you. You have to think in very simple terms to create your image or mood. Unlike Inchies or ATCs, we're working on each piece individually, so they are quite small to handle.
There will be more to come!

Sunday, 11 August 2013

The depths of winter

Here we are in July and winter has truly arrived. It's nowhere near as fierce as in some parts of the world, but it's quite cold enough for us! It's always hard to get going on creative things in the winter months, and we haven't had any big deadlines to push us along.

However, we're still doing things as a group. We're working on our journals and this month we had a catchup from some members who hadn't been around for earlier unveilings. Here is a Leaf page from Bev:
She used stamps she'd hand-carved for the ones on the left, and the ones on the right were stencilled, with hand-drawn patterns added.

And here's her Fish page:
She based her fish on button stamping.

This is Tricia's Fish:

Our theme for the Journal project in June was Circle. Tricia was fascinated by this gorgeous tile pattern:
She also experimented with freehand circles drawn with watercolour pencils and then dampened with a brush.
 She also stencilled circles with watercolour pencils brushed over with water, which look almost like bubbles, and stitched overlapping freehand circles by couching with the sewing machine.
Interesting patterns!

Maz brainstormed different kinds of circles - family circles, knitting circles, mandalas - and drew patterned overlapping circles.
She punched holes and glued the punched circles in a positive and negative design.
 Her circle village, drawn with pen and ink, was based on an art work she saw once. She also drew freehand circles, rather like Tricia's drawn and stitched ones.

Helen used circle stickers and also drew circles by  tracing around everyday objects.
Nola took photos at the military ruins at Bradley's Head and Middle Head on Sydney Harbour. She manipulated some of the images in different ways in a graphics program.
The left circle is a gun barrel, the right hand one (and other similar ones) are gun emplacements.
She also created a circular pattern with motifs from paper serviettes and hand drew a pattern with pen and ink. Some pages were cut back to the circular shape.
 These patterns were hand drawn, by tracing around a bottle cap and then adding freehand details.
 These patterns used the same image as the gun barrel on the first page.

We also swapped postcards as usual. Tricia's postcard was made with dyed and printed fabric strips, with hand stitching and a clever corded edge.
Helen's postcard was made with a photograph, manipulated in a graphics program and printed onto fabric.
Jan's postcard had a layer of silk organza, printed multiple times with Procion dyes, over a base of silk-screened cotton.
Nola's postcard was made from one of her paint rags, hand embroidered and coloured with Inktense pencils.
 And finally, this embroidery was begun by Jan in a workshop with Tilleke Schwartz at Haystack, in Maine. It has couched letters, running stitches and chain stitch.