Friday, 27 September 2013

September: our own work

We've all been working on our own things as usual, but not many have been photographed. 

Our new member, Yvonne  has been tapestry weaving. She is making a weaving every day for a month, inspired by the colours she sees that the day. Here is one of her pieces:

Tapestry is such complex and time-consuming weaving, it's hard for us to imagine making one every day! 

Helen brought along this embroidery to work on at one of our meetings this month. This is how it looked at lunchtime...

... and how it looked when she finished it.

Aren't the colours gorgeous?

Tricia and Nola have been dyeing again - no surprises there. But they decided to compbine their dyeing with some other techniques.

These ones of Nola's were screen printed using Permaset printing inks:

The intention was to over-dye them, but this hasn't happened because the sample ones didn't like the rinsing process and some of the colour flaked off. It worked fine with lighter screen printing, which had less medium on the cloth.

The challenging part was choosing colours that worked well together. Here, Nola was looking for contrast, but it obviously needs a contrast in tone rather than just colour. It's interesting but it lacks wow factor.

Their second experiment was to draw with Tsukineko inks before dyeing. Tricia had happier results with this than Nola did.
This one used a stencil, while the ones below were hand drawn. 

 Nola drew around a stencil on this one.
 This one shows the kinds of problems Nola had. The inks behave like fibre reactive dyes, since, unlike the screen printing inks, they are affected by the dye process. The roses above were quite a strong red but have become purple when over-dyed with blue. The pattern on the one below is almost invisible, because they are the same tonal value.
So it was an interesting experiment to try.

Afterwards they did some fun dyeing with the fibre reactive dyes. Here are Tricia's scarves:






 This one was created by plaiting three chiffon scarves together, so there are three like this.
Here are Nola's scarves...

... and she also dyed two tees for children.


See you next month!

September: Postcards

And, yes, we swapped postcards this month as usual. Haven't we been busy? 

Here's Helen's 24th postcard, made from applique and embroidery, with some free motion stitched elements and her signature rug canvas. Gorgeous as always.
Nola's came together very quickly. She took a sample made as a test for a stamp she had carved some time ago, inspired by stone age figures in Corsica. She laid it down on another fabric sample that she had discharged with bleach, an even longer time ago. Then she added a scrap of candled fabric (man-made fabric melted in a candle flame) and some dental gauze from her samples basket, and stitched over them with vermilion embroidery thread. A satin stitch edge and she was done. She called it Waves of History.
Maz's postcard was inspired by the Doors theme we worked on recently in our journals. Like many of her postcards, it has a painted background, embellished with hand embroidery.
Neither Carol nor Yvonne had made postcards, so they decided to make them on the spot. Yvonne took a postcard-sized piece of card and glued some fabric over it. She added some leaves and drew in some elements with watercolour pencils. She added some unknown natural fibre that Helen had given her - we think perhaps it's jute and had a quick lesson from Helen in making a spiderweb to sew in the corner. 
Just amazing to watch it come together so surely and confidently!

Carol also made a postcard on demand. She laid some black felt on a card base and began to built up layers of fabric. She added her trademark "bling" with beads and metallic yarn, but it needed just one more thing. Then she had it - the turquoise flowers! Some running stitches held it together - physically and thematically. Wonderful!

September: Nine Squares

Most of us are still working away on our Nine Squares projects, although Helen has finished hers. She chose to work with 4.5cm squares - a shape that is the nine, 1.5cm squares in a 3 x 3 layout. She incorporated her squares into the front cover of a book.
Here's the back cover.
Inside the book are pages in colours suiting the theme, which is on the front page, Tropical Sunset. 
Nola has almost finished her project. She also used 4.5cm squares, making six pages for a tiny book on her theme, Sydney Spring. Each page was painted and embroidered to represent spring flowers. She also made covers with the name of the book, a hand-made tassel and a plait and bead fastening on the front:
and, on the back, her name and the date. She's sure she'll have it finished before our next meeting.

Maz hasn't decided whether her earlier piece is finished, but she started another one. This time, she is using a different layout of the nine squares....






September: Journals

Our journal theme for August was Idiotic Flowers, suggested by Helen. We all had a lot of fun with this one.

Helen really enjoyed her theme, which is not surprising, since it came from her younger days when only those in the "Art Stream" could do such interesting things, while others were stuck with Business Studies or Latin! Her first flowers were made from paper, with some smaller hand drawn and coloured ones.

Then she drew a strange multicoloured flower, but she thought it was very like an ordinary flower so she named it Conventionatus.
Then she was back into paper for this Japanese inspired bullseye flower, the Carnation unlikicoa.
Then she drew her Rosa trangulata...
These flowers from free motion machine samples were christened Viola berninia.

 Her last flower was unnamed; she was just having fun painting.

Nola went more with idiotic plants, with only a few flowers. She began by brainstorming some ideas:
She decided to experiment with different media. This one has a background of watercolour crayons, drawn on with felt tip pen. 
 This page used watercolour pencils, with the picture drawn in a different kind of black pen and painted with acrylics.
 This page was painted with acrylic paint, and then a thick layer of gesso was added, The flower was drawn in the wet gesso with the end of a paintbrush as stylus.
 This page was give a watercolour wash and then the drawings were added in fine Pigma pen.
 This page was painted with gesso and then with acrylics, which were scraped back. It was a very busy surface so Nola added the drawing pen drawing on another sheet of paper.
 The background of this one was printed from the page beneath it while it was wet. The drawing was done with watercolour crayons.
 The background of this page was made from watercolour crayons, layered thickly and then moistened. Then it was laid against the opposite page, above, to create a pattern, and then more watercolour crayon was added to the wet surface. The flowers were splotches of Lumiere paints, outlined and enhanced,once they were dry, with a black felt tip pen and coloured with Prismacolor pencils.
Jan says she finds working in journals difficult so she again made a little textile artwork on the theme.
Tricia also had a lot of fun with the theme. Her first pages included a flower she drew as soon as Helen announced the theme last month. It's been coloured since then. She also added some hand coloured flower lace.
 Then she remembered our earlier work with paper serviettes.They were certainly very odd flowers, not seen in nature!
 Her third page showed some flowers duelling or embracing - it's hard to know their intentions!
 Then she thought about the unlikely and idiotic flowers that do exist in nature. All these images are of actual orchids.

Nature can always beat our best efforts at idiocy!

Our next theme, chosen by Jan, is Alphabet letter. We each have to choose a letter of the alphabet and play around with it, embellish it, do whatever takes our fancy...