Thursday, 29 November 2007

Mixed bag

Not much personal creative stuff done today, bar a bit of musing over the rust project after a very helpful session with a good friend of mine yesterday, but more on that later.

I went to work with my daughter today producing the new line of winter corduroy baby carriers which are taking the web shop by strorm and giving us plenty of work to do.

I delivered my daughter's new picture that she bought from her Dad at our exhibition and she has hung in her work area to add a sense of calm on those frantic work days!!

This afternoon, Bethany, one of my granddaughters, came over to work on a very exotic outfit that she has designed to wear at the Clothes Show Live in just over a week! so no pressure, Nanny, to get it finished in time!!

She has been beavering away at FMEing lots and lots of hearts to decorate a black net tutu, I shall say no more! But will post pics when it's finished.

Having a little break to spend time with our son and his fiance, so will not be back on the blog till Monday

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Any ideas

Well, the last exhibition deliveries are done and I can now refocus on some more creative stuff, (for the next one) ha, ha ! I don't think so, not for while anyway.

While I was looking for suitable pieces to put in the exhibition I came across this half finished sample, as you do, hidden away because you got so far with it and then didn't know what to do in case you spoilt it!

It's a piece of Nuno felt worked on some very fine silk with a water soluble backing. The inspiration came from a shell, which was FME on after the layers of wool tops were felted. I've put some hand stitching on with an idea that this may provide an environment for the shell, but it's not enough and I'm not sure how much more to do.

I've tried scanning the piece and then drawing in the stitches to see where to put them but this doesn't seem to help. I'd really like to finish this piece, because I think it could be quite effective if I could get it right, so any suggestions would be welcome.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Red dots everywhere

Just a quick catch up on the exhibition front. Well! It was a great success and surpassed all our expectations. I had 17 sales and my OH sold a staggering 25 pieces!! How amazing is that?

Our friends did well too and we will catch up with them later in the week, after we've all recovered.

We are both exhausted after taking down the exhibition and are looking forward to a good night's sleep!

Many thanks for all your comments, it was very exciting and encouraging to read your good wishes before each day, thank you all so much, and I will be back blogging properly tomorrow!

Friday, 23 November 2007

Lift off

We finally got set up, for the exhibition by 9.30pm last night! It took us 5 hours from start to finish, so I suppose that wasn't too bad. Not much left to do this morning apart from a few more lables etc.

I decided to add some information about the pieces I was showing, as I often get asked where my inspiration comes from, so this turned out to be another add on, especially as I'd missed out a couple of pieces and had to do them quickly this morning. It didn't help that my dear OH had left me with no fresh blades in the Stanley knife, so I had to use a scalple, not very easy when you're trying to cut through foam board in a hurry!

Anyway the day went off very well with lots of visitors and I ended up by selling seven works and my OH sold ten!!

Interestingly enough I think it was my explanation of the work, that I wrote up this morning, that helped to sell my most
expensive piece.

This is what I wrote about it 'This piece was created as a result of my studies into iconography used in India and China. For me this image represents a calmness and contemplation that is often lacking in the modern world.

Two more days to go so lets hope our good fortune holds out.

Many, many thanks to all those who wished us luck!

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

bread and butter 2 help!

Well at last I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. These are the last of the six small pieces, the first are on the the previous B&B post, that I wanted to mount and frame for our show.

They were a lovely set to make, but I did struggle a bit with mounting them on the foam board. I laced the backs in the proper manner, but when it came to doing a mitre on the corners, I found it was too small an area to work like that so had to resort to just folding the corner in.

Does anyone have a solution to this problem or know of some good instructions? I think it was made worse by using the foam board, as cardboard would have been thinner, but I wanted that deep 3D effect.

Anyway they worked out OK in the end and have made quite a nice little collection.

One day to go now, so it's a bit nail biting!

Monday, 19 November 2007

Exhibition preparations

Why does it always take so long to do all those final little bits for an exhibition, commission, assignment, project etc. Just when you think you can relax there's a whole chunk of stuff still sitting there peering at you waiting to be sorted!!

Still we open on Friday at 10am, the posters are out, the invitations in the post and , fingers crossed, the article is going in the paper on Thursday, so no backing out now.

I'm still deliberating which pieces might be suitable for framing, nothing like leaving it to the very last minute.

My friend Shirley, on the other hand is very organised and is busy printing more cards to fill the deficit left by another show last weekend!

My ever patient OH has taken evasive action and headed off to the woods for some solace in the company of Ben and the dog, who both of course hang on his every word. You wouldn't think he was exhibiting too would you!!

And then there's Melanie, totally unflappable, who looks at me completely mystified as to how anyone can get in such a stress over something that should be quite straight forward, after all we have done it before.

But there we are we're all different and thank goodness for that!

I know it's not at all likely but if anyone who browses this blog is in the vicinity this weekend please feel free to drop in for a glass of wine and a mince pie. Details can be found on my website

Saturday, 17 November 2007

What no textiles!

Thought I'd put up a completely non textile post today, partly for a change and mostly as I don't have any new work to show.

Firstly I thought I'd show you this beautiful composite that my OH is exhibiting in our exhibition.. The only thing is he is stumped for a title for this one, any ideas?

Secondly I was about to do some work this afternoon when a great looking film came on the TV. It was called Legend starring a very young Tom Cruise, and was released in 1985. It was a beautiful fantasy film about The Lord of Darkness who wishes to kill the last unicorns, so darkness falls on the world and he can come out from his cave where he is shielded from the lethal sunlight.
Of course only true love can save the day, so there's a princess, a hero (TC) and lots of elves, fairies and goblins. It all ended happily with The Lord of Darkness being slain by TC of course and the happy couple swanning off into the sunset, marvellous! what a way to spend a rainy Saturday afternoon.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Pavarotti's handkerchief

No time for personal creativity today! I had work to do for my daughter in the morning and had prep to do for my granddaughter’s new project, which she came to work on this evening. It was worth the effort as she’s making a very exotic outfit to go to Clothes Show Live in December. Needless to say she’s the one who wants to be a fashion designer and is responsible for me swearing over having to work with lycra this afternoon!

Anyway my grandson came over last evening and we had a good session on his new project. He wanted to do something about Pavarotti and his handkerchief, using FME, so I started by printing a painting he found on the net on cotton that had been pre soaked with Bubblejet.

He then decided that he wanted to make it more 3D so we put some wadding underneath. He gleefully set about free machining the contours of Pavarotti’s frame. I really didn’t think he’d be able to follow the lines, remembering back to how difficult I found it when I first started. But as usual he amazed me with his accuracy.

Ben then wanted me to get in on the act and as we only have one machine suitable for FME I got out the embellisher and started to shatter some silk thanks to Helen’s advise. I’d been frightened to use it on a single layer of fine fabric but was delighted with the results. We may use some of these pieces for a surround to Ben’s original piece.

Of course once the embellisher was out Ben couldn’t wait to have another go on it and was so pleased with the resulting samples that he’s called them Ben’s five minute tips, I think he’s planning on giving tutorials to anyone who’s interested ☺.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

recording the process (rust triptych) 9

Now I feel as if I’m beginning to get somewhere! Yesterday I coated some silk samples with Bubblejet Set 2000 and printed them on my Epson inkjet printer. I used a silk organza for the first and second pics and a very fine silk (the name escapes me at the moment, but it feels a bit like an old silk scarf) for the third one that has the rust texture printed onto it.

I’m particularly pleased with the silk/rust sample as that translates from the composite really well.

I’m going to try some Japanese Sanwa Tissue recommended by Shirley
next and see if that gives me any advantage. I also want to try the InkAid (also recommended by Shirley and Lynda), to see if it’s better than the Bubblejet, as at the time of buying this it was the only product of its type available and things have clearly moved on since then.

I’m pleased to be making headway at last but am a little worried that at present there isn’t a stitch in sight, no change there then! When I mentioned my concerns to my dear OH (other half) his comment was “Why don’t you just sew a row of stitches across the middle!” Hmm! Maybe he has something there.

While rummaging around in my dye samples I found this silk organza dyed with navey Procion and then dicharged with a circular string print. I quite like the effect of this but don't know if it will be relevant yet.

Monday, 12 November 2007

Bread and butter

I had a productive, if worky, sort of day today. I have started to mount a collection of very small pieces that I have been working on for a while now and decided that they might make good ‘bread and butter ‘ pieces for our exhibition.

I started these with a very dear friend who was running the odd workshop at the time. She started the day by getting us to make sheets of BG papers to a colour scheme of our choice and using all her lovely different acrylics and special effects paints.

We cut these pieces up into squares, making a 9 square layout ( the designs I have shown worked here are marked with a red star). Once we’d stuck these to black paper we then placed them in a plastic wallet and made stitch marks on the designs with a black marker pen. I’m sure many people will recognise this technique. but for me it was a revelation, as were many of the other skills my friend taught us over that period. She was one of the few people who made me feel comfortable with incorporating stitch into a design, and who made exceedingly good cakes!

The resulting small samples were done after the class and I thoroughly enjoyed doing something so small and glittery, not at all my usual thing!

I found these delightful frames in my favourite shop, Hobbycraft and will be mounting 4 more for the show, so let’s hope people like them.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

recording the process (rust triptych) 8

At last I can say that I have made a proper start on the triptych. As previously mentioned I just painted the canvases with a mauve acrylic wash leaving out the yellow circles, which I painted in when the BG was dry.

Next I painted the dark purple following the guidelines I’d laid down in my sketchbook. You may notice that the right hand canvas has been turned 45% CW for a better composition.

I now had to make a cardboard support to go inside the canvas before I could iron on the painted Bondaweb, otherwise I think the canvases would have stretched under the heat and weight of the iron. To help with the heat conduction I put a last layer of woollen blanket on the support.

I really like the textured effect of the Bondaweb so I’m now in a dilemma as to what to add to the composition that will enhance and compliment the BG without obliterating it, maybe some machine embroidery on watersoluble fabric.

I finished off my interpretation of the sketches with layers of gold and pale blue oil pastel on baking paper, which was then ironed onto the canvas. This didn’t work too well when I used tissue paper because it got stuck to the canvas as you can see on the first one.

So far so good, I’m still toying with the idea of putting down layers of resin, maybe making a total covering of FME on water soluble fabric and then immersing this in the resin. The only problem with that is, it takes an age to dry and the fumes are a nightmare until it’s solid!

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Baby wearing Gran

This morning I went to work for my daughter, making straps for her baby carriers . We thought it would be fun to see how Nanny modelled one of the special silk Dupion carriers, so here we are, Sylvia and me! Proving that Gran can do baby wearing too!

I had a great morning hearing all about dolly and monkey’s extraordinary adventures from Sylvia, I think she’ll be ready to write a book about them as soon as she’s mastered using a pencil!

When I got home I had a lovely surprise in my emails to find that I had won Julie’s prize for her 100th post, I will post a picture when I receive it.

I’ve been busy all afternoon on the canvases for the ‘rust triptych’ so watch this space for the recent developments.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

recording the process (rust triptych) 7

The canvases are painted! The first coat anyway, so I won’t bore you with the pics. At least I’ve got rid of the white!

I’ve decided to run with the bondaweb idea Post 3 so have painted a couple of sheets ready for bonding. The bottom sheet is painted with all metallic finish paints. These came from Homebase and are from their Creative Effects range.

I also painted a sheet of tissue paper with spent Procion dyes and quite like the effect of this piece as a whole, so I may not be able to persuade myself to tear it up!

Lastly, before I cleared up I mono printed what was left of the acrylic and got some rather nice print offs that will be handy for another day, so never waste anything!

I’ve also been looking at the idea of embedding the textiles in resin, to take them into another dimension, so they then become non tactile and rigid! I think it may help to integrate the stitched part of this project with the other media I’m using.

Regarding the direction of the content of this piece I have returned to the composite ideas as I feel that I want to include the history of the original source, Hurst Castle.
This has become more poignant after discussions with a friend who is currently doing a Fine Art degree. During one of her crits she was asked, “what do you want the work to say? ”, which she then asked me. From this we talked about my feelings for the fort (as I prefer to call it) and how they were infusing the work so far. I couldn’t understand how I was producing such vibrant colours and what appeared to be sun orbs from a place that was built for protection against invasion.

We finally tracked this down to the fact that HC had never seen action in the 2 World Wars, so, maybe it was more a sense of safety and containment that I had felt once inside it’s massive walls. Also you can only see the sky when on the ground level and hear the sea, so maybe that’s why the blues and yellow were coming through.

However once I started on the composites and introduced the images of the huge guns that had so captured my imagination, I started to see a very different reaction. I could then see fire and explosion in the work and the ‘awful ‘ power of these beasts, and how they dwarfed the men who fired them. This is the third composite, the other 2 are on Post 6

I do feel more settled in my direction now, but that could have something to do with the fact that I have my security blanket (my Imac and PS) back in place.

Anyway I had a good day in the studio yesterday and enjoyed the freedom of just letting things flow, so I’m going to see if I can preserve that feeling as I progress with the project.