Sunday, July 31, 2011

More Stitching on the Travellers' Blanket

I have been doing some more stitching on the travellers' blanket whilst I ponder a cot quilt I should have made months ago- it needs to include poppies as it's for a little girl called poppy. I have to dye the fabric for it but also have to think about how I will make the quilt as it will be washed and needs to be soft- so not so heavily stitched.

 The travellers' blanket is starting to look like wobbly millefiore- the effect of the circles is so different to the effect with the stitched squares. I only tie dyed the upper third of the blanket so am now appliqueing circles of recycled sari silk to be the centres of the circles. The sari silk is  a bit tricky to sew with as it is very fine and so shreds easily- so the only way to deal with it is to stitch it heavily. Don't forget there is still time to enrol in the Travellers Blanket class which starts on 13 August.  You can chose to do circles or squares or any other shape that appeals to you like tear drops.Details are here if you are interested.

I am so over cars i can barely write the word car- one problem fixed and now another  more expensive problem to be fixed- it's driving me nuts, not only is it consuming precious pennies but also quite a lot of time plus kids need running around and sans car that is proving to be difficult.Does anyone know a good reliable mechanic in Geelong?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

No Sewing Done but....

The week has flown and very little sewing has gotten done, in a sense I am treading water- wondering if I should continue with the sentinelle series or developing something new. I thought that perhaps I could make a different stencil and change the next sentinelles in  the way they appear, but haven't decided what changes to make. Making six as I did, really did push me to  think about how to give each an identity.

The week has been marred by more car troubles- cars and I don't seem to have a good interface. I did teach at Portsea on the weekend and that was a lot of fun- it was a retreat so lots of ladies just out for the weekend enjoying themselves with stitching and the odd glass of wine. I couldn't believe my luck when I won first price in the raffle and some paintings by Andrew Page-Roberston- there were two so i decided that someone else should have the opportunity to have one of the paintings and blow me down my name was drawn out again!

The collage is of  natural things encountered last week at Elsternwick whilst waiting for my daughter to do her assessement presentation at Brighton bay College, at Portsea Jetty and the Ian Erskines building in Geelong- it's derelict but heritage listed and does have some lovely features despite the battoned down windows and other dilapidations. There is another image here. I wonder what Grand Designs would do with such a building? In fact there are some quite lovely buildings in Geelong, but they seem to get lost in amongst malls and shopping squares.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Another teapot and Rosewater Jug

I found another  lutradur panel with a teapot and rosewater jug already printed so I have stitched it.I really needed to get some stitching done- my sewing machine has been sitting in  abject silence.
It measures 8 inches square or 20 cms square and is for sale for $45 AUS inclusive of postage. Just email me if you are interested.

And I have enrolled in a  Graphic Design and Printing course at the Gordon Institute. It is a full time course, running for a semester ,but as I want to write more books I really want to work with Illustrator more and short courses are not in depth enough. Today was my first day as student- it feels rather strange being so much older than everyone, though  the young people were quite friendly and one of the guys fell asleep  in the lecture- tomorrow is a free day.

I have also been invited to exhibit in Prague in December- this is very exciting as I have never been to Prague and it is a textile event rather than a quilt event and i shall be the only Australian there.So I have made a commitment to get there by hook or crook and would love to meet some Czechoslovakian textile artists.

Next weekend some of my work will be shown at Chabeuil near Valence in Southern France along with some other terrific artists  at De Fil en Fil

There are still some places left in the Travellers Blanket  on-line class but it is filling so if you want to do it you will need to let me know soon. It starts on August 13 and I have been working on the  blanket itself ( to be able to show participants a different version) and also the notes.

Last week  the latest Magic Patch ( France )arrived with a project I did of the Gypsy Blanket. I love the orange background for the  image of the quilt and the styling of the photograph!

Friday, July 08, 2011

The Faceless One is Finished

I honestly don't know where time gets to sometimes. I set out with good plans and good intentions but nothing comes of it at all. Add to that the need to job hunt  with tweaking resumes and writing covering letters( which take up  quite some time I might add) and the week has gone when it has only just started. Then we have the unemployment figures saying there  was a small increase in jobs this last month- but really when the figures classify employment as including jobs that may only be 3 hours a week- what are we to make of the figures- they really do not reflect the real situation at all.And I think I need to work hard at my art and business because I think it may be the best hope after all.

But I have finished my faceless Sentinel portrait and she now has a face- I think she is  The Sentinel of the Desert and Barren Places, places which seem bare but in all reality hide many treasures and miraculous happenings.The close-up images are closer to the true colour- she is really a deep ochrey orange colour.

A close up of the hand stitched medallion- reflecting ridging in the desert and then the tiny buds of growth after winter rain.The idea of the medallions came from  pilgrim badges  in medieval times- they wore badges to identify the pilgrimage they were on  and to help protect them. They wore them on their clothing or they were sewn to the clothing.Here the badges depict the environment the sentinel is watching.
The photo above is a detail of the face and the stitching in the aura- both by hand and machine and of course the machine stitching was done with  Aurifil threads- 28 weight.

This Sentinel is for sale, because she is a different format than my other sentinels . She measure 32 inches square and she has been hand dyed and hand printed , machine and hand stitched. The price is $600AUD including postage. If you are interested in buying her please contact me.  SOLD to a fellow traveller!

Monday, July 04, 2011

Workshop in Reduction Linocutting

I don't often take workshops but a few weeks ago my eldest daughter and I visited the  studio of Pip Williams a linocut printmaker from Drysdale.Her studio is known as 135 Gallery and it was a lovely light space filled with wonderful prints and other art and ceramic objects. My daughter and I loved her work ( just wish I had a little more money sometimes) and were intrigued by the layers of colour she incorporates into her work. In talking to Pip we found out that she holds regular workshops in reduction linocutting (a technique I have been fascinated by but couldn't quite get it into my head how it's done) , and as it was my daughters birthday coming up in the end of June I suggest she may like to do a workshop with Pip.So last Saturday we spent a delightful day with Pip learning her technique for  reduction lino cutting and  being introduced to her philosophy of truly hand printing without a press ( something that appeals to me as I cannot afford a press, and I do like that each print differs from the hand process).

We started off with just making an ordinary linocut and perhaps doing something which was outside of  our normal style ( but can't help it - just love visual textures!)
This one was of a mushroom and we tried out several different papers for printing on. The we came to the reduction printing. it is a process where you cut away each layer for each colour you intend to print.So it does take some planning. My biggest problem was what to use for inspiration as i did not want it to be too complex as I really wanted to understand the process.I choose this hand woven basket or a detail of it.
I thought it gave me nice simple shapes to work with .......I forgot to photograph my first layer of printing but it was in a teracotta colour with the intention of the white from the paper to continue through the layers.
The final colour was to be a soft ochre to offer nice contrast.

On the bottom left hand print I reversed the linocut to see what effect it would have on the resulting print as I had mucked up the print in any case- I found the effect quite interesting. So we had a wonderful day and learnt lots , and I finally have some concept of a technique I have been wanting to pursue for a long time. I like the way the layers of paint load up onto paper and  the mottling because the layers sit on top of one another.

Yesterday we went and looked at an exhibition at the Wintergarden in Geelong ( it's possible to lunch there or drink coffee)  by the Friday Printmakers- some wonderful work there and we will be going back for their opening next Saturday and to take a better look!

And if you would like to learn some printmaking for textiles- I am teaching  at  Jiddi's Patch this coming Saturday- we will make a simple linocut and then print on fabrics using various techniques.


I also have an article in Issue 5 of Textiles Dowunder on African Painting which is available now.- this is a fun technique to create truly unique painted  textiles .There are lots of other inspirational articles and how to's.

And there is still time to enroll for a my on-line Travellers Blanket class- we start on August 13.You can see some examples of  other travellers blankets I have made here and here. Details of the class are here.