Monday, 11 April 2011

My hands look human again at last!

Silk fibres soaking
Dyebaths full in the studio
I hate wearing gloves when I am dyeing don't you?
Somehow being able to get my hands into the dyebath and squeeze the liquid through the fabrics and threads is all part of the experience.
However, it also means that by the time I have been at it all day, my hands look like some weird alien prunes!

Scrim Muslin all dried
Linen fibres ready to pack
The occasion is a show coming up at the weekend. The Beetroot Tree is having a stand for the first time at The Uttoxeter Quilt show and we have just had the fibres and fabrics arrive which we then colour and package. Both Stevie and I are teaching mini-workshops and there will be loads of interesting people to meet and fantastic quilts to enjoy - I will let you know more next week.
As it was such a sunny day (makes a change) we took advantage and converted the cafe courtyard into a drying room, spreading all of the colourful fibres and threads over the chairs and tables when they were not in use by customers.

The courtyard became drying area
Dyed paper
As I didn't want to waste any of the dye (don't you feel sad when rinsing all of the colours down the sink?) I placed papers on top of the baths and they took the colour in fantastic patterns. I had to be very careful not to rip the papers when lifting them out as they become (inevitably) very fragile. I tried with photo paper also, which created a lovely finish, but the paper is even more liable to ripping when wet than printer card and so if you have a go -take great care.

Harrogate in the spring time
I also took a trip up to Harrogate to the British Trade Craft Fair on Tuesday. This is a trade fair with a difference -hundreds of individual makers and artists are there to show galleries and show their 'wares'. There are many more commercial trade fairs with large businesses and importers, but this is my favourite for meeting the makers and finding new work for the Beetroot Tree. Unfortunately I only had a couple of hours and had to run around rather quickly, but as ever there was inspiring and excellent quality work.

Tracey Birchwood
Tracey's jewellery
For several years, I took a stand at the show and it was a hard decision not to continue, but I realised that I don't enjoy the process of making multiples and repeats to order, so now I concentrate upon one-off and developing new works and am much happier for it.
However some of the exhibitors are friends and others are artists whose work you will find at the Beetroot Tree, such as Tracey Birchwood, whose simple porcelain and
wire wrapped jewellery is always a

... off now to finish preparing for the Quilt show and my teaching there...

1 comment:

Cheryl Razmus said...

What a great idea to use the paper to finish off use of the dye. I am just now studying mixed media art, and "matching" papers would make an excellent addition to my fabric art.