Sunday, 24 July 2016

Barking up a silver tree

The 2016 New Zealand Embroiderer's Guild Conference was held last week, with an exhibition including many examples of fine embroidery, a sales event over the weekend and then 4 days of workshops featuring tutors from New Zealand, Australia and the UK (don't hold it against me if I have missed any other nationalities).
My contribution was a workshop called 'Silvered Bark' and derived from one of the projects in 'Stitch, Fibre, Metal and Mixed Media'.

Silvered Bark by Alysn Midgelow-Marsden
The workshop explores colouring fabric, colouring metal and metal fabric with a combination of alcohol inks, spray paint and heat, then building bark patterns in metal and metal cloth onto soluble fabric. The final simple assembly method brings out the combination of strong textures, subtle colours and reflects the wide variations in tree bark.
We had about half of the class who had never tried free motion machine embroidery before. It is always such a pleasure to watch a face light up with the realisation that there is a whole new world of possibilities. The exclamations of surprise and delight are fabulous. Well done to everyone who thought they were going to take the hand stitch option but were brave enough to have a go at something new. Never say never!
Though not finished, these images give a good idea of what the pieces will look like after the addition of a small amount more stitching, some beads and knitted wires.

Hard at work in the Silvered Bark class at ANZEG 2016 Conference

Bark like patterns applied to silk for the backgrounds
First time free machining ...

No problem!


With the bark texture laid over. More stitching and removing the soluble film later.

The camera shy Tricia!
Detail showing the variations in metal cloths and stitching


Silver birch - obviously!
Sue working on an image of the bark from the Plane tree

Plane bark textures

All laid out to get an impression of the finished article
Recreating an image of a partially stripped trunk of a Canadian pine tree

Detail to see the textured stitch being added
Jenny's textures

Then after stitching and laid on the backing
This from the professed non-machine stitcher!

And with a little more stitch, it will be there. Well done.
And there is always one who goes their own way! Mentioning no names.

Still going to be great Betty.
A great big thanks to the organisers and participants, I had a fabulous time and hope to see images of these pieces when they are finished.


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