Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Mostly not my own work.

I'm almost unable to get to my workroom right now as it is having new windows, which of course means that it will need re-plastering as well, and everything has to be kept covered in an attempt to keep out the dust!So creatively I have done nothing special.
Setting an example for my regular students, I have finished my sample for their next project. We are looking at a soluble stitch and bead technique described by Jan Beaney in Stitch Magazine. A simple design would seem to be best, though at a larger scale you could get more involved, this is stitched onto soluble, the areas of design linked together and the main outlines worked over in a narrow zig-zag a couple of times. Then beads are added wherever wished in the colours of the stitching. Beads are both the making of the piece and the section which takes a long time - I was grateful for my 'Tacky Bead Mat' again and had it to hand so that I could add a few beads at a time whenever I had a moment. Eventually the whole thing is dunked in water and the soluble removed.
As Jan said in her article, it could be a useful technique not only for decorative panels, but lace additions to clothing etc.
In fact my mum made one to send to a friend in the States to attach to her fly-screen - so decorative and practical, and my student Jackie decided that if she used metallic threads that it would be a great solution for her Xmas cards this year.
Overall image. The piece is approx. 14cm sq.

Detail of the beads and the thread after soluble was removed

Detail of a corner section

It has however been a good month for getting images of work which my regulars have made, a couple of projects have been completed:
Jean has been busy making a bonded appliqué and free machine stitched piece which was eventually stretched over a canvas from studies of rosehips. She has done a fabulous job with bought fabrics, including cotton, velvet, silk-metal tisu and others and sensitive stitching to create the feel of her sketches. I think you can tell that she has painted and drawn for years so has a sensitive eye for shape, form and colour.

Detail of bonded appliqué and stitch

The finished piece
The second piece is by Sheila. She has been working, on and off, on this memory book for a couple of years. We have used a concertina spined book structure which allows the book to hold bulky and heavy components without being distorted. There are several image transfer methods, machine and hand stitch, paint effects etc.
The book was designed with a page for each room of her grandmothers' house and a couple of pages for the garden. A mammoth effort, but such a fantastic object to remember her family with. Best of all, the planning and thinking got us all back in touch with the sights, smells and quirks of life in the UK decades ago.

The front cover. Transfered images with Fuse FX and transfer solution. The daisy chain runs through the whole book, remembering summer lawns at Grandmas.
Trellis around the old bomb shelter with roses and wisteria. Small, delicate flowers and weeds in the garden.

The kitchen and pantry - linen t-towel, vegetables, oxocubes, blue washing bags, the mangle, washing buttons and cakes, jams and recipes in the pantry.

Detail of cakes and recipes in the pantry

The living room with its' dark furniture and large dresser. Family photos displayed and the cupboards are full of  trinkets, napkins, shoe polish, darning threads and needles, doilies and spare buttons. The parlour was for the dining table and the piano, and pictures with ornate gilded frames.
The spare bedroom with toys, books and sports gear. The Monopoly money is worked in Or Nue! The Main bedroom has its' grand fireplace and candlewick bedspread which was a great place to play with Nana's jewellery.
The centre pages are pockets where jewellery, keys, purses and powder puffs can be displayed.
The gate to the 'jitty' at the end of the back garden, strawberries, blackberries and herbs all over.

Sheilas grandparents on the back cover.

One view of the book ...
Another ...
And finally another to show the construction of the spine.

What an effort Sheila has put in to this piece.
It sits well with the current gallery exhibition about Memory. Fundraising for the Alzheimers Society has been well supported by visitors and raffle tickets to win artwork by our selected artists are being purchased. The exhibition finishes on Sunday though, and we are into the next setting up the week after, so I'll send you the links for that display as soon as it is available.

Enjoy the remains of the summer .... my girls are back to school from today - for better or worse?