Friday, 31 October 2014

Lovely ladies at Living Threads workshops

Back in the UK for a few weeks and after a days rest with my Mum, two days with Living Threads ladies. On Wednesday we used needle felting and embellishing techniques in 'Take a Stab at It'. The principle here is to experiment with different fibres, threads and fabrics to create a fabulously textured surface. We also found time to emboss some Angelina fibres, colour metal foils with alcohol inks and then incorporate these into the surface. Stitch and beads can be added later. Here are some of the creations:

Background of fancy knitting yarn and loose fibres

Bright, cheerful background from Ruth on her first ever workshop

Kate loved the effect of felting some areas and leaving others loose - flames were evolving here

More from Kate

Embossed Angelina being incorporated, ready for a little more stabbing and then stitch

Ready to stitch
Ruth was adding a few beads in by the end, see how the chiffon has puckered beautifully.
Margaret cheated (?) slightly by having a pre-felt to work into!

The needle felting and stitch will define and complete the panel.
Distinctively Kath! All ready for beads.

On Thursday we switched to using paper as a background for patchwork techniques. Interesting how different an unusual media can work with simple, traditional techniques as the basic idea. Next year we will move into other options for 3d and crazy paper patching.

A basic 9 patch ...
Transforms to a disappearing 9 patch - makes a difference

Every National Trust property visited this year in a disappearing 9 block, ready to stitch over
Gelli printed papers and seminole patchwork
Crazy square blocks

Crazy blocks will have a huge stitched wave over the top ready for an exhibition
This started as a disappearing 9 block - see where it can lead
Looking great with a bit of stitch and old lace
Another disappeared 9 block looking fabulous

Detail from above
Greta wasn't sure where she was going, but seems to me to be a good direction.
Sharon's beautiful piece, almost complete, just some delicate stitching to flow across the surface now
A version of seminole which I use a lot in my work also, and the serendipitous addition of sycamore seeds looks beautiful
The day wouldn't have been the same without Smita!! 

With more workshops around the UK and the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate to come soon - I'll be posting again soon.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Change happens ...

Without commenting on the lamentable state of my sketches, these drawings were the starting point for my sculpture 'Change' installed at the Kaipara Sculpture Park until November 2015.

I envisioned oversized, textured cocoon-like structures using stainless steel metal cloths, textured by twisting, folding, pleating and stitching. The forms occasionally quivering involuntarily.
The forms are suspended under the spreading branches of a tree. Some are intact; others show the first signs of splitting open, ripe for revelations of the secrets contained within the forms.
The outer surface is intriguing, imprinted in the outer form are both the remnants of the larvae which formed the cocoon and suggestions of the adult which will emerge.

What to say about the making and installation of this piece? Well, not a lot really. The conception, making and installation went very smoothly and I am still in a little shock after the shenanigans with ‘Light Dancing’ at the Harbourside Sculpture Trail in March. Perhaps installation on land is just easier? Perhaps a chat with my technical support team (Brian) before sending in the proposal was useful? Anyhow, they are all ready for viewing under a perfect willow tree.

Alysn Midgelow-Marsden. 'Change' textile sculpture
Beginning to arrange the individual cocoons.

Alysn Midgelow-Marsden. 'Change' textile sculpture
Technical support team!
I am delighted with the way each cocoon catches the light, shows a shadow of the internal structures and quivers with each breath of air. If you can't get to the site, see pictures of the complete installation at art works: 'Change'