Tuesday, 29 April 2008
I did 'proper' screenprinting at school for 'A' level art ( involving one of those vacuum presses which suck the paper down). Even then I had a loose scribbly style so I didn't take to the time-consuming process of accurate cutting of individual screens, getting the registration right and waiting for ink to dry. I thought the ones that went wrong had more character but got marked down on those. This method was much more fun! First of all in true Blue Peter fashion we made our own screens from duck tape and net curtain and then for templates used freezer paper ( for curvy shapes) and sticky-back plastic (for geometric shapes). Results on paper using poster paint above
My favourite technique however was using torn strips of masking tape (above)
After lunch and some retail therapy in the shop ( silk rods and 'BubbleJet Set ) we moved onto fabric, Ruth demonstrating scribbling with Neocolour 2 crayons and using acrylic fabric medium instead of printing ink to push it through the screen. Magic!
I noticed that the colour went through more than 1 layer so used some silk organza in the top layer. When it came to using the printing inks (below) the colour went through 3!(silk organza, thin kimono fabric and cotton sheeting as well as leaving a trace in the old sheet I had as a printing table). I realised afterwards the similarities between what I'd produced and shibori!
Several people in the group were discussing how you never use do anything with the samples you produce on workshops. I'm not sure I agree - I'd made an effort to bring fabrics which I thought I could use in potential projects rather than just relying on those supplied. Also with limited time and money for workshops I select ones I think I can get the most out of. Having said that, I'm not sure how much screenprinting I'll do in the near future - the main drawback is the rinsing out of screens and as our kitchen sink is tiny and made of white resin, even washing my brushes out is a trial! However I did bring my home-made screen back and I've yet to try out the 'thermofax' screens I bought a while ago (along with some 'Speedball' Inks) - the Neocolour crayon technique appeals.
Sunday, 27 April 2008
Some of my favourites : in Room 1 'Hitch Hiker' which was painted on postal bags, the lettering still showing through; the sketches and and studies in room 5; the 'black curtain' in room 8. You could see the brush marks in the white translucent paint- such a sense of committment, no going back or removing it if it went horribly wrong but that sense of freshness and danger in all his work. Lots to think about.
Off to 'Rainbow Silk' tomorrow for a freehand screenprinting course.
Thursday, 24 April 2008
I was looking through John Gillow's 'African Textiles' ( a wonderful book!) to get an idea for stitching and decided that the way I'd inserted the strip was not in keeping with the organic character of the cloth. 2 hours later , after lots of rude words and sighing , I'd unpicked the machine quilting and seams - its amazing how much time it takes to undo 5 minutes careless machining. Worth it though. I reapplied the Ndop strip on top (by hand) and reassembled the 'sandwich' with some lovely soft wool batting from a sample pack and cheesecloth on the back. Work is a bit difficult at the moment , with some sleepless nights, and its been very soothing and therapeutic to hand stitch this piece and reconnect with the tactile qualities of cloth.
When I came to trim the quilt down to 12 x 12 , I decided to cut at a slight angle to emphasise the wonkiness ( I'll need to add a label to say 'It's supposed to be crooked").
CQ APRIL JOURNAL QUILT "CROOKED CROSSES"
Monday, 21 April 2008
I printed off part of the image on bubblejet set treated poplin and then returned to the idea of transparency layers using silk organzas. I'd tried putting strip inserts in but wasn't very happy with the results , particularly the frayed uneven edges (normally I use French seams for organza). However after a long lunch on Saturday with Sue who liked the raw edges and suggested I make a feature of them, I inserted a few more and also some pieces of shibori from class at Festival of Quilts last year. I've just got a new toy (early Birthday present) of a Read 16 needle smocking pleater and I've been feeding it with bits of organza- I love the rippled effect.
It's still pinned as I'm not sure I'll get it finished before I go to Greece ( perhaps I should take it with me to stitch there for extra authenticity - I'm thinking of stones collected there as embellishments )
When I was sorting through the travel wallet, I came across my diagram drawn last year to explain to the owner of Irini Filoxenia that we had ants in our apartment. In the end I didn't have to use it or resort to chemical warfare as the boiling water was sufficient to deter them. I thought it would save the pantomine we had the first time we stayed there when Ian's brown socks fell into the garden from the washing line not once but twice! At least she remembers us with a grin!
Saturday, 19 April 2008
Quilting Arts magazine have a 'Go Green ' 5inch square readers challenge using recycled materials which I'd thought vaguely of entering and collected a few items together. I thought I'd missed the deadline but gained extra materials this week as we had a massive clearout of old lab coats so looked at the article again and had a go. The extra inspiration was finding the ribbon with delegates badge for the '1st European Congress of Conservation Biology' I'd attended.
This is actually the one I'm NOT entering ( not sure of the etiquette of sharing images of quilts being submitted so erring on the side of caution). The main difference is the addition of a disposable scalpel ( without blade!) There's now a labcoat missing its pockets on one side. I used photo transfer paper to iron on images of the lab , plant/quilt and seeds , machined quilted, and then attached the embellishments. I made holes in the bottom of a Petri dish with a heated needle and stitched it on , the 'agar' is black wadding with beads for seeds and tufts of cotton perle as seedlings. I couched down some sterile inoculating loops, filter paper seed packets and filled some tiny vials with beads. And as a final touch, that 'Conservation' ribbon.One savaged labcoat
Monday, 14 April 2008
I later came across the book ' Rapt in Colour' which is full of examples to make you drool. What I really like about 'Pojagi' is the way the seams are like the lead in stained glass windows, important and integral to the design, and also the 'moire' effect you get when organzas are laid over each other.
I made this door curtain specifically for the doorway from the kitchen to the back stairs in our old flat. I scanned Eucalyptus leaves and printed them onto silk organza to get the idea of them drifting downwards. As I was printing on A4 sheets I had work out a way to join all the pieces - I settled on French seams as the best way to trap all those loose threads!I was originally going to trap real leaves between the layers but they proved too brittle and so made silk leaves instead.
As there are leaves printed on both sides , one of the bonuses when the curtain was in situ was it looked very different according to whether the light shone onto it and when it was backlit, in natural or electric light. Unfortunately we haven't yet found a location for it in our new property
After I'd done it I found instructions on how to sew the seams 'properly' on a Japanese Pojagi site (no English but the diagrams are clear). When I was in Japan, the books mentioned on the site were top of my shopping list and I bought a couple of kits (the fabrics are translucent ramie). I bought some light kimono fabric with Pojagi in mind - perhaps now is the time to think about transparency again.
Then up a steep spiral staircase to the Stained Glass museum where we were shown round by the curator. What a treat! I love glass in all its forms ( note the number of dichroic earrings) and it was wonderful to see stained glass up close and examine the detail. I was torn between a John Piper piece and a very contemporary looking section from 1210 that just glowed. Didn't have sufficient time to do justice to the shop as the coach was leaving. Definately worth another visit
Tuesday, 8 April 2008
I've been interested to see the results on various blogs of a journal-making course run by Sue Bleiweiss. It's something I'd like to have a go at as a completed art project but for actual sketching in my view there's nothing to beat Daler Rowney hardback sketchbooks spiral bound as scrapbook/'lab-book' or casebound for drawing/painting out and about ( just have to watch that they don't have perforated sheets-I hate those). Having worked out how to do it, I now want to make covers for my own sketchbooks- perhaps with board inserts so that I can use the very cheap student sketchbooks available in floppy excercise book format.
If I could work out a way of having 2 extra hands that would be useful what with juggling my water pot ( lantern with handle) , watercolour box ('bijou' with thumb ring ) , sketchbook with bulldog clips (to keep page from flapping) PITT pens and No 10 travel brush ( not forgetting tissue to mop up the drips). I've tried substituting a water filled brush pen for the brush and water pot - ok for smudging watercolour pencils but not very satisfying brush marks.
Sunday, 6 April 2008
Not sure how far I'll progress with the acrylic overpainting today on my Thin Blue Line piece as the white blanket on the conservatory roof rather blocks the light. It's beginning to melt (interesting patterns to enhance with Photoshop ) so may get the opportunity later.