Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Transfer Dye

I recently attended a workshop run by Cas Holmes, at the Ballarat Fibre Arts event.
The first thing we experimented with was transfer dyeing. I had done a very small amount while studying my Studio Textiles and Design course but had not done any for years.

The idea is that you paint your dye onto paper and then iron it onto your fabric. It works best with synthetic fabrics.

Today, two friends and I had a play with it again. We were trying to work out what papers work best and what fabrics work well.

I purchased my dyes from Kraft Kolour and they were delivered very promptly!

I'm not sure we have discovered a lot but we had a very pleasant day.

One thing that one of us discovered is that you can transfer the dye from paper to paper - much more her thing. She is more interested in paper art now, rather than textile art.

Different papers soak up the dyes differently and some seem to retain the dye more than others. Different fabrics take up the dyes differently. It seems that we need to do a lot more experimenting before we know much!

Experimenting with different resists and layers of fabric, to see if the dye would go through.  We had drop cloths to catch any dyes that soaked through. No many did, as you had to wait till the dye was dry before ironing it onto the fabric. But some of the thinner fabrics did let the colour go all the way through.

 The dyes looked much darker on the papers!

 It even worked on some felt that one of us brought along. 
 This too is felt. 

These two images show the dye painted onto some pianola roll paper and then ironed onto the fabric. As I have said, the colour comes out very differently on the fabric. It will take a lot more experience with the process to be able to accurately predict results.

One thing we did learn at the workshop is to keep the papers, they can be used in the mixed media piece that you might eventually make.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Not Up to Much

No wonder I haven't been feeling all that creative today!

 This was taken at Clifton Hill, only 6 or 7 kilometres from the city.
Smoke Haze. And autumn weather. You could barely see the city. It has been like this for several days.

However, I have been trying to be a little bit productive.
I attended our Play Day at the EGV last Tuesday and we made little felt vessels. This one is mostly hand sewn, I just sewed on an extra layer of felt to give it some structure, using the sewing machine. I have no idea what I will do with it but it was relaxing to make.

I am also plugging away on my tapestry, not getting much done but trying. I have reached the part where the actual acorn is in the image, so I will have to not be so random in what I am choosing to do. So far I have been doing the ground around where the acorn fell and it is very non-pictorial. But I will have to be a bit more careful with the actual image.

It is almost time for me to have made my next A3 Inspired by Van Gogh piece too. I have not even finalised an image to use, let alone think about how I might do it. This weather is very enervating!

I do have some ideas, based on his picture of a seat in the asylum grounds. I have been taking photos of seats while out walking with Penny, our dog. They are not all that interesting but I hope to come up with something - soon.

Lots of lovely long shadows on these autumn afternoons. 

Friday, March 30, 2018

Not Having a Clue

I have been a bit in the doldrums lately and am between projects - well, I am really supposed to working on one but it is just not doing it for me.

I have been having vague ideas about playing around with making some interesting fabric backgrounds that might then be used to stitch, collage and/or layer.
(Notice the vagueness of the outcome?? - hence the title, Not Having a Clue (What I Am Trying to Achieve.)

I went to a friend's house the other day and played with some different ideas.
 Some bits and pieces for rubbing. I used some water-soluble oil pastels. The name water-soluble makes me doubt that they will be colourfast but I tried it anyway.

An old Softcut stamp I made. The rubbing was done with the same oil pastels. 

 These two were done using a white crayon, rubbed over bits and pieces. Then ink was applied. One was left dry, the other (bottom) one was sprayed with water to see the different effects.

 Shiva stick oil paint rubbed over the stamp, on dampened fabric.

 Acrylic paint (very cheap) painted on, applied over some stencils and left to dry.

 Ordinary drawing pastels drawn onto the fabric. One piece had textile medium painted on before the pastel was applied, the bottom one after.

I have no idea what will be colourfast and what won't. The pieces are currently lying around being given time to embed into the fabric. I will iron them to see if that heat sets them. The I will wash them and see what worked and what didn't. Eventually.

All a bit hit and miss really.

But doing something, even if it isn't the tapestry I am supposedly working on.

The day wasn't a complete loss, I did actually play - and I had a lovely social day with my friends, one of whom provided a delicious lunch!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

My Own Unfinished Business Finished!

Feeling inspired by the Unfinished Business ... Finished exhibition, I dragged out a quilt that I had started many years ago.
It is a kaleidoscope quilt, using some rather bright floral fabric. I know the book  (Magic Stack-n-Whack Quilts) was published in 1998, and I think I may have started the quilt around about then, maybe a few years later.
I got as far as putting it all together and even started quilting it. Then, who knows why, I put it in a quilting bag and have not taken it out since.

I found that I had started some rather tight stippling all over the blank parts of the fabric (that may be why I put it away, there was a lot of stippling to do). It is now finished off with much looser stippling.

I also found that the fabric pencil marks I had made were, mostly, still there and was able to use them to do some patterning amongst the stippling.

All that was left to do after that was to put on the binding - which I have now done. Very satisfying.
I even have a good  home for it to go to.
I tried to do a random, asymmetrical back, using the fabrics from the front. I rather like that, might try that again - if I ever do a another quilt.

Now I have the quilting bag available too, ready to take bits and pieces to various classes and groups.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sample tapestry

I've been told that I have to post today because it is 18/2/18.
It has been a while since my last post, I am being sucked in by Facebook. I belong to three closed groups that take up a lot of my computer time. (That, and playing games.)

One group has a challenge for February, to post every day (eek) and to have a sketch or experiment in textiles. That is a big ask. But it has made me do some rough sketches and is also making me work on several ideas that are coming up.

I have done a small tapestry for an upcoming exhibition - and I have lost it!! Hugely annoying!!!
It took hours to sew in the warps, put fabric on the back and finish it off - hours.

I am also trying to develop an idea for another tapestry theme and spent the weekend working on a sampler. It may now become my piece to replace the other (much more interesting) piece. The theme for the lost one is Growth. The theme for the upcoming one is Transformation.

My idea for transformation is to do with acorns splitting open and having shoots and roots emerging.
I did a small doodle related to the theme - one of my nightly little doodles.
Now I have made a sampler with that doodle as my main image. I was more interested in the background than getting a great image, which was lucky as it looks rather like a strange rabbit.

But I think I can use the ideas in the background in my larger one, so that is a plus. I used different techniques and yarns to give me texture. I had a whole lot of thrums left over, so only used them. It made it quite a random background in terms of colour and how large the areas were. I just changed to some more wool when the pieces ran out.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Exhibition opening

Unfinished Business ... Finished opened on Wednesday evening. It was a hot night and there were lots of people there!
I think that the crowd was large because it was two groups of people exhibiting together. There were the textile people (Textile Art Community) and the woodworking group (Victorian Woodworkers Association).
Then there were the donors whose work was repurposed.
Then there were family and friends.
And supporters of the arts in Banyule.

I will have to go back to see all the works properly - it is always hard to see the works on an opening night but this was exceptionally busy. The vibe was very good, lots of creators happy to see their work on display, donors happy to see their contributions used, happy people.

It was quite amazing to see how some of the original pieces were used. Some were still quite recognisable (mine) and some had totally re-visioned the pieces.
I deliberately decided to make my two vessels recognisable because the donors had had to stop making because of failing eyesight. So I wanted them to be able to recognise their pieces if they attend.

It was great fun to be there, to meet up with friends, to meet people from the very distant past (it being in my neighbourhood and a city function) and to meet new people. It was a community event that highlighted 'community' for me.

It was also very exciting to see some of my donated pieces being used. I am extremely pleased to see them so creatively used.
The abdomen is my blackwork.

Some naturally dyed fabrics and minimum, random stitching.

Tapestry samplers.

Rejected Mr Johnston tapestry. 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

A New Year

My machine embroidery group, at the Embroiderers Guild, Victoria, has come up with a new theme this year. It is still Inspired By ... but this year the theme is song and music titles.

This last month was Rhapsody in Blue.
I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do. However, late last year I was at the fabric shop and did see small pieces of fabric that reminded me of music and sound recordings - and they were blue.

Our meeting was on Sunday. On Saturday I decided that I could come up with something if I didn't stress too much about how wonderful it would be.

So here is my Rhapsody in Blue.

I used the notes from the score, not that you would necessarily know that.
Once again, the size is A5, which suited me down to the ground this time.

One month down, many more to go.