Monday, October 26, 2009

Textile show at Mornington Art Gallery

I went with a couple of friends to visit the opening of two exhibitions at the Mornington Art Gallery on Sunday. There was an interesting exhibition of circus related works, connected with the Flying Fruit Fly Circus. We went specifically to see the other show, a textile show that is touring the country. There was a rich variety of techniques and some inspiring works.
It was very inspiring and I came home all enthused about doing some tapestry weaving for my final piece for the course I am doing. I worked for about 4 or 5 hours and have stopped because the side is coming in and I am not sure if I will have to take it out. Not something to look forward to! So I have put it away till I see my teacher on Wednesday.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tapestry weaving

I have just read about Tapestry weaving on another blog. I, too, am studying tapestry weaving, at RMIT. I have just been working on a textural piece. I enjoyed it greatly but I must admit that I find tapestry weaving very slow! Here are some pictures of the work in progress.

It was fun playing with various thicknesses of warp and weft as well as differently textured threads.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Silk Paper hat dyed with Eucalyptus bark

I have made a sunhat, based on the bushman's hat with corks bobbling to keep away the flies, using silk roving (sliver?) which I dyed using the lemon scented bark. I used all the different colours I obtained with the different mordants that I showed in a previous post. The spiders are to scare the flies away. The scarf was also died using the lemon scented eucalyptus dye.
The silk was laid out to make silk 'paper', also known as silk fusion. I used the instructions from Judith Pinnell's books and Silk Paper for Textile Artists by Sarah Lawrence. The two authors describe slightly different techniques but I mixed and matched them to suit me. I was quite happy with the outcome.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Butter sculpture - Nepal

Parlance commented about butter sculpture mentioned in an episode of The Spirit of Things. I listened to the episode with great interest. It is about a priest, a monk and a swami living in an interfaith community in Melbourne.
In it there was a reference to Nepalese butter sculptures.
It is interesting where the musings that I have here lead me! Who would have thought that I would have ended up with this topic when just talking about the hat assignment I had in my Experimental Textiles course.
Here is a link to some images of Nepalese butter sculptures (and some others).

Amazing ephemeral art

Someone sent me an email of some amazing ephemeral art, an artist called Liu Bolin. He has painted himself to blend into backgrounds. You have to wonder how long it takes and why people do it. But, I must admit, it is well worth the viewing. Here is a link.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Pretend Food Sculpture

I am making a sculpture of small hats for my Experimental Textiles assignment. I have been looking up those profiterole towers that you see in some cake shops. I decided that my hats were pretty, frivolous and like confectionary. When I looked up some examples on the internet, I found them by entering the word 'croquenbusch' because that is what they had them labelled as at our local cake shop. But there is no such word in any dictionary.
It turns out that the word is actually French - croquembouche - meaning crunch in the mouth. So now I am thinking of calling my work croquesurtete - crunch on head.
Here are links to a couple of photos I found on the internet and I am thinking that they are good inspiration for my sculpture.
Photo One
Photo Two

Here is a shot of it in the making, not finished yet. It needs a few more fascinators and I will be putting some Angelina Fibre on it to simulate the syrup.

My work is influenced by the fact that it is the Spring Racing Carnival here and there are hats and fascinators around all the shops.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Food Sculpture

While researching my assignment about hats I came across some interesting sites with amazing food sculptures. (Don't ask about how I got to these while researching hats.)
Some chocolate and dairy food ones, some fruit ones and some general food sculptures.
You might need to be a little bit patient with the first one, it has a lot of photos on it and takes time to upload them all.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

weird hats

We are doing an assignment in our Experimental Textiles course for which we have to make a wearable hat and a sculptural piece based on a hat. In my searching around I came across this site. Weirdest hats.
I am amazed at the imagination of some people and also at the effort they will go to, to actually wear some of these things. They cannot be comfortable.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Using the dyed pieces

I am going to use some of the stuff I have dyed to make an item for my Experimental Textiles subject and perhaps in the Tapestry weaving I am doing for another class.
I am currently working on a textured piece of tapestry weaving and can incorporate some differently textured 'yarns' - some of them will be strips of silk. I may even try some of the silk threads I dyed although I don't have much of that.
I am finding tapestry weaving very slow and some days I am ok with that and other days I get terribly frustrated. I went away to Crockett Cottage Studio with a couple of friends recently and we worked on the different tasks we had for our classes. I worked almost exclusively on my tapestry.

I had a lovely time and we had fun together. It was great to be able to focus on your work while being with others who were also focused on theirs. It was also great to have them doing various other textile activities and experiments and see what their outcomes were.

They did some natural dyeing, lino cutting, mono-printing and drawing.
It was wonderful to have such a well set-up facility and so much space to work in.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Lemon Scented Eucalyptus Bark and mordants

Having played with the bark I decided to see what putting in mordants would do. I have to be honest here, I am not good at being precise, so I have no amounts to record. I just filled a pot with bark and covered it with water, then added a small plastic teaspoon of the sulphates. This first picture is of the lemon scented bark, after being soaked for 24 hours, boiled for an hour, then silk, silk sliver and silk thread being put into the pot and simmered for 30 minutes. I wrapped the silk sliver in the thread and then enclosed it in muslin, which is also included in the pictures. It seems to have dyed also. I was surprised as I did not expect cotton to take the dye so well.

This second picture is of the silk pieces (and the cotton) with a copper sulphate added. The difference in colour was subtle, it was slightly greener.

This next picture is of the dye bath with ferrous sulphate added. This was the same dye that I did the cold dyeing with, the second lot of dye from the bark. The result was much darker, almost silvery.

More natural dyeing with eucalyptus bark

I have done some more experimenting with the bark of the lemon scented eucalpytus that grows next door. This time I broke the bark into small pieces and soaked them for 24 hours.

I brought it to the boil and simmered it for an hour. When I drained the liquid out I had quite a dark dye bath.

Because I was using some small pieces of wool, I allowed it to cool before putting in the wetted wool and silk. Then I brought it back to the boil and simmered it for 30 minutes. As eucalyptus is a substantive dye, I did not put in any mordant in the first experiment.

Here are some pictures of the silk sliver and the wool batting, usually used for quilting. The colour was not strong but was pretty.

Cold dyeing with Lemon Scented Eucalyptus Bark

I tried another type of dyeing that I came across, cold dyeing. I had seen an online tutorial that mentioned that you could try boiling the bark several times and I thought I'd try it. I had no use for the dye at the time, so I left it to cool. Then I put a piece of silk in it and left it for 5 days. When I took the silk out it was quite pale and I expected the colour to wash out but I was pleasantly surprised by the pale yellow. Once again, I had used no mordant.
The picture is actually a bit pinker and darker than the actual silk, maybe because I have taken the photo indoors at night.