Saturday, May 19, 2012

Buda Historic Home and Garden Textile exhibition

The Textiles Awards exhibition will be held at the Buda Historic Home from June 2nd to 17th.  It is in Castlemaine, not far from Melbourne.
There are two categories, Inspired by Buda and Gold.  I decided to make a piece that is Inspired by Buda. I have written about it already, in terms of the problem of using inspiration to come up with a new work. There is a lot in the house and gardens that was inspiring.  I eventually decided to work with a bullrush design, incorporating some borders from the stained glass windows in the house.

It is about 50cm x 58cm, made of synthetic organzas and one layer of hand painted silk.  I ended up using about 7 layers as I needed to double some of them to get the intensity I wanted.  Actually, having the silk, which is translucent but not transparent, helped.

I tried to sew very closely along the lines of the design but discovered that, when I cut back the layers, the fabric was starting to pull out from under the sewing lines.  There were two things I had to alter in my technique - one was to sew messy lines so that there was more fabric under the sewing and the other was to cut away from the sewing lines, not very close.  This helped and there was much less pulling away.

I was a bit nervous about washing off the soluble fabric that I had traced my design onto and used to stabilise the work but it all behaved very well when washed - whew!

The organza behaved quite differently from cotton when I cut back too.  It was MUCH easier to go through too many layers, so I had to be very careful to only go back to the colours I wanted to expose.  Crystal organza cuts (and shreds) more easily than ordinary synthetic organza too.

I had two pairs of scissors for this, one very sharp for getting started and one with turned up ends so that I could hold it flat to the fabric with less risk of cutting through too much.

As I was basing it on a stained glass window, I had hoped to have layers the same front and back, cutting though to the middle (i.e., the same back and front) but that was too hard.  So it is to be viewed from one side only.  It also looks different depending on whether you hang it in front of a window or not.  It is transparent and some of the colour is lost when the light shines through.  But I am happy with either look.


therigatha said...

Amazing. I actually thought I was looking at a stained glass window. I showed Michael and he thought it was too! Beautiful work Mary.

Mary said...

Thanks again,
I am relatively happy with this although I have no idea where I will hang it when I get it back. The different synthetic organzas did the job I wanted quite well.

Anonymous said...

I really like that. Great work!

Mary said...

Thanks, It was very satisfying to do.