Saturday, April 19, 2014

Workshop at Ballarat 2014 - part one.

I am finally getting around to posting about the Fibre Arts Forum at Ballarat this year. It was great, as usual. Lots of lovely people doing textile work, designing, making and discussing textile art. No news, newspapers, television, etc. (I will admit to checking the football scores.) It is like a retreat. It would be great even if the workshops weren't - but they are.

I did the Kim Thittichai workshop - it was advertised as a workshop in two parts. The first part was about finding a design to work with. I must admit that I didn't take much notice of what the second part was, I was more interested in learning about designing.
Fortunately, the notes did say that you might only do samples, no finished article to produce at the end. Just what I wanted.

Kim got us to do three design exercises to start with. She kept telling us that they are simple design exercises, not new developments, etc. But it was a chance to spend several days doing it!! No phone calls, no deciding what to cook, no cooking, nothing but the work. Fabulous.

She didn't give us any notes, we just had to do our own work, make our own decisions. Apparently it is all in her book, Experimental Textiles, but I hadn't seen it. Anyway, I am a person who prefers to be shown, and work with others and see what they are doing, rather than read notes or books, not that I don't have my fair share of books.

The first one was to paint a journey. We were to ignore the fact that most of use think we can't draw, we just had to paint images that meant something to us. Then, because we had to fill the paper to at least 80% with black (all the design work was with black and white only), I had to make up some images. They had nothing to do with the journey, they were just images to fill the space. I was even reduced to writing letters of the alphabet to fill in some space - must be the teacher in me, the alphabet is always a good bet.
Here are a few of the journey painting, laid out together.
We then got some L-shaped cards and chose an area that appealed to us. Guess what?  The letter 'e' got into my more intricate design.

We traced the part of the image that interested us the most, transferred it onto some foam core board and some sort of self-adhesive foam stuff. Then we cut the foam and stuck it to the foam core. You can see that we cut the positive and negative images out to make two blocks. We than printed them, using acrylic paint. After the paint dried, we painted the newspaper with procion dye solution.
All this took a bit of time but I loved it.


parlance said...

Are they different people's journey painting?

Pattpistry said...

Good account of your Ballarat experience Mary. Highlights the fact that sometimes we need to be encouraged to give ourselves permission to just play in order to give us confidence to design stuff.

Mary said...

Yes Parlance, there are 5 different journeys there. We all did a big black line on a long piece of paper, over a metre long each, and then filled it in. These were lying there drying, so I didn't get all of them.