Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Alison Holt freemotion machine workshop

I was lucky enough to attend a two day workshop run by Alison Holt. I had read a couple of her books and love the effects she gets.
The first part of the workshop was to work on choosing a photo from which to work. The focus of the workshop was Reflections on Water, so I looked at a lot of my photos from walking the dog. I have plenty.
I wasn't quite sure what we were going to do and decided not to include ones where I had some wonderful reflections but it was hard to tell where the land started and the water began. So I chose quite a few that had lovely reflections but you couldn't see where the reflections were coming from. It turned out that these were not suitable for the class.
Luckily I had chosen quite a few images and had one that looked ok to work with.

As the notes we were sent had mentioned photographs, I had mine printed out in that format. I did wonder if that would be too small a format but it turned out ok. A couple of other participants had printed theirs out on A4 paper and had bigger images, but photograph size was fine for the workshop.

The first day was doing silk painting. I had some supplies that I could easily access as I had been using them to teach primary school children in the not-too-distant past. I thought I had plenty of silk so didn't purchase any new supplies. This turned out to be a mistake as I didn't have the correct weight silk, mine was a bit thin. 

For the first part of the work, after Alison had given a thorough demonstration, we chose our image, cropped it to the interesting parts and then traced it onto the silk using a water or air soluble pen. I used the above image but cropped out the left hand side and pretended I could see behind the bush in the front at the right.  

Then we painted the silk. The top part was fairly easy. We put in gutta lines to block in the areas of colour that we would later sew over. The bottom part was much harder. I hadn't realised it but we weren't going to sew over the reflections, they are solely painted. 
The effect is gained by painting the background, then going over it, once it has dried, with a very fine brush to put in small horizontal lines to make it look like shimmering water, even though that effect was not visible in the photo. 
Because my silk was a bit thin, I doubled it up in the hoop when it came to sewing it. We also had to bring our  hoops with tape around the smaller ring, the better to grip the fabric.


theregatha said...

amazing the idea of pretending you can see behind the bushes. I am desperately awaiting the next blog to see what happens......

mycamerandme365 said...

I too am eagerly waiting to see how you get on with the next stage!

Mary said...

Thanks ladies, there will be another post with the second day's work. So far I have not decided if, or how, I will do the bush that I pretended wasn't there, or the grasses. I am not sure if I will do them yet.