Friday, 22 August 2014

On the Corner on the Edge

Last week I decided to get on with my second piece for the "On the Edge" exhibition planned for August 2015.  Felt after the TSG Summer School that I was happy with how this piece was going and so I set to and finished it - see below.  There is just enough fabric left for me to do one more piece "on the edge of a tablecloth"  which I have already started to lay out.  Feel it will be after I have completed the third piece that I will go back to the large piece I started at the TSG Summer School and decide whether to continue with it or not.

Also this week, after my visit to the Fry Gallery in Saffron Walden where I saw the work of artist Keith Vaughan, I thought I would let myself have a play with some scraps of fabric and put together the collage below.  I was really surprised at how effective it is - nothing as wonderful as KV's work, of course, but it is a start to looking at how he worked.  He probably wouldnt have used these colours either.  At this stage I haven't added any stitching.   KV liked Essex for its undramatic landscape, honing it down to the shapes he saw.  He lived and worked in Toppesfield, Essex, during the 1960's and 1970's taking his own life in about 1976 after being diagnosed with cancer.  Toppesfield is one of  my favourite villages - a very quiet place, on the way to nowhere, very rural.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Patterning the Land

At the end of July I spent a wonderful five days at the TSG (Textile Study Group) Summer School which, for the first time, was held at the Farncombe Estate in the Cotswolds.  And what a wonderful place - a 400 acre country estate - the rooms were definitely better than the student accommodation at Harper Adams and the food was excellent even if we had to walk down a steep hill to get it - we worked off the calories after every meal climbing back up the hill!!   (The accommodation and studio blocks were separate to the restaurant and bar block.)  The nearest town/village is Broadway and I realised I had been here before a few years ago when on my way back from Cornwall. 

The tutors for the three workshops were Sarah Burgess, Jan Evans and Qwen Hedley and all three workshops were based on landscape - my tutor was Qwen Hedley (standing in for Jenny Bullen).  Our first mission at the beginning of the workshop was to go outside and draw, very quickly, four images from the landscape which we would then turn into print blocks.  We then printed with these blocks on paper and fabrics using acrylic paints.  The fabric we had been asked to bring was cotton organdie which I had not really used before, I also printed on silk sari ribbon and calico. 

Day two started with more printing and I used the umbrella handle that I had used to print with on the Matt Harris workshop and some spot print blocks and the edge of a piece of card.   Also we were asked to create a rhythm using our prints.  At the beginning of the workshop we had also started a new A5 sketch book in which we could record results, make notes, etc.

Not sure I achieved a rhythm but I had brought with me the remains of an old tablecloth and I found myself collaging my bits of print along the edge.  I had not used this part of the tablecloth because it is heavily embroidered in places and Qwen very cleverly suggested that I should bring the embroidery on the tablecloth through to the printed fabrics that I had added.  This could end up being a rather large piece of work.  I think I will probably put this to one side when I get home and go back to it later - I find putting a little distance between me and the embroidery gives me a better or more balanced view of it.

This is a page from the sketch book and the above is a small part of the large piece.