A pun is always fun, no animals were injured in the dyeing process!!!
I have been dyeing white fabric with tea and coffee to get a base for my major piece in the Crewel Embroidery Intermediate class for the Embroiderer’s Guild.
The photos below show the varying colours depending on the strength and length of time in the dyes:
I have decided to go with the 2 minute coffee fabric which tones best with the silver, aubergine and black which will frame the crewelwork.
Once I have it drawn up & laced to the frame I will post more pictures.
Now off to make up some samples of printing on fabric techniques for the GeeTAG meeting this weekend.
Firstly need to document a lovely ATC swap with Anne from France. Anne sent these beautiful ATCs with her wonderful minute cross stitch designs. They are truly works of art:
These are the ATCs sent in exchange, Claudia decided she wanted to do a triangular ATC:
It is a photo of the rock pools at the beach nearby printed on silk, hand stitched and beaded. The bits of fibre are angelina.
And some more design exercises from the GeeTAG Glue Book:
For this page the prompts were Teal (as in duck) and Lines. I decided to concentrate on lines in nature and divided the page in thirds with lines of colour in teal. Looking at it now I think it would have been better balanced if the word ‘Garden’ had been placed on the opposite side.
The next page is for the colour lemon yellow and the design prompt is ‘Less is more’. I decided to take this literally, using a tea bag to colour the page, and most of the pictures are from the Green Pages Directory magazine.
And now I am up to date:-Sunday’s prompt was black & white, contrast and focal point. I had the black holey tissue paper so repeated that motif with some black paint stencilled through a kitchen utensil. It is interesting how there are different tones of white (as in the dalmatians). The two black silhouettes were cut from magazines and painted black.
Now I really need to get onto some crewel embroidery for my intermediate work.
During a recent browse of local Op Shops I came across some old dress patterns. I wasn’t sure how old one was until I found the pattern pieces inside which had been traced onto and cut out of a 1945 newspaper!!
In the Footy page it reports the Cats footy team as being lucky to avoid bottom of the ladder position!! Obviously not one of their best years. Some recognisable names mentioned however, like Nankervis.
One of our ongoing projects at the GeeTAG (Geelong Textile Art Group) for 2013 is a design exercise book with a weekly prompt.
The pictures are not in correct order of completion, however first up is the page using some of the 1945 newspaper as a background. When I think of ‘Ochre’ I think of aged so I felt this was an appropriate start to the design. Our other prompts were design oriented: triangular, and the dog’s head is a very striking triangle with the contrasting textures and colours
The next page was based on the prompts ‘Purple’ and ‘In the Mood’. I love the rich purple of aubergine and to create a restful mood I added the green lushness.
The prompt for the next page was envy. Though I didn’t go green with envy I quite liked the quote from Jon Foreman that “envy is a nudge towards another sale”. How true of the consumerism of today’s western society.
The prompt for the Blue page was ‘with emotion’. One of my favourite sayings is that you cannot control what other people do but you can control your reaction to it. This has been my mantra over the last 12 months as I dealt with a very stressful work situation and ‘Seek and you shall find” is my aim for 2013, hopefully a year which will lead to some positive changes.
I am now almost up to date before the next prompt is emailed on Sunday. Hopefully will document the next two pages shortly.
I really enjoyed stitching stumpwork. It appealed to me because of it’s history, it’s quirky nature and the potential to be very creative and textural.
The certificate required two minor pieces and a major piece of stumpwork. The first was to be a flower.
I had my grandmother’s very old pincushion, I think the bottom might be copper?? so I decided to cover it with an embroidery. I didn’t want to alter the original permanently so it is a loose cover held on with colourful pins. The flower is based on the coneflower and I’ve included detached leaves and tendrils (a bit of a fantasy design which takes a few liberties with the botanical correctness!!)
The second piece was a beetle. My design incorporated the features of a few different beetles which were slightly ‘stretched’ to enable me to try some different techniques. Hence it has needlelace wings and a raised stem band body.
My major piece is based on Art Deco styles of design and is a monogram for a large jewellery box. I love the Macintosh stylised design so the tulips are based on that style. There were a few technical difficulties with this piece which held me up but I am very happy with how it turned out and glad I redid a few items to a better standard. I am especially happy with the crispness of the lettering which I did over pelmet vilene painted with acrylic paints to match the thread colour.
Hmmm, might have to go back and trim the threads off that leaf!!
On Thursday I begin Intermediate Crewel work, should be another fun exploration of stitch-I just love Jacobean designs.
The November meeting of the GeeTAG group was led by yours truly and I decided to investigate all the different techniques I could find on rusty effects on textiles (apart from just paint).
After a search on the internet and my growing library of textile books I spent a couple of weeks making samples. Many of the techniques were from Sarah Lawrence’s excellent little booklet: It’s just rusty stuff.
Firstly was collecting all the bits of rusty stuff hanging around the shed-bolts, wrought iron hangers, chains etc, wrapping in or placing on fabric and spraying with white vinegar:
old cotton sheeting,
op shop silk shirt,
Coffee dyed cotton sheeting,
rose hip dyed cotton sheeting (before and after vinegar)
Then it was time to add rusting powder:
rose hip tea dyed cotton with rusty objects sprayed with vinegar, a variety of stamps using acrylic wax, Golden fluid matt medium, PVA, Jo Sonja textile medium and Atelier Binder medium . Each worked equally well!!
A variety of papers-khadi, painted & unpainted brown paper, gold tissue paper, black holey tissue paper, stitched together by machine, matt medium brushed on, rusting powder sprinkled, sprayed with walnut ink and moonshadow mist.
Evolon with dressmaking tissue bonded, rusty objects and sprayed with vinegar, a little green tea to colour (which I was drinking at the time!) stamped using a variety of different mediums, rusting powder and sprayed with vinegar.
Aluminum foil with tissue paper bonded, painted with acrylic paints, matt medium brushed on, rusting powder sprinkled, sprayed with vinegar and walnut ink.
This interesting technique was from Lynda Monk’s book: Fabulous Surfaces
Lutrador and pelmet vilene painted with procion dyes
with foil bonded
with dressmaking tissue adhered using mediums
And finally the fun and very quick acting chemical rust (recipe here)
Lots of samples to choose from-maybe I will make a rusty book.
It was an absolute pleasure to spend a whole week with a group of lovely, generous and creative people in Hilary Peterson’s class ‘Dye, Print, Stitch’ at TAFTA’s Geelong Forum. Thankyou all and especially Hilary for your generosity in sharing your techniques and knowledge. and inspiring us all.
We began the week with lots of brewing of leaves, bark, pods and beetroot that happened to be in my crisper. I have since found this blog showing dyeing with purple carrots which I will have to try.
Into the brews went a multitude of bundles containing silk and wool fabric, doilies, wool, threads, papers of all description, leaves, flowers, blossoms, bark, sticks, fleece, silk rods, buttons and possibly much, much more.
The most exciting part was opening the bundles to see what had eventuated. My favourites were silk fabrics dyed with dark purple prunus leaves from an enormous and very old tree in my yard. Some beautiful results were also obtained from Eucalyptus cineria leaves with an iron mordant. I will be finding and planting this tree as soon as possible!!
After our dyeing had been unravelled and marvelled at we started carving and printing: meat trays, soft sculpt, lino, leaves, gumnuts and other objects. We experimented with texture using gesso, eggshells, sawdust and sand. We sponged and brushed and painted and resisted.
Finally we stitched, a lovely calming meditative end to the week.
You can see more photos on our group blog as I shared to the class with two of our group.
Inspiration is all around us, however some experiences leave an indelible mark that alter not only your consciousness, but influence all that comes thereafter.
My recent trip to North Stradbroke Island in Queensland as part of an education research fellowship was one such event. Although I have been very conscious of environmental issues and have taught Environmental Education for the last 4 years, this trip to the Moreton Bay Research Station as part of the Teachwild project consolidated for me the essential importance of this issue for us all and the necessity for education of the students currently in our schools.
The three year project involves gathering and documenting data on marine debris for the entire coastline of Australia. Schools around Australia will be participating in funded ‘scientist for a day’ visits from CSIRO scientists to map their own part of the coastline for marine debris. I’m sure everyone has heard of the Pacific Ocean Trash Vortex however the significant effects of this plastic junk in our oceans is brought home to you when you have performed a necropsy on a dead sea bird and find the stomach choked up with balloons and glow sticks.
During our week on ‘Straddie’ we collected data on marine debris through the necropsies, beach surveys, Moreton Bay trawls and further analysis of the debris though the use of spectrophotometry. I was joined on this week by teachers from Adelaide, Hobart and Melbourne as well as a Park Ranger from Phillip Island. Our week long immersion was assisted and led by CSIRO scientists, lecturers and PhD students from University of Queensland and Earthwatch. The blog I wrote for my students can be accessed here and the blogs of the other teachers via the 7 day project tab>Teacher’s Blogs.
How does this relate to Textile Art?
There is a huge movement, especially in art/ist saturated areas such as Melbourne in vintage and re/upcycling. Op Shops are de rigueur. The extent of this waste problem reaffirms my decision not to purchase any item that could be replaced by something more environmentally sound. I am now absolutely sure that any message in my artwork will be one that promotes environmental principles.