You may remember I teach a weekly hand embroidery class at our local patchwork shop. For the last few terms this has become pretty wide ranging, and various ladies' projects have covered contemporary embroidery, gold work, stump work and - some colouring/painting fabric. I've also met quite a few local quilters who said they'd like to do something a bit more arty, but just didn't know where to begin.
I'd made something completely different from my usual creations this spring, which was inspired by the phrase, 'A bird sings because it has a song'. So I showed it to Jayne (shop owner) and suggested we do an introduction/taster day for mixed media work, (I promised we won't cover the workroom in paint!) and she agreed.
The concept for this was a reflection of new life and change.
I made a stamp for the nests, and created three different images on calico. Each nest has some hand embroidery, ranging from heavily couched with textured threads, to a minimal - one egg only. Each background was painted with Koh-i -Noor dyes.
The eggs were stencilled on to painted fabric. I then fused all the pieces onto a layered structure of cotton fabrics; the old duck egg blue fabric blended really well with the palette I'd chosen. The next stage was to add random stitching in variegated threads, and the text was printed out, torn, stained and treated with acrylic wax, as were the bits of 'egg shell'.
It was finished off with lichen covered twigs and natural objects I'd gathered, including a feather our obliging garden woodpecker dropped. The piece is hung on a piece of driftwood from a Portishead beach.
I'm really excited about this workshop, as it's something I've wanted to do for ages. I'm working up a winter themed piece because it will be held in December.
So 'this week I have been mostly':
Making stamps with household items, and stamping fabric! Here are a couple of the prints so far, which I quite like. I printed the snowflakes on the hottest day of the year!
My plan is a create a fun, simple approach anyone can do, and create some different effects on fabric - without buying lots of expensive products, and using techniques which can be applied equally to fabric or paper.
Now I just have to get on with it!x