Embroidery, Exhibitions, General

Reset – 12th April 2022

When I had completed the books that featured in my previous blog, I realised that there was no time to complete more books before my next event, see below. Spring had arrived here in North Yorkshire and the garden kicked in, I have enjoyed the physical work and the day to day achievements that gardening provides and consequently I have spent little time in the studio, my mind has drifted.

I have set myself a task, not really ideas based but a method of getting me back to printing and book construction. All my plates have been long landscape shapes, all the better for making concertina books etc. So I thought a square design would be a challenge. The size of the square was determined by some lovely Indian Cotton Rag paper that I have and to compliment the paper I have selected as my design source a piece of early C17th Indian embroidery, slightly larger than a A4 sheet of paper. The silk embroidery is worked onto fine woven cotton with a rough silk Tussah backing to support the stitches. It would have been a coverlet and probably made for export into England.

I have got this far and we will have to see what becomes of the project, I usually know where I am going with an idea , so here I am somewhat in uncharted waters.

But deadlines will prevail, the props for my stand  have been designed and freshly painted, cards have been organised, books still to sort and lists have been made.

Do visit the Printfest website, see http://www.printfest.uk , and see details of the event and the other artists that I am privileged to be exhibiting with. Maybe you’ll be able to visit, it’s a wonderful event and this will be my third time exhibiting.

Embroidery, Printing, Uncategorized

A Mixed Bag – 6th December 2021

There has been too much weather around and it has influenced daily life and another week of rain is forecast.

Several years ago our son, as a student, went to India and he brought  back these bags for me, a lovely present. They are made from old silk saris with metal thread tambour work embroidery. I just adore the peacock, as shown above and which had been hidden in the folds of the gathered bag.

I had been thinking of undoing a couple of them and perhaps using them as book covers or something else. The snow gave me the opportunity to sit down and unpick them. It took ages, each of the four layers was machine stitched to another and the bags were constructed with French seams.

Now that they are undone, leaving me with some beautiful pieces of embroidered silk, I can ponder my next step, but at the moment I don’t know!

In my ‘Vulnerable to Alteration’ series I had considered C18th woven silk cloth, so I thought that I would turn my attention to the yards and yards of Dresden whitework, (so called as that is where high quality embroidery originated from), which adorned the dresses as cuffs and collar frills. This is fine whitework to cotton muslin which was worked both professionally and domestically throughout the C18. It comprised of satin stitch, pulled work and buttonhole stitches so creating flowing Rococo floral designs. The cotton muslin was imported from India.

I had a book design in mind from my experimental sessions a few weeks ago and I began to draw and plan a printing plate with lots of rubbing out.

The design is now complete and I will begin to construct the printing plate over the next few days.

Embroidery, Printing

Woven – 5th April 2021

This last couple of weeks has seen me moving on to Woven, the textiles whereby their decorative details have been incorporated into the cloth at the point of making, here heavy silk fabrics from the C18th.

I was aware that the process of designing each postcard could become mechanical as I have planned 12 designs, so I decided to return to the original designs of my printing plates over the last few years which I have all kept.

I have become better at writing down the plates design source and the date that they were created, as you see there are many. I then separated out the ones relating to my chosen subjects, lace, woven and to come stitch and print and designed the postcards from my original designs. This way I felt that I was remaining true to the original subject.

Here are the woven postcards, one at the top.

And the ones done so far, half way through the project.

The books that I have worked through, the Mary Thomas is particularly well thumbed!