General, Printing, Uncategorized

Collection – 22nd March 2021

I suspect that we have all collected items/things/stuff from being children. maybe it’s the beginning of honing ones eye, discovering our style, experiencing a little bit of control, it’s part of our human development. I could write a thesis, but I’m not going to!

For the past 30 years I have collected fragments of antique textiles, for various reasons, teaching aids, intrinsic beauty, the joy of study or for a particular project, to name but a few.

The current world situation has made collecting somewhat difficult, I like to feel the textile, turn it over and consider its history before adding it to my collection. However this restriction has allowed me the opportunity to spend more time with the pieces that I have.

I have thought of time periods, techniques, geography, politics, people, journeys, trade, design influences etc and their integration with each other. Somehow I feel that many of these elements are magnified by my location, on the Lancashire/Yorkshire borders where I am surrounded by pre-industrial revolution and industrial revolution reminders of bobbin mills, wool and cotton weaving and thread manufacture, not to mention the long Leeds Liverpool canal, two fields away, which sourced the raw materials and took away the completed textiles.

These ideas have lead me to consider the idea of ‘The Collection’, something that I have dabbled with before. I have the time to consider the whole, something that has sustained me in my artistic endeavours over the years. There have been artists’ books, now I have turned my attention to postcards from the Collection, small glimpses and reminders of what the collection holds.

These are the three lace postcards, I’ll be moving on to woven next.

I liked these books of postcards, probably from the 1950’s, they are smaller than today being 14cm x 9cm. Ive always had them, presumably from my parents house.

And I haven’t read many books, the weather has been good and I’ve been gardening

Book Making, Embroidery, General, Printing

Process – Again! – 8th February 2021

I am aware that I frequently mention process, but it is essential to both printmaking and book construction. This flow of work has not been able to be maintained over the last couple of weeks mainly because of the inclement weather and my warm bloodied self to venture to the studio. Many times I have brought materials into the the house and then to optimistically return them to the studio, only to return them to the house. At the moment it looks as if I will remain in the house for several more days. It means that the process becomes disjointed and consequently I have several projects on the go. Still, following on from the last blog I constructed the plate designed from my second piece of woven silk.

I then started to cut away the background

The cutting away was completed but I got no further, it awaits better weather before I can print from the plate.

I did fold the four books and six greetings cards from my last print run, I need to decide a colour scheme and style before painting papers for their covers, which I want to match, so making ‘Vulnerable to Alteration’ a compact group.

I have read several books and continued with my note taking

Embroidery, General

Disruptions – 11th January 2021

If I had had a plan then life hasn’t gone that way. I had hoped in these early days of 2021 I would form a plan for the next few months, but it snowed.

So I moved into the house with books, paper and textile fragments to wait for it to get warmer.

I haven’t been idle though. There is a new page on the website called Shop where I have placed the books that I have made in 2020. Do have a look and contact me if you are interested.

I have been reading and continuing with researching my theme of ‘Vulnerable to Alteration”. I still haven’t completed the prints that I had planned to do a fortnight ago, hopefully when it gets warmer. I feel that I need to do these before I really get inside another textile and explore its alterations.

The image at the beginning shows the front and reverse, (top half of the image), of a woven Spitalfields silk, the back with the lengths of floss silk going from flower to flower are wonderfully bright and provide a contrast to the front. There are signs of two seams along all four sides of the 38 x 40cm fragment and I think that this will become the focus of further investigations.

This whitework collar, from c1830, also shows marks of alterations, a row of needle holes going from left to right. I suspect that these are marks where the large collar was turned inside a neckline and stitched in place.

I have read a lot over the past couple of weeks. When I embarked upon the project to go through all my books I hadn’t foreseen all the memories that came with the reading. The bottom book I bought in the 1970’s and was my first text book on sewing/embroidery and was  a source of reference on techniques until I began as a serious student of embroidery over a decade later. The top book is brand new and I have enjoyed reading about how other artists approach their art especially as I know several of them.

So here’s to better weather!