Book Making, Printing

Distractions, Distractions…… 3rd January 2022

There have been many things to think about over the past few weeks that have distracted me from spending time in the studio, apart from the ‘mind fog’ generated by the circumstances that we live in at the moment. Still I will get down to some serious art in the next few days as I have three ideas mulling about in my head, I just need the space to try and sort them out.

I have however completed two books, both of which turned out how I had imagined them, they took a while to complete as they required several stages. Here they are, both are unique.

‘The Narrative of Fragments I’, is 11 x 74cm long, there are 60, 2cm Collagraph prints placed in two recesses and then red silk machine stitching between them.

Narrative of Fragments I
Narrative of Fragments I detail
Narrative of Fragments I detail

The second is ‘The Narrative of Fragments II’ and is 12.5 x 66cm, the background is a Collagraph print with 24 small prints of different sizes placed on top and silk hand made stitches.

Narrative of Fragments II
Narrative of Fragments II Detail
Narrative of Fragments II detail

If you are interested or would like further information on either of these books, which are £40 including P&P to the UK, please contact me, see top of home page.

May I wish all of you health and happiness for 2022, keep smiling and be kind to all who who come your way.

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.

Book Making, General, Printing, Uncategorized

Looking and Thinking – 15th November 2021

Autumn is truly with us now as this image of standing underneath and looking skywards through our bright red Acer tree shows.

In my last blog I used the word peaceful for the book that I had just completed and looking at   the book that I finished recently that one is full of activity and variation. It is number five in the ‘Vulnerable to Alteration’ series and although I keep thinking that it is the last one of the series of unique books I don’t think that it will be as ideas keep popping up and I always like to follow an idea and being inspired as to where it takes me.

I have been playing around with folds and book shapes, I need to have a good idea of the finished book construction before I consider making a printing plate, there are considerations regarding the location and aspects of different prints/colours/ textures not to mention the various shapes and sizes  to the endthat the book can have.

So I continue to play.

This concertina with pamphlet stitched pages to both sides was in the first try too floppy, so I cut the long pages down from 15cm to 10cm and I was then content with the shapes that it made and the firmness of the construction. Will it go any further? Who knows!

I have worked my way through to the end of my books during this last couple of weeks and one has been recently added –  ‘L’art du livre origami’ by Jean-Charles Trebbi, in which I have three books featured. A lovely book to have  popped through my door.

Going through the books has been interesting, so many memories of people and events, reminders of stuff that I had forgotten and of the community of fellow embroiderers and book artists all of which brought smiles to my face.