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.

Book Making, Printing, Uncategorized

Many Fragments – 25th October 2021

I’ve been working steadily through the weeks. no rush and enjoying every stage of making this book.

The title, “ 2020/2021 Sample Book” popped up one day, maybe from working my way through my book shelves where there are images of salesmen’s books, company ledgers and individual diaries. 

So I began to make the components.

Lots of blind prints ranging from 2 x 2cm to 5 x 2cm, all from plates constructed 2020 and 2021
Sorted into sizes
First arrangement of the fragments onto the guide that I used to place the boards to create the indents
After several rearrangements I settled on this one and the prints were glued down

Completed book
And the covers and reverse

I am pleased with the end result, it feels peaceful and relaxed in my hand and it worked out just as I had imagined it, so contentment all round. A good feeling in these trying days.

My reading books cover over 50 years of publications of embroidery books, some given to me second hand and the latest book that I have bought from a textile artist that I know.