Work done for City and Guilds Level 3 Certificate in Embroidery with Distant Stitch.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Certificate Module 3 - a bit more to add to Chapter 2 and a start on Chapter 3

Chapter 2 

I received as a birthday present a wonderful book, Collage, Stitch, Print by Val Holmes (Batsford 2012, ISBN 978 1 84994 014 6) which inspired me to give the technique a try.  It would take many months to fully experiment with all the ideas in the book, but I thought the relief in some of my collages for Chapter 2 might be deep enough to make a collagraph plate.  I sealed the surface with pva and rolled acrylic paint on with a brayer.  I mixed various combinations of my chosen colour scheme and produced a series of prints as shown below.






 Below is a photograph of the plate used after making the prints.  It makes an interesting example on its own.
I was so pleased with this technique that I tried the same method with another collage I had made.



3.2.c11 the plate after the prints had been made

I was doing these prints literally as I was packing the materials I needed for Summer School.  I took them with me to show Sian, but hadn't time until now to post them on my blog.  I look forward to exploring this technique further, in particular, using stitch to make texture on the plate, as demonstrated by Val Holmes in her book.

Chapter 3

Here is work that I have done since coming home from Summer School.  I began on Chapter 3 of Module 3 by colouring some fabrics.  I used fabric paints (Dye-na-Flow) and acrylic paint mixed with fabric medium.  This gave good results, much quicker and easier than using dye.  I intend to re-visit this exercise in the future, since I had only a limited range of fabrics at home and because I'd like to try again some of the shibori techniques from Module 2.  However, my fingers are itching to get stitching so I went for speedy results.  Here are my coloured fabrics, hanging on the line to dry and then dried, ironed and folded.

To add to them, I had some shibori fabrics left over from Module 2 as well as dyed and printed fabrics from other projects.  I also bought some dyed fabric while in Malvern on holiday from a lovely shop called Stitch 45. 

Someone mentioned at Summer School that if you mix fabric paint with aloe vera gel then it does not spread on fabric and you get a clean line.  I tried it with Dye-na-Flow on a sheer, metallic polyester with quite pleasing results.
3.3.aloe 1

3.3.aloe 2

I am becoming hooked on monoprinting.  I love it.  I had fun monoprinting some of my fabrics.

3.3.m1 on a left over piece of printed fabric

3.3.m2 on acrylic felt

3.3.m3 on acrylic felt

3.3.m4 on polyester sheer metallic fabric

3.3.m5 on polyester sheer

3.3.m6 on dyed cheesecloth

3.3.m7 on cotton muslin

I also had some fabrics I had printed at Summer School with Sue Dove.
3.3.m8 on previously shibori dyed and block printed cotton

3.3.m9 on a digital print on cotton that didn't work out.  It does now I think.

 Three of the summer school monoprints were a bit pale, being on plain white cotton and so I mixed up some dilute acrylic paint with fabric medium and brushed it over the monoprint.  It worked well, the print easily showing up through the transparent wash.
3.3.m10 on cotton
3.3.m11 on cotton

3.3.m12 on cotton


What a wonderfully rich creative time I am having.  More riches to look forward to with a two-day workshop with Alison King on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.  My cup runneth over.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Distant Stitch Summer School 2013

I've tried half a dozen times to use Windows Live Writer for this post, but it won't transfer what I've saved as a draft, so I guess I'll have to do it the old fashioned way.  It will take ages to post every picture individually instead of posting a photo album, so I'll not be showing so many photos.  It really is ridiculous that in this day and age, it is so difficult and time consuming to do something that ought to be easy and quick!  My laptop came very close to being hurled through the window.  Only a welcome glass of wine from my husband rescued it in the nick of time!  OK, rant over, now here's the post.

What a wonderful Summer School we had this year.  The weather was glorious, the company great, scenery stunning and the workshops inspirational.  I thought I had died and gone to heaven.  Sue Dove was a generous and inspirational tutor and I enjoyed being able to see her work and sketchbooks and find out something about her working method.


Sue showed us how to produce a pattern for an abstract embroidery using collage.  First we cut or tore shapes out of coloured pages from a glossy magazine and glued them onto cartridge paper with spaces in between.  We then used oil pastels to fill in the spaces between, changing colour and tone regularly.  Finally we turned the page over and cut it into a variety of squares and rectangles.  Sue showed us how to use various methods to frame these shapes.  She also showed us how to make monoprints on fabric and paper, using oil paint and acrylic paint mixed with a fabric medium.  She encouraged us to try to fill our sketchbooks with ideas.  Here are some pages from my sketchbook:

Here are some pictures of other students' work.  First Sue's class:

And now, Louise's class:

After the summer school, my husband and I had a week's holiday in Malvern, meeting family members we hadn't seen for years.  A lovely week, eating too much, talking too much and walking in the beautiful Malvern hills.  We got home at 6 pm, after a 10 hour drive, to find a message on the answerphone from friends from Caithness.  We had invited them to visit, although we hadn't specified a time.  Their message said they were in Aberdeen and would like to come to stay for a few days, arriving the following morning.  It was lovely to see two of our favourite people, but a bit of a rush to iron sheets, plan and shop for meals and make ready the spare bedroom, all in one hectic evening!  After they left, there was just time to catch up with the washing and colour some fabrics ready for Chapter 3 of Module 3 ...

...before an Upper Deeside Artist Society workshop in monoprinting with Ali Brown.

A busy and wonderful few weeks, full of sunshine, friendship and creativity.  Maybe I really have died and gone to heaven!  :)