Thursday, 16 August 2012

When do we get to the stitchy bit?

On the given day, at the given time,the chosen few approached the destination in darkest Herefordshire from different directions. I took the secret route.....well actually, this was because I took a wrong turn in the wilds of Wellington Heath...but it was secret, the trees closed over my head and grass grew in the middle of the road. The venue was to be marked with balloons..cunning eh?

No, it wasn't a birthday party...quite a good guess.... but an elite gathering to practise mixed media techniques at Angie Hughes ( famous local textile artist!) Summer School. Angie has been teaching world wide as well as all over the UK recently, so it was great to hold her captive here for a few days and to extract her secrets.
I'm going to show you a few pictures showing how we built up components before we got to the stitchy bit.  ( I must  explain that my work is not necessarily a good example but it's what I did and anyone could do it!)
First we had to slap some acrylic paint on to print paper and leave to dry. (Hee, hee, the messy bit, I love it. I had put a smock on but still managed to get a blob of bright pink on my do you get it out?)

Then we had to distress these papers in numerous ways..... by sprinting water or flicking paint or making marks with anything to hand.Then we could add another layer of metallic paint sponging or mopping it off in places.

My table cloth looked fairly distressed by the end of the session too.

The background for our intended work was to pieces of black and white fabric altered and collaged to a piece of pelmet vilene. To change the look we printed or marked white on white,white on black.
Whilst all this stuff was drying we took time to look at work by other artists who often use stylised plant forms in their work and to watch Angie as she began to assemble pieces to work on.(That was a good bit...who doesn't like watching people work...) Our homework was to observe any plants we had, looking at their shapes especially.
I have to admit to doing this from a window as it was raining! But actually it was quite good because some shapes became more apparent. The plume shape of the Astilbe and the triangular heads if a sedum caught my eye.
Fresh and eager to start the next day, we were shown how to bond our shimmery papers to pelmet vilene to make the basic flower shape and then sent to our tables to work on our own ideas.

This is how my sedum started.

By bonding them to vilene, the shape stand off the page a little. That day I worked on my sedum and astilbe ideas adding a few stitches to see what it would look like.

Ribbled paper stems.

Astilbe with the stitches appearing.
Eagle eyes will spot my addiction, the french knot!
Whilst I was stitching my sketch book, sensible people were already working on their collage and placing their flower shapes. Why don't I do as I'm told? Of course the next day they were well ahead and I still had to get my back ground ready. I felt that the Astilbe looked rather good on black so that was my start. I put a hand stitched frame ready to receive them and chose bits and pieces to fill in the rest.

My pieces of painted fabric assembled ready for action.

And that was as far as  I got ....but others did better so I chose a few to show how others worked to the
same theme.

June chose poppy heads and leaves and stencilled her white fabric.

I loved the muted colours that Sarita chose.

This was our inspiration board.
The piece Angie worked on throughout is on the left. So that is the work so far. I hope to continue with mine soon although I might try bonding my shapes to felt as this may be easier to sew through. There may be more of this story to follow....... (and answer the title question!)