Sunday, 30 June 2013

Layers of St Martin's church - a journal

 Today was and is play day - tried working with decolourant on the lino cut of St Martin's church and steamed its presence into the leftover rectangles - also printed the image using an oil based printers ink onto vliesofix (webbing) - quite an interesting outcome but not what I was looking for!  Added some gold - I imagine this church as cathedral like - seems such a landmark - and used some sheer fabrics to soften the clunkiness of the rectangles - the feel I want is old world, not freshly constructed. Then another layer of gently rubbed chiffon - first in black for shadow - the blurred background and another layer of gold - so that the upper most image is the hint of St Martin's church - three such rubbings placed across the fabric and another journal cover.  I really like to experiment with ideas and techniques - making a journal cover is such a "safe" way to experiment. There is really no such thing as a "failure" - just more of those "ah ha's" and "o-oh's". 

 Gold leaf vliesofixed over the decolourant image and inked image of St Martin's church

 Quilted with the walking foot in a diamond shape, skipping two of the rubbed images (keeping the thread unbroken and securing it on the other side of the image makes sure I have a line to follow on the next row of stitching)
The finished A5 journal cover - with a hint of St Martin's church

Printmaking and St Martins

This image is of St Martin's church ( Martinitoren) in Groningen, The Netherlands where one of my friends went to University. The image is from 1955 (my friend attended Uni there many, many decades later) and I was struck by the tonal changes - the beauty of the church tower, the curves of the street lamp, street and cars.  There are many elements to consider. Using the image of St Martin's as a starting point, I carved one block and then the challenge was to carve another block that could be put beside it - able to make a print on either side of the first block!
The left half of this print is the interpretation of St Martin's church, the right hand print is a figment of my imagination. I've used a Japanese oil based printer's ink then hand painted with water colour. 

These are the same blocks printed with St Martin's church on the right. The blocks are small, test carvings and probably not suitable for large print runs on fabric. However, I think they will make great postcards or prints suitable for printing on A5 sized  journal covers. 

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Journal cover at Retreat

We had our second retreat of the year at The Outlook (Boonah) a few weeks ago and I had been gifted some sample sized pieces of one of Ricky Tims fabric range from Maynards Store (also in Boonah). Rectangles seemed to be a theme for a few of us on retreat and so I started to make a base fabric from 2 1/2" x 4" rectangles (finished size 2 1/4" x 3 3/4").  The new base fabric was then printed with gold textile paint (in the shape of a silky-oak leaf), then decolourant was painted onto the lino cut leaf. When dry, this steamed into a shadowy effect that seemed to balance the strength of the gold print.  A few pieces of grass from outside our building were printed into the "empty spaces" before the cover was lined and stitched - a new journal cover.

 Rectangles cut and ready to assemble

Silky oak leaf lino cut (actually cut into softer compound)

Printed with gold textile paint

 Lining (created with Procion MX - twice dyed)

Thursday, 13 June 2013

The Joy of Ex(quilt)

Seriously. I cut up about four quilts that were  unfinished, unloved and uninspiring into postcard-ish sizes, formed them into stacks and have progressively experimented and/or tortured them with lino cut prints (sometimes twice), stamping, printing and free hand unstructured embroidery.  I have carried about twenty of them with me during this year of quietly waiting. In our home-away-from-hospital we turn off the electronic noise-makers and talk away the evenings. The constancy of the stitching brings great comfort, as does the laughter, knowing smiles and the delight of having purged(some of) the things I unnecessarily cling to ... and am learning to look at them from a different perspective. And now, what to do with these newly created EXquilts.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Dyeing to decolour

Over the Open Studios weekend I used Procion MX Aubergine on PFD (prepared for dyeing) white cotton (220 thread count) and left the eight pieces in the the dye bath for the day. Later,  I mixed another teaspoon of the dye  with a little chemical water and dribbled it into the dye bucket. This last addition was not mixed very well - I was hoping to create a stellar like impact where undissolved dye made contact with the fabric pieces.

Day 2 afternoon and the fabrics were washed then "batched" before washing, drying and finally ironing / pressing.

This weekend, I've used the silky oak leaf( previously used for printing) and gently painted it with de-colourant. Once printed onto the fabric the piece was left to dry before steam pressing. The leaf appears to float over the  fabric. The finished piece is being free motion quilted using Bottom Line (grey) both top and bottom!

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Printmaking and the Silky Oak leaf

Today is a time for quiet cutting and carving of a silky oak leaf retained from the Open Studios weekend. During the Open Studios, the leaf was variously printed, rolled over and otherwise left with a protective coating of gold and black inks. The shape is the basis of my next lino cut (this time I'm experimenting with a softer material, much like an eraser which is easier to cut - and can be used on both sides). the proof will be in the printing as to whether the same level of clarity can be achieved. This is a slow process - the fine lines around the intricate leaves and the tendency for them to overlap slightly has left some interesting problem solving in terms of how and where to cut.

I've since gently painted the leaf with decolourant - and printed it onto some of the fabric dyed during the Open Studios weekend. Many beautiful results which will be shared over this gorgeous, long weekend at home.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Sharing creativity with the SAQA MOB (Members of Brisbane)

Last Saturday the MOB gathered (Members of Brisbane from SAQA's Oceania region) for a coffee and a chat about all things creative. It is important to share with others - seek feedback - work through ideas - experience show and tell on in impressive scale. Rebecca, Kate, Mel and I spent a wonderful few hours looking at the way Rebecca had interpreted her images of an historic church in Wellington (NZ) - through bookmaking, textural and layering elements, and creating her own fabric based on rubbings and images of the church hinges.  Kate had been playing with a glue gun to create a wonderful array of textured designs - ready for printmaking and many other uses. Mel's digital design work is always worth a trip to Brisbane - and her clever bag for holding all the essentials of a portable digital and textile artist - water colours, pens, art diary. Mel was able to share further work on the sketches made during the Open Studios at Aliquilts at the end of May - it was great to see them brought to life with watercolour. Speaking of watercolours ... couldn't resist using  a set of "vibrants" to demonstrate a couple of different techniques in applying the pigments.

SAQA MOB meets on the 1st Saturday of the new season - next get together will be 1 September