Wednesday, January 16, 2013

introduction to altered books

I have just done a wonderful workshop with Karma Bains at the Embroiderers' Guild NSW on altered books.  I went with a couple of books, fabric, threads, many buttons, same papers and drawing & painting paraphernalia.   I could have saved myself half a car load by not taking the sewing stuff - I didn't use it at all ... but now I know how I can.

The book I worked on was very slim volume on needlepoint.  Not much has survived.

This is the first page I did.  I kept the grids and text on the page but crossed out the text I didn't want and circled what I wanted to keep - it sort of worked.   Karma had an example where he had worked through a fictional novel and backed out anything she thought not relevant and created a bare bones story.

The following pages have less and less of the original book.  I stamped on the next page , crossed out text and covered the facing page with some Japanese text.

This page was painted with ink which gave it a shiny look - I really liked the brush marks.  The tea pot was cut out of another book and the droplets stenciled on using acrylic paint.  There is still a little bit of text vaguely visible.

This page has sheet music pasted on one side and slightly coloured with water colour crayon.  The facing page is a paper napkin (well a 1/4 of one) and a piece of text cut from a magazine and kindly given to me by a classmate.

I have to say I am hooked and look forward to working on the balance of the pages and the cover which currently looks like this:

Hopefully I will get to work on it on the coming weekend.

Cheers for now.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Bush Dyeing

Happy New Year :-)

Did you make any resolutions?  Mine was to do more art in any medium.  We have been away since 27/12/12 and I packed my threads, sketch pad etc and, true to form have not done a lot but sit and stare out the window!  2012 was a busy year.

Amongst my planned activities was some bush dyeing.(I have seen some beautiful pieces of cloth dyed and embroidered by the Wagga Wagga Group of the Embroiderers' Guild NSW).  I have been at my sisters in Central Victoria for the last week and natural resources are at my finger tips. This also the view from the deck!

It's no wonder I have been sitting looking.  The water attracts no end of bird life and it has been a joy to sit and watch them fly in early in the morning and in the evening:

The heat has been punishing and I haven't really ventured out to collect material - not to mention that I was going to conduct this activity outside and it has been way too hot to do so.  However,  I collected some back which had fallen at the base of a Red Gum and allowed it to steep in the sun for a day or so and put a bit of unbleached calico and some silks in to the solution and here is what I ended up with:

I also bundled a piece up like a sausage and got what I thought a better result:

I also threw in some Jap silk, something called craft silk and a couple of old place plats my mother had tucked away.

I also put some beetroot peelings in a pot and, after boiling it up for 30 mins, threw in a bit of unbleached calico.  I think I would have got a better result with bleached calico.  I ended up trying to over-dye it with some of the bark solution out of the dye pot.

I guess the challenge is now to do something with the pieces of fabric ...

Cheers for now...

Not quite a self portrait

Not quite a self portrait
small 8' quiltlet with embroidered hair

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