Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Slash Tint and Daub at CQ Summer School

Two years ago, at the Contemporary Quilt Summer School at Alston Hall, I'd taken lots of photos of some wonderful crumbling gateposts (peeling paint, rust and lichens in one hit!). So on returning there for this years summer school on a workshop with Jae Maries using the theme of 'Mood Swings', it seemed appropriate to go back to these images and manipulate them in Photoshop to provide some source material. Making mainly pictorial textiles of scenes I've experienced, I'm not that comfortable working with more abstract concepts ( some of the Take it Further Challenges last year I found difficult) but I came with an open mind. On the first evening, after brainstorming a mind map of various pairings of opposite moods, we used coloured papers to make a pair of opposites, having a lovely time cutting, tearing and glueing (and swapping colours with our neighbours)
I was relieved that Jae was mainly concerned with making a positive statement with colour rather than anything more philosphical. I took onboard her comments about not only thinking about local colour in my pairing of 'Natural and Artificial' - I love the work of Barbara Rae (including her use of fluorescent paint) but often end up with a only slightly enhanced naturalistic palette rather than the more dynamic one ones I admire.
On Saturday morning, Jae demonstrated various techniques using Sericol Pigment Inks (Aqua Texiscreen) including monoprint, foam roller, brush, palette knife on wet and dry fabrics. We then started building up a collection of fabrics using one of our colour schemes with only 3 colours and NO ironing of fabrics allowed ( she obviously knows how we all use that excuse to procrastinate).

It took a while to become accustomed to the consistency of the inks which were highly pigmented but transparent and slightly tacky and we were soon filling the washing line ( luckily in the heat they dried very quickly)

We had some individual time with Jae looking at the fabrics produced so far and how it fitted in with our aims. Some useful tips on putting fabrics into groups and isolating portions of them by folding. Most of us found that we had produced mostly patterned fabrics and needed some plainer ones to compliment them so back to more 'splash, tint and daub'
We then began tearing or 'rough cutting' strips and pieces, attaching them to a background with blind stitch and then starting to stitch into them . Interestingly, most of the fabrics I chose to use in this piece were dyed/painted old damask tablecloth - I wished I'd brought more to play with , they took the pigment so well and have a lovely sheen and feel to them , well suited to the subject.
Saturday Night
Our final painting of the day as part of the clearing up process was wetting fabric and wiping the spoons used to ladle out the inks. Some spectacular and unexpected results in the morning from this 'spoon dyeing' - I rather like this mad flower garden!
Sunday Morning
Next day most of us dived into more painting of fabric. I'd been impressed with the results that Liz had achieved with wetting calico, scrunching it up, then applying black ink with a sponge roller. The foam roller I'd brought with me was a bit too dainty - I borrowed a more substantial decorators one and achieved much more satisfying results trying this technique.

I love the way that the pigment picks out the crumpled texture (like bark or trees )and I used up all the calico I'd brought with me ( and left over paint that others had finished with). I also liked the pattern made by loose threads (inevitable with all that torn fabric)

Probably my favourite piece of fabric of the weekend was produced right at the end , using up the rest of the paint on the roller over a failed attempt at using a palette knife. Everyone who looks at it says its a castle ( including my husband who has already claimed it for his office when stitched)

It was a wonderful weekend with stimulating tuition, good home cooking(those cakes!) and lovely to catch up with friends real and virtual, old and new. Shame about having to travel back on a Sunday - they kept apologising for no sandwiches or food on the train and only 2 working toilets! At least in 'First Advance' we were fed complimentary snacks and drinks.


Fibrenell said...

Hi Mags, I discovered your blog from Sara one of my fellow Distant Stitchers. Ooh, you've got me inspired to get the roller and inks out. What great fabric you created - the school sounds as though it was great fun.

lisette said...

oh that looks wonderful!! everything - the workshop, the paints, the fabrics - just gorgeous