Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Lego Quilt Completed

Still deaf and easily tired but I'm looking forward to going back to work tomorrow. I  finished the  piecing and quilting of the 'lego' quilt  over the weekend and  after a couple of days to recover, had an epic session yesterday sewing the binding on. I'll take some better photos  for the record this weekend before I hand it over but I just caught the last of the light to take some snaps  so I can make a label with it as background . Apart from the child's name and date and my name I'm wondering whether I should call it anything? 

It has about 200 different fabrics made up into 20 blocks ( 39 x 48 inch final size) and is quilted with a large meander pattern with rainbow variagated threads. The backing is an African wax print
I'm really pleased how it turned out and it's been hugely enjoyable to make using the 'guided randomness' principle.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Daily Art Catch Up - stitch and frottage

My Daily Art didn't remain daily for long with being poorly -  I went 8 days without doing anything.
But  feeling rather better now ,I've caught up. I've been sitting in front of the TV with a snarled tangle of threads, pulling strands out and stitching simple patterns. Liking the  results of rubbing (frottage) the stitching with a jumbo crayon, I've become addicted to trying different thicknesses of thread and stitches.  Because of course you  obtain an impression of the back as well as the front of the stitching

 Cross Stitch
 Chain Stitch

This is my favourite  pair of stitchings/rubbings so far and it's got me thinking about combining the 2, building multiple layers 

Friday, 18 January 2013

Sketchbook Project 2013 completed

The lurgy continues! Just started second course of antibiotics and third week at home signed off as 'not fit to work' with ear and chest infection. I've been deaf in left ear for 10 days now and subtitled daytime tv has definately started to pall (although enjoying the new Father Brown  series).  
I did manage to get my Sketchbook  Project 2013 posted the day before the deadline although I had to simplify what I intended.  
At the Sketchbook Project 2012  tour at Canada Water Library , I'd admired a sketchbook which had a fold out orginal print in the centre. I have a number of stone lithographs, lino prints, monoprints and screenprints that I made in the past to choose from. I chose the ones that were on the thickest paper and cut them down to  7 x 10 inch sheets. I scanned in/photographed  some of the prints and played with them in Photoshop using 'invert' to get different colour patterns and printed them on the backs of the original prints. I chose the boat lithograph as the fold out centrefold and  put the other sheets together to make the most interesting combinations . I've called the sketchbook ' Print Mash-Up'
Original lithographs and screen prints  
Original prints above, Photoshop altered digital prints below,

Linocut original and Photoshop altered digital print  

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Daily Art -the First Week

I've been thinking about a daily art project for a while, I did it for a month a few years ago  and have been inspired by the examples of   Kathy Loomis, Uta Lenk  and others on this site   and  partly spurred  on by recent drawing  classes where I could visibly see improvements due to regular practice.
I've decided to use a colour catcher a day in some way. Apart from recycling, they are versatile and lend themselves to  a variety of different techniques and  materials including stitch
I've also got an awful lot of them despite using them for various projects:I've drawn on them with neocolour crayons;  scribbled on them with biro a la Boetti; collaged with fabric scraps while on retreat responding to local landscape; used  inkjet printing and stitch  for 'Distressed Doors' sketchbook project and for Shinkansen based on photos taken at speed from a train.

 Rather than using them as part of of a larger project (like  Margaret Cooter  and her  'Journey to the Studio' ) , at this stage I think I  might fold  each in half and make a monthly stab-stitched book  but I'm not aiming to set rules just see how it goes. I've already had to  adapt  as after a few days of drawing tree rings, the lurgy settled on my chest  and with a temperature of over 38 C , retired to bed. I rallied a bit yesterday and caught up on the previous 3 days with a bit of frottage using crayons   (the results  look vaguely like cells!)
I've now got an ear infection so perhaps that might form the inspiration (it wouldn't be the first time...)

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Tree Rings

I've been thinking for a while how I could express the inspiration and ideas generated from  experiencing the work of David Nash. I've also been considering how I could interpret the theme 'Metaphors for Ageing' for entering SAQA exhibition. The two have come together  in tree rings and I've been working on a sample over the last few days stitching densely with machine into some hand dyed African batik. It's quite thick fabric and it has quite a sculptural form  which I love but might not please the quilt police! I found this wonderful acacia wood plate in the Kew shop yesterday when buying a calendar. It was so hard to choose!
The David Nash sculptures currently in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery have wonderful fissures and cracks. I'm working out how best to interpret these in  textile- as cuts or dense stitching to give the illusion of cracks?

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

David Nash Cork Structures

Back at work today and Kew is heaving with families enjoying themselves thanks to the '12 Days of Christmas' Free Entry offer. Still a couple of days to take advantage. It's much quieter behind the scenes as most people are still on leave.
One of the highlights of 2012 was having the ongoing sculpture installations of David Nash on site. I go past the Nash Conservatory (no relation!)  every day and as soon as the Cork Spire was installed in October I took Ian along to see it ( not just for scale)

It was assembled surprisingly quickly from this stash of cork bark sections  - there was scaffolding and someone blancing on a nifty-lift placing things in position.

It makes a wonderful companion piece in a different scale to the Cork Dome
I love how the colours have changed in just a few months
I wish I could afford this print which sums  up  the textures and shapes so well.