Thursday 16 October 2014

Rust Marks at Alston Hall -CQ Winter School

  It was my 5th time at Alston Hall on Contemporary Quilt Summer/Winter school  and possibly the best yet! I love the  peaceful surroundings looking out over the Ribble valley, the food is delicious ( 6 different  cakes at afternoon tea!)  and the company stimulating as ever.
 I was pleased to see that the  peeling  paint of the glasshouse door as featured in my 2 green door quilts was still intact and even more weathered!
 Last time I had a productive time sewing on a retreat but this time I was doing a workshop with Alice Fox on ' Rust Marks'
 Sue generously  shared part of the 10kg of rusty items she brought in  her rucksack on the train ( considerably lighter on our return as she donated several items )
 Rather than using vinegar  as the acid to create the rust marks on fabric and paper, Alice uses sea water in situ as in  her 'tide mark series' or  tea ( which works because of the tannic acid it contains). Apart from 'builders tea' she had a selection of other brews to try including red wine ( which went down suspiciously quickly)
  Our first exercise was using wire woll as this gives very quick results  and lovely marks.

 Than  we got busy  wrapping our items or placing them on  paper until the hallway looked like the scene of an archaeological dig.  Ideally the marks are better if  items are left wet for a few days and dry out naturally  but  most of us couldn't resits opening our parcels on Sunday morning so see what was happening

To retain moisture, I mostly covered my parcels or items with a piece of silk  chiffon or habatai  which also picked up subtle marks

 The  piece of chiffon placed over a saw blade resulted in this charming 'rapunzels tower'
 So that we could see the effect of a longer contact time, Alice had these wrapped nails which had been marinating for a week and we had the pleasure of opening them!
 Even better, we were each given a piece of the silk and linen to experiment with.

 I decided to make a little book ( as for Dorothy Caldwell's  masterclass and in  Crete ) and created several signatures which I have yet to sew together (still playing with the sequence)
 The   marks of wire wool on paper and a piece of silk organza wrapped around a nail was one of my favourite combinations. The subtle marks  and tones  achieved work well in a  small format and I like the interactions that happen.

   My piece-de-resistance  however was a much larger piece -  a fine silk dupion wrapped around the piece of rusting car I found on Aldeburgh beach that Ian very reluctantly allowed me to bring home.

1 comment:

Helen said...

Love these pieces. Such interesting textures and colours. I must do some more myself.