Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Rusty Journal Quilts -real and faux

Rust Shoreline 
Rust Shoreline detail
Rust Ripples 
Rust Ripples detail 
Greenhouse Door Rust
 Rusted silk habotai  couched on digital print of peeling paint of Alston Hall greenhouse door

African Scrap Door 
( no rusted fabrics: Ndobe indigo, African Kola and Indigo, Potassium permanganate, commercial )

The question of what you do with the bits you produce on workshops: use them in Journal Quilts.
 I enjoyed  trying out   rusting on fabrics and papers  using teas with Alice Fox  and produced some lovely marks on  small pieces ( thanks Olga for  highlighting  my  efforts on the Ragged Cloth Café blog) . I made up a small book and  applied the stitched pieces  to pre-machine quilted backgrounds. I love the resulting textures of these  but I don't think I will be pursuing this technique further as  after the initial excitement , I'm struggling  to work out how I incorporate them in my main series.

It's partly a scale issue: I prefer   yardage  such as my indigo shibori to small  pieces, however exquisite, and I'm a quilter not an embroiderer. It's a process issue:Alice does not wash or iron the  the resulting fabrics liking the folds and creases and applies these to felt or other fabrics. That   fits her aims and ethos but not mine.  It's a fabric issue: the  nicest marks were on thin silk habotai  which I can't easily mix  with the cottons I usually use.  Mainly though it's a colour issue: as a painter the marks, colours and especially tones  achieved are just too subtle and unpredictable .

I overheard  several times people stating authoratively that my 'Fleet Mudflats' quilt contained rust marked fabrics. It doesn't - it's a mixture of commercial printed fabrics and African kola and indigo with some digital prints of sand ripples. My African Scrap Door JQ above also contains no rusted fabrics.  
Fleet Mudflats
When you learn a technique or process, however much you admire the work and ethos of the tutor, you have to decide whether it fits with your own work. On this occasion I have  no immediate use for it - I'm  happier with faux rust effects.  But having learnt it , it's in my arsenal  for  the future  if appropriate.  

1 comment:

Olga Norris said...

I so agree with your comment about thinking about one's own work even while enjoying a workshop on a specific technique. It can be hard work sometimes, 'keeping to the knitting', but I think that the work benefits from that discipline.
I have added to RCC a comment and a link back to this post of yours because I do think that this is a vital part of thinking about popular techniques.