'If you make happiness your goal, then you're not going to get to it… The goal should be an interesting life."

Dorothy Rowe

Thursday 5 February 2009

Is this a stamp?

You may be seeing quite a lot of this image over the next few days. It is a section of the floor of Winchester Cathedral - which has, apparently, the largest area of medieval floor tiles in the UK, - all waiting to inspire stamps ...

Not surprising since they were made by pushing a stamp into red clay and filling the impression with white clay. [It is the glaze that makes them look yellow.]

I have been intending to do something with these patterns for a long time - so when I was looking for inspiration for today and found this photo - Bingo! [Sorry about the reflection - the tiles are shiny and the Cathedral dark so I had to use flash.]
I shall probably use more conventional stamp making methods on another day - but as I had papers painted with transfer dyes from the Creative Textiles Workshop last Friday - I decided to use them today. So my 'stamps' could also be called 'stencils' or 'resists'.
And as it's February - I'm into hearts.

I enlarged individual tiles from the photo and played around cutting out heart shaped stencils which incorporated part of the design of the tile. This is the one I liked best.

This is on Vilene interfacing - not the really heavy stuff, a firm sew-in type.

As you may know, when you iron the papers some of the paint will transfer to the stencil, which you can then turn over and iron off to get a print of the stencil. Which is what I did here - except that dye had also transferred to the baking parchment and that ironed off too to give a red background/fleur-de-lis. A happy accident, I think. This is on Evolon.

This is a similar effect but deliberate this time. I took the 'holes' from two stencils, the fleur-de-lis and another one, and ironed the dye off over them. Then I took the holes away, turned the dye paper upside down, and ironed off again, which gave this faint pattern on polyester satin. This is probably the one I like best, as it is as subtle as transfer dyes on poly satin can ever be. The texture comes from scrumpling the painted paper while it is still wet.

You will have deduced that Friday's workshop was mark making with transfer dyes [and crayons] We started by looking at some samples of embroidery and then chose stitches to replicate, I kid you not, by embroidering corrugated card with string. [My immediate reaction was 'book covers'!]
Mine was boring compared with other people's, who had the sense to choose more interesting stitches than straight and running.

We then used the card as rubbing boards, covering them with layout paper and rubbing with transfer crayons. We also rubbed over lace, which would have been much more interesting if it had worked - I think I was too light handed with the crayons, rare as it is for me to be light handed with anything. [I usually use copy paper for this - I don't think the layout paper worked any better and copy paper is much cheaper ...]

Then we painted over the crayoned pieces, and blank pieces, with transfer dyes, and had lunch while they dried.

We spent the afternoon cutting, tearing, layering and generally playing with the painted papers, and ironing off onto a variety of fabrics.

This final piece has no connection with the dally photo, but is here because I told A. you could do it. The idea came, of course, from Linda Kemshall's excellent book 'Colour Moves'. Well worth reading if you want to know more about transfer dyeing.

In the section on the right I used a feather as a resist - on the left I turned the feather over and ironed it off. It is faint [I have done it more successfully in the past] but it is there. On satin, as if you hadn't guessed.


Jackie said...

Lovely tiles lovely work. (I think we have a box of them in the garage..someone gave them to my husband. I must get them out and look again.

Chris Daly said...

What a wonderful place to find inspiration. I have been itching to create some of my own stamps lately. I think I need to quit my day job so I can play all day long.

Digitalgran said...

Those tiles are beautiful and full of inspiration and I just love transfer painting too. I have some mixed transfer paints left over from the last time I did some and was looking at them today. Now after seeing this I think I must use them and I 'must' get that book too.