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

Dorothy Rowe

Friday 3 April 2009

Contemporary Textiles

The big surprise was a card and a beautiful bag charm as a birthday present from A. who has been recording her jewelry making exploits here. Mine is the turquoise one second from left. Thank you A - it's great - Wensleydale was very impressed!

My guess that we would be making rubbings today was almost completely wrong although they are mentioned at the very end of the handout for the day.

We started by making a mark with ink and a tool of our choice - then used it as a motif for a couple more activities. True to form I didn't like my mark, so I shall be doing it again tomorrow ... Pictures then. Maybe.

Then we did some embroidery. Blindfolded. As you do.

Sue Chapman read out a series of words and with blind folds in place we made stitches, inspired by those words. Apparently this is a Dorothy Caldwell exercise. [Sue had her permission to use it.]

The result was - er - interesting - but actually it was quite a liberating experience - like permission to embroider badly - when artistically necessary, of course.

I hadn't heard of Caldwell before but after a quick Google I am totally blown away. This is my sort of art quilt. Wonderful mark making. I think what I like about them is the relative importance of stitch in the pieces, compared with many quilts.

After lunch we played with batik wax and soy wax on paper and fabric. The next stage was to ink over the paper and iron off the wax while the ink was still wet. I didn't get round to this but those who did got some amazing results - not so much from the first sheet but from subsequent sheets. I have never wanted a wax pot before, 'proper' batik needing more skill and a steadier hand than I have - but I quite fancy the idea now.

I hope to get round to the ironing off [ and bleaching the black fabric I waxed] tomorrow. So pictures then, I hope.

And the hammer and nails? They were for making patterns in paper. I didn't get round to that either, but it's on the list to do. It was suggested that we could then make rubbings from the wood- so I wasn't completely wrong.

Of course all this paper means I feel a book coming on. [We have been told to keep samples of our efforts from all the sessions to make a book at the end but that doesn't mean I can't make one before then, does it?

After all that waxing, inking and hammering - here is a very peaceful shot of a rather grey day [with a touch of green] at Fountains Abbey - or possibly Studley Royal, I am not sure where one ends and the other begins.

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