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

Dorothy Rowe

Saturday 8 September 2012

One thing leads to another.

After our visit to the Thompson, Thompson and Thompson exhibition at Highcliffe on Tuesday, I decided to try some samples of the techniques used by Karina and Marion T. - the wood carving was a bit beyond me.

I should say the techniques I thought they had used - I was fairly confident that I knew what Karina T. had done, less sure about her mother - but if I'd read this before I started I'd have done things a little differently...

I wanted to explore the colour shading and directional variations Thompson gets, which you can see in her gallery on her site. If, liked me, you've dabbled with this technique, it is well worth looking at Thompson's  work to see what she has achieved with what seems at first glance to be a simple technique.

The instructions I've used before for this technique involve stitching, slashing and washing, but I knew as soon as I took these samples out of the washing machine that I had taken a step too far - without getting the effect I wanted. And now, having looked at her website, I know why.

 I was less sure what technique Marion Thompson uses for her floral machine embroideries - there is a lot of stitch, on, at a guess, fabric collage on a base of felt of thin wadding.

The backgrounds seemed to be made with multicoloured silk or rayon fabrics,  which I did not have, so I used a scrap of hand dyed silk, backed with felt, and then some more scraps for the leaves and flowers.

Then the self-confessed machine embroidery-phobe got her machine out and embroidered with it. And I love the result. Of course the machine embroidery is not very good - mmm, do I dislike machine embroidery because I'm no good at it, or am I no good at it because I don't like it?

Whichever it is, I like this so much I was inspired to try some more.

Last week I had tried cutting figures freehand from card and using them as masks to spray paper and fabric. I decided to use a fabric piece as a background with more figures appliquéd on top.

Marion Thompson's pieces are quite puffy, and I am not sure if she deliberately uses over-large pieces of fabric, whether the puffing happens because of the quantity of machine embroidery, or whether she uses felt and shrinks it. But having put this piece through the washing machine, I think the latter is unlikely. Good puffiness, bad ravelling.

Those figures reminded me of Etruscan pottery, so today I had a quick Google and  made an Etruscan inspired piece without any figures. 

Effectively these are small quilts, and, having just bought C. June Barnes' new book  'Exploring Dimension in Quilt Art', I am thinking about vessels.

And what of all those other kites she's been flying, I hear you ask. 

Well, experimental weaving is ongoing. And I was given an impromptu lesson in Inkle look weaving during a visit to Bursledon Brick Works on Thursday. (I can find textiles anywhere!)

And  the ugly stuffed ribbon has become a pot - not loose coiling, it looked hideous, not close coiling, the ribbon was too floppy, but crochet. Very firm, but  uses a lot of wool, which is not a bad thing if you have a lot  of wool.

No apps today, I have delighted you long enough, and my new blogging app, 'Posts' is typing at snail speed!

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