Forgotten post

Way back last summer I made a book with a very special cover. Totally forgot to blog about it. So, better later than never…

The latest book from the lovely Kim Thittichai, Layered Textiles, includes instructions on how to make faux chenille from painted newspapers. The practice piece was so pleasing to the eye that I turned it into a book cover.

I had a stash of newspaper used for ironing off soya from fabric.  It had been painted with Koh-i-Noor (using a wide brush and the whole palette, lovely mucky colour). Machine sewed the newspaper onto a base of painted Vilene Spunbond/Lutradur. Faggoting stitch was used to join the edges of the spine with a natural linen thread. Decided that the book needed home made paper so made a batch of coloured paper to tone with the cover…then added to each page strips of some paper I had made a few years ago. Stitched the signature to the spine using a three hole pamphlet stitch.

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Catch up

No blogging for months now, been busy doing nothing in sunny Naples, Florida. Despite the colder weather I am glad to be back in London with all my stuff around. The big news is that I shall be teaching a two-day workshop at Art Van Go in May on Quirky Book Structures.

Here are a couple of my samples – the first accordion book has been cut in the centre so that photos can be slotted in. There are photos on each side. A scan of my work was enlarged in sections and printed on to photo paper, these were then cut up and glued on each side of the paper, which had been cut to fit the slots. Before doing so the photos were altered with Koh-i-Noor paints, gel pens, sanded and scratched.

The second book, inspired by a book made by my friend Andrea Brook, was made with heavy tracing/architects paper and folded so that there are pockets on each side. Scans of my work were torn up and waxed together with pieces of tissue and other papers. The waxing was done by melting a candle against the sole plate of an iron. The papers were then torn and stitched together with linen thread.

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Paper cuts

Spent the afternoon paper cutting in the studio of Claire Palfreyman, a local artist and teacher. Claire is also a great cook and provides lots of yummy treats as well as her expertise. I had a great time paper cutting, drinking tea and eating home made cheese scones fresh from the oven. Looking forward to more classes with Claire in the spring when we are back from our winter break in Florida. She is added to my list of inspirational teachers.

The paper cut is based on a Japanese design from a Noh costume.

Paper cut 01

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Inspirational Teachers

Am on a long journey finding out about Surface Design, haven’t a clue in which direction I am travelling but as the saying goes ‘It is better to travel well than arrive’. This journey is such fun and greatly helped by two inspiring teachers at the City Lit. Wonder what the destination will be?

Louise Baldwin and Amarjeet Nandhra teach at the City Lit, they are dynamic, great fun, talented and make me work hard.

Both women also taught on the renowned textile courses at East Berkshire College in Windsor. For reasons best known to themselves the college has closed these very popular classes. However, Amarjeet is now running courses, including City & Guilds, at the newly-founded Windsor School of Textile Art. Louise will teach a class there in 2012. I’ve just signed up for a one-day class in March, Waxed Cloths (Fabric & Paper), with Amarjeet.

Amarjeet Nandhra:

Windsor School of Textile Art:

Windsor School of Textile Art

Louise Baldwin:

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Experimental Hand Stitch

The past three Sundays have found me at the City Lit taking a class ‘Experimental Hand Stitch’ taught by Amarjeet Nandhra. Each Sunday we were shown three or four interesting stitches and used them in relation to texture, line and colour. For the second Sunday, Line,  I chose to use the following image of a shell for the ‘line’ inspiration…

Dolce La Hulpe (29)Shell markings

… and this is what I ended up with:Line-sample 02

Colour sample

Last Sunday was ‘Colour’. I worked the complementaries, blue & orange, on a piece of French linen bed sheet that had been mono-printed at a workshop with Bobby Britnell (a forthcoming post). The sample is not resolved. I did enjoy learning how to do the raised chain band stitch.

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It’s a long time since the last blog. Been distracted with many things. Now that I have installed Windows Live Writer the only way to learn how to use the software is to blog. There may be a flurry of activity till other distractions take over.

The Constructivism of the title refers to some work I did for the textiles class iConstructivism 01n early summer. My theme for the class was graphic colours (red + monochrome) and geometric shapes (see earlier post on the Fabric Book/Learning Curve), which made me think of the Russian Constructivists. I was inspired to do this sketch. (The text in the image is from a newspaper brought back from Kiev, Ukraine. )

The sketch was turned into a stitched sample on a piece of old linen bed sheet, which was bought in France very cheaply. The red thread around the largest circle is natural linen from Kiev, which I dyed. The black lines are linen beading thread, which was couched down.

Constructivist 01  Constructivist-02  Constructivist-04

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For the past few weeks I have been stitching small samples of my handprinted fabrics and incorporating text. Have really enjoyed this. Found a nice frame in IKEA for displaying some of the samples.


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