Friday, 9 September 2016

Catching up . . September 9th

 Playing with printing blocks

 Well, that was a month . . . 
Apologies for the rather long gap between posts, I have sold and moved out of my house in Brighton. Oh my goodness - THREE skips full of STUFF!! Start de-cluttering right now if you are anything like me in keeping things - just in case you need them. You won't!

This has made me re-think about how many clothes and shoes I actually need. As well as all the art and textiles media we buy and then look at and never use. We are buying time and opportunity, yet never use them! 
Everything is now in storage until I move to Ireland.

Since I last posted I have taught an ExTex 5 weekend and an ExTeXtra weekend. Here is a taster of what we covered . . .

August 21st and 22nd saw the 3rd weekend of Experimental Textiles, ExTex for short. We are now on our 5th year at the IDC Studios
and it is my last year teaching Experimental Textiles in this form - hopefully I will be teaching it online by the end of next year.
The 3rd weekend is Colour Theory, looking at how colour works and how certain artists use colour. 

At the beginning of each session we look at what the group have done for homework, as the group become more confident with each other, they are more honest and relaxed as they discuss the work. It is a wonderful thing to watch a group develop and start to support each other.

 
Dia talking about her homework, experimenting with her printing blocks.

 
I particularly liked this layered piece using up torn pieces of block printed paper.

Once the homework had been discussed, we got on with the activity for the day - painting colour wheels. Whilst I encourage the instinctive use of colour, I think it is important for my students to understand how basic colour theory works.

 
An important subject to cover.

The second day we had a day where the students could play with their printing blocks, tearing and layering while I had a tutorial with each student individually. The 3rd session tends to be the time when some members of the group get 'the wobbles', are they good enough? That kind of thing. It is vitally important to support and encourage continuously. Students have lives and pressures outside the course that can effect how they react to how they handle it.

Here are a few of the pieces . .



 
Some lovely samples.

On the 3rd and 4th of September is was the 3rd ExTeXtra session. ExteXtra is the group than goes on after ExTex has finished. They have 4 sessions with me over the year as they start to develop their work and plan exhibitions and all that entails. This weekend we looked at working in 3D.

Having fun with 3D

I nipped over to Ireland to have a second look at the house I am hoping to buy, I am hoping I will have better luck with this one. I am going again next week to talk to my surveyor and solicitor and see the house again. I am not going to post any photos of the house until I know everything is going through. The results of the survey will be crucial. There is an issue with access and right of way!!! This should all be sorted out next week . . . I hope.

I have been enjoying exploring the West Coast of County Clare and The Loophead Peninsula where the house is.

 The light changes almost continuously most days.

A view from the Kilkee Cliffs.
 
When I manage to buy a house and settle in Ireland, my life will slow down a bit - it is time to get on with my own work. 
I will still teach and do the shows in the UK, but not so often, watch this space . . .

***

Hello Jill not too long now.
Hi Diana, will reply soon.
Hello lovely Tod, was sooooo good to see you this week.


x x x

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Sticky and Shiny - New 2 day workshop at Art Van Go - 2nd and 3rd August.

One of Sharon's great samples.

I am catching up - Last week I had a fabulous 2 days at the Art Van Go studios. I always have great fun there, Viv and Kevin have become great friends in the years I have been teaching there. 
'Sticky and Shiny' is a new workshop that I have written to help students understand the joys of foiling all the different glues.

The glues we were working with were - KK Glue, Bondaweb, Fuse FX. We also played with Xpandaprint and embossing powders. 

We had a good time playing together for 2 days and achieved some fabulous effects. Just remembering 'which way is up?' is a good start . .  then there is the baking parchment - soooooo important.

The group getting down to some serious play.

As most of you will know, I love Bondaweb. It is so versatile. Here a few samples of this fabulous product.

Bondaweb cut to shape, ironed onto black fabric. The backing paper was removed when the Bondaweb was cool. The shape was then covered in transfer foil - colour side up - and ironed with baking parchment, with an iron on less than medium. Around the silk mark. If the iron is too hot, the foil puckers and doesn't release the colour evenly.

Painted Bondaweb decorated with transfer foil, using the side of the iron to transfer the heat.

Cut shapes of Bondaweb decorated with transfer foil, mica flakes and gilding flake.

Painted Bondaweb decorated with transfer foil.


KK Glue is a very fine powder and works well with transfer foil. The powder needs to be 'fixed' with an iron and baking parchment, before you foil it.
Here is a video that might help. KK Glue video.

KK Glue was sprinkled through a stencil. The stencil was carefully lifted off, being careful not to smudge the design. Baking parchment was then carefully placed over the powder and then the whole thing was ironed. Once the glue was cold, the baking paper was removed. Transfer foil was then placed over the cold glue design, colour side up. This was then ironed, with baking parchment on the top, with a cool iron. The foil is then removed to reveal your now foiled design.

As KK Glue is a powder, you can also use it with stamp pads. Ink up your printing block with your stamp pad and stamp the design onto your background. This can be paper or fabric. Sprinkle the powder over the damp ink. The ink will be damp enough to hold the powder. Shake off the powder that is not stuck to the glue and put back into the glue pot. Carefully iron the powdered design with backing parchment to fix it. Once the design is fixed, you can then foil it.

A foiled, stamped design.

On this sample you can see the the stamped design decorated with KK Glue and transfer foil on the left. The remaining 'negative' design on the foil can then be ironed onto Bondaweb.

There is a step by step tutorial here - kk-glue.com

We then went onto play with Xpandaprint and embossing powders.

Xpandaprint scraped through a stencil - you only need a very thin layer - the stencil removed, then the design is zapped with a heat gun and the paste puffs up. This can then be painted or decorated to your taste.

Pritt stick - other 'stick' glues are available - was scraped through a stencil. The stencil was lifted off. Embossing powder was sprinkled over the glue. The residue is shaken off and poured back into the pot. The embossing powder was then zapped with a heat gun to melt it and make it 'run'.

Then it was onto Fuse FX, this is a kind of 'net' of glue . . . It foils really well and makes a great background for print.

Foiled Fuse FX.

We all had a great time - Art Van Go run workshops throughout the year. Have a look and see if there is anything you fancy. My last workshop there this year is in November. My newspaper based workshop - A New Starting Point. I think there are a couple of places left. Art Van Go Workshops

***

Right, I am off to find all the kit I need to take to Festival of Quilts.  I will be demonstrating on the Vliseline stand - M8. Please note the name change.
Vilene have go over to the European name now. Think Cif and Jif and Marathon and Snickers. It's the same company with the same outstanding products. The logo is the same colourway - the word is just a bit longer - it still starts with a 'V' and and in an 'E'!!!
Hope to see of you there - do come and say Hello! Laura will be there too. I haven't seen her since before Christmas - I have missed her. We are going to have such a great time catching up.

***

Hello lovely Jill - hours to go!!!
Thinking about you Diana
Hello Tod - is it really toooo remote? I shall find out next week.

XXX

Monday, 1 August 2016

Layered Jewelled Surfaces with the Quilt Association at the Minerva Arts Centre - Friday 29th - Sunday 31st July.

 
A rather lovely sample created with painted Bondweb, distressed and decorated polyester organza.


My goodness - I have NEVER been so well fed!!! I had the most fabulous time on Llanidloes, Powys, Wales. What a beautiful town and just lovely people.

The Minerva Arts Centre is a splendid venue - it holds exhibitions of all kinds of textiles - while I was there there was a fabulous exhibition of old quilts from the collection of Barbara Chainey It also has a great workshop area. So much space and power sockets - I was a very happy girl.

I was booked to teach a 3 day version of Layered Jeweled Surfaces. Lots of sparkle - always good for me. 


We started of by painting up Bondaweb and Lutradur/CS800


While the painted Bondaweb and Lutradur/CS800 was drying we played with the soldering irons. I had some old stock of pre-dyed Lutraur 30/CS500 and this seemed like a good time to give some away. The group ironed Bondaweb onto  2 pieces of the Lutradur and 2 pieces of polyester organza. A piece of the lightweight Lutradur was left to be used as a background. Shapes were cut from the Bondaweb backed fabrics with a soldering iron. As the fabrics are synthetic, they cut very well with heat.



Cutting shapes with a soldering iron.


Once the shapes have been cut they can be ironed onto the background. (using baking parchment underneath and on top of your work).




Some of the layered applique shapes that were cut with a soldering iron and then ironed onto a background.


We then got onto ironing the painted Bondaweb onto polyester organza. This was decorated with gilding flake and or mica flake. The group had great fun zapping their samples with heat guns, creating gorgeous crunchy edges.

 







 
 
Polyester organza decorated painted Bondaweb, mica flakes and gilding flake.


This scrumptious piece was created by ironing painted Bondaweb onto a backing fabric. Zapped decorated organza was then ironed onto the painted Bondaweb.
I do love a mica flake!!!!


We also had a play with embossing powders . . .






And Hot Spots and transfer foil . . .





You can see from the following photos what a lovely big area Minvera has as a workshop. The table were against the walls as we need the sockets and it is good not to have trailing flexes if you can avoid it.

 

The workshop.


Having 3 days was a great luxury - there is time to really develop processes and start to stitch. I had time to talk to each member, another great luxury.
The group were really quite experienced, so at various stages during the course I could wind them   . .  and off they went. It is great watching students work by themselves, making their own decisions, but I can't leave them alone for too long - I want to play too . . . .

 



Starting to build up layers.

Here are a few of the more resolved pieces . . .

A great vessel on the go - just needs a seam to help it stand it up. 
Painted Lutradur/CS800, zapped with a heat gun and layered.

Painted Bondaweb decorated with zapped decorated polyester organza.

A detail of the work above.

Playing with composition . .

Playing with zapped Lutradur/CS800 and painted Bondaweb.

A table full of experiments. Great fun.


Taking photos of all the work at the end of the course.


I have to say something about the hospitality at Minerva, I don't think I have ever been waited on so well, it was like have hand maidens tending to your every need. A fresh lunch was prepared every day and served along with fresh fruit - and yes - CAKE!!! It was lovely for us to all sit down to eat together.

Delicious fresh and tasty food . . . .

The hand maidens that cooked, prepared and served the food . . .

and the cake . . . . .

Everything was delicious.

The lovely group all together - we did have a good time.

I will be going back to Llanidloes in 2018 - I think I will teach a 3 day version of The Journey. I can join the workshop onto the others that I will be doing in Wiltshire and Devon. 
Thank you everyone - I had a VERY good time.

***

I am writng this post at Art Van GO where I will be teaching a new workshop over the next 2 days. 'Sticky and Shiny' is my new workshop that shows how to work with all the heat bondable glues and transfer foil. We are going to have a great time experimenting and layering and maybe even stitching.
Watch this space. . . . 

***

Hello Jill - hope you are enjoying the rest of your life???
Hi Diana, we need to talk about 2018 . . .
Hello Tod - hope all is well. 

x x x x