Saturday, 16 September 2017

Metaphorical Moving

Ive moved a long way since our meeting. It was good to be in creative company, thank you everyone. i wonder how many of us are in this blog and whether we will use it as our keeping in touch. i do hope so. 

i sat down on tuesday evening with a sketchbook and played with the notion of 'light'. i wrote a lot. i thought a lot. i researched for a long time. i concluded that i dont understand why, when light is SO important to me, I am going to a land of darkness. 

The Orkneys are 59 degrees North. the Arctic Circle is 66 degrees North, above which the sun does not rise for 67 days mid winter. I am going into a winter of grey. My research took me into thinking about degrees North and hours of sunlight and i came up with a design based on 90 strips of fabric grading upwards from 12 hours of day being light at the equator but dark at the north pole. I decided my 'line' would be a penumbra though rather than straight. i didnt think colour but def blues and creams rather than black and white. Hanging mirrors in my conservatory caught my attention and i decided i MUST add light to the darkness so suspended these in front of it.

I will not progress with this piece for now but it was useful thinking. why will i not make it? because i would need to be in my sewing room with bags and tubs of scrap fabrics to chop and change so the colourways sit easily for me but instead i must pack something somewhat contained. i will stitch while way but need to take a manageable project. 

the stitching group i will be joining are working on sampler quilts this term. hmm not me. i had already decided that i could make a quilt tho, to try to fit in a bit and thought i might try quilt as you go so i have smaller pieces to manage. my theme would be sea and sky and i could use many samples ive made over the years. 

i sorted and laid out random pieces and was pleased with the chaos and the colours of the northern lights dancing around although it needed direction. stitching this disorder using quilt as you go though was not manageable and i thought i must introduce order and rationalise colourways.

that was immediately before we met and agreed light as a theme. i pondered on my light design and decided to try to order my pieces from dark to light. there followed a series of experiments with a gradual trimming, removal of colour and conflicting lines such that i seem to have ended with blues, few northern lights and little grey. 

i find myself stuck. i am procrastinating. i enjoyed something about the discordant nature of my initial chaos but confess the largely blue sits more easily on the eye. 

Perhaps i need to abandon the idea of quilt as you go which has been limiting my sizing and placement and just strew them out again, a bit more random but removing the purple but putting back the sun. 

hmmm, this seems to work better...

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

what do we want from BATS?

ive thought a lot about what i want since helen first asked this question and come up with some ideas:

  • to really identify my priorities in my work.
  • to take myself more seriously as a textile artist and explore aspects of my work in depth.
  • to have my attention brought to exhibitions and bring others attention to exhibitions, maybe paired or group visits, local or further afield eg smiths row, national centre for design and craft, london and beyond
  • be encouraged to submit work for exhibition.
  • to try working in series.
  • to respond to a theme and be interested in others responses to the same theme.
  • to development my critical awareness of placement, colour, tone.
  • to be disciplined and study one of the many workbooks i have bought over the years.

ive remembered an exercise i once did from 'finding your own visual language' by claire benn and lesley morgan, p45 offers a checklist of principles and tools of composition, this is an area i struggle with. i found it helpful to evaluate my own work using these tools and make decisions about possible changes leading to improvements or further inspiration. 

i think it could be an interesting session to bring pieces of unfinished work, something perhaps we are unsure about where to go next and to spend some time using these principles and tools for ourselves. alongside this we could explore techniques of how to deliver constructive criticism to ourselves, about our own work and share our experiences with others.

developing a critical language of our own would help us if we then agreed to move towards offering constructive criticism of others' work.  

forgive me if i am trying to teach grandmothers to suck eggs, i understand several of us are already well established textile artists. if we decided to have such a session, i would not see myself as leading it, merely offering up copies of the tools for use. 

location wise, whilst it is very convenient and wonderful to benefit from the use of helens studio, i do think there are village halls that we could explore that would give us more independence when helens studio is not available. we would need to discuss a possible location before approaching any.
Tina Potter

11th July 2017 Shibori Day

We had a very interesting day dyeing with indigo and woad, usiing various resist techniques. Luckily the rain held off until the last minute as we finished.
A good time was had by all!

And then.......

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Block Printing, January 24th

Terry and Diana deep in contemplation

Piles of blocks - made mostly with craft foam and sticky-tape

Helen H's overprint on a dyed piece

Ros P, making pieces to overdye later

Heather H in Layering mode

And some of the results

Working hard

and deep in concentration..