Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Pergola's completed

Just a quick post to show two of the finished pergola pieces. I am not showing the third one as I am not sure I like how it has turned out.

The hanging leaves has worked well and the loose leaves move about when a draft blows them. There are some loose leaves on the main body of the piece but thet don't show up so well on the image.

The purple piece was finished by adding some large leaf beads - it has used up all my packet of these and I can't remember where I bought them. Having said that - I really do need to use up some of my 'stash' so at least I had a place for them. They were just the right colours.

I did toy with giving it a blast with the heat gun but chickened out. I liked it as it was and was afraid that if I didn't like it after the blast I couldn't go back so I left it alone.

I am waiting for the final agreed list for the photo shoot then I can label and repack ready for my trip down to London.

My family have just come back from a break in London and my GS has been showing me his hundred plus photos he took. He did enjoy the visit. He is sleeping over tonight which is lovely as I haven't seen so much of him this school holiday.

Must away now and spend some time with GS so cheers everyone.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Pergola 'progressings'!

My post is somewhat delayed as I have been away for a few days but I am back and have some progress on the pergola series.

As you will have seen in the previous post, I have already begun two pergola pieces which have yet to be completed. However, I did start yet another one. This began as two images - the ivy on my garage wall and the pergola image.

The colours were already quite wonderful but.... I overlaid it with the pergola pattern and put a filter onto it.

This was the basis of the next pergola piece. I wanted to print ivy leaves over the background fabric so I went and pulled a few leaves of different sizes from the garage wall and used them to print.

I used metallic acrylic paints and painted the leaves then printed them onto the fabric. I did hope that the paint might prevent the drying out of the leaves but it didn't and they are now quite crispy.

Next task was to stitch the pergola pattern over the fabric as I had done on the previous two pieces. I used the same thick black thread although the digital image showed a white pergola pattern. When I laid white threads - in fact I laid several different threads over the surface - black worked best.

Now I needed to add some dimension to the piece and decided to machine black sheer fabric leaves in different sizes and using a polyester variegated thread and a metallic variegated thread stitched the outlines and the veins on the leaves. They were then cut out with a soldering iron to seal the sheer edges.

I had to keep stitching more and more of these as I placed and stitched them loosely over the pergola leaving the leaves undulating and three dimensional.

Now I am thinking of creating even more of the leaves to hang freely from the pergola and blow about when wafted. So another piece ongoing. I really need to find the time to finish all three pieces 'before' I begin the next one. It is so tempting to start new pieces while there are so many ideas floating around in your head and one leads to another and another. Love it though!!!

When I arrived home -very late last night- I had an email from Batsford concerning the photo shoot list and as the editor is going away too for a few days I needed to work through the list as we need to finalise it for end of next week. Needless to say, I burnt the early hours oil. We are almost there and then I will have to label and pack all the pieces ready to take to the photographer.

I also received a short notice request to do a talk so I must also prepare for that. Everything is coming together at the moment. I think the saying is 'all or nothing' and I am on the 'all' bit. So if there is a long gap between blogs, please don't abandon me. I will be back whenever I can fit it in.

Cheers for now everyone

Monday, 11 August 2008

Pergola beginnings

Before I begin the new post I am posting the photo of the three finished mounted shadows I talked about in previous posts. I was struggling with how to present them but with the aid of Photoshop I was able to simulate a few ideas and so choose the one which suited the pieces best. I found some fabric which wasn't quite the grey I was looking for - more a taupe grey - but it worked fine. I machined the text up the side of each piece which stated what the shadows were. I made stretcher frames and stretched the appliqu├ęd pieces over the frames. This was all that was needed and here they are:-

Now I can begin to develop a series of pieces using a photograph I took looking up through the wrought iron dome of a pergola in the arboretum at Thorpe Perrow.

I put this image into Photoshop and first of all isolated the iron work so that I could overlay it onto any background.

Next I played with the sliders in the colour balance and with some other special filters creating possible textile pieces. Here is one of the images I liked.

I began interpreting this one by first painting silk.

The painted silk was then laid over wadding and backed with a stabiliser. I traced the pergola dome pattern onto soluble fabric and laid it over the silk. All the layers were then pinned together ready to stitch.

Then to my favourite part - free machining. I used a variegated metallic thread to machine the design onto the silk. When the stitching was complete the soluble fabric was removed and I couched a rainbow metallic twist thread along each of the straight radial lines.

This is as far as I have reached for the moment with this one. I do have plans for the next stage which involves some printing.

I began a second pergola piece. This was another special effect which I liked.

I loved the vibrant colours and saw immediately how I was going to create a piece from it. I painted a piece of white satin with silk paints then using a small sponge and black metallic acrylic paint I sponged the speckled effect over the piece.

Next I laid a piece of black nylon chiffon over the painted satin

Then I again traced the pergola design onto soluble fabric and laid this over the top. As with the former piece I laid this over wadding and a stabiliser and pinned it all together.

I found a lovely thick black metallic thread which I have had many many years and it was perfect for the job. I used a larger hole needle in the machine and machined the pergola dome pattern, stitching down the straight lines twice to make them stand out more. I removed the soluble fabric and the piece is now ready for the next stage.

I spent most of the evening processing photographs which My OH took on a late evening visit to Durham Cathedral with some of the members of his camera club. Unfortunately - yes you've guessed it - it rained and curtailed the trip. They did manage to take enough to put the better ones on the club web site.

Next week I am going to do a workshop and have a get together with fellow members of the Computer Textile Design Group. I have to decide what to take with me which I am finding very difficult. No matter what and how much I take it is almost certain I will need what I haven't taken!!!! So to bed now.

Cheers everyone

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Locomotion Number 1 Special

On Thursday I went to an exhibition of some very large embellished pieces which I quite liked. They had rather large price tags on them too which makes me wonder ‘what if I sold my work!!!’ Then I thought again - No, I don’t want to go there. While I was there I walked down into the town to go to Boyes - one of our last surviving suppliers of fabrics, haberdashery and craft materials. I found some dark grey fabric which was suitable for what I needed ( very cheap too - another good reason for having a Boyes store - everything is so much cheaper than anywhere else.)

I haven’t finished the quilts yet as by this time I was already well into another piece of work and wanted to finish that first before returning to the quilts. This piece is now finished - except for mounting.

It is one of the pieces on my ‘Future pieces to do’ list which I posted a while back. It was a photograph I took at the Darlington railway museum. I took the front half of a wall metal welded sculpture of George Stephenson’s Locomotion Number 1.






I put this photo into the computer and played around with special effects until I created one I liked. Here is where I broke one of my own rules - I didn’t record how I achieved the effect and have been unable to recreate it. I even wrote an article about this for a magazine as my OH reminded me in a sarcastic comment.

Special effect


Special effect

I changed this into a black and white image then into a lined drawing which was resized and printed out to use as a pattern. Now I had to begin to interpret this using ‘whatever’.

I used many different mediums and techniques to achieve this and here is the completed piece:

Locomotion Number 1 Special

Completed Locomotion Number 1 Special

Here are a few close ups of different areas on the piece.

Top section of funnel

Top section of funnel

I used a painted recycled Kit kat wrapper for the top section.

Upper mid section of funnel

Upper mid section of funnel

Painted sheers and free machining for this section.

Lower mid section of funnel

Lower mid section of funnel

Painted felt and embossing powders on this section.

Embossed shim

Embossed shim

Embossed shim enhanced with paint and embossing powder.

I used painted kebab sticks for the cranks.

I will probably hang this piece in the workroom which I share with my grandson as he is so keen on trains and railways. He is very reluctant to relinquish his area of the room even though he isn’t here as much as he used to be. He still commandeers the large display board but I think he will let me hang this one.

I can get back to the Quilted Shadows now and finish them so......

Cheers for now everyone.