Celebrate with stitch and collage

In March this year, I ran a workshop at the South East Essex Embroiderers’ Guild called ‘Celebrate with stitch and collage‘.

The idea was to make a greetings card using a mixture of paper and stitch to create a simple vase of flowers.

A mixture of patterned papers and text from old books were used to cut out simple flower and vase shapes. These were then glued to a greetings card and decorated using bold stitches using embroidery thread and embellished with buttons.

Here’s a small selection of the lovely pieces made…

Paper-cut greetings cards

I’ve started to make my own paper-cut greetings cards. I first got the idea from the book House of Cards by Sarah Hamilton which included artist Sarah Morpeth, whose work involves very detailed paper-cuts.

For the cards above, I began by tracing an outline of a design onto the back of a card, using a light box. I then found a pattern that I could use to ‘fill’ the shape, which I also traced onto the card. Using a sharp craft knife I cut out all the intricate pieces, which although it did take time, I found it very relaxing. My only problem was when I realised the tip of my finger had gone numb from several hours of cutting!

Altered book: threads of thought

I ran a workshop at the South East Essex Embroiderers’ Guild called ‘Altered books: threads of thought‘. I love stitching on paper and wanted to share the idea of stitching in an altered book with the embroiderers. Not everyone in the group was comfortable with the idea of tearing pages out of a book – but most were willing to give it a try.

For me, the benefit of using an old book is to give something unloved a new lease of life rather than thinking you are ‘ruining’ it. Also, by using a page that already has content already on it, either images or text, can be a useful prompt and helps to remove the fear of the blank page.

I gave the group a couple of themes to play with: the first was an embroidered colouring book idea and the second was to embroider a spirograph. Each person took the idea and developed it in their own way, using collage, stitch, maps and even mirrors.

Leigh Art Trail 2018

Estuarine

For this year’s art trail SEVEN has chosen an estuarine theme.

Definition:
1.formed or deposited in an estuary: estuarine muds
2. growing in, inhabiting, or found in an estuary: estuarine fauna

Throughout the year, SEVEN met every two weeks where a member of the group would run a workshop of their choice. In the following weeks each artist would incorporate these ideas into their own sketchbook. During the following weeks it was interesting to see how each artist interpreted and developed the original brief into their own style.

We each used an A5 concertina style sketchbook, and as with the estuary, the pages all flow into one another – there is no need to ‘turn the page’.

Secret Auction

As part of the art trail, each artist donates a piece of their artwork for the Secret Auction. Visitors to the art trail place bids on the work and if they are the highest bidder they win an original piece or art (or an experience). All monies go back in to supporting the art trail, which is a not-for-profit organisation.

Leigh Art Trail is on from Saturday 9 to Saturday 16 June 2018. SEVEN are exhibiting at Venue 49 at Planet Leasing.

Silk Painting Workshop at the Embroiderers’ Guild

I haven’t tried silk painting before, so when I saw my local Embroiderers’ Guild were running a workshop I thought I would give it a try. The session was run by textile artist, Kirsten Yeates, from Denmark.

Kirsten began by handing out pieces of silk that had designs pre-drawn on them using gutta – a technique that creates a boundary that the inks can ‘bleed’ up to. Apparently it can be quite tricky to draw smooth lines of gutta so, as a beginner, it was ideal to be able to start with these pre-drawn examples. We were then given a short demonstration on how to apply the inks. A fine paintbrush and cotton bud is useful if you are painting a detailed design and a thicker soft brush if you need to cover larger areas with a wash of colour.

The silk painting inks are very concentrated and produce a really vibrant colour on the cloth. Painting with inks looked easy but the inks dry quickly leaving a hard edge of colour. To prevent this from happening you can either damp the fabric slightly with your brush, before applying colour, or water the inks down.

I’m more familiar with watercolours, so by diluting the inks I was able to create the effect of the colours softly blending in to each other. Here is the piece I made, before and after…

In a short two-hour session, these are some of the lovely pieces that the group produced.

For more information on the Embroiderer’s Guild, or to find your local branch visit https://embroiderersguild.com/