Friday, 6 September 2013

relics, remains...

Continuing on with work on rust print cotton a kantha piece of work was completed after Dorothy Tucker's Textile Study Group's Summer School...this piece entitled 'quirks' is the finished piece:
In the dictionary a 'quirk' is described as: an abrupt twist or curve or a peculiar trait. But it is also the name of a small triangular shape used to join gusset or the 'chottes' of the finger to the main trunk of the glove
A series of rust prints will form the basis of my collection for  North East Open Studios at Art in the Buchat, Glenbuchat, Strathdon. This is part of one of the pieces that will be on show 
relics, remains... glyphs
rust print on cotton

The preview on Friday 13th September went well.  Fourteen of my pictures were hung and this shows the layout, and while the reflections distort some of the images I rather like the effect from outside the window on the bottom left picture.  
Francis Crawford was the mentor in hanging and over a four day period a variety of artist, each needing their own space and guidance, were helped to make the space a gallery of variety and interest

Intrigued by the potential of rust dyeing and printing my thanks go to Helen Denerley for her encouragement and the use of the Clashnettie Studios for the making of the  relics, remains... series.  During a five day period in June I had the opportunity to experiment with fabrics, shapes and techniques in a studio that offered fantastic, light, space, atmosphere and silence.  
When the process of dyeing was completed I had the enjoyable task of deciding whether to enhance with stitch or leave alone.  In one instance stitching had been put onto the fabric prior to the dyeing process but in other instances thread had been dyed beside certain pieces and this was used.  
Living with the pieces revealed many possibilities not least how to show other aspects of the prints and the dyeing process.  My thanks go to Jean Bell at the IT Centre Alford for sharing her skills and patience with wonderful enthusiasm.    
More details will be revealed of individual pieces as the show continues.  Here are a few more photo's of the glyph design that is in the opening paragraph.  Two triptychs were made, as shown below,  as well as the large framed piece seen in second on the left in top row of the main exhibition slide.
 glyph triptych I    glyph triptych II
print of rust print on cotton
Another set of snapshots from the series:
detail from runrig
rust print on hand stitched calico
                   rust print on calico                
detail from ripples
stitch detail and glass on rust print muslin

detail from revealed
rust print on muslin and paper
detail from relief
  hand stitch on rust print cotton

A series that will continue - work in progress


Saturday, 24 August 2013

stick, stone, stitch...

While working on a foundation course for City and Guilds my blog, Stitched in Stone, led me to consider another route for exploration.  Since childhood my walks had resulted in a collection of small finds that were placed on an impromptu 'nature table'.  Inevitably these turned to dust and were lost.  
stick, stone, stitch ...nest egg
stick, stone...strata

Continuing my collecting the sticks, stones  series has been added to and more are on the way!.  As can be seen in 'strata', shown on the right, am exploring the process of tapestry weaving while still working some pieces in free machine embroidery.  In strata tapestry weaving replicates the stones pattern and the background from where the stone was found.

As an adult the collecting continued but stones and items that deteriorated but didn't disappear became the objects of choice.  My collections captured serendipity rather than going out to find specific items.  I wanted to celebrate these treasures and  stick, stone, stitch... is the result.

stick, stone, stitch...scars

In scars, shoreline and rough and smooth stitches using freestyle machine embroidery produced the textural background with small areas of hand stitching giving detail. 
stick, stone, stitch...shore

stick, stone, stitch...rough and smooth

25 cms x 25 cms x 4 cms

 In veins the dictionary definitions on the surrounding mount not only give interesting context but offered ideas for stitching.

stick, stone, stitch...veins
In private collection
in private collection

What lies beneath...
The Ordnance Survey map with its symbols and clues as to what lies ahead on ones journey have been an integral part of family outings by car or on foot.
 Moving to Scotland in 1991 my interest increased in walking and maps.  Living in a remote part of Aberdeenshire a high proportion of my few neighbours work in oil related industries. This coupled with enjoyment of outdoor activities set geology as a cornerstone for creative and physical exploration. A part time course in Scottish Studies at Aberdeen University added to an awareness of the geological intrigues of what lies beneath… our feet.
Taking three favourite walks as a starting point, the hills of Morven, Clachnaben and Bennachie provide the inspiration.  Initial use of long and short hand stitch to replicate not only my foot pace but the colours found on geological maps I progressed to freestyle machine embroidery.  This in turn developed into an exploration of 3D bowls and shapes.  
Inspired by the Geological Bedrock map of North UK these three maps show the distribution of the different bedrock units as they would appear if the partial cover of superficial sediments, deposited by glaciers and rivers during the last two million years or so, were removed.  The shadings of colour shown define the age and types of rocks. The initial three pieces show handstitch

 Morven 43 x 33 cms

Bennachie 43 x 33 cms
Clachnaben 43 x 33 cms

Morven, freestyle machine embroidery
 50 x 50 cms

Looking at the Morven hand stitched map through a kaleidoscope the colour background theme was worked for this piece using freestyle machine stitch, machine feed dogs down, which allows for the stitches to be formed by manipulating the fabric by hand.  Incorporating the idea of a 3D image of Morven a model was made representing the contour lines and using half hitch hand knotting over this model. 
The technique was used to make the two bowls.  Each bowl was given a plate which was painted canvas with handstitched for detail.

Clachnaben - freestyle machine embroidery

Bennachie plate handstitch detail
Bennachie- freestyle machine embroidery bowl

Based on 'Bedrock Geology UK North map' by kind permission of British Geological Survey. Morven, freestlye machine embroidery, also based on an Ordnance Survey map of the area by kind permission of Ordnance Survey.

Work on this theme continues...