Friday, 2 December 2016

A New Starting Point at Art Van Go 8th - 10th November

A fabulous sample of newspaper faux chenille.

It is already December - I apologise for the delay in writing this up. Moving house has taken more out of me than I thought. 

I adore teaching at Art Van Go. The teaching area is great, the staff are wonderful, and it means I get to see Viv and Kevin. This was my last workshop for this year. A fabulous to end the year with lots of colour and texture.

Working with old newspaper, books and maps has become a passion of mine - layering, colouring and generally playing to see what will happen next.

Painting the Bondaweb.

On the first part of the workshop we painted up the Bondaweb and newspapers as these need to be dry before we use them.

Painted newspaper.

The students ironed painted Bondaweb onto a painted newspaper background, just an A5 size nothing too big. You learn just as much from working on a small size then anything larger and you use up your material stash too soon. The newspaper background with the painted Bondaweb on was then decorated with strips of paper and few sparkles. This was then put to one side. 

Another background was created. (newspaper background with painted Bondaweb on it). The students then tore the first decorated piece into strips and ironed them onto the second background. This was then decorated and put to one side . . 
A third background was created and the second decorated piece was torn up into strips and ironed onto the third back ground . .  and so on. This way you get a very interesting and textured piece of work.
Always use baking parchment when working with Bondaweb!!!

The group happily tearing up paper!

Playing with the torn and layered samples.

Once the group had got to grips with the technique, we moved onto to larger samples. More surface are to print and stitch onto - fabulous.

I call this technique 'Backgrounds and Pretties', and it can be found in my fourth book, Reclaimed Textiles.

These decorated papers have great possibilities. They can  be put onto canvases or can be used to decorate book covers.

Sketch book covers decorated with the torn paper samples.

The decorated newspaper makes fabulous jewellery.

If you iron your decorated newspaper onto the very heavy iron on interfacing S133, you can put your sample through a die cutting machine with great results.
The cut shapes can be varnished or coated with acrylic wax and made into brooches or earrings.

We then moved onto making newspaper faux chenille. I particularly love this process. Seven layers of un-painted newspaper were layered with polyester organza in between and laid onto a background of sew in interfacing S80. Channels of about 3/4" were stitched on stitch length 4 on the machine. The channels were cut with scissors, taking care not to cut the bottom layer of S0 sew in interfacing.

Once the channels have been cut - you then texture or rough up your sample.

The faux chenille samples were then painted with a colour wash of procion dye powder and water.

Doesn't it look fab?

The workshop was great fun. The show and tell at the end of the workshop was a joy to behold. . .

Viv getting a close up of the newspaper faux chenille.

Now where did these chocolates come from???

You are always very looked after at an Art Van Go workshop - they run workshops nearly every week pf the year, so there is always something fabulous to choose from.  Plus - there is the advantage of the very well equipped shop.
The new workshop list should be online early in the New Year. 

Art Van Go have a brilliant online website - have you seen it?  

I will be back at Art Van Go on the 17th and 18th August 2017 - workshop to be confirmed.


I have now moved to the West Coast of Ireland. My furniture arrived from the UK on Tuesday - I am now wading through boxes and boxes of  . . stuff!! It is going to take sometime to get organised here - but there is no rush.

I am off to Shannon airport now to fly to Birmingham as I am teaching my final session of ExTex this year. I will feel very odd not arriving with a car load of equipment and materials. I am hoping that when I planned all this that I left all the right books and tools at the IDC studios. We shall see - watch this space.

Have a great weekend.

Hello girls - sorry am dashing off to Shannon.
Love to you all. You know who you are.
x x x

Thursday, 3 November 2016

ExTex 5 - session 5. Constructed Textiles. November 5th and 6th.

 I loved this little bowl, Fabulous.

 Last weekend saw the 5th session of Experimental Textiles. We were looking at and discussing constructed textiles - felt, knit and weave. It is always a fun session, lots of colour and texture. 

We started off with felt making. I only teach the most basic of processes for textiles. Once a student knows the basics, if they are interested, they will be off and running. 
One of the great things about teaching adults is that they come to a course with all their prior learning. It is a great springboard for creating fabulous work. They just need to believe they can do it - confidence tends to be the key.

We experimented with wet felting and needle felting - great fun. First of all we tried flat felting for the group to get used how the wool should feel as it becomes felted. Then we moved on to making little bowls. I favour having a a flap around the bowl to incorporate as decoration, we also looked at neater ways of making bowls.

A selection of the little bowls.

This is a bowl made by Val Llewellyn a couple of years ago. I love the way she incorporated the 'flap' of the bowl in the decoration.

We then had a play with needle felting making sure all the very important health and safety issues were well adhered to!!

The next day we got on with the weaving process, I had asked the group to bring in a basic card loom. You can create some very beautiful and quite amazing textures with the most basic of looms.

As you can see, the group did well.

Sunday afternoon was a slow, fun and slightly silly time - we just had fun with knitting with needles . . and our fingers. I blame the E numbers in all the cakes the girls brought in. My goodness we did eat well.

We used a loose stitch in the knitting so the group can use it as a grid to weave into . . .

Their home work is to create something 3D in one or two of these processes.
I look forward to seeing what they get up to. 
Our last session for the year is next month when we will be dyeing natural fabrics with procion dye and synthetic fabrics with disperse dyes (transfer paints).


This weekend I will be back up in Redditch teaching my ExTeXtra group these are girls that have progressed from ExTex and and now exhibiting and working by themselves. I only see them every 3 months or so - so it will be a great treat to see them all.

I will then be teaching a 3 day version of my newspaper based workshop A New Starting Point at Art Van Go, Tuesday - Wednesday next week. There are a couple of places left if you fancy joining us. 
Telephone Art Van Go - 01438 814946


Then that is it for the year . . .  I will be playing house - in Ireland. I cant wait.

 This is the house . . .
 . . and this is the view - though it won't always be sunny like this - I am well aware . . . it's going to be very windy!!

I will start moving over on the 14th of this month - Yeehaa!!!

x x x

Hello Jill - I need to to talk to you. 
Hello Diana - I got my towels - thank you for the inspiration.
Hello Tod - I think you are even more excited than I am!! x x x

x x x