Saturday, 29 January 2011

West Dean - part the the third . . .

Alison helping Alyssa with the layout of her sample

One of the great things about this course was the way the group all mucked in together sharing threads and materials and best of all - ideas. Keeping the balance between teaching processes and techniques and allowing the students to have time to develop their own ideas is always a hard one for me. I find it difficult to leave them alone! On longer courses it is very important for me to leave time for the students to be able to develop techniques and processes in their own way as much as possible.

heat gunned dyed Vilene Spunbond CS500 and polyester organza

Bondaweb was applied to the back of pre coloured Vilene Spunbond CS700 leaving the backing paper on the Bondaweb. This was then cut into delicate designs with a soldering iron. The designs were then lifted out and ironed onto a background of the heavier CS800

When using Bondaweb for applique on synthetic fabrics I find it best to leave the backing paper on the Bondaweb while you cut out your designs. Any left over bonded product will have the backing paper on and remind you that the Bondaweb is on there when you come to use it again, it can be difficult to see if a product has Bondaweb ironed onto it as it is virtually see-through and mistakes can be easily made. It is important to know which way is up!!! When using a soldering iron to cut out designs always work on a large smooth ceramic tile or toughened glass and work as fast as the fabric will allow you to cut. The weight of the synthetic fabric you are working on will dictate how fast you can cut. Just take it slowly and enjoy the oozy, melting feeling as it cuts. If you enjoy using a soldering iron in this way and haven't already got it in your book collection then buy Fusing Fabric by Margaret Beal it is the best guide you can buy and is very inspirational.

a combination of Vilene Spunbond cut with a soldering iron and a heat gun ironed and stitched onto painted Bondaweb  

 several weights of dyed and bonded Vilene Spunbond cut and ironed onto a black cotton background. The rusty coloured section on the left is transfer printed pelmet Vilene which also cuts very well with a soldering iron

a cityscape created from various weights of dyed and bonded Vilene Spunbond cut with a soldering iron. The clever use of colour gives a great feeling of depth and perspective

polyester organza backed with Bondaweb and cut with soldering iron ironed onto Vilene Spunbond CS800

layers of heat gunned polyester organza and Vilene Spunbond CS500 decorated with hand stitch

3D experiments on the theme of fruit using Tyvek, painted Bondaweb and transfer printed pelmet Vilene

a vessel created from transfer printed pelmet Vilene decorated with painted Bondaweb and machine stitch

This final image is a mix of painted Tyvek and Bondaweb off cuts and various threads and fibres that were about to thrown into the bin. They were rescued and melted together in my heat press. It created a wonderful effect - something to develop at a later date I suspect . . .

This is just a selection of the work that was created on the course and I am hoping that I will be able to update this blog with images of some finished work that was stated on the course - but no pressure Linda, Alison, Mike, Alyssa, Janette, Rose and Avril . . .


I now have a few days 'off' to sort out my gear for all the upcoming shows in February and March, complete the first edit of my book and find the floor of my office - I am such a messy girl!

My next trip out will be on Friday the 4th. I am off to do a lecture and workshop for the Wey Valley Workshop. It will will be good to catch up Liz Holford an ex student of mine. Liz was the one I turned to when anyone in her group wanted to know how to do French or Bullion knots. She is a very patient superstar!!!

Have a good week.

Friday, 28 January 2011

West Dean - part the second . . .

the wonderful main workshop at West Dean
The full title of the course was Hot Textiles - exploring layers, colour and stitch. The main products we used were newspaper (as seen in the previous post) painted Bondaweb, Tyvek, polyester organza and Vilene Spunbond. Today I will show you the samples of the beautiful work the group did with painted Bondaweb, I usually try to keep the number of images down to 8 per post but as I have so many images of the gorgeous work from this course I hope you will forgive this extended post.
Bondaweb is such a versatile product, on this course we used it unpainted and ironed onto the back of Vilene Spunbond and polyester organza to create stunning applique which I will post tomorrow. This post is about painted Bondaweb.

 using painted Bondaweb as a background to iron on polyester organza delicately cut out with a soldering iron
a combination process using Vilene Spunbond applied with unpainted Bondaweb cut with a soldering iron and also ironed onto painted Bondaweb (does that make sense?)

another combined process for a larger piece of work, approximately 36" x 12", the tacking around the outside helps keep your work 'in the frame' and can be removed when you have finished. My photo does not do the work justice, I am hoping Linda will send me a photo when the work is finished and I will update this post then.

detail showing very fine back stitch and couching in toning threads for extra definition

odd pieces of painted Bondaweb ironed onto black cotton, the crazy patchwork effect is calmed by the strong, sharp lines of the edge
small, torn pieces of painted Bondaweb ironed onto black cotton, again keeping the 'frame' to a tight regular shape

 more controlled shapes using painted Bondaweb, an interesting exercise in moving from a regular to irregular shape on the theme of 'reflections', a great exercise for looking at 'spaces in between'
a beautiful and very simple sample using painted Bondaweb to depict a landscape, toning machine stitch was added for definition

painted Bondaweb used to apply torn newspaper using machine stitch and machine couching for more definition (sorry it's not quite in focus - more haste, less speed Kim)


I think you will agree some very interesting work was created on this course, I am very lucky that my courses seem to attract very talented students. I just have to wind them up . . .  and they go! I will post the third part of this work tomorrow - back to editing the book.

I've just realised I haven't checked my answer machine all week - better do that right now . . .


Thursday, 27 January 2011

West Dean College 17th - 21st January Hot Textiles - Exploring Layers

Hello again and welcome to my new followers.
I seem to be having trouble getting on with things this week. I had 2 more very hectic but enjoyable days teaching at Harrow Way Community School in Andover (see Thursday January 6th) on Monday and Tuesday and spent most of yesterday in a daze and recovering. Am I getting too old for all this dashing about? Consequently I am behind with paperwork and updating this blog. However - here I am now!
  West Dean College
This will be a 3 part post on the tales of my course at glorious West Dean College last week We had a fantastic time with the students producing work of a very high standard. To do the work justice I will separate it into sections. We will start with using old painted and dyed newspapers. The students enrolled on the course were - Mike Wallace, Janette Lazell, Linda Beadle, Rose Chapman, Alison Davis, Alyssa Bacon and Avril O'Brien. One of the luxuries of teaching at West Dean is the small group sizes, each student has their own table and power supply. I am very lucky to teach there.

 newspaper after it has been used as a background to paint onto 
Any of you that have been on a course with me in the last year will know of my love for using up old newspapers with painted Bondaweb. It is fast becoming a passion. I love the way that odd words and parts of images peek out from behind the layers of paint. Newspaper, particularly when it has been painted is quite strong enough to layer up with painted Bondaweb, it up to you how many layers you create. You can keep on making back grounds, tearing and layering until you have built up a very thick and strong surface that can be used to make boxes and book covers.

layered newspaper decorated with discs of Vilene Spunbond cut with a soldering iron


 As you can see, the group created some beautiful samples - I will up date with more of the fabulous work tomorrow. The first layouts of 'Layered Textiles' arrived at the week-end and I need to spend a few hours each day on them, chopping and changing pages and editing as I go. It is actually starting to look like a book now, rather than sheets of paper full of my random stream of consciousness  . . . . . it's all very exciting.

See you tomorrow, x

p.s. Very many congratulations to Jill for finishing her City and Guilds - Well done that girl!!! x

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Uckfield Community Technical College

 The fantastic art room at UCTC

Yesterday saw me teaching a mixed group of year 10 students and teachers at Uckfield Community Technical College We had a fast paced, slightly crazy day that was very, very enjoyable. I must say I occasionally find it hard to concentrate on teaching when I am enjoying the interaction with the students so much - I know it's not very professional - but there!
The day had been set up by Clare Summons and Maggie Brand. Two very dedicated teachers who are full of energy and great ideas for their department. The art room that I was working in was full of incredible structures and art works - a very inspiring place in which to work.
The idea was to demonstrate some of the latest techniques in textile art and for the students to try using painted Bondaweb and Tyvek.  As you will see from the samples they certainly got the idea. I hope to be going back to this college early in 2012 to continue the fun we had. 

The samples were created using painted Bondaweb onto which, heat transfer foils, threads, sequins, fabric strips and seeds were applied.

 A selection of samples created by one of the year 10 students including Tyvek samples

I'm off to teach at West Dean College near Chichester this week delivering a new workshop, Hot Textiles – exploring layers, colour and stitch. It's a tough job but someone has to do it!!!!!
I know I will put on at least 4lbs, the food is absolutely wonderful. There is hope though, the grounds are beautiful (the gardens are open to the public) and if I get up early enough every day I can go for a walk before classes start. The workshops at West Dean are very well equipped and every thing runs like clock work there, I am very lucky to be one of their tutors. If you are not aware of the college then do have a look at their website. I am hoping we will be creating some new and exciting layered surfaces on this course - watch this space!

Have a good week!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Cotswold Embroiderers Guild Workshop

busy students creating fabulous samples

Saturday 8th January saw me teaching a group of very capable ladies who were great fun from the Cotswold Embroiderers Guild. The Guild hold their workshops at the The Reddings Community Centre in Cheltenham. It has fantastic facilities with plenty of room, tables and SOCKETS! When working with a variety of heat tools it can be a real pain to have to keep unplugging an iron to use a heat gun. This centre was pure luxury.

We were working with Vilene Spunbond and layering it with painted Bondaweb. It was a great day and we covered several techniques. It was great fun and as you can see from the samples the ladies worked hard.

Vilene Spunbond CS 700 & 800 painted and dyed. Bondaweb ironed to the back and leaf shapes cut with a soldering iron and than ironed onto more CS 800.


Right side of sample - Vilene Spunbond CS 800 painted and dyed and then zapped with a heat gun, the 'crunchy' edges were then foiled with heat transfer foil.
Left side of sample - Vine Spunbond CS700 painted and dyed and cut with a soldering iron, this creates a softer effect.

Vilene Spunbond CS800 painted and dyed and zapped with a heat gun.
Heat transfer foils were ironed onto the 'crunchy' edges.

Vilene Spunbond CS700 painted and dyed and layered up with Bondaweb to create quite thick layers. The layers were then cut with a solding iron and ironed onto painted Bondaweb.

More layers of Vilene Spunbond cut and applied. This time bonded to the lighter weight CS 500 and decorated with slashes of heat transfer foil.
Painted and dyed and decorated Vilene Spunbond CS 700 cut with a soldering iron and applied to CS800

Dyed Vilene Spunbond CS700 cut with a soldering iron and applied to CS800

If you fancy trying any of these techniques and products there is still space on my 2 day 'Hot Textiles 2' workshop at the Bramble Patch in Northants on the 28th and 29th of this month. The Bramble Patch have well equipped, roomy studios that are a joy to teach in. I am looking forward to teaching there again.

I'm teaching at another school on Saturday, this time in Uckfield, East Sussex. Should be good fun!
Nearly halfway through January - it's getting ligher every day.
Take care

P.S.  Are any of you watching Zen on a Sunday night?  Gorgeous or what? I am transfixed by this beautiful man!!!!!!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Back to the real world . . . .

My first teaching session this year was at Harrow Way Community School in Andover on Tuesday the 4th January. I had been invited to design a workshop for students who are extending thier access to new textles techniques. The school has a great reputation for Art and D&T. Sylvia Harvey is the Head of Art & Design and is highly aware of the importance of art textiles within education.

 torn, painted Bondaweb decorated with artichoke heart seeds, skeleton leaves and glitter

I had an exhausting, fascinating, exciting and very educational day. As most of you know I teach adults and have very little experience with younger students. But I am learning very fast!! Because I have a stand at The Design & Technology Show every year I have become very aware of the lack of textile teaching in many schools, whether it comes in the form of fashion/dressmaking courses or art textiles. This is not the fault of the schools, they can only teach what they are told to. I think this will change over the next 2 years from what I have heard speaking to teachers in the last 6 months. Greater value is now being placed in the teaching of textile techniques. Long may it last. I have several workshops in schools coming up - it should be very interesting.

 torn, painted Bondaweb decorated with seeds, sequins, skeleton leaves, bows and just a small amount of glitter!!!

Sylvia and I had decided the best way to show the most basic Hot Textiles techniques was to teach the students how to use painted Bondaweb with decorations and a quick tour of Tyvek including making beads. I had 3 groups of students during the day, each for an average of one and a half hours. Bearing in mind these students have never tried anything like this before they created some fabulous samples.

 torn, painted Bondaweb decorated with seeds, skeleton leaves, heat transfer foil and glitter

I was very impressed with the speed in which they picked up all my instructions and how they all worked very well together sharing tools and materials. The students were generally proactive and whilst some of them got very excited they were never unruly and behaved beautifully. I thoroughly enjoyed my day and was delighted with the results of a very fast paced workshop. It was a very rewarding day and I hope to be going back to this school later in the month for a longer workshop.

 a selection of samples showing  painted and decorated Bondaweb, distressed polyester organza, Tyvek samples

more samples

a pile of delicious textures including Tyvek beads
The third group of the day were older students and were staying behind after school had finished.
I demonstrated some of the possibilities of working with Spunbond and how to cut the Spunbond with a soldering iron. The students worked very hard and produced some excellent samples which they will be able to use for their course work.
pre dyed Vilene Spunbond cut with a soldering iron and then distressed with a heat gun

Several of Sylvia's colleagues popped in and out of the workshop during the day and 2 were able to take part in the workshops. It was great to meet such interested, lively and dedicated teachers. Having been rather reticent about teaching younger students I find I am now really looking forward to my next session. 

Coming up -
I'm off to stay with my lovely friend Mary Day (wonderful silk painter) in Chipping Campden tomorrow then I will be delivering a workshop for the Cotswold Embroiderers Guild on Saturday. Sunday I am spending with Brenda Killigrew from Inkberrow Design Centre and Castanea Craft Courses to discuss some new specialist workshops for Textiles, Art and D & T teachers.

It's going to be a great weekend!