Monday, 16 July 2012

Experimental Textiles 3rd week-end - part one

 One of Tracey's stitched samples using torn prints from the 2nd week-end

We all had a very colourful and exhausting week-end on the 3rd week-end of Experimental Textiles at The Old Needleworks in Redditch. 

We started off looking at what the group had done for home work. Part of it was to stitch into some of their prints from the previous week-end. The three images below are just a sample.


 The next thing we did was to colour wash their sketch books with procion dye powder and water. You can paint all the pages in the sketch at once and wait for the sketch book to dry (it takes ages) and then you can peel the pages apart. You can't do this with paint or ink as the pages would stick together. It gives you great backgrounds on which to add any notes or samples and is much less terrifying than being faced by a book of pristine white pages.

The ExTex girls painting their sketchbooks - having great fun splashing all the colour about!

The colour washing of the sketchbooks was an extra activity on the day but it seemed mean to hurry the group up as they were enjoying themselves so much.

We then got on with the actual activities that were part of the course - two 'looking at spaces in between' exercises. I thought I would try one of some one elses exercises for a change so we tried one of several in Jae Maries' excellent book Contrasting Elements. If you don't have this book in your collection - you need it!

A simple exercise using black and white paper - the group will be stitching into them as part of their homework.

The next exercise was another 'looking at spaces in between' exercise. This can be done with any patterned and plain paper but I think it is more interesting if the students decorate their own. To this end the group were given two sheets of cartridge paper and decorated one sheet with wax crayons - just doodling really - it's a very relaxing exercise. The two sheets are then colour washed with one colour of procion wash. The wax crayons resist the dye wash. 
Once the paper is dry the idea is for the students to tear both sheets into two and put one of each aside.

 The patterned paper is torn into strips and stuck down onto the plain paper.
Using the two other sheets that have been put to one side the plain paper is torn into strips and stuck down onto the patterned paper.

It is important to make sure that strips are irregular and that spaced in between are also irregular. Students are encouraged to avoid 'zebra crossing' stripes.


Following on with the resist theme we then got on with some resist mono printing. The group had enjoyed the previous week ends session on block printing so I thought a short session on mono printing  would be helpful. I think this very intimate way of printing with a small amount of equipment can be very successful and very relaxing.
 Marking the paint with large jar lids and then a print with fabric.
 Printing onto magazine paper can give an interesting effect.
 Using small strips of paper as a resist

 And more strips of paper. 

 Drawing into the paint then taking a print.

I will do another post tomorrow with the rest of the work before I leave for West Dean, must go and sort what I need to take - guess what - it's raining again!

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