Friday, 28 June 2013

On the Surface - Plus! Bideford - 22nd June

Painted Bondaweb decorated with sparkles and artichoke seeds.

The last day of the 'tour' saw me teaching in Bideford. (well just outside).
I didn't get a chance for a wander about and it looked like a great place to wander - I hope to get back there next year for a bit longer.

The workshop was held in a modern hall with all a tutor could desire, plenty of power, plenty of light and loads of space - a great place for a party . . . 
The workshop was On the Surface- Plus. The 'Plus' was the addition of Tyvek and Spunbond to the days events. It was more of a taster day and I think I tried to do too much with the group but they were very good and kept up.

 The group working hard with the painted Bondaweb and Tyvek drying on the floor.
 Getting to grips with painted Bondaweb and all the sparkles.

 The usual On the Surface workshop concentrates on the wonderful Bondaweb and all you can do with it. Foiling, adding sequins, gilding flake . . . . I took some of my artichoke heart seeds along with me. They give a fabulous star burst effect.

 Painted Bondweb ironed onto black pelmet Vilene light, decorated with transfer foil, blingy bitz and artichoke seeds.
 . . and more decorated painted Bondaweb - 


 Laying up the painted Bondaweb.
 It was good to see that there are some that work like me - in a mess . . .

 Whilst I am supposed to encourage a tidy work area - it rarely happens. 'Nests' soon appear all along the tables.

The group worked with soldering irons and coloured CS500 Vilene Spunbond while the painted Bondaweb was drying. Basically applique - but cut with a soldering iron. Because the CS500 is translucent, it can be layered to create a fabulous shadow effect.


 I had stayed over night with Rachel Dodds who had organised the workshop and met her wonderful Mum - who cooked these wonderful cakes for the group for our tea. So light and fluffy - and sooo tasty!!!


Rachel was a great host and I know we will be meeting again quite soon.


Whilst my trip was obviously very busy - it was not so busy that I couldn't appreciate the wonderful hospitality and care I received. I was very well looked after, all the workshops were very well organised and the students were keen and very good fun. It was certainly worth all the effort - for all of us! I hope to be organising another, longer tour for August 2014 and maybe venturing down as far as St Ives. I will start thinking about it next week.

My thanks to all my hosts and students - I had an absolutely fabulous time.


I am now off to the gym then I will pack my case and car and drive up to Redditch ready to teach my Experimental Textiles course over the weekend.
This weekend is the second session and we will be making printing blocks from the designs the students created on the first weekend last month.
I love this - original designs are where it all starts - Yeehaa!!! 

Have a great weekend.

x x x

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

A New Starting Point at Roseland Mews Studio 20 & 21 June

 A great piece of newspaper faux chenille.

 The next stop on the journey was Roseland Mews Studio in Liskeard. Set in lush green gardens, the studio is well equipped, light and has great ventilation. We had 13 in the group and boy did they work hard. A New Starting Point is my newspaper based workshop and I think you will agree, the group produced some fabulous samples.

We started off painting up Bondaweb and newspapers then while that was drying the group machine stitched layers of unpainted newspaper together to create their first faux chenille sample. We would colour wash these samples later in the day.
Then it was onto the 'pretties and bckground' tearing technique that I have developed with newspaper and painted Bondaweb. Having permission to play with all manner of sparkly delights tends to bring out the inner princess in most students as they fling glitter, gilding flake and dot jewels onto their work with abandon. The play element in any workshop is very important.



Some of these backgrounds were then printed onto with wooden printing blocks.

Everywhere you go at Roseland Mews Studio there are beautiful touches, even in the downstairs loo. Pretty little posies of flowers also decorate all the tables when we eat together at lunchtime.

 One of the tables in the beautiful kitchen and conservatory area where everyone eats lunch.

Jane takes the feeding of her students very seriously. She caters for all allergies and intolerance's and the food is exceptional. For six pounds you enjoy a delicious, homemade two course lunch. There are usually at least three choices per day - so there is always something for everyone

I had taken my Big Shot Pro die cutting machine along with me so the students could cut jewellery blanks and boxes if they wanted to.
The decorated newspaper samples can be ironed onto and iron-on interfacing.

If you use the S133 ( Heavy pelmet Vilene plus) then you can cut all the jewellery blanks and make a firm box. This interfacing is bit like stiff cardboard bit is strong enough for jewellery.

Decovil 1 and Decovil 1 light are softer interfacings and feel a bit like leather. They are fantastic for softer bags and book covers, and being iron-on they are very easy to use.

Soft, envelope style boxes made from Decovil 1 iron-on interfacing.

        Heart shaped boxes made from S133 heavy iron-on interfacing.

Here are some of the jewellery banks that also used S133.

The group tried colourwashing their first chenille sample by soaking the the faux chenille samples with procion wash - using a thinnish paintbrush to get the colour in to all the layers - they took two days to dry - but I think it was worth it - you get a different, more 'frilly' effect than you do from layering pre-coloured newspapers.


I love this effect.

Then it was was onto the more usual layering to create the faux chenille. Pre coloured newspaper was layered with bright polyester organza and machine stitched together. the channels were cut open the the sample was distressed to encourage the polyester to fray.


All kinds of papers can be used for these techniques, foreign language newspapers, old books and novels, old maps and atlases the recycling opportunities are endless.

I had a great time with this group - it was a bit like a having a party for two days - thank you ladies and thank you Jane for looking after us all soooo well.


If you fancy this workshop and can get to the Brighton area, I am teaching a three day version at Foredown Tower. A New Starting Point - August 20th - 22nd  01273 415625


I will post about the final workshop at Bideford before I dash off to Redditch on Friday to teach Experimental Textiles.

x x x

Sunday, 23 June 2013

The Journey at Sylvia McCann's studio - Torquay June 19th

 Two of the 'expanded' exercises.

Day three of the tour saw me back at Sylvia McCann's studio with a large group of ladies KEEN!!!! to have a go at creating original designs - shock, horror!!!

We started with The Journey. Basically a mark marking exercise but with a journey in mind, can be an imaginary one or taking the children to school, and NO! you don't need to be able to draw or paint. This is all explained in my book Experimental Textiles. It's great fun once everyone gets started, get some painting music on the Ipod and you are off!


 There were so many 'Journeys', Alison, Sylvia's lovely daughter and maker of of wonderful cakes had to take this shot for me from an upstairs window

 Next it was onto the 'expanded' exercise - strips of black paper cut and stuck down with 'spaces in between' in mind.

 All the 'expanded' exercises laid out down the centre of the room - I had to stand on step ladder to take this one.

 We did another exercise - 'flipping out', but for some reason I forgot to take photos of that one - it was a busy day . . 

Once all three exercises were finished the group then took sections with 'L' shapes and traced off their design ready to paint in two colours.


 Here you go Jane!!! I didn't forget you . . .

   It had been several years since I taught at Sylvia's and I had forgotten about Alison's cakes - how could I? On this afternoon it was meringue nests with clotted cream and fresh fruit - so delicious. We were very spoilt.

 Whilst health and safety is an issue . .  with food and tea cups on the table - how could you resist? The group wouldn't stop for tea outside - so we had to plough on - it's a tough job . . .

It was great to see Sylvia and Alison again and I had met several of the group before - plus, of course, you make new friends.

I hope to be back in The West Country next August - I will be sorting another tour in the next month or so.


That Wednesday was the best day weather wise of the week - scorching temperatures which turned into a beautiful evening. I drove over Dartmoor to deliver some work to one of my ex students from Experimental Textiles at Redditch who lives in Tavistock. It was a beautiful drive and I stopped to take photos along the way.


 Then it was onto Liskeard and Roseland Mews Studio for two days of - bedlam and wonderful food. I will post about that mid week.

Hope you all had a great weekend.


Jill, Jill!!! only 29 sleeps to go.x x x x