Thursday, 1 August 2013

ExTex 2 third weekend - 27/28 July

My dear friend Brenda and I at the Mexican party on Saturday night - 
(They are stick on moustaches - not our own!!!)

After a wonderful week being a student at the TSG (Textile Study Group summer school in Newport, Shropshire - I drove down to Redditch ready to for the weekend. 

It was the third weekend of my Experimental Textiles course at The Old Needle Works. The plan was to look at positive and negative space and to paint colour wheels. 
After having a look at all the homework the girls had done in the previous month we got straight into decorating white cartridge with wax crayons. This is a wonderful 'play school' type of activity where you don't have to think too much. It is a great way to ease into the weekend.


We were going to colour wash these masterpieces with procion dye powder and water on Sunday. The wax resists the dye.

Then it was onto the main event of the weekend - Colour Theory!!!! In particular painting up colour wheels and a tints, tones and shades chart. I joined the group in this activity, it is good for all of us to mix paints every so often. Who made the first mistake???? Me!!! I can only blame the fact that a I was bit tired from the previous week - no, I just wasn't concentrating. 

I had asked the group to bring in books or other information on artists who the student thought used colour well or in an exciting way. Renoir, Hunderwasser, Gaudi, Georgia O'Keeffe and Klimt were the students choices - I brought in books on Patrick Heron and Howard Hodgkin, also Itten and Albers. We had a great discussion - and came back to the fact that everyone sees colour differently and that it is all a matter of opinion.

       Of course the students painted beautifully neat wheels and shade charts - they put mine to shame

 It is always interesting to see the different effect you get when you use magenta (on the left) instead of scarlet and a brighter blue than ultramarine

 Saturday saw a Mexican party in the upstairs studio at The Old Needle Works in aid of Cystic Fibrosis. We had great fun dressing up in hats and moustaches. We had a good dance and drank a few margaritas - well it would be rude not to . . . . We played Mexican bingo and there was a briliant raffle with loads of fab prizes. I haven't laughed so much in ages.

If there is a hat - you have to try it on . . .

On Sunday morning the group dyed up sketch books as in my book Experimental Textiles, pages 12 and 13. If you use several colours of procion dye powder and water (one flat teaspoon of dye to one pint of water) to colour wash all the pages of your book, close it and wait several days for it to dry, you can then peel the pages apart to reveal gorgeous colour combinations. If you did this with paint the pages would stick together.

We then painted the wax crayon papers an a plain sheet of cartridge with procion colour wash.

After lunch the papers were dry enough to work with. Each student had a waxed paper and a plain paper colour washed in the same colour. The papers were torn in half and one piece of waxed and one piece of plain was put to one side. The remaining halves were torn into different width strips. The plain and waxed paper that had been put to one side then became the backgrounds for the next exercise. The waxed strips were placed on the plain paper and the plain strips were placed on the waxed paper.

The idea is to create interesting spaces in between each strip with no space being the same width. Once all the strips are stuck in place it can be difficult to see which is the wax on plain and the plain on wax. The group will be stitching into these as part of their homework.  
 Another exercise I use to look at positive and negative space is one from
Contrasting Elements by Jae Maries. I rarely use other tutors exercises but this is such a good one. If you are not familiar with this book - I highly recommend it. Jae is an exciting artist and tutor - she used to do a session for my fourth years on professional practice when I was teaching it as a four year course. She is so inspiring -

These exercises will also be stitched into for homework.

It was great to see the group again and I look forward to see what they get up to with their homework.


Preparations are now in full swing for Festival of Quilts at the NEC next week. I am running a stand for Vilene Interlinings - D5. There will be three of us demonstrating on the stand. Lee Brown who is a remarkable quilter and a great friend and Laura Strutt, the new full time demonstrator for Vilene.
Do come and say Hello!! it will be great to see you. I won't be selling any products - this is purely an education stand.

 Echoes - by Lee Brown, hand dyed and hand pieced - 
a must see on Stand D5.

Hopefully see you there.


Hello Jill and Diana!!!

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