Friday, 3 January 2014

On the Surface at Denman College - 4th - 6th December

 A stunning piece of work combining Tyvek with decorated and painted Bondaweb.

Denman College is the home of the W.I. The main building is Georgian and is set in beautiful grounds with many specimen trees. I always have great fun there - you seem to get a different type of student, I can't quite put my finger on it, but they are usually up for anything. You no longer need to be a member of the enrol on courses so do have a look and see if anything takes your fancy -

The workshop I was delivering was On the Surface - my basic Bondaweb course with a bit of Tyvek thrown in for good measure. As the courses I teach at Denman are residential the students can work in the evenings which means we can get a bit more done. Usually stitch - a very important part of my teaching.

 The group working in The Ferris Room - there were 10 in all. The maximum, such a treat to have low numbers.

As the jam festival was on while I was there we weren't in the usual Textile Studio - we were in the Ferris Room which is huge with panoramic views over the gardens - just fabulous. The jam festival is one of the most important events in the W.I. calender and it is taken very seriously. The displays and judging took 2 days. It is a national event with many magazines taking an interest.

 I was very jealous of this turquoise water beaker and pink paintbrush - Yes! PINK!!! I want one.

So . . .  the main idea of the workshop is for the students to be confident when painting and decorating Bondaweb. We painted Bondaweb and then work on different fabrics to see which surface they preferred to work on.

 We tried black cotton, velvet, linen and polyester organza. Along with painted Bondaweb we played with the usual suspects - glitter, transfer foils, Blingy Bitz and gilding flake. The students also brought in many and varied delights like threads, skeleton leaves, dried flowers and fabrics to snip into small pieces and apply onto their work.
 One of the group had fun decorating book covers - she had seen the video!!!

 We also had play with some of the Vilene Spunbond that I have left. The colours are being discontinued - such a shame. Bondaweb was ironed onto the back of the Spunbond and then shapes were cut with a soldering iron. Basically applique - but using a soldering iron instead of scissors. You can cut much more interesting shapes this way. You then just iron your bonded shapes onto your chosen background (using baking parchment of course).

      Because the lightweight Spunbond is translucent it is great for over laying. Fabulous shadowy effects are created.

Then it was onto working with Tyvek. Tyvek is great fun to play with and you can create superb textures - but it is very obviously 'Tyvek' - if you see what I mean? - if you are using it in your work and combining it with other techniques you really need to try to disguise it otherwise all you can see is the Tyvek.

 Here are some of the corsages the group made - great fun and very 'immediate'.

We then went on to work with textures and look at combining. As Bondaweb is ironed it is very flat, Tyvek textures can help raise the surface and add interest, but I would reccomend that you paint the Tyvek with the same colours you use to paint the Bondaweb.

  I love these samples - the layers look fantastic. The girls did stitch onto them later - but I forgot to take photos - stupid girl.

 Elaine Knight, who was a part of the group, had been on one of the courses I taught at Bobby Britnell's studio. It was a newspaper based course and Trish wanted to continue to play with newspaper.

 She had a great time just playing - that's what its all about . . . . 

I ought to mention that we are very well looked after at Denman - the food is excellent and we have home made biscuits at coffee time and home made cakes at tea time.

 Everything at Denman is beautifully presented, down to our cakes on a slate platter. Such wonderful positive and negative spaces - a great design source.
The little cakes with a blueberry on the top also had a surprise blueberry inside - I just thought you ought to know.

  . . . and of course the desserts are divine . . . . .

One of my many tasks next week is to find some dates to teach at Denman this year - maybe when I am back from the Antipodes . . . . 


I hope you are all safe? This weather is HORRIBLE. I do hope those of you in the south west of the U.K. are coping. It's bad enough in Brighton.

That's me caught up with the blog - the next post will be about my new secret weapon!!!  Sshhh!!! Secret Squirrel.


Hello Jill.
Hello Diana - 26 sleeps to go - poor Les!!!


  1. I always love looking at your student work and the variety of texture they achieve. A pity you forgot th stitch samples, they would have been amazing!

  2. Yes! I know Vicki, but at least there is one at the top of the blog. x