Wednesday, 15 April 2015

'Transforming Transfer' at Fantasia Textiles Studio 8 - 10 April - Part the second

The beginnings of something by Norah.

Now for the next part . . . 
The group produced a huge amount of samples - it did help having my heat press there. 

It isn't always necessary to 'muck about' with your work too much. Sometimes the beauty of the process is enough. I know I can be the first one to encourage layering and stitching, but I can also recognise when it is time to stop. 
This sample is just 2 prints, one on top of the other. A sheer on top and a heavier fabric underneath. Torn layered transfer prints give a very lovely shadowed effect.

These 2 layers just need a little stitch to define a few of the lines. Gorgeous.

The great fun of working with synthetic fabrics is that they can be cut and distressed with heat. Cutting applique shapes to iron onto a background is one of the techniques I include in this workshop. 
The student irons Bondaweb on to the back of the fabric that the shapes will be cut from. Shapes are then cut with a soldering iron. You need just need enough pressure to cut through the fabric, pressing too hard will bend the tip of the soldering iron. You move the soldering iron slowly, making a continuous line, going as slowly as the fabric will cut. Thicker fabrics will take longer to cut, just settle down and enjoy the ooozy, melty feeling.

 Cut the shapes and then lift them off the backing paper. If you have cut through the backing paper from the Bondaweb, you are pressing too hard.

I use Margaret Beal's system of terracotta flower pots as stands for the soldering irons and wire wool in cardboard tubes to clean the soldering iron tip.

Here are some samples of the applique ironed onto the chosen backgrounds.

 . . . and then there was the stitch . . . subtle and not overpowering. Fabulous.


A more three dimensional sample - Beautiful layers of transfer printed Spunbond/Lutradur - hand stitched.


 . .  and some beautiful layers and simple stitch.

Some more of Norah's beautiful birds.

It was wonderful to be able to spend three days working on and developing one process. The quality of the work at Fantasia Studios was very high. They are a fabulous group of ladies. The end of workshop 'show and tell' was good fun, though we had to be selective on how much worked was shown, there was so much to choose from.

The end of workshop display.

I had a great few days with Norah and her girls - thank you all for a fabulous time.

Transfer paints and crayons can be bought from Art Van Go, now online, or in the shop. Art Van Go

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Norah's Design2Stich group has an exhibition coming up, it's bound to be good.

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Workshops coming up - 
I could do with a couple more students on my course this weekend at the The Bridge in Brighton - On the Surface is my basic decorated Bondaweb course.

That will be it until after my op. My next workshop will be on the 9th and 10th of June at Art Van Go.  Creating Original Designs is my design workshop where we work through 'The Journey' and make your own printing blocks from your designs. Workshops/Programme

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I am having my left knee replaced on Monday the 20th so will be off my feet for a while - I won't be able to post any orders for from April 17th to May 4th as I will be hobbling about and not able to pack up, let alone post orders. Things should be back to normal after the 4th. If nothing else I can pack the orders and friends can post them for me. I have had a new delivery of KK Glue so there is plenty of stock. It has been selling well.

So that's me done for a while . . . . the next time I post - I will be bionic!!!


Saturday, 11 April 2015

'Transforming Transfer' at Fantasia Textiles Studio 8 - 10 April - Part the first.

Fabric printed using torn painted transfer papers and torn resists.

I had a great three days in rural Essex this week. Transfer printing is rarely the top of anyones list for a workshop, which is a great shame. It is such a simple and exciting form of printing. 'Transforming Transfer' is one of my favourite workshops to teach - we always get fabulous results.

Disperse dye is the dye used to permanently colour synthetic fabrics. Because the dye is first applied to paper then transferred by heat to the fabric, they have become known as transfer paints.
The dyes I use are in powder form and I make them up and store them in glass jars - always wear a particle mask when working with dye powders.
Once the dyes are no longer in powder form you won't need to wear a mask.

When working with any dye it is best to wear gloves and an apron.

The group painting their papers.

Fantasia Textiles Studio is run by Norah Stocker, a great bundle of energy. The studio is a City and Guilds hub and Norah teaches various levels of City and Guilds courses ad well as mentoring and teaching exhibiting textile groups.

There were eight in the group and as soon as I met them I knew we were in for a great three days. We got straight onto painting up the papers with the transfer paints as they needed to dry for us to transfer them onto the fabrics.

The students painted up ten sheets of paper each.

It is important not to introduce water to the dyes as this will water them down and make them less vibrant. I always ask the students to clean their brushes on kitchen towel - this can then be transfer printed along with the painted papers.

The group were asked to paint two of their papers with one dark colour that we would use for resist printing. When working with resists the mask/resist shows more clearly when you use a plain colour.

Grass used as a resist for a negative print and then turned over and printed for a positive print.

A fabulous table of early experiments.

Resist and positive prints using a torn doily.

Another negative grass print.

All manner of things can be used as a resist for a negative print - as long as they are flat and dry. Feathers and loose threads were used here.

The very lovely Noreen loving the heat press.

Whilst transfer printing with an iron is easily done, it can take a few minutes. If you get into the rhythm of the process you don't notice this too much. However, when working in a group I take along my heat press. It speeds things up. It is a very heavy piece of equipment, I don't take it out of the house very often.



More gorgeous resist prints.

When working with transfer painted papers you can usually get a least prints from each piece of paper which can give a beautiful shadow effect.

 Lovely over prints.

We printed on various synthetic fabrics, Lutradur/Vilene Spunbond gives a great effect.

Once the group had printed up several fabrics, we had a play with applique using Bondaweb and using a soldering iron to cut the shapes. The fabric is ironed onto Bondaweb, leaving the backing paper on. Shapes are then cut out using a soldering iron and lifted off the backing paper. You need very little pressure when using a soldering iron to cut shapes. You just rest your soldering iron tip onto the fabric and move it as the fabric melts and cuts. If you cut through the backing paper you are pressing too hard.

The group working with the soldering irons.

Using a baking tray and baking parchment to work onto. Once cut, the shapes are lifted off the backing paper and laid onto your chosen background






Once enough shapes have been cut - they can be arranged on the chosen background fabric and ironed into place (using baking parchment on the top and underneath your work). As the cut shapes are backed with Bondaweb, they can be overlapped to give a very pleasing effect.

As I have sooooo many images from the workshop I will split this post into two and show you the more considered and stitched samples in part two. The group created some very beautiful work - I don't want to leave anything out.

Watch this space!

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