Friday, 30 October 2015

Experimental Textiles - weekend 5. Constructed Textiles. October 24th & 25th.

A section of a beautiful piece by Val from the ExTextra group.

I am nearly up to date with this blog now.
There are 2 'ExTex' groups running at the moment, the regular 9 weekend Experimental Textiles and a 5 weekend 'ExTeXtra'. ExTeXra is a continuation course for ex Experimental Textiles students.  My year runs from June to March. This is more of a mentoring group with the members developing their own work and style. The girls are doing so well, I am so proud of them. They will be exhibiting at the West Country Quilt and Textile Show - 12th - 14th November at The Exhibition and Conference Centre, UWE, Bristol.

I don't want to show complete images of the girls work, it's not really my place now - but here are a few tasters . . . .


The group have called themselves 'Out of Line'  and they will continue to exhibit as a group under this name.

Now back to Experimental Textiles - session 5. This weekend was devoted to looking at constructed textiles, felt, weave and knit. These basic processes are amongst the most exciting for textile art. As usual, I teach the basics, leaving the student to develop the process.

A selection of the felt the group made on the Saturday.

I love the little 'bowls'.

We looked at inlaying fabric and threads on the 'flat' felt samples.

On Sunday morning we had a brief session on needlefelting then we got on with the weaving. I love this session, using very simple cardboard looms,  you can create fabulous samples of delicious colour and texture.

Jackie working on her green weaving.

Catherine creating beautifulness.

Caroline's fabulous textures.

Trisha working with dyed string.

Some of Trisha's dyed string.

Nadine's beautiful blues.

Anna'a autumn look.

We also looked at knitting as a base for hand stitch and structure.
I love finger knitting, you can create wonderful rope like pieces. I was taught finger knitting by one of my students many years ago when I taught a special needs group while I was qualifying to be a teacher. I have never forgotten her.
The process has served me well over the years. 

The group had great fun with it . . .

 Jackie finger knitting and entire ball of 2 ply yarn.

 Then finger knitting what she had already finger knitted, it soon disappears.

Trisha had fun with multi coloured sari yarn.

Anna also chose a variegated yarn.

                            Just a few of Catherine's knitted samples.

We also played with knitting, I like a stitch that was taught to me as 'spider' knitting, I suspect that is not the correct name. You wrap the yarn an extra once or twice around the needles before you make a stitch. This gives you a very open, loopy piece of knitting that is great for stitching into . .

Some lovely, loopy samples.

We had a great weekend, an energetic Saturday making felt and more restful and sedate Sunday weaving and knitting. For homework, the group will be stitching into one or all of the samples they created. Watch this space, we have one more session this year, in November.


I am now in Ireland having a week or so off before the Dublin Knitting and Stitching Show. I have lot of thinking and catching up to do, plus the usual planning ahead. I will write a bit more about where I am staying next week.


Have a great weekend.


Thursday, 22 October 2015

The Journey with Geelong Embroiderers Guild 24th & 25th September - plus graffiti!!!

 A section of an old railway carriage at The Powerhouse, Geelong.

I am a bit out of sync with the blog - so much has happened in the last couple of months I haven't been able to write events up in the correct order. This post is about a 2 day workshop I taught for Geelong (Australia) Embroiderers Guild September 24th and 25th just before I taught at the Geelong Fibre Forum. They are a lively group and are great fun. I first taught for them in 2012 when I first met Gillian Norris. Gillian was a great help in setting up the workshops then and on this last trip. She and her lovely husband Tony were great hosts. Do look at the Guild's website - there is a lot to see.

So - the 2 day workshop was The Journey extended to give enough time to make printing blocks from the students designs. Regular readers of this blog will be very familiar with this workshop.

 Starting to paint The Jouneys

 All the designs lined up.

We also played with the expanded exercise  . . .

And the 'flipping out' exercise.

The students were asked to take 2 sections from each design exercise. They would then choose 2 of the designs to make the blocks with.

 The designs were isolated by using 'L' shapes.

 The designs are then traced off . . .

The design is then tranferred onto self adhesive foam and foam core board to create printing blocks.

 You get 2 blocks form one design, the positive and the negative.

 Here you can see the positive and the negative of the flower design.

 Getting stuck in to the printing process.

 Trying out the blocks on newspaper first.

 Trying to over print with the positive and negative of the same design.

 An exciting day of printing - 

The group were great fun to work with, and I had a great time staying with Gillian and Tony - thank you both so much.


 On the way to Forum, Gillian took me The Powerhouse, an old derelict building that is covered in graffiti. It has been running as art project, decorated by street artists from all over the world - do read this article - it's fascinating.


 Gillian knows I have a love for graffiti, this was heaven. . . 

These are images from an old raliway carriage covered in graffiti.

As you can see - I didn't waste time while I was in Geelong - it was wonderful to see old friends and make new ones. It seems like months ago now, but I did have a very, very good time. 


I am now getting ready to teach this weekend, it is weekend 5 of Experimental Textiles in the IDC Studios at The Old Needle Works. We will be looking at constructed textiles - knit, weave and felt. It promises to be a lively weekend.
So - watch this space!!!

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