Wednesday, September 18, 2013

"Transience" - my personal assessment piece 3 .....finally

After my tutorial session with Sian at summer school, way back in July, I considered her comments on my hanging and had some more work to do.  Her comments included possibly creating vertical tucks in the facial areas to reduce the flatness, achieving texture within the felted shapes, making shapes appear to 'fade away' at the bottom, and making some shapes appear to lift or curl off the surface.

In the end I went with some suggestions and not others.

  • I created another sample to look at creating tucks in the felt but this made the organza below the tucks splay out somewhat like a skirt - I lost the 'drop' of the curtain hanging which I had liked.  So instead, I created the texture with thick cords couched onto the large dark felt areas.


This served to add texture further solidity to the hanging area while breaking up the dark felt area with surface interest.

  • I added further felted shapes to the top right area, stitching tucks and folds in them, while leaving them partially loose at edges.  Hanging cords continued the vertical lines of stitching throughout the hanging.

Further organza shapes were partially stitched, letting them lift off the piece, and stitched from thin cords to let them fall freely.


Finally lacy versions of the shape were applied to the bottom right edge to suggest fading and transformation.

12.21 Hanging seen from reverse through open doorway
I was fortunate to have an opportunity to exhibit this piece as a guest artist in "Exquisite Touch", an exhibition of the latest work from 5 artists working in textiles, beadwork, flameworked glass, and traditional lace at Craft NSW, Sydney.
I'm pleased to say that I met my deadline to complete this and it took its place in the lovely display yesterday on opening night.
Please excuse my hovering bag in the foreground - didn't realise it was in the shot until after the event.

The supporting statement read
dyed merino wool, dyed silk organza, 1m x 2m

“Change is the only evidence of life”        E Waugh

Images are often captured memories of a subject which is constantly changing and evolving with the passage of time. 
In Transience I have played with merino wool and silk organza; with opacity and translucency, to express the evolution of one image into another.  The transience of a childhood reflection is not mourned but celebrated as the next stage of life is entered.

I had planned for the piece for window display but display constraints determined it looked better here, slightly offset from the wall which did created lovely shadows of the shapes behind.

The exhibition runs now until 29 Sept and for those that cannot get to see it, I shall have more photos up on my designs facebook page in due course.

Sunday, September 15, 2013


I've been chained to my sewing machine so much recently, preparing pieces for an exhibition, Exquisite Touch at Craft NSW Gallery in Sydney that it was great to take a break on Saturday and do something completely different.  The exhibition incidentally opens on Tuesday 17 Sept 6-8pm, but more on that in the next post.

Back to Saturday - I went to a great workshop on making collagraphs, held by Primrose PaperArts in Sydney. This was the first of 2 days: the first day would be spent preparing the plates, the second printing with them.  I have a couple of books on the subject which detail the process involved and give design ideas, but nothing beats being tutored in person by an expert.  We were taught by Chris Hutch, a member of the group and an obviously experienced printer of beautiful collagraphs, who was so generous in her supplies and tuition.
Her own collagraph plates were artworks in themselves, let alone her prints.

This one features various fibres, gesso and glue
Various areas of the mountboard has been cut back to give darker areas once printed, and features surface texture with glue, mediums and carbundum
After seeing all this wonderful inspiration we made a start on creating our own, starting with mountboard like Chris. The following are my attempts of simple boards trying to use the demonstrated techniques.  I went with the more organic designs, looking to my A5 sketchbook from Module 1 dip work for ideas.  I had studied bottle trees quite closely at the time in various forms so I traced one of my drawings onto the board, and cut back a little to create relief.

A5 boards
 The board (above left) then had additional threads, kozo fibre, carbundum and crushed egg shell all set in PVA.  The one on the right has similar fibres and sandpaper strips set in manipulated gesso to build up a surface.
 This A5 board above has scrim and muslin in the background with pressed leaves and moulded leaf impressions.
This last board above was about A4 size and featured the bottle tree again in a little more elaborate cut back form with strips of mesh and embossed handmade paper (from certificate module, yes I keep everything).

That all took most of the day, so Chris so kindly took them home with her to dry properly and then seal them all with shellac for us so that they would be ready to print with next time - can't wait. But i'll have to, until 10 October. I'm more used to monoprinting of course, which is immediate in its results, so the time and thought involved in developing collagraphs is totally different.  My boards didn't really look like much for now, but I'm hopefully they'll turn out ok and it will be fun playing with them in a few weeks - watch this space.