We move forward from two successful exhibitions in 2016 in Prague and in the USA to the challenge of an exhibition in the Netherlands in the Autumn. We continue to work on A2 sized pieces in portrait format and will be producing four pieces over the year with the theme of 'Freedom'. An essential part of our art is working in series to a common format which does give us all a framework for our creative endeavours.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Mother earth speaks to us......

'Mother earth speaks to us through plants  and flowers'

Buddist quote

This piece continues my series using discharge pastes on dyed backgrounds. The base cotton was a low immersion dyed piece in deep greens - I was keen to see the resultant colour after printing on leaf images with different pastes, after two layers I lightly overdyed the piece in a leaf green to restore the background depth and finally discharge a third time with some decollourant.  My intention was to try to create depth in the piece by having some soft unstitched images floating in the background.

It never ceases to surprise me the range of various pigments that get pulled out of the dyed fabric. I used anti-clor as a final soak to ensure all the agents had been removed.

The piece was sandwiched together as usual and I used machine embroidery/quilting to emphasize the printed shapes with rayon thread as I needed the stitching to show.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Primal Lizard
I found a wonderful image of a lizard rock painting found in Kakadu National Park in Northern Australia. The area is inhabited by the Bininj and Mungguy people. Some of the paintings found here are 20,000 years old!
I used 6 layers of fabric, ice dyed, hand dyed, some damask from West Africa, batik from West Africa and a piece of metallic fabric I found in a second hand market in Nairobi. Using the Molo reverse applique technique was quite difficult as all the fabrics had a tendency to fray. I added some machine embroidery and quilting using rayon threads and then embellished the piece using ostrich shell and brass beads from Turkana. 

Monday, 6 October 2014

Earth Quotes - When clouds appears like rocks........

"When clouds appear like rocks and towers, 
the earth refreshes with frequent showers."

Old Amish saying

The inspiration behind this piece is a chunk of Blue John rock from the Blue John mine in Derbyshire. An appropriate quote as the 'blue' of the rock vein is caused by the  rain seeping over the specific minerals underground over millenium. 

I used black cotton which I discharged initially with Jacquard discharge paste to get the light 'quartz' bands running down the  piece. I used  sponges to try to achieve different depths of texture in the rocks - I then used decollourant colour sample pots to add a range of rock like colours to the piece working from behind. (I always find the effects are much better when you are using colour replacement discharge paints if you work on the reverse.) Finally I added flecks of turquoise blue  for the Blue John crystals.

Blue John Rocks

I used a heavy rayon thread to emphasise the shots of turquoise that run through the veins with a whip stitch again working on the reverse to give a looser thread on top. Similarly with cream and variagated taupe threads to add texture to the 'quartz' veins. I added the odd bit of turquoise bling - (plastic small gemstones) to create the sparkle.

The background black rock was textured with free machine quilting.

Detail of rocks