Thursday, 28 February 2013

Bonding at Morley………

Not just with my fellow students, but trying  out a technique completely new to me of bonding synthetic cloth to paper with this result.


Kim at Flextiles has blogged about this technique, and I've tried to show part of the process below.  I forgot to take photos of the initial paper collage, but it was made up of torn and cut paper images of flowers. Luckily enough someone had brought multiple copies of an Evening  Standard in to the studio this week, so I could get repeats of images.

Principal steps are:

  • compose a paper collage, slightly larger than the screen area
  • place the synthetic cloth over the collage, and pin it securely to the print table
  • screenprint over the cloth and through to the paper with Matte Medium, taking great care to wash the screen very quickly when finished printing
  • Leave to dry completely
  • Iron the whole caboodle under greaseproof paper for 10 mins
  • Soak in a bucket of water until the paper is very soft
  • Rub on the back of the cloth until most of the paper has been removed, leaving only the very top layer of inked paper, where the medium has been printed on to it
  • Dry and iron smooth
  • Seal the edges with a soldering iron
  • Stand back and say "wow", or "interesting", or " that's unusual"  or " hmmm, not sure about that" as is your wont.

I used my Voices screen, overlaid on itself three times.

Hanging up to dry after screen printing with the Matte Medium


Ironing the first time - ignore the state of the soleplate of the iron in the background, if you can


Scraping off the paper pulp after soaking


First glimpse of the final effect


After the second ironing


Sealing the edges


The demonstration pieces gave great food for thought, as the cloth can now  be over dyed, overprinted, stitched in to , burnt- out………….so many  possibilities.  Looking forward to next week.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

A day of contrasts

Three exhibitions in a day, and what contrasts.  First, a morning of couture excellence at the Valentino exhibition at Somerset House.  On until 3rd March, this is a must for anyone with an interest in couture techniques.  Not only 130 stunning outfits ( some technically impressive , but it has to be said, a bit hideous to look at) but several detailed  exhibits showing how some of these techniques are done.  No photography allowed, so these are from the Guardian and dressful websites.



The catalogue is full of useful definitions of types of fabric, and of the techniques used.  This one, pagine, was a favourite of mine.

Then on to The Mall Galleries to see the entrants into the Lynn Painter Stainers competition for representational painting.  On until 02 March, this was an intriguing collection of contemporary painting.  The winner, shown below ( picture from the Independent website) glowed in the gallery.


Fascinating, densely thick impasto paintings by George Rowlett were new to me.  Astonishing colours glowing through paint as thick as 1cm in places.

Finishng with a visit to the Ben Uri Gallery in North London to see challenging art works by Judy Chicago, Tracey Emin, Helen Chadwick and Louise Bourgeois.  This exhibition is on until 10th March and certainly gave me a new perspective on Judy Chicago.  Of real note to me was how much of her work is made in collaboration with her husband and with other "maker artists" , particularly for her work in stitch, tapestry and stained glass.    Much of the work on display is still visually shocking, which is intriguing in this age of immediate access to shocking imagery from many sources.

The amount of collaborative effort that goes in to Judy Chicago's pieces stimulated more thought on the relationship between artists and the artisans who make their work, and back to my exploration of the Maggi Hambling "Scallop".

A great day for the mind, and for celebrating friendship.  Thanks Helen.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Voices, on the print table


Continuing to develop my textile pieces at Morley today based on the Scallop sculpture.  Today was time to experiment with a new screen, using some of the text from the sculpture.   Unfortunately, I had a complete brain drop after the screen was exposed, and started to scrub this, rather than wash it gently.  This led to a breakdown ( of the screen, not me) and potentially a shambles, however, on test printing, it proves to give some interesting effects, consistent with weathering of metal.  ( Photos are from my phone, so not great quality).

First, testing on paper, breakdown section at the top


Next, on a piece of tray-dyed cloth


Then, trying out coloured puff binder again.  This gives a very intriguing effect, particularly at the breakdown bit.


Attempts to show the 3D effect of the puff binder


Lots to work on here.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Textures and colour

Thinking about how to get textures and pattern into my journal quilts this year, I was struck by these textures this week.

Frost on the roof of the car ( my neighbours probably thought I was mad, standing up in the passenger well to get these)




Then a fortuitous find of swans' feathers near their preening area, brought home and loaded into a steel bowl.  Incredible how these shapes echo the frost patterns.


Wet bubble wrap - an accident turned into something interesting manages to keep the temper from flaring I find.


And an explosion of yellows with the first daffodils bought this season.


Contrasting markedly with my well-loved fuchsia pink gloves


Too much inspiration all round, as ever.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

On the print table


Developing the shape from the Scallop sculpture, now on a screen and printed with pigment paste on to tray-dyed cotton.


Overprinting with a lighter blue, which actually looks much better in real life than it does on this screen.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

First outdoor drying 2013


A bright day at last with some wind, so the first chance of 2013 to get cloth dried outside.  It is a coincidence that this week I had to bring a backing cloth from Morley to wash, as I had been using puff binder which had bled through to the cloth.  

I love these cloths as they have overlaid images from the screen prints of lots of different individuals who use the studio at Morley.  A lot of these are test prints on to newsprint, to test paper stencils, hence the amount of print paste that has gone through to the cloth.  

The upside down surfers at the top are by Luke Best, an artist who is on our course.  He uses images that seem very simple, with great colour combinations.