Saturday, July 28, 2007

Seaside Postcard

Latest 6x4 lives postcard has painted pelment vilene and muslin stuck together with acrylic paint then FME to create the impression of that part of the beach that isn't too enticing, the part where seaweed and debris meet at the tideline there might even be some oil there! The little jewels are the 3 shells bottom left and the shiny tiny broken shells in the corner. Does damp and cold English holidays sound familiar, but beachcombing always came up trumps didn't it!
The idea came as a by product of the Sumptuous Surfaces design process.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

sumptuous surfaces stitch plan and week two

Week two of the Sumptuous Surfaces class meant quite alot of thought regarding stitch plans and then alot of stitching. I have been amazed at the range of designs being worked on and the support being given out by people all over the globe. More pictures of work being completed by other claass members on flickr - sumptuous surfaces

Stitch Plan 1.
The background is in random pulled thread and small amount of low relief surface stitches. The sea urchins to be in high density/relief stitches. The colours are strong at the front and fade away towards the top.

Stitch Plan 2.
The background is in high relief stitches/embellishment and the sea urchins in a simpler geometric manner.

I chose stitch plan 1 as I wanted to explore ways of high density stitching in a more controlled manner than a random way as the markings of sea urchins require .

The random pulled thread has worked well I feel yet the portugese stitch took so long! I watched nearly all of the Open Golf over the weekend doing it!

This close up shows how well the pulled thread has worked. I had not done this before and I will definately use it again.

Now for week 3 reading!!!!! I suspect there is a lot of stitching again this week.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Sumptuous Surfaces

This week I have been busy with lesson one of the latest Sharon Boggon class 'Sumptuous Surfaces' . Sharon has had us consider our concept for the class. After nearly a week of deliberation I think I am there. My brainstorm centred around BEACHCOMBING.

I then spent some time looking through my collection of shells and beach debris from over the years and photocopied them for my sketch book and to act as an aide memoire in developing my designs.

I started to develop certain aspects in more detail. The first was based around some sea urchins. I realised that they could be simplied into five sections and noted the different textures of the surface. I played around with design manipulation as can be seen here.

These sketches were based around shell skeletons as I realised that I had picked up just as many eroded shells as perfect ones. The skeletal form had obviously intrigued and attracted me. Ideal for positive and negative shapes and as Sharon had shown us how to develop such shapes I played around with isolating and superimposing them on to other shapes. It was then I realised that there was a difference between the smoothness of these shell skeletons and the roughness of the sea urchins.

A concept was emerging 'The response to my memories of beachcombing and collection of shells over many years. Especially that of the opposing form and texture of the perfect and the eroded structure of shells.'

I then got carried away and wanted to see whether I could incorporate beach vegetation. So these sketches utilise the solidness of the sea urchins and the flowing lines of a stylised sea holly and lichen hybrid.
So another concept evolved 'The response to my memories of beachcombing and collection of shells and beach debris over many years. Especially that of the opposing form and texure of shells and the sinuous, fibrous nature of beach vegetation.'
To finalise my design for embroidering I chose sketch A5 as I thought that the overlapping and recession achieved leant itself to an interesting well balanced result. It was necessary to add the second element though and this proved to be anything but easy.

C2 was my preferred result as it has recession, scale, overlapping, movement and balance. I'm hoping that Sharon agrees with me!!!!!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Last Wednesday I went on a day workshop entitled Collage on Canvas and in a T Bag. I just had to go on it!

The first stage was to complete a collage on A4 paper. Mine was based around some of the photos that I have of my parents that I had been meaning to do something with for so long now. A scrap book seems the obvious but not a paper version. So this workshop gave me the impetus to get going.
My mother was a seamtress so there are references to this as well as images that mean alot to me, their wedding, a holiday snap just after the war and childhood pictures of them both.

My completed collage was them photocopied on to transfer paper and them ironed on to calico. This was them embellished/embroidered. This is as far as I have got to date. I intend to add more. I did two as I have two daughters and I wanted them to have a permanent momento of their grandparents who meant so much to them.
The collage was them reduced and photocopied so it could be cut into small pieces and slotted into an empty square T bag. We waxed the Tbag by melting white candle wax with an iron (not the best one) and ironing between paper so it stiffened. I embellished this example below with thread and it will be an ideal wedding anniversary card for a member of my family.