Saturday, January 31, 2015

mostly compressed sponge printing

 We have just had a delivery from the manufacturers of compressed sponge - it seems to have taken ages from when I first entered the chat about this and the parcel was huge (Ian's job is to slice it all up) so I have been playing away today. I cut a key shape, dropped it in water - it expands very quickly and is wonderful for printing. This is my sponge key.

 I am endeavouring to draw for at least 15mins a day and this is my sketch book for the moment - my place - no 6 and a very poor image transfer. But it was highly suitable for using the compressed sponge key. Keys because since we were burgled in the studio, we lock the gate every night and these days everything seems to have to be locked and here it is with keys.

 This is the print I got - I used Opulence paint in Briza - I love the way the sponge creates texture.

Yesterday I cut a heart and sponged onto a surface previously worked with a screen and layers using a stencil and paint. If you want to see the compressed sponge , go here - you get an A4 sheet and my notes and a pattern sheet so it is pretty good value.

Today I read a  blog entry by Liz Kettle on what is happening in the arty teaching industry - I agree with what she says. Things and times have changed. Back in 1995 when we started in business with The Thread Studio I must have demonstrated to 100s and 100s with new ideas and we ran loads of Playdays in different places throughout Australia showing people how to use all the new stuff they had never seen before. Remember all the freebies were not available on the internet back then. In 2001 I started my Playways on the Net course and I cannot tell you how many people enrolled. I do believe I was one of the first to run on-line courses. When I introduced my Embellish Stitch Enrich class I was rather gobsmacked at the numbers who enrolled and with Ratty Tatty Papers - likewise. Now - on-line teaching is two a penny whether they be good or bad. Technology has rushed ahead like a lightning attack but sometimes it is all too much. I have just taught big classes in Adelaide and I am very grateful that so many people came - and paid their money. I actually think there are too many courses happening - too many people maybe jumping on the band wagon and a lot are not that good. (this is not blowing my own trumpet) Teaching takes a lot of work - preparation - worry - personal development etc. I don't give notes any more for three reasons - one is that I change my mind and think of new ideas as I go - the second is that people tend not to listen as they either read the notes and follow or file them away and ask you what you have written down - and the third is that they simply copy them and use them as their own teaching notes.
Interesting times not helped by the huge flux of bad books appearing - I really hate seeing someone whose work and techniques I admire being copied badly and money being made.

Rant over.

On Wednesday we took half a day off and went to Safety Bay for a wonderful crab fest with Val and Jim who had got up and gone out crabbing in the morning so we could eat and drink in the afternoon. It was fabulous.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Workshop 2 in Adelaide

My second workshop was titled Fabrik-Fun and it was the first time I have taught this as a stand alone so I was a little anxious and it was also a big class in a not quite so perfect classroom. But they were wonderful and told me they enjoyed it all.

We did some dry felt my style before stitching - it is all supposed to be relaxing.

Some lovely velvet being stitched in. You can't go past beautiful hand dyed silk/rayon velvet.

Some great weaving coming up - have I ever said I love weaving and stitching ?

Another delightful piece

This one is so ethereal - love it

Another work underway

And the leaves around the school were such glorious colours

Catherine had a great time here - weaving and making sari ribbon flowers

Then we got to some other sorts of weaving

Lovely layers and embossed velvet and stitch

Weaving more

And more stitch

And more weaving

And some more weaving - wonderful colours

Wonderful colour move

Annette was working away on her tiny corner creating some great stuff


And starting to to stitch and place

And Julia had fun with my special velvet and prefelt technique

Some weaving


More weaving - these people used colour and texture so well


Colour just lovely

And my little effort - embossing on velvet ribbon and weaving and stitching - still to finish

As you can see, there was loads of lovely work produced and I hope they keep on with them. I am still unpacking my suitcase with my samples and supplies!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Wonderful week in Adelaide

I had a wonderful time teaching in Adelaide at the Embroiderers Guild Summer School - two big and fabulous classes and I must thank them all for their enthusiasm and talent and hard work.

The first two days were my Text-tile - paper - cloth - text and images although I think we failed with a bit of the text - just difficult to get through everything in the time.

We played with napkins - tissutex - newspaper (my new discovery which I plan a lot more of)

Annette worked diligently away in her tiny corner and produced so many fabulous pieces

Start of some newspaper play

Some ethereal stuff happening

Some simple image transfer - I had a few but went for one

This is mine - actually was a disaster but I love what I have done and as soon as I have time I have plenty to try

Fabulous use of skeleton leaves and stencils

And this one too

Some lovely layers

I loved how this grew too

Catherine's was great - you just need to turn your head on an angle

A paper napkin in action

Annette working more wonders but you need to turn your head again

And lived this

Ands another which I loved

Using stencils on silk paper

Some layers again - turn your head again

And Karen had fun

Another wonderful layering

Loved this one

And how this turned out too from simple stitch - we played with loads of different stuff - wonderful class - these sorts of happenings make me think heaps on the hop and are so stimulating

Tomorrow I will show work from my second workshop


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