Sunday, 24 October 2010

Norfolk Craft Guild

We have now completed our second week of our autumn exhibition at the Loft Gallery, Blickling Hall, Aylsham, Norfolk, only one more week to go. We have had lots of interested visitors and lots of lovely comments about the work on display. I thought that I'd share some of the photos that I took of the displays, so here they are. If you haven't been yet it's well worth the visit!

Monday, 23 August 2010

Festival of Quilts 2010

I have just spent a wonderful Sunday at the NEC in Birmingham at the Festival of Quilts. This is the major quilt event in Europe and has an international flavour. Lots to see, lots to buy, enthusiastic demonstrators and fantastic workmanship in the quilts on display made it thoroughly enjoyable, even to a non-quilter like me! The following pics are just a few that caught my eye as we were walking around, so feast your eyes!

Friday, 23 July 2010

Blakeney Craft Guild

Every year in July I take part in the month long exhibition at Blakeney on the north norfolk coast. There is a lovely mix of crafts from textiles through to pottery, wood, metal and glass. The exhibition is staged by the committee so that all crafts are mixed together which makes you see something different every time you walk round the two rooms. We have visitors that come back year after year and many are already buying their christmas presents! There is usually a demonstration taking place, I always demonstrate my silk painting when I am on stewarding duty. I have included a few pics taken on one of the days that I was there, you can see that the weather was glorious which makes eating lunch outside a real treat. 

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Pass the salt please!

One technique that I have always used from the word go is the application of salt to move the paint around the silk to create patterning. You can use any type of salt, the following pics show the results using coarse sea salt. Finer table salt will give less dramatic patterning but will be equally unique. After applying paint the salt must be placed while the paint is still wet but not flooding. You then leave the whole frame to dry naturally making sure that the frame is not disturbed. When dry brush off the salt, fix the silk and then wash to remove all traces of salt.
Frame showing the salt applied to wet paint.
The patterning increases dramatically the longer that the salt is left to work.
The finished silk taken off the frame, salt removed, fixed and washed ready to use.
I used the silk pieces for my silk fronted notebooks.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Tulip mania

Highly prized in the 17th century by the Dutch, the tulip gained a remarkable following leading to tulip mania. Tulips became a status symbol and sold for vast prices. Undeniably beautiful I took this photo this week of tulips growing. I love the strong bold image and this has inspired my folksy picks this week. Click on each pic to take you to the folksy shop.

dick and franny hannah madden
sparrow primitives edith ceramics
clair loves dinky daisy

Friday, 7 May 2010

Multicolour Folksy Friday

With the Guild exhibitions coming up soon, one aspect that puts craft shows in a different light is the demonstration table. At both the Blickling Hall and Blakeney Craft events you can usually see a designer maker working on their craft and giving an insight into their working practise. At Blakeney last year I had a piece of silk stretched on a frame which I had freely outlined with small flowers. The idea was that visitors to the table could have a go and paint a flower, and many did! I like to think that I might have encouraged some to take up the craft. Here's the result of that day... my folksy friday picks are multicolour florals, very uplifting. Click on the pic to take you to each shop.
the linen cat mollimoo
once upon a charm lou peajeux
leanne woods designs same same but different

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Folksy Friday

Tenuous link with my last blog, as I had used peach yarn my friday picks all have a peachy look! Aren't they gorgeous? Click on the pic for a link to each folksy shop.

the crafty bride hanni may designs
zara taylor sarah culleton
photography by brideen beautiful things

Looking to the past

I have just come across some of my sketchbooks that I worked on for my City and Guilds in machine knitting. I still have the original garments, I can't bear to part with them! One project that I worked on was based on historical influences. Looking through books on the history of costume design is fascinating and as I lived in an edwardian house at the time I was drawn towards the fashions from that era. I had already designed a floral repeat pattern using a flower motif from an inlaid 18th century cabinet panel.
Trying colourways
Final garment sketch and colour swatch
Final garment with plainer sleeves

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Just a little alcohol goes a long way...

Any of you that paint on silk will be familiar with the alcohol technique. For those of you that don't paint on silk you may be surprised to know that it doesn't mean having a wee dram before starting the project.
Alcohol is used to displace the dye to form patterns by painting onto dry unfixed dyed silk. It will only work with dyes, not silk paints, as long as the silk dye has not been fixed. My sequence of pics show the process in stages.
1. After stretching the silk on the frame I painted it using 3 colours of water based dye. I didn't blend the colours, I let them find their own edges.
2. When the dyes have dried I can start to 'paint' using the alcohol. You can see the shapes starting to appear as the dye is pushed to the edges of the brush shape.
3. More alcohol is added. I was going for vague flower shapes.
4. Texture was added to the background by adding spots of alcohol with the tip of the brush.
5. The alcohol will dilute the colour of the dye so more colour can be added if it's starting to look too washed out. I also added more spots. Sometimes it's difficult to know when to stop!
6. The finished piece of silk taken off the frame but before I have fixed the dye. The fixing process is a lengthy steam using an old steamer over a saucepan of simmering water being very careful not to let any water touch the silk. Not sure what I'll use it for yet, it's about 45cm square, any ideas?