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?

Friday, 16 April 2010

Folksy Friday

We all need friends in this world, especially when times are tough. My Friday picks have friendship as a theme.

incy wincy stitches tags
card pincushion
pendant friends pendant
1. Berry bunny and friends fabric button set from incy wincy stitches
2. Best friends forever duo tags from Jupiter Rocks
3. Friends card from Cardmadfairy's Card Creations
4. Turtle and friends pincushion from linziloop
5. Friends wooden pendant from Zoe Woods
6. Running friends and puppy resin necklace from A Resin Revival

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Join a craft guild

A craft guild is a fantastic organisation to belong to if you are a designer and creator. Self-regulated with a committee of members ensures that a high standard of workmanship is maintained. I belong to two craft guilds in Norfolk, the Norfolk Craft Guild and the Blakeney Craft Guild. Both offer opportunities to exhibit in good locations at an affordable cost with the support that a guild has at its heart. 
You must be willing to participate in the activities that a guild organises, sit on the committee if invited, and enjoy the social events that are planned. I have been a member of the Norfolk Craft Guild for some years now, having first been the newsletter editor and am currently the membership secretary. We have seen an increase in the number of designer makers applying for the guild lately, word must be getting around that it's good to share!
There are a number of guilds listed on the Craft and Design magazine website pages, find them here.
I have included work by some of the members of the Norfolk Craft Guild which show a diverse range of craft skills.

Rosie Hart Julie Hurst
Peter Kingsland Hazel Aldridge
Alan Lansdell Suzanne Lake
1. Rosie Hart - Ceramics
2. Julie Hurst - Raffia hats
3. Peter Kingsland - Wooden toys
4. Hazel Aldridge - Pewter embossing
5. Alan Lansdell - Glass engraving
6. Suzanne Lake - Wooden home decor

Friday, 9 April 2010

Bloomin' lovely!

Chosen from some of my favourite shops on Folksy

flower jug folk art
rose bath bomb necklace
rose necklace tea cosy
Click on the pics for more info
1. Flower jug from Caroline Green Pottery
2. Flora folk art original from Vintage Twist
3. Rose bath bomb from the Sleepy Valley Co
4. Antique tearose necklace from Secret Garden Jewellery
5. Tattered rose necklace from CocoAngelRose
6. Tea cosy set for two from Pretty Goods

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

A knitted tale

Many moons ago I used to be an obsessive machine knitter, a day couldn't go by without knitting a tension swatch or trying out a new punchcard design. I have a City & Guilds in machine knitting, taught it at adult education classes and formed a partnership with two other friends from the same course to sell our machine knit patterns at the national Knitting and Stitching shows. Great days but sadly one of the partners emigrated to America so we wound up the company after 4 years of designing. I don't knit anymore but lately have felt the urge to get the wool out again... so my folksy theme this week is knitting!

knitted bag custom scarf
alpaca gloves spiral bag
striped cushion hat with corsage
Click on the pic to take you to the item
1.  Handknitted handbag from Handmade by Louisa
2. Custom skinny scarf from WildCat Designs
3. Alpaca lacy fingerless gloves from J and J Alpacas
4. Spiral bag - knitting pattern from Claire Crompton
5. Handknitted striped cushion from Sue Wright Handknits
6. Beret beanie and brooch corsage - knitting pattern from CraftConfections

Monday, 5 April 2010

Fabric design

The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts (SCVA) is hosting two exhibitions which run until May 2010. I have visited the Anderson Collection of Art Nouveau but have yet to see the Artist's Studio, food for thought for another day.
The Anderson Collection is a wonderful show of art nouveau pieces collected by Sir Colin and Lady Anderson which includes work by Tiffany, Galle and Lalique. There are some stunning brooches which took my breath away. You have to see the pieces themselves to really appreciate their beauty. After soaking up all this inspiration, I sketched out a design for a fabric repeat.

One piece in the exhibition I also liked is the Tudric pewter clock by Archibald Knox, his lines are very clean. The stylised plant forms in my sketchbook are influenced by this.

I tried different colourways on the computer before deciding which ones to have sampled.

So far I've had 2 colourways sampled but I will play about with more colours to give variations...what do you think?

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Glass with class

If you have some free time this easter weekend you could visit the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich to see the stunning art nouveau glass in the Anderson Collection. In the meantime I have found several pieces of glass from folksy sellers that you might want to collect!

ROSIE MAGUIRE Unique hand-made fused glass bowl
Tulip glass vase Ant on Leaf Sun Catcher
O c e a n F l o o r Glass Face on canvas
1. Fused glass ring by Rosie Maguire
2. Handmade fused glass bowl by David Stephens Glass Art
3. Handpainted tulip glass vase by Clare's Creations
4. Ant on leaf suncatcher by Light the Fused
5. Glass sushi dish by Glassprimitif
6. Glass face on canvas by LW Fused Glass