Archives

June

June means ‘ get over yourself and get on’ or ‘Help! it’s mother’s birthday!’.

P1180069P1180069 (2)Fun to do, Multi coloured layers of spirals in top of blue, and then variegated green on the leaves.

In response to the second – I ‘ve been playing with simplified and stylised flower forms – this is her card, loosely based on hollyhocks. Couldn’t deny the need for bright with the leaf stitch round the edge. Pink and yellow always makes me think of fruit salad chewy sweets from my childhood, but the Mother likes bright.

The stones progress, and to counter balance all of that ethereal stitching  this has been developing –P1180033

It is based on sunlight light through trees, not quite done – the bottom section isn’t quite strong enough yet.  May be a bit of quilting?  Not as defined as I want yet, the rich blue swallows colour as soon as tones get similiar. There is deep red, purple, deep navy, brown and green in those shadows! But it is all stitch….   a lot of stitch, but I like the areas left open in contrst to the density of the light.  Must remember that I don’t want to do needle painting.

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Workshop frenzy!

landscape stones a  Meet the new sanity – these are landscape stones. I don’t understand the idea yet, but …… I enjoy doing them. It is something about fitting flat to 3D and the marks and tucks from the fitting becoming a landscape of lines, well something like that, ish.  At least they are relatively quick – emphasis on relatively –  They either are very right, or very wrong,  I don’t know yet.

Thank you for your support at Open Studios. Another year of interesting and interested people.  One day soon the house will be back together but in the mean time has anyone seen my cache of acrylic paints – colourful messenger style fabric bag?    One of the great things about doing a meet your public event is that it focusses the mind quite effectively.  The work has to be finished of course, but also if somebody asks about workshops it is probably best to have some  organised.

It did take much longer than expected (sorry first weekenders) but a whole new schedule is now together.  The grand plan is a  series of classes and also one off complementary day workshops.  That was the plan…….  hopefully folk will like this flexibility,  only a fortnight to the first intro class so I guess I will soon find out!

Classes, Summer 2018.    Each is 10-1pm, £15,

Introduction  May 4  /  May 6   Setting up, the machine, basic equipmentP1070027 equipment, getting stitching. Trouble shooting

Making Lines Work  May 11 / May 13  Controlling and exploring how to make and use lines to develop character and style in your work. Start to draw with your machine.

Lines- And now to make pictures  May 18 / May 20green lane fran brammer tmb Using lines in different ways in your designs and pictures.  Work with positive and negative ideas. We will go through creating your own design from idea to completion.

Experimenting with Applique  May 27
Different ways of adding fabric shapes to your work- simplehands raw, using precut shapes, stitch patterns, edges. An effective way to add colour, motifs, pattern or textures.

and this is only May.……… deep breath because there are also day workshops,  buttons/badges, twisting tree card makes, and water soluble day, and, and, and… the complete lists are on the Me Page.

I can not recommend freehand machining enough – it tickles the inner anachist and releases a little of that risk taking rebel – all with out wearing lycra or needing a special set of underwear …. unless of course you want to.

landscape stone 3a  Do they look like crop marks, plough patterns, trackways and field boundaries yet?   Will rockeries, riverbeds or beaches in N and E Yorkshire ever be safe again…..?

New Season!

I have been waiting and waiting for the Spring – not the calendar days, but the warmth, the sense of growth, the change in the light….. and a minor explosion of activity has been going on. Pushed  the ghosts of the winter landscape in their subdued colour  and restraint to one side and went back/forwards tofranBrammerListentotheStories1000 the anarchy of the early Summer.

These are all on elderly oilpaintings, rescuedfranBrammerTheOnlyHorizonisUp1000 from the loft and cut off their stretchers. The gessoed canvas is like cardboard but does take a limited amount of stitch, it is quite fun to find out just how much.  The idea is still to work with fragments, part seen, part understood, so   layers of fabric, all different qualities and origins, couched yarns, strips and blocks of text have been added, sometimes working with the image underneath, sometimes working against. Great fun and entirely intuitive.  The text for these is more personal, reflecting some of my thoughts from walking through the Wolds, hills and dales.  Some are very basic observations, others a little more thoughtful.

franBrammerVery Extensive500These needed different framing – the slick modern mouldings were too hard, too ‘finished’. Experiments occurred (denying responsibility) with chalk paint .  Sadly I liked them much more than I expected so have spent days painting, sanding and waxing. Should be all done  for Open Studios, and a lighter, fresher look.

And speaking of Open Studios…………..

Launch/taster exhibition this weekend!!!! ( in the old church at the bottom of Micklegate)

Open Studios week ends are the 14th ( the weekend after!)and the21st.

(oooh. Err.)

The ghost of a landscape

Battles traumas, wrong decisions, naughty scissors and wrongheadedness, but here it is!  What is worse is that I think I like it.   It doesn’t have the delicate ephemeral  lightness I wanted but it is getting close.  The big panel had to be cut as it could not support its own weight even when dry ,so it is not exactly as I wished.

fBrammerwritten wolds standing  The idea is good but composition and execution need to be pushed further.

 

No2 is under way.   Another  muslin panel has been sacrificed but  reduced in height  and dried with a ripple to make it more stable.  The excess landscape is layered behind it.  The proportions are wrong – dumpy.  Rather than rush in with the scissors it is going to have a day’s grace.  The text garment is made – more of the garment this time. Again reservations. The pet en l’air has minimum seam, maximum sacque backfabric but achieves this through layers of pleats at the hip and back- maybe too many,  It doesn’t sit comfortably with the rest.  I could add details such as furbelows  ( only frilly bits, but a great word) to the pet and trail them into the landscape panels.     The  dark tree taking centre stage  is one done on water soluble fabric.  It is an open lacy thing that could be placed anywhere or not at all….answers on a postcard please.  . It is  too cluttered?  so it will spend a day or two extra festering before it is decision time.

wwstanding2

wwstanding2detailOne key problem is that the detail photos are stronger than the whole view. Should these constructs be parts of  not wholes?

Oh well – back to making the whole   house smell again.  This goo is so bad that I even went for a 6 mile walk in the cold and rain , just to get away – it was more of a squelch actually.

 

Hmm

And they’re off!!….. No, they aren’t!…. yes they are…….well, sort of.

Busy week.  Met up with the other textiley makers exhibiting at the York Open Studios, quite a posse of us, all doing a variety of things –  exciting. Went into the York gallery to see the Literature Festival  exhibition and ordered a test batch of greeting cards to be printed.

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Blossom Street Gallery

 

Met up with a local facebook group of sew-ers, (not only did it turn out that I had taught most of them but also that they know where I live!!!)  Went over to the Knaresborough gallery to negotiate over borrowing back some things for the YOS dates – they have sold most of them! Oops.

I have also become detached from the lone remaining braincell, I think it may be in the garden somewhere, dread to think that it might have escaped and  be on the loose wreaking havoc.

As for the work ….. The smelly thing still smells, it is not as I wish but  seems to be the best I am going to get at present. The fabric is stiffer but still flops, it is not rigid. It has a nasty plastic sheen in places. Adding more of the goo adds more to the nasty bits than corrects the problems, so…..

Stitched text onto some very fine cotton and pleated it to make into half of a pet-en-l’air. (A sack back 18thC jacket – lots of fabric, very few seams.)  This has been goo-ed and is just about set. P1170798

 

I left a lot of waste fabric on the pet to help to meld it onto the big smelly landscape and hopefully they will start to support each other.

 

 

 

 

franBrammerWolds pet en l'airAnother scrap piece is texted ready to be goo-ed and applied if needed. Have also thought of a system of uprights –  so much for a quick experiment.

franBrammerWolds and petdrying

An idea of the whole – the poles are temporary props.

 

 

Decided to do some small intensely stitched bits as light relief…… but only if I can put up with the smell!

blossom st gallery for local linkMajor countdown is starting!   Time to stop thinking about doing things and decide to do them or not, and then get on.

5 major new pieces and the current workbook are now on show in York. They are safe, totally finished , so I can forget about them for a bit. Shame I didn’t make proper records of them before taking in, but too late to fuss now.

The exhibition comes down at the end of March. YOS Logo Short_CMYK 2018 The Open Studios event starts on the weekend of the 14th of April.

2 week turn around. Very do able. Not a problem.

Unless they sell.

Hmm.

 

Finally managed to visualise the next steps in the written landscape series – it is getting more 3D and less of a ‘picture’ outcome.

P1170793

I have several mini garments on the go, different scales, fabrics and degrees of completion and finish.  Most are in a light calico – I had some, it is easy to work with on a small scale and the fabric can take a lot of abuse..   The dresses are  early Victorian work dress and mid  Georgian in style. The Victorian is left open with an incomplete skirt, this might become fused into a landscape.  The short frock coat is a muddle of eras- but has a lot of construction still left to do. If you want to know how it turns out and which, if any are used, you will have to wait until I do!

P1170796 There is also a big muslin landscape  panel smelling the house out, drying on a radiator (fabric stiffener!- water based does not mean odourless).   Exactly how these will come together I have no ( too many) ideas. It may become free standing –  or may not. Depends on how well the stiffener works.

Speaking of which…. time for a second coat of smelly goo.

( I think it is a form of thick PVA-type glue – happy times peeling it off the fingers)

It feels very good to be out on a limb again.

P1170794

 

How to make a cover button badge

P1070033

 

Ok, not one of my most memorable titles but  it will have to do! (sub title – clearing out those scraps and demo pieces)

A simple run through of my making process.

  1. First buy your cover button. Mine are large – 39mm across with a  wire loop that makes the shank (which I remove!) .   If you have not met these before, they come in 2 parts – a domed top  and a snap in back .
  2. Prep the back.  I want a brooch back, as I have P1070035yet to find glue strong enough to withstand me, I punch or drill holes and sew the brooch back in place then add glue to make it solid.
  3. Do the fun bit – make the top embroidery.  Handy hints – thin fabric, leave no lose ends to P1070038unravel, and remember it needs to be a bit  bigger than the button top and add on a margin for assembly. I usually aim for a circle about an inch bigger than the button but only cut it out after sewing.
  4. Running stitch around the edge of the embroidery and use to gather in.
  5. Pop in the button top  ( I remove the wire loop that made the shank of the finished button) and pull tight. Get the design centred and push the fabric onto the metal teeth around the inside of the button top.

  6. Line up the button back and snap the two together.

DONE.

These are fun and quick. What is more impressive is that most of it can happen on the sofa while watching the Winter Olympics!