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Peeled and resewn

Once it was a flat piece of cloth, then it  encased a stone, then it was broken off and made flat again, showing all the c

landscapestone peeled

First stages- tacked on and a few lines stitched.

uts, folds and pleats  as pattern and scars.

It is now being stitched down to hold its shape and its history.  The backing cloth has had its own saga,  loosely snagged up in elastic bands before tea staining and then  drenched with dilute inks.  The plain cloth was too machined and perfect, this now is offering more.

It is slow at present – hand stitching outwards, following lines and seams. I have tried to raise some, the backing is a bit thick but it is trying to behave.

I have tried various threads, matching the ones sewn with on the stone and also experimenting with the frayed threads of the backing fabric.  It may be an odd shape but I have hopes – It has a sense of landscape,  it has a sense of having evolved rather than being  designed. There are plenty of decisions still to make – blending over some of the edges to hide the fusion of the two  layers of fabric,  how neat to stitch,  how much to stitch, whether to work in some paint, how about pencil marks and shading, or graphite powder?

Some of these techniques are covered in my classes and workshops – check out the list on the Want to Try page.

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Peeling a Stone.

P1170934 Landscape stones are go -ish!

I do like these, they feel right.  Forming and deforming to fit a 3d form – it does feel like creating landscapes. And it does feel like those rolling hilltops, the field patterns and plough marks.

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The fabrics are getting  flimsier, stitching is getting more descriptive  rather than pretty.  I’ve enjoyed playing with surfaces – smearing thick paint into all of those little places  and rubbing and rubbing.  The last stone I decided to strip the fabric off – this is after about 3 hrs of stitch, then painting and drying-  and then had to break the fabric to lay it flat again. WHY! Took ages to free the fabric ‘skin’ as the paint had acted like a glue and also made the fabric more rigid, So still why? playing with that flat-to-3d form  idea, wanting to see how the patterns that were a response to the individual stone, could work without the stone. Hope that makes sense.  I guess I have always been fascinated by that kind of transition, and that 3d makes me want to touch to ‘see’ it properly, while 2d I just look at, so the transition may be in my understanding and response.

I am toying with extending the stitch marks- may be quilting, or at least stitching outwards trying to match the different qualities of the stone stitches –  contrasting with machine stitch might help or hinder….

Tried putting it on a textured landscape sample – similar colour-  this could be another route or too muchy muchy samey samey.

Want to rub in more paint, and more paint (the Latex Gloves of Clamminess) how about graphite powder…….powdered pigment?  looks like an aerial photograph….. keep focus on the little details,   keep monochrome? too many ideas, not enough biscuits.

Sanity may suffer.

Remember to check out the classes and workshops-  and if local, Bridget Bernadette Karn is exhibiting in the cemetery chapel first weekend in June – worth a look.

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.

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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.

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Badges and brooches.

yos badgesStraight from why do I make them so big, to why are they so small!   Who likes easy…..

These are for York Open Studios – The last few big pieces are so layered and complex they are going to be silly expensive…..   the badges are going to be pocket money prices, so hopefully can fill that little impulse buy spot.

These are fun and quick to do –  only 1.5″  across. They are modified cover buttons  with a brooch back attached, so quite easy to make up and pretty robust.   The only difficulty is the change in scale. It is so tempting to go slow and to be careful – if I do that then I get big awkward stitches, so have to stitch as fast as I dare!

The other limitation is keeping the fabric lightweight – not getting carried away with too much stitching or applique bits – thicker fabric is more difficult to stretch over the button – so I have had to hoop it using my vintage Bernina’s darning hoop rather than using stabiliser. It is so small!!! but does work a treat.

Went back up to Barnyarns on Monday with the ladies who come to my “open \house\” mornings – some of these mini broideries are testing out the new polyester variegated threads –  – their Polyneon range.  Really pleased with them.

Taking work into Blossom Street Gallery next YOS Logo Short_CMYK 2018week for the York Literary Festival – that will be on for the whole of March.

And don’t forget YOS starts the weekend of April 14th.

Complete.

Consider now that this part is written.  I have sandwiched it between acrylic sheets so that I can’t get to it to tweak.  It is done, dialogue is over, arguments are finished. (hope)

 

fran Brammer Writing the Wolds wix

I have deliberately left it raw – elements are untidy, thread tails left on, it is after all about histories,  they are never as tidy as we would wish and will soon include now and next so don’t ever really finish.  The layers and fragmented quality is still strongly there, but that is how I see these places –  an accumulation of influences and needs , altered and adapted,  not always coherently or aesthetically.

These pieces should go on exhibition for the Literary festival in York in March and then for the York Open Studios in April.YOS Logo Short_CMYK 2018  Framing decisions are being painful – every thing looks wrong, maybe need more marmite in my life- but it is going to happen, I need to see them out and about.

Looking at them all as a group  is quite unsettling. I have been wolding now for the best part of a year and it is still changing.  I tried to put the slideshow in order, starting with Huggate – strong colour and pattern, then through the abstracts to the last 3 written ones. There is a sense of belonging together but only if you see them all.  Spot the summer ones and the winter ones!

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I have also put a few more dates on my website for starters’ workshops and for the more adventurous, please take a look.

 

 

 

 

Progress

 

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Well the body of the piece is together, all the water soluble is washed out, leaving great water marks. As predicted some of the lettering has unravelled, decided to encourage it in the background areas to start a sense of aerial perspective. I have been plucking at the trees on the right ready to work over on machine, even did some hand stitching on the big one to give a bit more colour and texture/pattern to it.

The text is White’s (1840) in the background, Baines’s Yorkshire (1823) in the middle and a Domesday Book translation for Pocklington (1086) in the front-  thank heaven for Google books and the local library.      Now thinking that it should have been the other way round, the oldest at the back as the history the other two were built on. A bit late now, live with it decision made.

Next on the task list is to establish the landscape fully, bringing in more colour and surfaces. The lettering is to be part of the land, not separate from it or superimposed upon it. Lots to do, but I think the back of it is broken now and it should be faster and faster towards the finish now.

Having ideas is such a pain,  If this was a simple, straightforward image it would be done-ish. I’ve been at this for weeks and it is just getting to the picture stage! Pah.

Progress may be a little delayed, so I don’t recommend the holding of breath. Am having a bit of a self pity wallow post dentist visit, and have promised to paint the workroom! Double Pah.

Landscape.

I decided it was time. All the elements were coming together, at least in the head.  The vision was nearly there.  Time to get to grips with more than the visual again.

England is a very lived in landscape. It wears the past up front, it has been altered, adapted,  scarred, as needs and fashion dictated.  This isn’t the romantic wilderness but a  work place.WHERN K WELL

I have spoken before of  tenuous thoughts of how to combine the different strands of my work, the flat work and the historical costume, of how they should entwine,  and this may be the most successful  attempt so far.

I want this to be made of parts, remnants and fragments of things,  a landscape of layers and ghosts, of things half seen, half understood.

P1170577It is worked over a found piece of crewel work, a chair back. The style has roots in the Jacobean designs, even the idea of a chair back or antimacassar is an old one ( They were to protect the furniture from the late Georgian’s hair oil!) Some will be unpicked leaving  holes to mark the pattern. Some will be exposed, some painted into the background.

On top of this are the usual lines and divisions of a landscape, but these are muted in colour and are worked across with text from an 1840 publication. I had thought of using text from the Domesday book, but it seemed contrived, this will take more plotting.

The text is also worked across the next layer-  a miniature lawn frock coat split in 2 and laid out along the lines of the landscape. Did make a pig’s ear of doing this – it began with experimenting with writing the text in pen and then washing it out. Fairly safe? It wasn’t . Across the collar and on to the front I had written ‘moors’ but when the coat was washed  the collar  was opened out. It  left me with a collar that quite clearly says ‘moo’. The ‘rs’ on the front had been erased.

The coats are stitched in place and now I am building up more, vintage lace and more strips of lawn.  This is only the beginning.  The coats dominate too much at the moment but the plan is to work the crewel design back on top, maybe  even do some hand work. The cotton lawn is easy to pull and fray or dye, so is open to creative vandalism. I think is definitely going to be made to suffer, it is too ‘nice’ and clean and pretty and delicate and even prissy.

What this will be like next week…. who knows?

General reminders – work is still on show at Art in the Mill, Knaresborough, and in shop windows in York as part of the Micklegate Art Trail.

If you fancy having a go at any these techniques ( not writing ‘moo’ but freehand/motion stitching, etc)  have a look on the workshops tab on the website, or just email me for the latest newsletter.