Tag Archive | sewing

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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May Day Sun

Well it is Bank Holiday…….    How many excuses do you need to sit under the apple tree  and stitch…,

Just plugging away on these landscape stones – trying various scales and also inserting them into  a whole section of cloth.  Not convinced they have mileage in the current form, but it does allow me to be outside in the garden. The sun is warm, the light is soft,  the blossom is so delicately fragrant and alive with bees, have icecream ready. Ignoring the weeding and mowing and clipping and…….P1170875

Just started on the  summer classes and workshops –  I just reall enjoy enjoy teaching in my own place –  everything I could need isright there- but a shame about the tidying up required.   The list is on the Want to try Page (tab on title bar or side menu)

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.

P1070055

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!

Revisiting the revisited – waterloo dress

 

 

 

I made this  so long ago!  A decision to hand sew and embroider  means that I still think it owes me big time!

It began as an idea of a Regency dress (think Jane Austen),  from  a Thomas Lawrence portrait crossed with fashion plates from period publications such as Ackermann’s Repository, and  also some extant examples held in various museums , plus Janet Arnold and Nancy Bradbury.  (take a look at some of my pinterest pages!)   The making is recorded in a  blogger blog

 

 

This has been revisited once in the attempt to tie costume to histories –  giving a context beyond a personal garment.  Quotations from Lady Louisa Lennox’s letters were machined around the skirt. ( She was  the daughter of the Duchess of Richmond who gave the famous ball on the eve of the battle of Waterloo)     This still too pretty for me so it sat in full sun  and was used to wipe down the windowsill !   It has marks of wear and  subtle staining now, some of the stitching has pulled and the evil muslin has escaped in  places – perfect.

 

 

I blame the Winter Olympics – I decided to hand stitch again – the innocent opening line from Magdelene de Lancey’s account ” A Week at Waterloo”, just inside the back neck  (well worth a read – have tissues and a strong stomach).     She wasn’t the only  woman there –  one  served as a  sergeant in the Prussian army,  many more  were on the battle field during the fighting, involved in the conflict, in the care of the wounded  (one had her leg broken by a musket ball as she took her injured husband away from the action.) or in support roles.   The names I  found have I added to the sides, along with a distressing quote from Charlotte Eaton’s account,  did revert to machine stitching for reasons of sanity. Some washing out is still needed – used water soluble fabric as a stabilizer and that seems to like 2 rinses to leave completely.

Waterloo Dress

Soggy frock hanging to dry.

 

 

The additions have changed the feel of the garment for me –  it is now just as much about those women as a pretty dress.

It doesn’t matter how careful I am there are always bits!

Remember- have some workshops happening – check the website for dates and info. Also  get the York Open Studios into those diaries – 10 textiley people exhibiting this year!

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.