Sunshine, warmth and of course rain (it is Britain), and the garden is getting busy. In the quest to be too busy to mow the lawn or cut the hedge I have been quite diligent in exploring the idea of the textile garden.
It began well; layers, lines shapes, but then it went all cutesy and fluffy minded. OK, one target was to create an easily accessible method and style for teaching. Mackintosh flowers later and that was done, shame about the rest.
In the time honoured manner I tried to make progress by going sideways. Sketching focused the mind and made me think about how I wished to use line, colour, shape etc. Then a taster pack of Setacolor fabric paints arrived. The initial experiments with them were only partly successful –
I was playing with getting the balance of line and colour wash, handling the interaction and density of colours and then seeing what would happen with a spot of over dyeing. So, the lines are tooo heavy in one area and too fugitive in another, the colours went muddy but it has potential.
And then, can I translate drawing and painted lines into stitch? For some reason I chose a touchy feelly base fabric rather than flat calico- a two tone velvet. I trid to bleach it to break up the colour but very little happened apart from wreaking the pile so it is now rather crushed. The rayon threads work well although the varigated fades in and out a bit too much. Single lines are swallowed by the nap and colours will probably need to be more saturated than usual. The high contrast bobbin thread being pulled to the top surface is looking promising.
Questions will be about scale? how much definition or detail? how do the fabric inclusions work with the line? How much realism? is it visual texture or actual lumps and bumps? Plenty to play with! Trying to re educate is always a pain but I am beginning to like the jumbles/intricate layers of shapes and want more spaces and less lump. I have painted some scrap silk to tear and apply with the same shapes and colours I want to stitch. Quite looking forward to next week!
Thank you to all who supported my sale event, very sucessful though there are still a few pieces waiting for a new home. Check out my facebook or website for a fortnightly offer. I have also volunteered to take over writing the monthly newsletter for the York Textile Artists group. I did warn them and hope they don’t expect me to be too sensible!