Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Upcycled Nuno Felt Scarf

On Thursday, I went to a workshop at Heartspace Studios in Bristol run by  feltmaker Kirsten Hill-Nixon to learn more about nuno felting with silk.  I have tried samples before but only small pieces using very open weave fabrics such as muslin, so I was interested to see how it would work with silk, and also to take advantage of the table space available to work a larger piece.

Kirsten had asked us to bring old bits of  fine silk such as scarves and had some she had bought at charity shops.  The lovely pink is a scarf passed on by a friend; it had gone into holes but as it has sentimental value,  she asked me to use it and give her something back - you can see in the picture that I made a separate piece for her.  The long strip of orange/brown fabric is a charity shop find and the rest are odd bits and offcuts I have dyed.  I didn't have a planned colour scheme so just made a patchwork of rough squares and rectangles and hoped it would work.  The felt is going to shrink by around 50% ,so at this stage it is around 2 metres long and 50cm wide.

Next stage is laying out the wool tops.  I chose some lovely striped wool from Kirsten's stash which had all the colours in my fabrics. They have to be laid very thinly (which took rather a long time) and then lots of rubbing and rolling - at this point I stopped taking photos and got stuck in, but you can see more work in progress shots on Janet Haigh's blog.

And the finished piece - now about 90cm by25cm.

 It is a bit too short to knot around my neck, so I stitched together the rolled edges from the pink scarf and made a little strap (woggle? is that the right word?).  I love the feel of this material, the silk has scrumpled up and has a soft sheen while the back is cosy soft wool.  Using the striped wool top has calmed the colours down and brought them together.

Finally, I made the little piece up into a wobbly notebook.


Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Behind the scenes with Zandra Rhodes

Just a quick post to recommend this website Zandra Rhodes Digital Study Collection: TUTORIALS -a collection of short videos going through the design process.  I like her comments about keeping a sketchbook, even the pages you are ashamed of.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

North Somerset Arts Week

Well, the course may be finished but there is still plenty to do.  Next week I am at North Somerset Arts Week with Gordano Textile Artists so I have been enjoying myself making some things to sell. 

Acrylic Pendants (5)

These pendants combine acrylic with weaving and bonded fibres – I drew the shapes I wanted for the acrylic and had them laser cut by RazorLAB.

NSAW cards (1)

NSAW cards (2)

And some cards using my machine embroidery designs.  The dragonfly is on bonded threads and the heart is tiny strips of fabric with butterflies.

We are showing at Purbeck Lodge, Lake Road, Portishead BS20 7JA from 9-12th May, open 11-4.  It is easy to find as it is opposite the cafe and car park, and if the weather is kind we will be serving tea and cake in the garden.  Pop in if you are in the area, there is sure to be lots to see.  I am stewarding on Thursday and Friday if you want to say hello