Saturday, 9 July 2011

Summer School

It hardly seems possible that a week ago I was enjoying a wonderful weekend in the company of some lovely ladies who share my passion for Contemporary Quilting or textile art.  Belstead House in Ipswich was the venue for a whole weekend of hard but stimulating work with Jo Budd.  Other classes being held were with Linda Maynard for Screen Printing and Helen Parrott for hand stitching.  My class with Jo Budd was titled 'From Microcosm to Macrocosm' and would involve painting and printing fabric with a view to producing abstract textile pieces.

I have to confess to being apprehensive about the whole experience but I needn't have worried.  Jo was a very sympathetic and supportive teacher and my fellow classmates were all very friendly.  

On Friday night, after a very enjoyable dinner and a welcome drink, we adjourned to the classroom for a very hectic time making marks with different types of binders, both opaque, white and clear, on different weights of fabric.  These were left to dry overnight and would form a starting point for applying dyes on Saturday morning.  Sadly I didn't photograph this stage of proceedings and anyway, it would have been a very boring photo as some of the marks were barely visible.   

On Saturday after a hearty breakfast, yes, even I ate a cooked breakfast, we got into the business of applying dye mixed with a binder to the prepared fabric and then moved on to making monoprints. 

You can see that our workspace was a hive of industry with none of us really knowing where we were headed. 

To help us view all of our pieces we each had a display board or sheet of insulation board.                         

This was my board. You can see the results of the 'resist' technique at the top of the baord.   I still have to wash those pieces out so Iexpect they will look much different when I've done that.

After dinner on Saturday we adjourned to the gardens for a review of existing work that we had all brought with us. 

The yew hedge provided an impromtu display wall.

Sunday morning saw us up bright and early and back in the studio ironing the fabrics we had printed the day before (before breakfaast, I might add!).  Then the real work began (not that we weren't exhausted already!).

Jo was keen that we should all work in natural daylight so work stations were moved to take advantage of any available daylight, including the garden.

I had really looked forward to this final part but I found it soooo difficult!  My planned method of constructing a layered seascape didn't seem to work and eventually I threw everything back down onto the work bench and started again. 

These were my second attempts:

While I felt that a lot of my fabrics had similar marks these three above, together with a sheer overlay on the lower right area, looked as though they would work.  With Jo's input they grew into this:

It made quite a difference widening the view and I don't know why I didn't try this myself.

The arrangement above became split to give this

and I have a couple more possible compositions to work with.  The idea now is to use stitch both to bond the pieces to their base fabrics and also to provide surface interest and texture.  You may have a while to wait as I have to finish my quilt for Festival of Quilts first.

A quick glimpse of the screen printing room.

and of the hand stitching room.  We were all so busy that there was very little time to look at everyone else's work although there was provision in the schedule for this.

Well, I have more to bring you up to date with but I'd better save it for another post or you will be nodding off!  I apologise for the randomness of image size when you click on in this post but I've got a new laptop and I am also working with Photoshop Elements 6 and I'm not familiar with all its eccentricities, most particularly how it stores it's photos.  I seem to be saving countless copies of things in various folders.  I've also taken so many photos lately that I just havn't had time to re-size them all.


Moogsmum said...

Your weekend looks wonderful! I love seeing how your work progressed as the weekend went on and I can't wait to see what you do with it :o)


jan said...

Looks a fab weekend, great to see everyone's work. x

Heather said...

A fascinating post Julie - your weekend sounds amazing. Such a lovely venue and weather kind enough to let you work outside too. Love the colours you are working with, and I hope you aren't too exhausted. Looking forward to seeing the results when you have caught up with yourself.

magsramsay said...

Thanks Julie for showing what was going on inside while I was outside! I thinbk you've got potential for several interesting pieces.

Dosfishes at Sparkle Days Studios said...

I think my comment disappeared. What a wonderful workshop, and I am surprised you are not exhausted by all this activity. Wonderful results and I am sure we will see much more emerging from you when you have had time to take this all in. xox Corrine

Julie said...

YOu're welcome Mags. I do have a few more that may go up yet, including one with a glimpse of you working in the conservatory. If you'd like me to email you them just let me know.

Emma said...

Love all the work from a w/e printing dyeing coming together in a piece (or 3) - you used one of my faorite bits. Lovely.

Thanks for your helpful tips re twigs! Do you need to bother to resize pics? It takes sooo long & most of us have bb.

Fenland Textile Studio said...

Sounds like you had such a good time. I love Jo Budds work. Lokoing forwards to seeing you on Saturday.


Jackie said...

That looks like a really useful and inspiring course. Lucky you. I think you have some great pieces there.I hope I see you at FoQ.

Angela said...

Ok Julie I admit it I'm drooling with jealousy. You obviously had a great time and your work looks lovely.I look forward to seeing it develop.

quilthexle said...

Looks like you had a GREAT time - will be fun to see what you do with your newly created fabrics!

JP said...

it looks like you had afabulous time

Anonymous said...

ooo I'm quite envious! Looks like you had a wonderful productive time. Looking forward to seeing how some of your work progresses.

Anonymous said...

So many really interesting techniques in one weekend! And it looks like many of them show the potential to work into much further.

Jacquelines blog said...

It looks like you had a great time!

Linda said...

Goodness, what a hectic (but amazing :-) weekend! Looking forward to seeing what you do next....