Sunday, 24 February 2013

Wendy Dolan Workshop

I've just had a very busy and exhausting but most rewarding three days attending a  2 Day workshop with the textile artist Wendy Dolan and an Area Day for Region 10 of the Quilters' Guild.  The aim of the workshop was to explore the creation of texture with fabrics, mediums and stitch.  The theme for the workshop was architecture.  

Wendy is a very friendly and generous teacher and shared so much knowledge with us over the course of the two days and through the talk she gave to the Area Day on Saturday.   We were all kept extremely busy throughout and as I work quite slowly I did find myself falling behind a bit here and there but by the end of this afternoon my piece was well on its way for completion at home.

I can't share the whole process with you as that would be unfair to Wendy but I can show you parts of the journey.


I thought I should keep things simple so I chose this door and stonework that we came across in Knaresborough last year.  We were tasked to trace the main lines and details of our source material and then to use various fabrics of differing textures and mediums including Xpandaprint, to construct a base for stitching and painting. 


The tracing provides a guide to placing the network of fabrics.  

After securing the fabrics with stitch the next task was to make a paper colour collage and then to choose pigments and apply them to colour the surface.   Rather than apply realistic colour we were encouraged to use abstract areas of colour.  I chose to work in a monochrome and you won't be surprised that turquoise was my chosen colour.  You could use fabric paints for this part of the process but we used screen printing inks with an extender.  If I remember rightly that is what Jo Budd uses in her work too.

With the fabric painted and dry we set to with the free machining.  Initially the main lines were stitched from the reverse and once they were established we continued to work from the front.  

This is the stage up to stitching the main lines from the reverse.


At the end of the day today we all gathered to share our inspiration and the progress so far of our work.  I have a lot more work to do in free machining but I am pleased with the way it is taking shape and I have learned a lot, not least about making use of the settings on my machine to make life easier when free machining.  

On Saturday, between the two workshop days, we went back to the venue for the Area Day where Wendy was the guest speaker.  If you follow this link you will be able to see some of the commissions that Wendy has worked on.   These commissions were on a mammoth scale and I am full of admiration for her skill in bringing them to fruition.  Wendy also described her work in some detail and passed round samples of some of the stages her work goes through and which we had been working on in the workshops.

Working from a landscape source the image above shows the prepared fabric base on the left and a painted and stitched image on the right.  Wendy also employs small pieces of agricultural fleece ironed on to create a resist in lighter areas and you can see this in the clouds.

We were shown many other examples of Wendy's work and all the while I was getting inspiration for ways to use her methods to explore texture and colour in my work.  In particular I can see other ways of working the wall hanging that I made for the Festival of Quilts last year.





I havn't up to now worked in anything you could call a series but I am now asking 'what if' about the way I constructed this piece and may explore it with the skills I have learned this weekend for this year's FOQ.  For now though I need to finish off my wokshop piece with further stitching and possibly with added colourwork which could be in paint or inktense pencil etc.

16 comments:

Maggi said...

I'm glad I popped over before going to bed. I love what you have done and can see that it is going to be developed much more. I'm glad that you were inspired enough to think about working in a series, that should be fun. Thanks for taking the comment verification off too. There are times when I haven't a clue what the letters are supposed to be. I can understand it if people are getting lots of spam though.

Emma said...

This is wonderful, fabulous color with the delicate black sketch on top. I saw WD's lovely work a couple of yrs ago at Creative Stitches & I think she'll be there again in 2 weeks ;)great layers she builds up but how does she 'see' it with the plain fabric, then color!

Odile said...

This workshop is very interesting. This is wonderful. Happy continuation.

Heather said...

I love that stone arch/doorway image and the way you have used it. What an inspiring 3 days - hope you aren't paying too dearly for it now. I think I'd be hard pressed to cope with a 2 day workshop!

Peneller said...

Fabulous work Julie. What a treat for you to spend so much time with Wendy and a real treat for me to see your work! I hope you're having a relaxing day today!

Corrine at sparkledaysstudio.com said...

Oh wonderful examples Julie. I can see you have a lot going on here and will wait to see the finishes pieces to get the full effect. You always take great workshops. xox

Wendy said...

Love it - are you going to bring it on Wednesday?

Jill said...

Great work, I'm always fascinated to see drawings and photos translated into textiles. Looking forward to developments.

liniecat said...

I love Wendy's work......lucky you to explore her techniques. It will be great to see where you take your own piece

sharon young said...

Looks like an amazing weekend, your piece turned out beautifully, looking forward to seeing it stitched. I think the idea of a series is great, I'm thinking of doing the same.

sweetypie said...

cr that looks really inspiring a really good workshop, your piece from last year was brilliant it would be good if you worked on a series, see you tomorow

pam said...

Yeh that workshop sounded great - I love the archway and doors - look forward to seeing more of your work on this

Linda said...

Love the way you explain your techniques Julie....you are so good at sharing with us. And your work is always inspiring. I particularly like the paper collage; thats a work of art in itself!
xx

Jackie said...

this is such an inspiring post Julie. I love the step by step description but most of all I love your source . I don't come here often enough.

Angela said...

You clearly enjoyed the workshop it shows in your work. I love the stonework interpretation.

underatopazsky said...

That was fascinating to see and read about the stages in your door piece. I think it looks lovely already so am looking forward to seeing the finished piece.