Monday, 4 November 2013

Three go on an adventure!

Just over a week ago two friends and I set off on an adventure to Cornwall to take a workshop with Anne Griffiths who teaches embroidery, amongst other things.  I had booked the course way back in March and thought the months would never pass but finally the day arrived and Wendy, Tina and I set off. 

The terrible duo enjoying a free day in St Ives :-) (I was there too).

The venue was a beautiful farm complex on the hills above Mevagissey.

The studio was on the top floor and accommodation on the ground floor, with further accommodation in cottages on site.

This was our working (and living) space, with a lounge area at the far end and the kitchen behind me.  If nothing else I got plenty of exercise over the course of the week going backwards and forwards between the various areas.  

Unfortunately the week didn't go quite as planned as bad weather stopped us getting onto the beach as planned on the first day, so we had to resort to existing experiences of the beach and finds we had brought with us.

Our first task was indigo dyeing, which I hadn't tried before and I've got some interesting results.

 A previously procion dyed orange and blue piece from Wendy overdyed in indigo using rubber bands for resists.
 A dip-dyed doilly that I was going to cut up but now I'm having second thoughts.

I was delighted with this silk velvet piece above that I used bottle tops and rubber bands on to create resists.

I intend to use the piece above in a vertical orientation to suggest waves or movemnet underwater.  Horizontal lines were stitched across it and the threads pulled up firmly to make the resists.
 It's difficult to show you the fabric above.  It's silk organza that was first dyed in onion skins, again with rubber band resist, and then unrolled and re-rolled, rubber banded and dyed in the indigo.  The marks I have got are very subtle and fade out across the fabric.

The marks above were made with Fast Black K (a type of potassium) which leaves a reddish tint when washed through.  Anne has made extensive use of this in her work.   I havn't yet washed my piece at all.  

 If you are wondering what the marks are underneath the fabrics above they are drawings from an online workshop I have been trying to keep up with with Dionne Swift.  More of that later.

Sketchbook work followed spurred on by Anne's own work and ideas garnered from being in a group situation.

 Collage fishes with a dorset button sea creature,

Wing needle stitching on silko fabric using some pre-programmed stitches,

 My favourite, suffolk puff-style pebbles in pre-dyed fabrics.

 Self explanatory, scallop shells used as stencils,

Spirally sea-creaturish stitching which merits more work,

My very own sea monster made with a wing needle in scrim and trapped sequins.

 A hessian weaving above which I loved doing and will work with further, given time enough to play.  I pulled out threads on the warp and weft to make room for my threads and fabrics.  

This weaving was made before I went, on a peg loom, and is just a very small sample.  Lots more potential here too.

This piece is about 12" tall and incorporates a piece that I started with Shelley Rhodes (how long ago was that!).  It still needs a little tweaking, maybe at the bottom to balance the bulk at the top but I really like it.  It feels a bit American Indian in a dream-catcher kind of way. (Or should that be Native American?).

If you know anything about me you'll know that my heart is in a certain town in Cornwall and the wonderful Wendy whisked us off for a day of fun and frolic and not a little laughter on our day off.  It was a wonderful sunny day in St Ives and yes, we did manage to get in a little beachcombing (and a pub lunch).

You may be wondering how much stuff three textile artists can cram into a Honda car and above is part of the answer, not to mention 3 suitcases, coats, cardigans, wellies and shopping!  Not forgetting us! lol

The week was challenging, informing, educational, fun and sometimes frantic and we all made new friends and renewed old ones. The venue was Bodrugan Barton and the studio is available to hire for workshops or retreats (or even for family holidays). 


Clare Wassermann said...

Wow fantabulous!! Now I see why you had so much stuff to fit in your car!

Wendy said...

It was very windy the day we went to st Ives, but a wonderful day was had and I have drooled over my beach finds. My sense of humour has returned and I can see the funny side now ;)

Erica said...

Oh Wow! Breath taking...

ju-north said...

Looks like you had a wonderful time and have come away with ideas to keep you busy for years!

Heather said...

What a wonderful workshop and venue, and to go with two good friends is the icing on the cake. You covered so much in your time there and I love all the samples. I look forward to seeing what comes from them.

Lis Harwood said...

Wow, looks like a fabulous workshop and what a great location.

Su said...

Fabulous work and what a great location too.

Lynn Holland said...

You had a seriously good time and I am very jealous

Peneller said...

You certainly produced a lot of good stuff and I'm pleased you enjoyed yourself on the course. I hadn't realised you hadn't used indigo before. We must get a vat going when you come to stay next year!

pam said...

Sounds like you had a great time lovely work and all in your favourite place how good is that

Linda said...

Oh lucky you, what a great experience it must have been! I am very envious.....
Love all your artwork, especially the monster :-)

Gina said...

What a super venue and by the sounds of it a brilliant course too.

Timaree said...

Sounds like it was a busy, rewarding time and you got to bring home so many samples and ideas! The best thing is you got to go with a couple of friends!

Maggi said...

Absolutely scrummy stuff produced. I love the way the sketchbook lines play through the dipped doily. Thanks for reminding me about the wing needle, I haven't used mine for many years, since I did a C&G embroidery, and had forgotten how much I loved the effects.

sharon young said...

What a fabulous week you must have had and in your fav place, I can't think of anything better. I love the doilie piece, the colours are brilliant and it looks great over the paperwork.

JP said...

so glad you had a great time - lots to work on

sweetypie said...

we had fun didn't we,qiute fancy playing with indigo a bit more..

Jan said...

Love these woven pieces. Just had a fun look around your blog and enjoyed my visit. Yes, the one piece does have a Native American essence to it. That one is my favorite of your offerings today.