It has been a long time between posts! I have finished working as the Education Officer for the Quilt Association, although I will still work with some of the C&G students who began with me. I can now pursue my own art textile endeavours in earnest. Nothing like jumping in at the deep end so I had two different workshops in two days this week! Different, but equally absorbing.
On Wednesday I visited the Wooden House for a workshop with Laura Kemshall. What a beautiful village Worfield is, and Laura has created the perfect space to encourage creativity. There are few days better spent than in the studio all day long, but if you add to that great coffee, superb cakes and biscuits, and a delicious lunch you haven’t had to make yourself, plus the gentle, knowledgable, and generous mentoring of Laura then that day cannot be improved upon. As an introduction to a series that may be ongoing, we practiced using tracing as a starting point for design development.
I am still working on the themes of Dreamland and my grandmother, (which unite in the true theme which is ME!) and working up tracings from images of the fairground’s big wheel took me away from the pull of the representational which drags me down like quicksand, and I was very pleased with the abstractions.
In the afternoon, recharged after homemade soup and focaccia made by Linda, we applied our design skills to mono-printing. It is a technique I adore and consider to be a staple of my repertoire, but there is always something to learn and I do not by any stretch consider myself experienced, let alone expert. One aspect of Laura’s method that I found interesting was her use of water-soluble print medium – I was able to bring another area of contrast into my prints and pick up colour from underneath. All the colour in these images is from leftover Brusho, (apart from some marks made with watercolour pencils) the dregs from various pots. Brusho is another j’adore medium – a can’t go wrong product! Another technique we were able to try out is frottage over florist’s wire – I used graphite sticks.
The next day, (phew) I attended a lovely workshop organised by Region 13 CQ group which meets in Frodsham. Alice Fox taught Lost and Found.
Now, whilst I adore found objects in other people’s work, I am a bit lost when it comes to using them in my own. The other challenge was that, living surrounded by breathtaking scenery in Mid Wales, I have never felt up to the challenge of doing it any justice whatsoever in my work. Well the day with Alice goes to show that adventuring outside your comfort zone can pay dividends.
I had one of those lovely absorbing days spent working with your tongue partly stuck out so intense is the concentration. Alice took us through several permutations, all of which have myriad possibility. I worked directly into a small sketchbook and can and will continue until it is full.