Monday, 26 October 2015

Samples 2015: Week 42, Tyre dump

Thousands of tiny circles (not just scribble, honest), free machined on two layers of black Lutradur. Burned out using soldering iron, and applied to rough textured creamy fabric.
Source picture
“Shredder sought for five million tyres dumped in Spain. The 90,000 tonnes of rubber, 400 metres from a housing development south of Madrid, pose a fire and environmental risk.”
Photograph: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty
Sample design
I wanted to capture the contrast between the mountains of tyres and the sandy “valley”. There was only one way to do so many little circles in a reasonable time – free machining. And using a synthetic fabric meant I could burn out the edges, a more suitable effect than cutting. The image suggests grey circles on black, but I had to reverse that because the Lutradur wasn’t dark enough. 

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Samples 2015: Week 41, Button Snakeroot

Blue-brown shaded fine cotton (from Oliver Twists), hand stitched on Somerset paper.

Source picture
From this article in the Saturday Guardian 10/10/15:
“Great plains: my prairie garden. Garden designer Tom Stuart-Smith raised his own prairie garden from seed and was delighted to find it requires a fraction of the maintenance of a conventional border.”
Photograph: Marianne Majerus/Garden Images
Sample design
Those spiky plants were irresistible, especially when I found they were called “Button Snakeroot”! I thought stitching on paper rather than fabric would give a good clean spiky effect.     

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Samples 2015: Week 40, VW

Aluminium, embossed and machine stitched onto black Kunin felt over craft Vilene.

Source picture
From this article in the Saturday Guardian 03/10/15:
“VW drivers in UK to escape higher emissions tax, government vows. Transport secretary calms fears that owners of cars caught cheating emissions tests might be forced to pay higher vehicle excise duty linked to pollution.”
Photograph: AFP/Getty
Sample design
That badge, shiny silver, but not a complete copy… At first  I thought I’d use metallic fabric, then remembered all the real metal leftover from when I made stitched copper and aluminium jewellery and clocks. Aluminium seemed perfect, and just this little bit was enough to remind me of all the snags in stitching metal! Can be quite effective though, maybe I’ll play a little more.    

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

After the Trail

We definitely earned this! Sunday night was a time to collapse in an untidy heap with a glass of something fizzy.
It was a bit nerve wracking opening our house to strangers, but we needn't have worried - the Art Trail went really well. Lots of visitors, especially at the weekend, lots of appreciative comments and fascinating conversations.
This week I'm hoping to get back to some stitching. But first... just one or two things to put away!     

Samples 2015: Week 39, Data Centre Emissions

Machined satin stitch framework on black cotton. Hand stitched loops of bright perle cotton.

Source picture
From this article in the Saturday Guardian 26/09/15:
“How viral cat videos are warming the planet. Datacentre web servers, such as those used by Google and Facebook, to blame for 2% of greenhouse gas emissions – about the same as air travel.”
Inside Google’s data centre in Mayes County, Oklahoma. The firm’s carbon footprint was equivalent to more than 1.7m tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2013. Photograph: Google/Rex
Sample design
Not the most obvious subject for embroidery! But the contrast of bright loopy wires against a rigid grid structure seemed ideal for combining auto machine stitching with free hand stitch.   

Friday, 9 October 2015

Ilkley Art Trail

I’m writing this on and off between visitors, as our home is open for five whole days (!) as part of the Ilkley Art Trail. Sort of a cross between an art trail and open studios, perhaps – with some artists and makers in town centre venues and others in their homes and work spaces.
This house usually looks a bit gallery-ish anyway – the walls are all white to show off the treasures we’ve collected over the years from other artists/makers. But it’s a bit strange living surrounded by our own efforts – not quite so relaxing, I find!
Week days in October were always going to be fairly quiet, but we’ve already had quite a few people round so we’re practised and ready for the weekend crowds (if only…).

I suppose we miss out on casual drop-ins, but the plus is that those who do come and see us tend to be really interested, they’ve often researched which artists appeal to them. And being outside the town centre does mean it's easy to park right outside.
The variety here is huge, because it’s not just my textile art. There’s also John’s stunning turned wood boxes with clever inlay patterns and surprise details inside and out.
As well as wall art (framed and unframed), I’ve got my range of thread bowls, bookmarks and lots of jewellery.
There’s Mistletoe neckpieces and pins ready for Christmas (sorry!) parties, delicate Bloom brooches, and my new linen crochet pendants on show for the first time.
I’ve even made cards for once, all with actual pieces of “embroidery” (in the loosest sense!) not prints.  

The poor tortured Bernina doesn’t get a break, just a change of scene. It’s down on the dining table stitching bookmarks and weird samples, and ready to demo FME if anyone’s interested (or baffled by my explanations).   

So if you’re free this weekend, and in reach of Ilkley, please come and see us! You can download the full Trail programme online (or pick up a paper one in town) and there’s even a cool interactive map.