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Posts Tagged ‘fragments’

I’ve finished the beaded blanket stitch on the edge of the purple square and am very pleased with it. In fact, I’m very happy with the whole overall look.

Purple square with beaded blanket stitch 1

But… I keep thinking of the instruction to bling it up and wondering if I should do any more. I’ve thought about various forms of beaded feather stitch across the spiral or rows of french knots either side of it; back stitched lines running through the spiral with french knot ends or oglala stitch beading over the spiral.

Purple square with beaded blanket stitch 2

Really not sure, so I’m returning to the crazy patchwork bead for a bit.

Lazy daisy leaves

Any thoughts?

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I was delighted to be tagged to take part in this by the very creative, talented and witty Iz, from Threadnoodle and it was lovely to welcome people who had popped over from her blog. So this week is my turn to talk in a bit more depth about myself and my creative process.

I live in North Lincolnshire in the UK although I’m originally, like Dickens’ David Copperfield, from the little village of Blundeston, in Suffolk. Among other things, I’m a writer, a jeweller and textile artist. But not necessarily in that order.

1. What am I working on?

Erm… everything? I have a second book of short stories and a novel both on the go as well as an article which has been back-burnered for various reasons. There’s a box of partly completed rings,

silver acorn ring

pendants and other odds and ends which need finishing.

Norwich stitch pendant

Journals, books and altered books,

York Minster altered book

kits, summer holiday diary fragments,

holiday diary fragment

the crazy patchwork cushion for my son,

James' cushion strip 1

felted and goldwork brooches,

Goldwork brooch

 

my hearts commission,

hearts commission

my rusted fragments art quilt…

rusted fragments art quilt

…you get the picture. I long to have a go at everything and greedily want 36 hours in each day to try, test and explore my latest passion to its full extent.

My latest obsession is upcycled jewellery, whether replacing broken/damaged elements with beads like this vintage necklace…

 

broken vintage wire necklace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

upcycled m.o.p and haematite necklace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

or adding textile elements – felting and beading…

 

Felted beads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uncycled felted bead necklace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

… embroidery or patchwork.

Bullion rose upcycled pendant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

upcycled patchwork earrings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love being able to make something from bits that someone else has discarded as worthless. Little things fascinate me too, and each of the projects is so small that I can be almost finished before I start to get bored. I really admire people with the stickability to work on large ongoing projects, but that’s not me. Whatever I do tends to be small, detailed, and precise, whether it’s stitched into fabric, wrought from metal, words on a page or even part of a show in theatre. For me, the devil (and the interest) is in the detail.

2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?

That’s a difficult one. As regards my jewellery, with its mix of metalworking and fine embroidery, I’ve certainly never seen anything quite like it. There are other artists who create  jewellery with textile components, but it seems to fall into two categories – fairly traditional jewellery shapes such as earring drops, pendant and rings set with pieces of textile work, or textile work with metal findings to make it into earrings, pendants, brooches etc. I do both…

Turquoise spiral brooch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bullion rose upcycled pendant

…but prefer to do neither

Moss mixed media pendant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indigo book charm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I suppose that everything we do is unique, but at the same time, everything we create is the result of our experiences. I’ve often thought that if we could break down the DNA of a piece, trace its bloodline of influences and inspirations, it would be fascinating to see precisely how it was born from the tiny fragments we draw from so many things we’ve seen, done and experienced.

3. Why do I create what I do?

Every project gives me pleasure to work and it also gives me pleasure to see how it is received by other people but essentially I create because I need to. Like so many creative people, I don’t remember a time when I didn’t create, from wobbly junk models and roughly stitched dolls’ clothes to furnishings for my doll’s house and stories set in imagined worlds.

It’s my way of responding to something of the beauty in the world I see around me, my way of revelling in the power of fashioning something that is mine alone. I bend the media to my will and I say how it turns out – mostly!

4. How does my creative process work?

The first thing to fire it off is usually a single item but it can be anything: a bead, a thread, some fabric, a fragment of something, an image or artefact. The alliums piece below was the response to the challenge, ‘A flower beginning with ‘A’ for an Embroiderer’s Guild competition.

Alliums sketchbook page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alliums hanging

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An idea from a curtain I saw on a course

kantha patches

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and an image from a dream…

Dream kantha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It can be a very dangerous process to sort through my stuff – I get sidetracked onto new projects very easily!

In terms of how things then evolve, I let my creative subconscious do a lot of the work. Usually I have clear idea of the starting point and an image of roughly what the end point will look like (I write like this too). Then it’s a case of starting and seeing how and where things go. If I get stuck I just walk away for a while and its unusual for that break not to have straightened things out in my head.  If I’m lucky, things work out as well, or sometimes even better than I’d hoped. If not, then it’s good to learn from your mistakes and chances are, I can always turn it into something else one day…

Phew! I think that’s the wordiest post I’ve ever put up! If you’re still with me, then please go and visit my two nominated bloggers.

Firstly, Debbie at Debbidipity. I met Debbie at our Embroiderers’ Guild when I joined several years ago and we’ve been good friends ever since. In the last 5 years, as a mature student, she’s done ‘A’ levels in Art and Photography and then followed them up with a Fine Art degree at Hull. She likes to experiment with all sorts of media and her inspirations are rooted strongly in the natural world that she loves.

From the local to the other side of the pond and Penny at Art Journey. Penny creates wonderful textile artwork in areas that I don’t tend to dabble in but love to look at – punch-needle, doll-making and beading are some of her latest delights, and I consider myself very lucky to have Valentine, one of her wonderful unique dolls sitting on my shelf watching me as I type.

Penny's Valentine

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the next stage of the bloghop!

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There is no textile holiday journal this year. Unlike other years I had no plan and rather than make a chore out of something I love doing, I decided to just take things as they came. If I embroidered, then great. If I didn’t then that was fine as well.

So I played – occasionally. The base for this fragment was the paper case from a chocolate. Even after I’d eaten the chocolate I found I was still turning the flattened case round in my fingers, not ready to screw it up and throw it away. So…why not play?

Chocolate fragment 1

Chocolate fragment 2

Base fabric of a scrap of African cotton print with organza over the top. Silk throwsters waste inside the paper case, running stitch and couching in stranded silk.

Chocolate fragment 3

I had fun.

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Our last Embroiderers’ Guild meeting was a whole day to look at and get inspiration from some folios we had received from Headquarters. There was one on plants and one insects and other creatures. All kinds of embroidery styles and techniques were represented and it was lovely just to mooch through these pieces and enjoy their skill and beauty.

This sort of very open-ended session doesn’t suit everyone but it’s right up my street and I soon found a little piece that I loved. Apologies for my phone camera which just doesn’t do even slightly close-up.

Grasses inspiration 1

Knowing the limitations of my phone, I also went for a watercolour annotated sketch in my sketchbook.  The note top right is a copy of the label on the back.

Grasses inspiration 2

I liked the idea of layered scraps of fabric and also the limited stitch palette and as I always have plenty of scraps to hand, I was soon layering up frayed rectangles of various heavier weights of hand-dyed fabric and hunting out single strands of silks and cottons to create my scene in lazy daisy stitches with long stalks and wheatear stitch.

Grasses inspiration 3

Grasses inspiration 4

There are some Krenik gold stitches in there too, but it wasn’t the brightest of days when I took the pictures, so they’re difficult to spot.

Grasses inspiration 5

One of the delights of this was how quickly it stitched up and it was well and truly finished by the end of the day, which for me, is almost unheard of! It occurred to me that the technique would lend itself to another similar picture, but instead of the grasses, a wildflower meadow with bright pops of colour for poppies, cornflowers, campion, ox-eye daisies etc. I even had time to piece the base for it, using very similar pieces to the first one…

Grasses inspiration 6

…but that’s as far as it’s got. Back to the reports for me…

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I was given a Moleskine notebook for Christmas and decided to use it as an ad hoc journal. I wrote a page in the local leisure centre cafe in January when I was waiting for my little one to finish her tennis lesson and decorated the facing page with some of my latte. A couple of months later I added a splash of Twinings Apple Crunch tea and then decided to use the string snipped off the teabag to cross stitch through the page.

Why? enquired my bemused husband. To echo my teenage middle one: just ’cause I can!

Teas and coffee! 1

Last week I had vivid pink Cranberry and raspberry tea and as I was finishing off a canvaswork brooch, I also had some offcuts of canvas. Not only could I add the colour to the page, I could use the teabag to dye the canvas and the string of the tea bag and then use one to stitch on the other!

Teas and coffee! 2

So there you have it: cushion stitch in fruit tea dyed tea bag string on a fragment of fruit tea dyed canvas with a pale lilac splodge of the same tea in the background.

Teas and coffee! 3

Just ’cause I can!!

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Some of the slate fragments I picked up on the various beaches we visited in North Cornwall had split into sheets as thin as card. Sheets thin enough to easily drill; I hoped. On returning home I pressed my trusty bow drill into action and was impressed with how easily it put holes through the slate. (Not sure what it’s done for the sharpness of the drill bit, mind you…)

Stitched slate on sand 1

I chose scraps of hand dyed sandy brown and green fabric with a coarse weave and used a stranded silk to stitch the slate with simple straight stitches through the pre-drilled holes onto the layered fabric bits beneath.

Stitched slate on sand 2

I wanted this piece to be all about the texture so I added a seeding mixture of french knots and straight seed stitches to the scraps of sandy coloured fabric in the same stranded thread.

Stitched slate on sand 3

Then stuck it into my journal…

Stitched slate on sand 4

…before turning my attention to another piece I’d drilled.

This time I used one of the drilling templates I’d made during my jewellery course for feather stitching through brass. The holes are 1mm across.

feather stitched slate 1

 

I used variegated silk thread for the feather stitching onto a scrap of turquoise habotai silk backed with calico. A hand dyed cotton shading from greens through browns and purples to turquoise couched down the fantastic slubby thread I’d unearthed whose shades echoed the colours of my journal so well.

feather stitched slate 2

Then I cut the backing fabric to follow the lines of the couched thread before it too went into the journal.

feather stitched slate 3

I love the ease with which these came together. Slate as shishas is another possibility.

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“…the merrow took up her story stick; shook it until the clattering of stone and bone brought silence and then began her tale…”

Story sticks 1

This is the piece I created to go with the first full day of our holiday, Sunday 11th August. We spent a wonderful afternoon and early evening at a quiet, secluded and sandy beach just north of Padstow and these were some sticks that I picked up at the top of the beach.

Story sticks 2

I had no fixed idea of what I wanted to do with them, but later that evening I decided to start wrapping them and embroidering around them, much to the bemusement of some of the rest of the party.

Story sticks 3

This one, with its lovely weathered ends, has been wrapped with a soft slubby browny grey blue thread, overwrapped with a variegated turquoise silk thread and embellished with tiny turquoise chips, stitched down with a fine silk thread which shades from sand through to sea.

Story sticks 4

The middle one was wrapped with a hand dyed silk strip at one end and then over with various other hand dyed threads.  which were left loose to form a tassel to which I added a brass dragonfly charm to remind me of the huge dragon flies we often see here and also some beads and sodalite chips.

Story sticks 5

There is some needle weaving at the end of the silk wrapping and some buttonhole stitch over the longer threads in the middle. The slubby thread at the ends has been criss-crossed and a cream buttonhole thread used to tie the crosses together.

Story sticks 6

For the last one I had some variegated thread I wanted to showcase, so after I’d tied some scraps of silk round the stick…

Story sticks 7a

…I wrapped most of the rest of it in the thread.

Story sticks 7

Some detached buttonhole stitch just to see if it would  work, and then the ends of the silk were finished with little Fimo charms and a cluster of beads.

Story sticks 8

All three story sticks were then stitched onto a piece of my own eucalyptus hand dyed silk matka.

Who knows what stories the merrow (the mer-folk) might tell with them.

Story sticks 9

Also…

Hawker's Cove scallop shells 1

Hawker's Cove scallop shells 2

More treasure from the sea.

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