Friday, 30 September 2016

Remembering 1976

1976 will be remembered for its long hot summer and as a teenager I made the most of it: playing outdoors, riding my bike and going on my first Guide camp.

It also happens to be the year that Skipton Embroiderers' Guild was founded and by way of celebration they are holding an exhibition of work spanning the last 40 years.  There will be historical work and items with a "Ruby" theme but also new pieces that have been inspired by the 1970's.

I chose a piece of work by Audrey Walker, an artist I have admired for some time.  I chose this picture because I fell in love with the colours and the contemporary feel of the piece.   I love the way she uses layers of stitch to 'paint colours'.  I usually prefer to make my own design but copying someone else's work can give you an insight into their practice as well as broadening your own.  

I started by laying down a patchwork of small silk squares and secured them in place with herringbone stitch - a strong feature of this piece. Then I introduced the key elements - tree, clouds, water using shapes of semi-transparent fabrics (habotai silk, georgette and organdie).  The rows of squares are softened by long stitches.  Again I chose to use an elongated herringbone stitch worked in several overlapping rows to create depth.  Finally, small circular shapes are worked in French knots.  

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Snip snip

Why do we keep useless junk?  A big question for me at the moment but clearly a family trait!  Here is an iron chicken made out of scissors found in my Auntie Jean's stash.  Why did she need so many? Who knows! 

The scissors have been securely stitched onto a velvet shape mounted on deep red hessian, with comb and wattle made out of safety pins (also in the stash).  The tail feathers are loops of measuring tape.

It is a gift for my cousin Sarah for her birthday.  Like Auntie Jean, she keeps a menagerie of poultry and I think she'll like the recycling theme.  A nice way to remember our much loved aunt.