Tuesday, 28 February 2017

The Domestic

Oh I'm so enjoying the Travelling Book project!  This month I have been given my friend Marjorie's book to work on.  She chose The Domestic - or Home as her theme and in her introduction she explores the construct of the perfect home.  Images of Milly Molly Mandy and Little Grey Rabbit are interspersed with poetry and prose about the home.  She says she has come to the realisation that for her, home is where she is surrounded by books, music and sewing paraphernalia.

My response to her theme is to create a sample piece called 'Blueprint'.  The Victorian architect Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812-52) was my inspiration.  His design for his own perfect house with family at the centre has been stitched onto cotton organdie.  Quilted onto a piece of blanket using a template from wallpaper, also designed by Pugin.  A comfort blanket.  Trapped between the layers are talismen for protection - found objects: a curtain rinng and brass robin from my mother's stash; a button from Auntie Jean's sewing box; a broken earring - a sparkly object; a safety pin - always useful; a baking bean from my kitchen; a book fragment - Marjorie's refuge.

By way of explanation, I have created my own construct for the house.  The floor plan is pasted to the page but an illustration of the house and it's shadow cut from an old book make a 3D house with the wallpaper design offering another wall. 

'In pure architecture the smallest detail should have a meaning or serve a purpose'  AWN Pugin

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Developing sketchbooks

Oh the days have slipped by and I realise that I haven't posted for the whole of February!  I have been preparing for a sketchbook project, partly for Skipton Embroiderers' Guild and partly for myself.

As a member of the guild I have signed up to take part in a project known as Travelling books.  These little A5 sketchbooks are a great way of increasing (or perhaps unblocking) your creativity.  Working in a group of 5 or 6 people, you each decide on a different theme.  In the first few pages of your book you create a mood board showing your inspiration and ideas and then produce a small stitched piece (it can be just a sample or a completed work).  At the end of the first month you pass it to another member of the group so that they can add their own interpretation of your theme.  The books continue to pass around the group until you receive your own one back.  Hey presto!  You now have 5 completely different pieces of work based on your chosen subject and hopefully a few new ideas for what to try next.

The project has taken our branch by storm and we have 3 separate groups of 6 but quite a few new members were hesitant about taking part and I realised that they were unfamiliar with the concept of sketchbooks.

We all take hundreds of photos on our phones and cameras but translating these into a creative craft project is quite a daunting prospect.  I have devised a course to guide even the most reluctant artist through different ways of analysing pictures to transform them into a design to stitch.  Using my own theme of Water as a starting point, I've been busy manipulating photos, making collages and prints to show the techniques that I use.  

I'll be teaching the sketchbook project at Skipton Embroiderers' Guild for the next few months but I'm also running a day workshop at my studio in May.