Friday, January 12, 2018

Garden Stories Textile Art

In my most recent series of works, Garden Stories, I drew inspiration from a workshop I did  in 2017 with British textile artist Anne Kelly. These  new works are a series of folded stitched books in response to the exhibition challenge by NCEATA ( Newcastle Creative Embroiderers and Textile Artists). We were challenged to print from wood blocks created by a local artist, Bob Seal. The blocks were stylised natural elements - a bird, a fish and a flower. When I saw the flower block, I immediately thought of a sunflower, so the plan was born...

I have also recently become a fan of reverse applique so I knew I wanted to incorporate that as well as develop the layering and stitching approach we took in Anne Kelly's workshop. I used only one of the blocks  - the flower for this set of books, but added one other feature on each - bees, birds, or butterflies.

The background is an old , recycled cotton table cloth  with a stamped, unworked embrodiery pattern), cut into three for each of the books. All books include bits of applique from an old patterned cushion with a sunflower pattern, embroidery, photo transfers on silk and organza,  stitched tea bag motifs  under a layer of tea dyed silk organza.
More stitching has been applied over the top of the organza to create a softer toning. Each has been finished on the back with eco dyed natural silk wth a wooden button and twisted cord wrap.

Most people who have seen these fabric books have remarked that it so unlike my previous work, and although it has been a "diversion", I really enjoyed using my sewing machine a little more creatively

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