Saturday 23 February 2013

Felting Fun

Felted Purse

I had a lovely day on Wednesday working in my new studio, it's so great to have all my stuff accessible and have space to work. I did some painting and some felting that I've been wanting to do for ages. I have quite a few old crochet doileys that I've been planning to combine with felt for several months but I've not had the time or space to do it, so I decided my first project in my new studio would be trying this idea.

Open view

Open view

Originally I intended to wet felt the crochet into the felt. However, because of the way felt shrinks as you make it I couldn't get it to work. By the time it had shrunk enough to not distort the crochet it was too felted to add the crochet in and if I tried to add the crochet in before then it ended up too distorted or not held in well enough. So, I compromised and wet felted the piece and then needle felted the crochet in. I used a combination of merino and shetland wool with a bit of tussah silk for an extra special finish. I finished it off with pearl and crystal beads.

Detail of crochet and beads

Detail of felt

I'm really pleased with this little purse and even though it took me most of the day to make this one thing I think that it is a way of working that I will take forward and develop further. I like the combination of textures and the way the crochet 'peeks' out from the felt.



Saturday 16 February 2013

Some recent cards

New job/home/life card
Random post featuring some cards I have made recently. This first one was for my friend who got a shiny new job in Dundee so it was a happy new home/happy new job/ congratulations/ will miss you card all rolled into one. I was quite pleased with it, I thought it was rather sweet!

Inside of card

Valentines card

This is my Valentines card for my best beloved and long suffering partner. He really does.

Birthday card

This is my Mum's birthday card. I really like this purple and green together and paper cuts are fun to make.

Wedding card


This card was made for a wedding last year. I really like the different textures in this one.

Wednesday 13 February 2013

Panto Madness!

My favourite backdrop-The Giants Castle

For the past couple of months at Heathlands I've been working on making some props and painting some backdrops with the guys for Hayton village's pantomime. The pantomime 'Jack and the Giant Leek' was performed last week. Unfortunately I couldn't go as I was full of plague (so bored of snot now.) So, I only have a few pictures and I don't have any snaps of the giant leek I made (which really was giant; around 4 m long, I made it so it could 'grow.') I also failed to get any pictures of cloud land or the severed princess' arm but maybe I can see if anyone else has any.

Graffiti-ed Standing stone, made of paper-mache

Detail of Standing Stone

Despite the late nights, lack of space and stress it was mostly a fun project and is something I would like to do more of. This is said a week after the event; last week I was seriously not ever going to do it ever again but a big thank you must go out to my colleagues at Heathlands who got all the backdrops finished off whilst I was working elsewhere. Otherwise there would have been more stress, and probably tears! Maybe next time I'll insist on doing it with a dedicated group rather than having to persuade and cajole my usual art group!

Meat (I enjoyed making this way too much)

Working on the giants castle


Drawing out and painting the village scene

The house that Mike built; set with functioning door

Grotty Cottage backdrop



Village scene backdrop

Sunday 10 February 2013

Life Drawing 7.2.13

2 minute continuous line drawing in pen

A somewhat stressful start to this evenings session; I got home late after a meeting at work to find my model had emailed saying they were unable to make the session. Cue major panic and a flurry of emails in an effort to find a model. Fortunately, one of my regular models was able to make the session so everything worked out just fine in the end!

Hand study, pen

Hands, pen

I wasn't so happy with my drawings this evening, I think maybe because of the stressful start and coming down with yet another cold (when will the snot cease?) However, there were a few line drawings I liked and although the proportions are a bit out I was pleased with my drawing from the long pose (see last picture.) I chose to take a slightly unusual approach to the composition which I think has worked quite well.

Quick line sketch

Drawing feet without looking at the paper

I like drawing Nick as he has a very 'solid' feeling. When I draw him I feel the need to make big, substantial drawings. I enjoy the fact that all my models personalities affect how I draw them; I think it is an important element of life drawing to draw the person rather than just the body.

30 minute pose, water-soluble graphite

Friday 1 February 2013

The Sea: Textiles Project

Tie dye and fabric pom-poms

Recently I've been working with KS4 at James Rennie School. I've come in as a textile artist to work with the students to produce some work based around the theme of the sea. There are two groups, one group are doing their entry level qualifications so the work I've been doing with them will count towards that which is really exciting. A couple of weeks ago we did some tie-dye to produce interesting effects on fabric and this week we began making stuff!

Finished pom-poms and an almost finished one

Pom-pom detail

With the first group I did fabric pom-poms. These are so much fun to do and look really great when finished. It's also a lovely sensory experience as the more different textured materials you use the more interesting the pom-poms are to make and the better the finished piece looks and feels. I really enjoyed this session and I think the students did too; the atmosphere was calm but productive and it was good seeing everyone have a good search through the materials to find something they liked. The finished pom-poms look great and hopefully they will hang in front of the rag-rug piece the other group are making, which will look very effective.

Pom poms in progress

Pom pom detail

In the afternoon I worked with the qualification group. We discussed our ideas about design from the last session and I taught them the basic 'proddy' technique of rag-rug making, using wooden pegs I'd carved to a point. Each student made a sample piece and we began on the larger group piece. It was a very enjoyable afternoon, the students were quick to learn and engaged really well with the activity. I can't wait to go back and see how they get on with the final piece!

Working on individual samples

Working on individual samples

Working on individual samples

Starting the group piece