Sunday, November 22, 2015

making new work

I have spent a lovely weekend combining stitch, collage, paint and textile in some new work that feels quite exciting.
Still very much works in progress - here they are drying in the studio.
 End of stage 1.

Friday, November 20, 2015

running to catch up

I have fallen sadly behind on my blogging. Instagram is swifter and needs less consideration - there is after all no narrative - just a photo and, perhaps, a label.

I had several blog posts in mind:
  • more paper making
  • indigo dyeing 
  • shibori
  • seeing some wonderful things at the Blue exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria

and making unexpected progress on some languishing Works in Progress by striking out in a new direction

 I see I need some photos of some outputs as well as process! Which is another blog post...

Sunday, October 25, 2015

making paper

For the past two weekends my studio time has been spent experimenting with a new skill - making paper. I have admired the work of papermaking artists such as Velma Bolyard for ages but had never thought papermaking was something I could do. But, partly inspired by the prospect of a long, very hot summer splashing about with water and pulp seemed like an excellent plan.  I liked the idea of making my own cotton rag paper and it was a chance to do something different with some of the miles of fabric I have in my stash.

Following a mix of instructions drawn variously from Nick Neddo's excellent book The Organic Artist, May Babcock's excellent blog Paperslurry  and a lot of trial and error I turned an old cotton sheet from this
 into this
 In between these stages the sheet became strips 

cooked squares
a sort of cotton milkshake
and finally pulp
Then it was into the studio to turn pulp into slurry and eventually, via my home made mould (viz an old picture frame and some insect netting) and book press,

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

possum tails

A little ringtail possum lives in the rolled up blind on our front veranda. As the afternoons get warmer and the air is full of rose and jasmine scents, s/he gets more careless about how much tail hangs out of the back door of the nest.
It's just low enough for me to have a gentle pat of the tail and feel the soft strength of fur and the underside of bare skin for gripping.
On Saturday the possum was so drugged with warm sleep that its furry little bottom was hanging out too - and that is how I got to pat a possum's bottom :)

Sunday, October 18, 2015

making ink

Using the straightforward instructions in this fabulous book 
 the smallest sprog and I turned this
 and this
into this

Also this weekend I made cotton rag paper and patted a possum's bottom - but that is another blog post... Or possibly two.

Monday, October 12, 2015

a post about the weather

Melbourne has a reputation for capricious weather. In the past week we have had 30+ degrees with howling, desiccating hot north winds and bushfires
Slightly less hot but humid days
 Sizzling, crashing thunderstorms
 And back to 11 degrees and raining.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

coral stitch and cola pens

There has been quiet but steady progress in the studio this weekend.
I'm really enjoying the stitching on my current project - pseudo-darning, coral stitch, sorbello clusters and bones were added.
And (huge fun) the smallest sprog and I made cola pens this afternoon. Inspired by Denise Lach's book on calligraphy I went looking on the internet for the right recipe and found it here.  Very straightforward and easy we ended up with ten pens of varying sizes and they work beautifully!