archive for March, 2006
oooh my fabrics arrived from cia’s palette. it’s exactly the wrong time for me to appreciate them properly since we’re in the middle of turning the house upside down for decorating so they had to be stashed quickly away, but i couldn’t help stopping to admire how beautifully they were packaged.
lisa call: new work and inspiration: love her work, thoroughly looking forward to reading through the archives at length.
(note the plural )
for the first time in what feels like months i’ve actually finished something! fingerless mitts made from this pattern from handspun merino/silk blend, dyed with food colours. a lovely easy knit, although i did have to rip back when i realised there was no way my holey m1s were ever going to be taken for a deliberate lace pattern as i’d hoped i was finding getting into the back of the loop almost impossible beause it was too tight. i finally managed it by going into the front of the loop and then sliding over the left needle while staying under the yarn (if that makes any sense at all).
i’m much happier with the yarn than i was when it came out of the dyepot. it was lovely to work with and there’s just enough colour variation to be interesting but without being out-and-out variagated, which i’m not so keen on. the sheen of the silk really shows too. the rather unattractive bloom on the yarn which i took to be felting i now think was just patches of very fluffy merino. knitting has made those patches pack together and become denser, more colourful and less alarming.
i’m a sucker for weirdy cameras and films – i’m particularly attached to the murky, out of focus, poor resolution, colour-casted pictures i’ve taken over the years. particular winners in those stakes were our first digi camera the matchbox sized l’espion (max 352 x 288 resolution ) and the instax mini with its fuji blues.
what particularly appeals about lomo is that it’s not a proprietory film format, so as long as there’s 35mm there’ll be lomo. i also like the idea of cross-processing slide film as negative to intensify the weirdy colour thing as seen here (lomo) and here (general). i just had a surprisingly helpful chat with jessops who said that while they won’t cross-process there is an online company who will, though i’ve yet to find them.
from having a quicky shufty about a lot depends on your processing. most places correct the colours, which is exactly what you don’t want. i’ve read advice to just slap a digi filter over a standard photo but that’s gonna take away the randomness of your weirdy effects and the interplay between the lens, the film and the light.
there’s a flickr group on xpro so i’ll have a read up there and maybe just play around with what weirdy effects i can get out of my slr before i start thinking about adding a lomo to my wishlist.
edit: peak imaging do mail order and they’ll xpro, and it sounds like snappy snaps are worth a try too.
i can find out very little about peter hall, except that he designed textiles in the late 60’s for places like heals, was a contemporary of barbara brown, and that his work is held in the v&a. he seems to have been quite a revivalist, clearly drawing inspiration from nouveau and deco styles, which i’m all in favour of.
i once briefly owned these curtains:
petrus, as seen in the v&a but a rather more palatable colour scheme unfortunately the fabric itself wasn’t the loveliest, a dull heavy crepe cotton. i was rather scandalised by the price i was prepared to pay for them and was shocked to say the least when i managed to sell them on at a profit – i realised that since i was intent on cutting them up i probably wasn’t a responsible enough owner.
the design is candida, for moygashel. very art & craftsy, on a much more manageable scale than the petrus curtains. i’d assumed the fabric was cotton, i’d never heard of moygashel, but having read up on them i guess it’s more likely to be linen or a linen blend, though how to distinguish linen from cotton i don’t know – the burn test info sounds pretty similar.
brand new, never used, crisp and bright, slightly musty.
four :happy dance: and there’s serious yardage too. the vintage fabric appreciation squad must have been asleep when it was up cos including the shipping i got it for just over Â£2/m.
any plans i have never really got past the “own it” stage, so i’ll enjoy letting it mellow in my stash a little while while the ideas form.
edit: i found a tag! it’s 75% cotton 25% modal (“modal is a modified viscose fibre, made exclusively from beach wood pulp” in case anyone was wondering). the label is on the green and gives the colour as 006, raising the tantalising possibility of at least 2 more to collect…
my diy art school stuff has a permanent home now on these pages, accessible from a sidebar link just above the gallery. the bare bones structure is there but it still needs a fair bit of tidying up. i’ll keep posting details of updates, but keep the bulk of it out of the blog.
i’m currently much enjoying my texture studies, although i suspect i’m likely to flit around between things as my interest waxes and wanes (yay! for doing what the hell you like when you like). i’ve posted the second of my drawing on the right side of the brain “befores”, but i’ve rather stalled with that since the next exercise is to copy a drawing upside down that she suggests you take at least 40 minutes over. i just feel that if i’m to set that amount of time aside i can think of many more productive things i could do with it, kwim? i’d rather just sketch my lovely flowers before they die.
i got my dyepot out for the first time in ages last night. apart from a non-trivial dropping-a-bottle-of-colour-all-over-the-kitchen-floor incident it went pretty well. in keeping with my ongoing turquoise fetish i managed to mix a very nice blue-with-a-hint-of-green. the yarn went in first, handspun merino/tussah blend. the silk took up the dye a little more than the wool, but it’s rather less exciting than i hoped, perhaps it will improve in the knitting. it’s the first time i’ve dyed merino and the yarn felted a little. i’m not as conscientiously gentle as i realise i should be when i dye and i’ve avoided merino thus far because of that. it’s not a disaster but it is noticeable, though i’m not sure whether then end result would have been better or worse had i dyed the fibres before spinning.
second in, along with another hefty glug of vinegar and a colour top-up, was a piece of felt. it’s a mix of merino and bfl. the top layer of one side is bfl and the sheen it gives compared to the merino is noticeable and rather lovely. this took the colour a treat, and while it’s not totally even i’m very happy with it. shocking the boiling hot felt out of the dyepot straight into a bowl of icy cold water tightened it up a treat too. i just love the waffley, seersuckery texture of well-and-truly-fulled felt.
well you learn something new every day. i really wasn’t expecting the polkadot fabric i got on ebay to be textured. at first i thought it was a poly (since no composition was mentioned) and that the dots were raised by heating (melting) the fibres. but no, the dots are sewn in (lord alone knows how) and it burns like cotton. it’s a dead ringer for this description – crisp and slightly sheer. now i’ve got over my slight surprise i’m really digging it.
i’ve been playing around with a quilt design and it think it’s shaping up rather nicely. i’ll work out the real thing as i go from the fabrics but this gives a good schematic of how the colours play together (though the scale’s all to pot). it’ll probably have more joins than this since i have a fair number of fat quarters which i’m pretty sure aren’t 30″ wide (for each panel, total is 90″ square). it’ll also be more random looking, less square, thanks to my sewing skillz
i’m considering using the paler blue polkadot fabric as the central panel (with white) on the backing.
you can see the details of the fabrics in the massive size pic.
- Machine Quilting
- batting faq
- major quilting inspiration (and tipping me over the edge into starting with this*) hillary lang of wee wonderfuls. how cool not only that a) she uses one of the fabrics i just bought in this quilt (second row from right, bottom square) but that b) i spotted it immediately on seeing the photo . that quilt is pretty close to what i’m currently imagining for my first attempt – geometric, largely white, but i’m thinking stripes.
- yet more inspiration contemporary-stylee from denyse schmidt.
- more inspiration from material obsession: an australian store so not great shopping potential but i like the way their deisgns tread so sure-footedly the line between trad and contemporary.
- forums: there’s a quilting forum at pr, which is rather quiet but there are many very experienced people there if i do have questions to ask; block central is the first of the quilt-only forums i’ve found that’s in a format i like but it is rather pink.
- discussion on preventing backings puckering: lots of good putting-together info here.
- equilters library
- paula reid tips & tricks
*lol i just saw the massive number of comments on the post, including one that says “I wonder how many people will make their first quilt because of this one” – count me in!
yay new category!
i’m really drawn to the vorkurs (the bauhaus preliminary course), what i know of it so far at least. fingers crossed i’m hoping to get hold of a couple of itten’s books.
ooh i found me a reference syllabus of sorts: Course Schedule – California College of the Arts. gives a decent overview of what bases should be covered.
and on a slight tangent, i’m working on a better way of organising all this d.i.y.a.s. stuff, since there are posts i want to expand on over time. i’m going to set up some pages with a more traditional website structure. when i have time.
how much does this speak to me? plus it has absolutely that air of imminent collapse that i felt rachael whiteread’s boxes lacked.
via lisa’s musings.
i was taken by some texture studies in the bauhaus book and thought i’d try some of my own. i’ve been out gathering stuff today and took some pictures too. i found it surprisingly difficult to differentiate between texture and pattern and found this distinction helpful:
… pattern changes to texture as you loose sight of the individual motifs. This is easy to do with natural patterns, but you have to get quite far away from a checker board grid to see it as texture. Patterns are generally more noticeable than textures. This makes them a stronger visual element for controlling attention. art 104
the bauhaus textiles book is truly inspirational, so far i especially like gunta stolzl (full catalogue of the centenary retrospective Gunta StÃ¶lzl – Master at the Bauhaus Dessau – textiles, textile designs and free drawings 1915-1983) and benita otte’s work.
the bauhaus manifesto also appeals majorly:
Architects, painters, sculptors, we must all return to crafts! For there is no such thing as “professional art”. There is no essential difference between the artist and the craftsman. The artist is an exalted craftsman. By the grace of Heaven and in rare moments of inspiration which transcend the will, art may unconsciously blossom from the labour of his hand, but a base in handicrafts is essential to every artist. It is there that the original source of creativity lies.
i’ll definitely be back to edit this post since i’ve only read the first chapter so far.
and on the same subject an article on lucien freud and his women.
another new name for me: balthus
time to show off some recent purchases again.
whipup got me thinking merimekko a little while ago. and since i seem to shop nowhere else nowadays (and given that marimekko fabrics retail at Â£30+/m) i hotfooted it off to ebay.
and these fabulous limited edition marimekko-inspired screen prints by jane foster:
unfortunately what with all the recent shopping i can’t actually afford to frame them at the moment. but i’m hoping i might be able to wrangle that out of the budget for redecorating our downstairs rooms.
oh and before you ask, yes, if whipup told me to jump off a cliff i probably would if i believed there was some kind of artistic merit in it
and then i made an unexpected charity shop score. there was a whole set of 70s part-work knitting binders (the knitting collection by hamlyn), now whilst i fully appreciate the comedy value of reams of unredeemably awful knitting patterns, i just don’t have the shelf space (or the budget at Â£2.50 a volume – i think there were 8 in all). so i committed a cardinal sin (for a one-time-would-be-librarian) and split the set. i took just the first 2, useful, volumes:
- knitting know-how
- finishings and trims
- children’s knitting cards
- adapting and designing
- folk knitting
- stitch and pattern library
drawing on the right side of the brain was recommended to me, and i’ve just started to read it. there’s an awful lot of chat before she gets down to the meat, but i guess that’s trying to convince people who really don’t think they can draw.
i can draw – to a degree. i liked drawing at school and never found it anywhere near as hard as i did painting. i’m quite good at representational drawing, but i always find the resulting pictures rather bland. i’d like to be able to draw expressively and creatively.
i’m interested in what the author says about developing your understanding of line and space through drawing, and working your way up to colour work and painting. i think i got kinda half way through the change in perception she describes during my art classes at school, but not the full way, hence why i find painting so hard.
so here’s my “before” self portrait. it kinda looks like me, though madam didn’t recognise it was me until i took my glasses off she reckons it looks like me after i’ve had a shower cos i didn’t draw in all of my hair. my pencil kept breaking so i took that as a sign to finish, it took about 10 minutes. the features are all wonky cos i didn’t try particularly hard to get them in exactly the right places – mostly cos i didn’t have a rubber, so i didn’t want to draw guide lines. so the individual bits are quite a good representation, but their overall arrangement is all to pot. i could only find a 6b (though in general i prefer really soft pencils) so it’s a bit over-contrasty.
the blog is evolving. it started out as “making for madam”, it became “textile blog” not sure it needs a retag just yet, but i’m going to include my diy art school stuff cos it’s all relevant to my work, no matter how tangentially.
- cole, b. art of the western world: from ancient greece to post modernism (on amazon)
- coote, j. & shelton, a. anthropology, art and aesthetics (on publisher’s site)
- edwards, b. drawing on the right side of the brain (on amazon)
- gillow, j. world textiles: a visual guide to traditional techniques (on amazon)
- korsmeyer, c. gender and aesthetics (on amazon)
- preziosi, d. (ed) the art of art history: a critical anthology (on amazon)
- roberts, j. art has no history!: making and unmaking of modern art (on amazon)
- wortmann weltge, s. bauhaus textiles: women artists and the weaving workshop (on amazon)