Tag Archives | design

Round the World Blog Hop

I have been invited by Shirley Goodwin of Dyeing to Design to participate in this Round the World Blog Hop.  Shirley is a dyer and fiber artist from New Zealand who has recently completed a Bachelor of Applied Media Arts (Visual Media) degree in Invercargill and I have loved watching her progress.  Shirley and I have actually met – she came to stay with us for a few days when she visited the UK in 2010 (I can’t believe it was so long ago, Shirley!)

The rules of the Blog Hop are that we have to answer some questions about our work, show what we are doing, and then nominate some other bloggers to do the same.  (I’m going to cheat on this one, Shirley, sorry!  If you read this and fancy joining in, go ahead, please!  I have only just come across the Blog Hop as I’m a bit out of the quilting loop so I’m not sure who has already participated).  Please leave a message in the comments if you do so that I can add a link to your blog.

Here are the questions:

1. What am I working on? 
If you’ve been reading this blog regularly you’ll have seen my #trainticketart challenge – one altered train ticket every day.  So far I’ve kept up pretty well with it. Here’s a few of my latest pieces.  It has been very freeing just to play, and a small card the size of a train ticket is not daunting.
train ticket art (recent)

A mosaic of my #trainticketart challenge

 

I’ve also been designing patterns digitally by scanning various painted and printed motifs and layering them in Photoshop – here is one I designed in the summer.
I designed this pattern based on a theme of jewels; I did lots of printing with gouache and played with it in Photoshop.

I designed this pattern based on a theme of jewels; I did lots of printing with gouache and played with it in Photoshop.

 I recently put it in repeat and had it printed on fabric at By Hand London – they ran a Kickstarter campaign earlier this year to buy a digital printing machine.  The colours weren’t as bright as the RGB ones in the photo above but I like the way it turned out.  This was printed on cotton.
flower garden fabric based on jewels design

I think it looks more like a flower garden than jewels here, what do you think?

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre? 
I think my style is very textural and layered (in fact I often can’t stop layering and wish I had stopped a few layers before – this is where Photoshop is useful as I can just turn off a few layers instead of having to get the discharge paste or bleach out!   I am very inspired by reflections and shadows and I think this emerges in my work quite a lot.
spoonflower fabric with nasturtium flowers developed from a photograph

This ‘fairy garden’ fabric was printed by Spoonflower on its silky faille fabric which is polyester – the colours seem to be much more faithful and vibrant on polyester perhaps because it is a different printing process than for natural fibres.

3. Why do I create what I do? 
 Because I love colour and I like being in the community of artists and makers online.  I like messing about with paints and seeing watery colours run in an unpredictable manner.
4. How does my creative process work?
Well, I’ve been trying to get into using sketchbooks and moodboards more, but up till now I have tended just to add layer after layer intuitively, waiting between layers to see what the design seems to want next.  I recently took Rachael Taylor’s course, the Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design and learnt to use moodboards to gather inspiration and become more focussed from the start.
Moodboard with lace, doiley and flower fabric

This is a small moodboard on my design wall at the moment, sort of a victoriana theme going on, lace, doily and flowery fabric. The sock is there for colour inspiration.

Over to you!  If you want to see what other people have been saying in the Round the World Bloghop, the easiest way is to click on the link to Shirley’s blog and work backwards; there doesn’t seem to be a comprehensive list of bloggers who have taken part.  Please tell me if there is and I’ll link to it.
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Coral design and monoprinting

On one of the Yahoo groups I belong to, we’ve been discussing monoprinting and I remembered doing some at college for my City & Guilds. What we did was to take two pieces of glass, put some acrylic paint on one of them, slap the other piece of glass on top of it and then pull them apart. The paint would then go into fantastic patterns and could be printed on paper (or fabric, I suppose, but we used paper).

These are some of the designs from it:

paint effects cut out and put on board

For the course, we had to compile what is called a Full Working Design. This is essentially designing something, presenting it in a folder or another appropriate way, as if you were doing it for a client who had commissioned something. But we didn’t actually have to make it.

For one of my Full Working Designs, I used one of these coral shapes to design a cushion cover. I cut out the painted shape and used it as a resist with some transfer paints. Here is the sample from my folder:

[photopress:coral.jpg,full,pp_image]

I used papers printed with tranfer paints in streaky green/yellow colours and red/orange colours. I printed some polyester fabric with the green/yellow colour first, then laid the coral-shaped resist in the middle and overprinted with the red/orange colour. That is how I got the design. Then I trapunto quilted it to raise the coral design slightly. Maybe sometime I will make a cushion cover like it!

Online Courses 5: Distance learning City and Guilds

Today I’m featuring City and Guilds courses by distance learning. These differ from the previous classes because they are a lot longer and lead to a recognised qualification. I did not do mine by distance learning, but in a local college, but belonged to the cityandguilds Yahoo group which was set up by a number of people who were taking these classes, as a support network. I think most, if not all of them involve students sending work to the tutor for critique and some of them also have summer schools. The following are the ones I know about:

  1. Sian Martin does the Certificate and Diploma for Embroidery. Many of the members of the above Yahoo group were studying with Sian and were enthusiastic about her teaching.
  2. Linda Kemshall teaches Patchwork and Quilting, Creative Sketchbooks and Creative Computing. She has a Student Gallery so you can have a look at the work her students are producing. She allows you to pay for just the first module in order to find out if her course is for you, before paying for the rest. You can also pay module by module (there are ten altogether).
  3. Opus Online has a vast array of courses including Embroidery, Patchwork and Quilting and also a Degree in Embroidered Textiles. I don’t know much about them; they have a gallery too, but it isn’t as comprehensive as Linda Kemshall’s.
  4. The School of Stitched Textiles teaches Embroidery, Stumpwork and Patchwork and Quilting. They also have a number of gallery pages showing students’ work. They offer payment by instalments too.
  5. These are the only ones I can find at the moment, although I think there is one based in Swansea too. If you know of any more or have any experience of the above, do email me or leave a comment!

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