Friday, September 4, 2009

Craft and Quilt Fair, Hamilton

This week, September 10 - 13, is the Craft & Quilt Fair, Hamilton, New Zealand. This annual event is held at the Claudelands Events Centre. Along with all the trade stalls full of goodies there are special displays of quilts, spinning and weaving, embroidery, cake icing and ReStyle fashion. Plus there are workshops and craft circles for demonstrations and hands-on learning. Always plenty to see and do.....

I will be there with my Uppity Fabrics, Stall #A23, right next to the entrance/exit to the workshops and displays, so I can't be missed. My stall will have hand-dyed fabric lengths, garments, my Hand-dyed Hues range of variegated embroidery threads, hand-dyed cotton fat quarters, plus scrap bags ideal for doll-makers. Come for a browse and a chat, I look forward to seeing many friends and associates again.

In fact, I sometimes wonder whether this is the secret of these events. There is always such a buzz with people meeting and sharing their love of handcrafts. I know some people make this an annual pilgrimage. This of course is no different from any group which bonds through a common interest, such as gardening, music, cooking etc. They are part of society's well-being and certainly need to be nurtured.

FL43 Hand-dyed silk organza, 140cm wide, 1.9 metres (55" / 74") Ideal for a duster-type jacket to be worn over a simple garment. NZ$85.

Hand-dyed silk blouse, size large, NZ$80

My range of Hand-dyed Hues variegated threads. I started these in 1996, one of the first to do so in New Zealand. These threads are now being discontinued and will be sold at a 20% discount.

Scap Bags of hand-dyed silks $10 each. Ideal for applique, piecing and doll making.

48 days to my exhibition. Being away for almost a week will have the added bonus of separation from this major commitment. Although I thrive on the focus of working towards my exhibition, every now and again there needs to be a break, a change of scenery. Attending the Craft & Quilt Show is therefore good timing. I hope to returned re-energized and ready to complete those last two pieces for my exhibition.

My next blog will be after I return from the Craft and Quilt Fair.

Thanks for reading my blog.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Another piece completed

I have now finished another of my larger individual WholeCloth Banners. I might point out here that these banners are not exactly mainstream in the world of textile art. By this I mean that they have no additional embellishments (stitching, beading, applique etc) and they are not layered as in quilts. They are simply a single piece of silk fabric which has gone through numerous dye processes to achieve an outcome. They celebrate cloth and dye. Indeed, the title of my exhibition is just that CLOTH AND DYE EXPRESSIONS. For those familiar with embroidery and quilting, this may seem somewhat strange, but I strongly believe nothing has to remain as it always has been. There are just as many ways of not doing things as there are of doing things, if you know what I mean!

Here are the progress images of my latest piece, the first three have already been shown earlier but they help, I think, to keep things logical. At the moment the piece is called NETWORKS.

Dye painted on to big screen, and dried (not sure why everything appears so blue, which it wasn't!).

Clear water splashed on to painted screen, and dried.

Screened on to a silk/linen blend fabric with clear manutex / sodium alginate.

I then traced the design from the fabric on to paper using a lightbox. I separated the white areas, mid-tones and dark tones. Then drew a series of double lines at random across the whole piece. Using surplus dye, the colours being of no consequence, I painted in the mid-tone areas and grid.

The painted paper template was placed underneath the cleaned screen which was raised slightly off the table. I have painted fresh dyes on selected areas, following the template design underneath.

The above screened on to original fabric. This brought about an interesting observation. I never pre-wash my silk fabrics as they are not dressed like other fabrics. But they will shrink when the first dye application is washed. This has never been a problem. However, this time I was working with an established screen size which meant that the second screening extended over the sides of the (now shrunk) original screening. I decided to leave these borders and feel this is just another one of those wonderful serendipitous happenings, which I love....

Next came making a freezer paper template in the form of tree roots. I used a gold pigment in a gutta bottle and painted horizontal and vertical lines in a grid. Once dried, the freezer paper was removed.

At this point I felt the lower portion was somewhat surplus, so it was cut away. I feel this gives a more balanced piece. Final size 69cm x 72cm / 27" x 29".

52 more days to my exhibition.