28 July 2014

More slip-dipped textiles from the kiln

Mixed fabrics - the dark colour is metallic organza

Once dipped, the fabric must be re-formed

Flat pieces, stitched, gathered, steamed, released

Close-up, threads left in  (10cm high)

Underneath, the porcelain puddles and sand from the firing tray sticks

Netting has kept its fragile detail

Folded paper, heavily stitched

This work started almost by accident, when I tried dipping folded papers into slip and then looked for ways to help them keep their structure -

followed up in a recent ceramics short course -

I have to think about why (apart from the sheer pleasure of seeing what happens, what to try next) I'm making these objects. They are accumulating on the top of my bookcase, gathering dust, and more are stashed in boxes.

Although I write about the process of making, I find them inexplicable. Which is slightly worrying ... and yet it's not worrying at all ...

27 July 2014

"It's just like school!"

Anyone who's worked in a school will immediately relate to the feeling exuded by Phyllida Barlow's sculpture at Tate Britain, which fills a 100-metre-long gallery.
The title, "dock", helps the viewer make sense of it, picking out the containers and pylons and other forms of dockside furniture.
"When I'm actually in the process of making the work in my studio I never consider the audience" says Barlow in this interview - but installing the work is "the moment of maximum fear, because I'm entering the space almost without a script. ... it's a form of choreography: who is the audience, and how will the work entice..."
The audience is choreographed into a certain kind of looking. They become another component of the work.
"Sculpture as a restless object" - yes, it is.

26 July 2014

Double doors

London NW10

London N4

Front "gardens"

Stripey painting - colour sources

Being away from home means the painting hasn't been "daily", but it continues. This week I found the "white bristle" brush in my hand, rather than the nylon bristles, and have been making both gradations of colour and very thin stripes -- both done very quickly, without agonising over decisions.
Pink changes
Adding orange
More orange!
Colour still shows through the fresh layer of white
A magazine cut-out of  a Gillian Ayres print is still floating around near the tubes of paint, and when I get stuck for a colour to add next, I choose one from the print and see what happens. The latest addition was the white and the mid-blue; next, another layer of white perhaps?
"Tivoli" by Gillian Ayres (via)

More prints by Gillian Ayres
Another good colour source would be a painting by Ivon Hitchins - I love his colour combinations and especially the balance of colours in the compositions, whether vivid or sombre -

And then there are the flower paintings of Winifred Nicholson. "Honeysuckle and sweet pea" (via)  especially sings out to me ... the exuberance of the yellow, offset by the pale blue-green -
More of Winifred Nicholson's flower paintings 
Some of her work is on show at Dulwich Picture Gallery till 21 September, along with the work of her husband Ben and their friends Kit Wood, Alfred Wallis, and William Saite Murray; a review is here.

25 July 2014

Monoprint and handstitch

It's been an exciting three days in room 305 at City Lit, as we printed and bonded and stitched. Where to start? With Amarjeet's samples -
and the aims of the course -
The first day was all about printing, using binder and pigment, mixed and spread on acrylic plates ... and making marks additively, subtractively, or with drawing on the back of the paper/fabric ... not to forget stencils and ghost prints - 

My theme started out as Labyrinths ... and was modified by whim and "found marks"
Monoprints on paper
... and on fabric
A collection - I was trying to be adventurous, starting with the light yellow, and found
 it needed a lot of "layering" to knock it back
Layered favourites
At home that evening I tried out my idea of glueing paper to linen to make a concertina book, and did some digital prints of "feet" from the V&A series to make a small maze-book. I also found some local maps to be cut and used as stencils. So by lunchtime on day two a lot of yesterday's results were overprinted, with greys and some black (I was getting back into my comfort zone) -

The drawn marks are a loose adaptation of the maps
They worked really well on some deconstructed linen trousers
Technical stuff -
After the stencils have been laid on the rolled-out ink and printed on paper, they are lifted off and the fabric printed

The brayer helps transfer all the remaining ink to the fabric

On other prints, using my hand to smooth the fabric onto the ink resulted in some
mysterious dark marks - which turned out to be caused by my ring
Following on from a maps-grids-hatching sub-theme,  the "lazy Sunday afternoon" drawing was scanned, front and back, and printed out at various scales -
Nice heavy paper will make this useful for endpages of the floppy books
Other favourite prints -

A roomful of people getting on with some stitching -

On the final day, a group session looking at works in progress - some  of my favourites -
Wolfgang started a scroll
Michelle combined forest-inspired prints into a book
Lisa printed onto sleeves ...
... and bravely grappled with insertion stitches
Jeannie's delicate piece is based on poppy stems with their tiny, glowing bristles
- it brought to mind a print by Gego in the RA's "Geometries" show
Planning two books to use every scrap of the grey-on-yellow print -
The papers are bondawebbed onto fabric
At the end of the course, this collection of books - some are ready for a bit more stitching -

The sequel

Next day I got out all the papers and planned more little books for "the feet suite" -

Lots of pages ready to add to fabric, or to both sides of "mazes"
The newest book includes mazy stitching on the supporting fabric, and awaits more stitch -

The "adventurous" yellow, so disastrous at first, is working out ok!