This weekend saw the first of five weekends where members of last year’s Experimental Textiles groups came together. There are eight of us looking at taking ourselves a bit further with Kim doing some teaching and mentoring. The idea is that we work towards exhibiting at some point in the next year, and there already a few possibilities brewing. It was great being back at Inkberrow Design Centre, with our lovely café sandwiches, familiar rooms and people. Alison made the most delicious rhubarb and ginger cake and Mary brought lots of strawberries – not that it’s all about eating, well….not quite….
We have been getting to know each other, and working out what people would like to do, but I think we have a bit of an idea now. Going through the process of forming a group and a way ahead is in itself a good learning exercise. We have a very broad theme – something that individuals can take in many directions but from a shared starting point. What was particularly noticeable this time was the way everyone worked with an air of confidence and different styles, and there was quite a lot of work to see from recent months which was inspiring.
We have all grown in our creative practice since last year, with everyone now entering ‘self-directed study’ as Alison phrased it. Not sure if that’s an artistically technical term but it certainly nicely disguises the requisite pottering about on one’s own!
Everyone has gone away to think about their own ideas but for me, it means that a couple of things I’ve been pottering about with (sorry, studying in a self-directed manner) would fit nicely into the theme so I’m going to carry on experimenting with those and see what evolves or dissolves along the way.
This weekend we had an array of interfacings to test from the very strong Strong S133 to the softer Decovil, and we had a go at painting with acrylics and Inktense sticks, ironing on layered papers, and manipulating them into 3d forms, having made paper test samples. (Some photos on Kim’s Facebook page). I wanted to see what the interfacings were like regarding an idea or two in my head. Could you attach Lutradur and heat? What kind of support would it offer something thin and vertical? What textures could be built up? My time was spent nuking a few bits and bobs and just having a play. I didn’t pursue anything 3d but here are some of my samples that might be useful for some weatherworn posts that have interested me.
A sketchy page…
Painted and inked interfacings and Lutradur. The S133 gave nice lines down it that resembled wood, but I’m not sure if I could repeat it again. More testing needed…
Some stitched Lutradur layers on lovely paper from Alison. The stitching wasn’t that successful and I only had one colour of thread, but you don’t know until you’ve tried…
This was heated and then painted again. Thinking seaweed potential 🙂
This weekend, we seemed to be sitting in colour areas, Jane and I worked in green, facing us was purple, and the other table was using turquoise with a splash of orange. Can you catch colour off each other I wonder, is it infectious?
My layered papers were put onto a couple of mini canvases, and finished off with a print. I went outside to pinch a few leaves just as the heavens opened. These are destined to go with my prints from Bucks Mills which I have made into cards for a small gallery in town that is part of a mental health charity. Although I’ve done a lot of this over the years, I felt rather sheepish talking about it in a group working towards larger textile projects. It didn’t feel like ‘proper art’ and I harboured a small wish to complete them sat under the table out of sight which of course I could have done, but that might have been a bit weird. Or would that count as performance art? I should give myself a good slap round the cheeks with a wet fish, because everything has a place and there’s a place for everything as they say, which is exactly what we discussed.
I’m looking forward to a summer school in a couple of weeks, and I’m busy trying to keep up with a daily Facebook sketch challenge in a lovely group I’ve joined. Failing miserably, as the stuff of life is coming at me fast and furious at the moment, but as always, stopping to take the time to draw something is never wasted. Off to work now, then Him Indoors better stand back as I have a growing desire to see what else I can nuke with my heat gun!