Mixed Media Necklace…..

This week I came across a fabulous Mixed Media Necklace tutorial by Australian feltmaker Wendy Bailye in Felt magazine.

I love “statement” jewellery so couldn’t resist having a go at this project.  I’ve used a combination of Merino and Bergschaf fibres with found items, perle thread and black annealed wire.

This one is an Autumn themed choker necklace combining one of my Lutradur leaves with Merino fibres…..

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Forest Floor Workshop…..

Last Saturday I travelled back up to one of my favourite workshop venues, the Simply Stitch studio in East Keswick.  It was for the first of a new class I’ve put together which I’m calling my Forest Floor Workshop.

12 ladies took part in the two day workshop exploring the use of heat manipulative materials including Tyvek fabric, Tyvek paper, Lutradur and polyester fabrics which we painted, stitched, cut and distressed using heat tools and soldering irons.  For the majority it would be the first time they have worked with any of these materials and tools.

Our theme for the weekend was the forest floor and it was great to see that some of the ladies, like Juliet and Julie, had been out foraging for inspiration!

The samples that were created included a variety of leaves, bark, twigs, lichen, etc…..anything you might see on a walk through the woods, and a few things you might never see too!!

Carolyn arrived with her hand heavily bandaged and the intention of just watching the others.  That idea lasted all of a few minutes and she turned out to be one of the most prolific sample makers of the group!

Janet and Jackie were looking very proud of their hessian and Lutradur “twigs” and rightly so!!

The ladies threw themselves whole heartedly into experimenting with the various materials and created some wonderful pieces of work with fabulous textures.

Once again a big thank you to Nicola for being such a great host and to all of the ladies who took part.   I’m looking forward to seeing some of you again when I return to East Keswick in June.

 

Painted Mulberry Bark…..

I had intended to make some Tyvek bark today but decided to do painted Mulberry bark instead.  The Tyvek will have wait until later.  The first piece is lined with paper and left to dry so that it’s “rounded”.

Painted Mulberry bark

This is what will be used as the base for my Winter sample when I get around to pulling it all together.

Winter themed bark and leaves

Finally a layered piece with Tyvek lichen…..

Layered Mulberry bark with Tyvek lichen

These will all be given Forest Floor backgrounds and have stitching added before being mounted onto board or canvas so will post updates as and when they’re finished.

Lutradur leaves…..

Busy making samples ahead of next weekends Forest Floor Workshop at Simply Stitch.  Today’s samples are Lutradur leaves…..

Lutradur is a wonderful fabric to work with as it doesn’t fray or tear but can be easily stitched, coloured (Inktense, Acrylics, watercolours, fabric paints, felt pens etc, etc) cut with scissors or a soldering iron and distressed using a heat tool.  It’s possible to create beautiful, lacy effects when making leaf skeletons.

I had intended to paint this leaf but it has a  ‘frosted’ look about it which I like.  It’s given me the idea of creating a monochrome Winter sample with frosted bark and grasses.

This Autumnal leaf (above) is my favourite so far….and this is the back of it…..

Tyvek Leaf…..

Today’s workshop was for four lovely ladies from the Nottingham area.  Freda and her friends had seen my Tyvek Leaf on Pinterest and got in touch to say they fancied having a go at making one for themselves.

Trisha and Carol

Freda and Pat

Non of them had used Tyvek previously so we looked at the various colouring mediums that can be applied, discussed the difference between the paper and fabric versions and saw how each reacted to heat.

With lots of chatting and laughter (hearing us from the hallway my other half swears I put something illegal in the homemade soup!) the day was gone before we knew it!

Work in progress

Each of the ladies produced some wonderful work which they will mount on their chosen papers and put in a box frame once they get home.

Thanks to all for being such eager students….I’m already looking forward to hosting you again on your return visit for Feltmaking!

Forest Floor…..

I’m currently working on samples for a heat manipulative mixed media workshop with the theme  “Forest Floor”.  This is the first sample in the series in which I’ve used painted and heat distressed Tyvek and Lutradur, combined with natural tree bark, a leaf and hand embroidery.

The first of the workshops will be held at Simply Stitch, East Keswick on April 7th & 8th.  On day one we will be painting on, and experimenting with, various heat manipulative materials.  Using an iron, soldering iron and heat tool we will be working with Tyvek paper and fabric, various weights of Lutradur and polyester.  There will be the opportunity to include hand and machine stitching in your work.

On day two we will use the samples we have made, or create new ones, adding stitching and found objects to build up a layered, highly textured piece of work inspired by the “Forest Floor”.  For more info or to book a place contact Nicola on 07969 578289 or email nicola@simplystitch.co.uk

This is a photograph of two autumn leaves and a leaf skeleton I made from Lutradur.

Autumn Leaf skeleton made from Lutradur

On April 25th I will be running a one day “Forest Floor” workshop at All Sewn Up by Debs in Horncastle.  For this session we will be using the iron, soldering iron and heat tool to manipulate Tyvek paper and lightweight Lutradur.  Once they’ve been distressed these materials will be combined with natural tree bark and hand stitching to create our beautiful, layered Forest Floor.  This class is suitable for all abilities and is a great introduction to working with Lutradur and Tyvek.  For more information or to book a place call Debs on 01507 524566.

 

Wet Felted Pendants…..

During a (rare) tidy up in my studio last month I came across some sample pieces of coloured acrylic paper with wonderful textures.

Acrylic Papers

The reason I had hung on to them in the first place is because they are so beautiful, but I couldn’t see the point in putting them back in the drawer if I didn’t have a use for them……so I needed to find one!  The result is this collection of wet felted, hand embroidered pendants with acrylic inserts.

Wet Felted Pendants

I’ve also been making solid necklaces and chunky bangles, again incorporating the acrylic papers.

Necklace and Bangle with acrylic paper inclusions

I’m a big fan of recycling, rather than throwing, and I’m now on a mission to find more things I can use as inclusions in my felting.

Seeing their finished work…..

When I’m teaching workshops I get a lot of satisfaction from motivating students and from seeing their finished work, but not everyone gets to finish their project in class.  So I get particularly excited when someone takes the time to photograph their finished piece and email it to me.  This week I’ve recieved images of Jane and Pams Tyvek Leaves, beautifully executed and framed, which they created at the workshop in Billinghay last week.

Also Deborah sent me this photo of her wonderful Bergschaf wall hanging which was made at the workshop in East Keswick earlier this month.

Inspired by Sir Isaac Newton…..

LINQS (Lincolnshire Quilters) will be exhibiting their latest body of work, 22 art quilts inspired by Sir Isaac Newton, at the end of this month.  Our first venue will be the beautiful Alford Manor House.  Built in 1611 it is thought to be the largest thatched manor house in the country.

I’ve finally finished my Newton quilt.  It’s 30″ x 40″ and the design is based on the fact that Newton spent a lot of his time studying and practising alchemy.  It consists of appliqué commercial fabric, Tyvek and painted vilene applied to a background of tea stained cotton fabric.  Other materials used include oil pastels, Inktense, permanent marker pen and metallic foil.

Inspired by the life and works of Sir Isaac Newton

These are just a few of the other fantastic quilts that will be on show……

Gravitree by Jean Proud (30″ x 40″)

Gravitree detail

The Mind of a Genius by Mary Jackson (30″ x 40″)

Snapshots of Isaac by Joan Plummer (30cm x 40cm)

This next quilt Is called “Wordsearch” and there are thirty words to find, all relating to life of Isaac Newton.  An ingenious way of stopping visitors in their tracks and making them really scrutinise your work!

 

Sir Isaac Newton…..

The handover date for the latest LINQS challenge, to produce an art quilt inspired by any aspect of the life or works of Sir Isaac Newton, is fast approaching and I’ve still got a lot to do!  When I began my research I was surprised to learn that Newton had been an Alchemist (obvious really given the age he lived in) and spent a lot of his time and effort in pursuit of the Philosophers Stone.  I used this fact as my starting point and designed my quilt along the lines of an Alchemy illustration using a limited colour palette.  Materials used so far include oil pastels and transfer foils on cotton fabrics and pelmet vilene.  As I said, still a lot to do so back to the sewing machine!

My Sir Isaac Newton inspired art quilt is still work in progress