Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Waiting to Load - new work

In the midst of working with my Cloth to Codex Book Making Series I am also working on a continuing series titled The Industrial Shoreline. This series examines the commercial parts of our harbours where ships and cargo come and go - an essential part of international trade.

I've just completed Waiting to Load - my latest work which was inspired by photos I had taken during a boat tour of St. Johns Harbour in Newfoundland just over a year ago.
Here's the completed piece and the photos below:

My process began by creating the sky with a collage of my mark making fabrics that had been overpainted with white to subdue the contrast. These were sewn together to create a solid piece.

The wharf and buildings were added with fabric that had fusible web on the back, these were appliqued to a backing fabric once I was happy with the composition. The large dark piece at the bottom became the diagonal part of the wharf, that was the trickiest part, keeping the print vertical while cutting at an odd angle - I should have paid more attention during geometry!

The remainder of the buildings, the shipping containers and the water were added next. I did enjoy creating the water fabrics using my Shibori Shiraz method - it involves drinking a nice red vintage!

Now it's done, here are some closeups of different parts.....

Its fascinating to look for the details of cables and supports in the cranes - its all so complex!

Here's the water using my Shibori technique - it was fun to quilt it too!

The red shipping containers - I see some threads to clip - ooops!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Marking with Stitch

In among some travels and trips off island to meetings and appointments I've been working on sample pages for a book that has been bouncing around in my head. Rather than making small samples that then get lost in drawers, I thought if I put them into a compilation of some sort then I might actually refer to it from time to time. So I'll steal a title from Emily Carr and call it "The Book of Allsorts".....
Here are some of the pages I've done so far on Khadi paper which I love but its darned hard to find locally.

 Even though I think its a bit "twee" I like the limited use of colour and the delicacy of it. Also the combination of watercolour and stitch - it includes the scraps of a well worn doily.

 Simple lines and dots with a bit of thread - unpretentious but dramatic!
 This is the reverse side of the one above, the red loops work well but the brush marks are a bit wimpy....

 Good concept of overlay - but not enough contrast, I'll work on more of a similar idea...

 It's okay but not much else....

 Free motion zig zags....I'd like more variation in size, density and orientation

 The stitches work well but again, the background isn't dramatic enough...need more negative space.

 This I like!

 A bit like tree bark...I think if I work into this more with marker or washes it might be better.

 Yup - its good, machine stitch design isn't the best choice however....

 Probably my favourite....

 Yeah, as a composition its ok, otherwise just "meh"
So again, the reverse side of the one above - a better combination of shape and line - simple but acceptable....

What have I learned about my ideas so far with these samples? I like the simplest of marks combined with basic stitches, not because they are easy but rather they seem to be more engaging, spontaneous and have some elements that are suggestive rather than literal. The hand stitches are more organic, less precise and structured.

My Book of Allsorts" will continue to grow - I'll add binding soon - but a few pages left to build.