Firstly of course, Happy (if belated) New Year! Our festive season introduced us to a new person, our grand daughter, Cara, who was born shortly before Christmas...here she is on her quilt...well, okay, half her quilt...
But I digress. As usual.
Last year was difficult, for a variety of reasons, and it looks like this year will be little different. I've been struggling with the demon depression, and my lovely husband has been struggling with unemployment, also a demon, with its own nasty consequences. So this year is the year where I don't spend any money, but try to be as creative as possible with what I have, and with what surrounds me. What I have, is quite substantial; like all quilters, I've got a substantial stash of cloth and threads. And plenty of ideas about what to do with them!
I've been inspired, recently, by the work of a new Facebook friend, Fabienne Dorsman-Rey; check out some work and an artist's statement by her here . She kindly suggested the book 'Eco Colour' by India Flint as a starting point, and I was given it for Christmas.. So, any dyeing I do this year, is likely to be of the natural variety. But I had already started down that path a couple of years ago; if you are familiar with the book 'Exquisite Evolon', you will know that I give instructions for rust dyeing that most flexible of fabrics. Mainly, though, I have rust dyed silk and cotton, and started a series of work called 'Flotsam', featuring hand stitched rust dyed silk with found objects. This is the first of the series;
...and here is a detail;
I'm particularly fond of the piece of wood at the bottom of this image; its textures seem to echo the textures created by the hand stitching. I started out machine stitching this piece, but soon realised that it just didn't look right to me. Machine stitching gives a hard, regular line, regardless of how you vary the stitch length within the line. That seemed lacking in the subtlety that the cloth shows, so I removed it, and started again by hand. I think the piece has benefited from it, regardless of how long it takes. It is, of course, a good thing to pick up and put down, and to take with me on journeys. I find myself using hand stitch more and more, either in conjunction with machine stitch, or on its own. It feels very personal.
So, I have looked out two large pieces of rust dyed silk... more in my next post.