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Friday, May 14, 2010

Splish, splash, splosh

I've been playing with Brusho today, making cards for Open Studio and experimenting with the new shimmer sprays that ColourCraft have produced...and I've been having a lot of fun. I started out doing some shaving foam dyeing, then thickened some Brusho and did some printing, and finally ended up doing a bit of experimental mark making on some Evolon. That, as you can imagine, took up a fair amount of time, probably the most time I've spent in the Little Green Shed for a while, now.

I was particularly interested by the combination of printing and spray you can probably guess from the pictures, above. It's amazing how different the images look, yet they are clearly all based on the same print from a linocut I made some time ago. All that variety, just by carefully spraying. I did discover that it's a good idea to let one layer dry before the next layer gets added; otherwise, you end up with little pools of mica, which is pretty, but not quite the effect I was looking for. Fortunately, none of the pooling was too dramatic, and I'm intending to mount these prints, so some less painterly marks will disappear. I like the way you can vary the intensity of the spray, by moving it different distances away from the surface of the paper. I've never been a fan of glitter (glitz, yes, glitter, no), but this gives a lovely, subtle shine to the piece. I've already tried it on Evolon, and it looks good on that, too.

I was struck by the comment Dave made, about it being interesting that cutting pieces down doesn't change the meaning, for me at least. Thinking about it some more, I realised that for me, it's like a final distillation of the piece... I take out areas which seem in some way superfluous to the needs of the piece. So it says what I want it to say, only more intensely. As the Scots say, 'Guid gear, sma' buk', or good things come in little packages.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Lost In Space?

No, not really... just generally lost... I've been having gall bladder trouble, not the nicest thing in the world, as well as other things, like my friend Judy's wedding (the photos of me in The Hat are on my facebook page here, if you're interested). Now that it's all over (well the wedding, not the gall bladder, but it does seem to have calmed down a bit...famous last words...), I get to go back into the studio, just in time for Open Studios. I spent part of the day with my book designer Terry Symonds, checking the final version of Exquisite Evolon, which goes to print next week. Finally, I hear you holler.... and you would be right. This must be the slowest book in living memory...sigh. I just hope it'll be worth the wait. Lovely Lutradur has been selling well, mostly, I think, due to a positive review in Stitch Magazine, one of the Embroiderers Guild's publications. Now, we'll see how many people want to join me in playing with Evolon.

I spent Tuesday with Jill, of whom more in another post. We are exhibiting together at Open Studios, at The Gallery, Dereham, so whilst she made a couple of landscapes and finished off a commission, I made some little cards, as you can see from the (rather pathetic) photos above. I don't usually make things quite this small, but it was fun to assemble them; the selection in the photos all use Evolon, though you might not be able to recognise it. Two of them feature vintage lace and tatting; the lace was hand knitted, and Jill, an ex museum curator, reckons that it's probably Edwardian. It's very beautiful, like a cobweb. I had difficulty cutting into it, to be honest, but I'd rather it was used than it sit in a drawer for me to admire once every three years or something.

I'm going to sit tonight and make some more, larger cards; it's interesting to take pieces that were intended as journal sized pieces, and cut them into smaller sizes. Often, they look better that way. I've been doing a lot of that recently, cutting things down a bit once they're made, because I can see that they will look better at a smaller size. Interestingly, that rarely affects the meaning I've attributed to them; it's purely a visual decision.

Tomorrow, I'm spending most of the day in the Little Green Shed. Hurrah!!! I'm going to do some marbling with Brusho, as well as some printing. That'll be fun...and yes, there's another book in the offing...but it definitely won't take as long as the Evolon book to finish...I promise!

ps Open Studios runs from 22 May to 6 June 2010; email me for more info, or to request an invite to the Private View on 21 May.