Expressive Textile Printing with Dawn Dupree

Last week I was back at West Dean for another module of my Foundation Diploma, I had an absolute ball screen-printing on plant based fabrics (cottons, linen etc), guided by Dawn Dupree. We had a fantastic group and everyone was happy but exhausted by the end of our magical 3 days together. These are some of the pieces I made:

These first few prints were painted onto the screen and then print paste was squeegeed through to transfer the image to the cloth, it opens up lots of opportunity for different mark making and generally produced nice bright colours but is limited in that it is essentially a mono-print technique.

These next two prints were made using the same method but the muslin (cheesecloth) was under the cotton scrim during the printing so that the excess dye was caught by the muslin. This produced a feint print on the muslin that I added to by painting dyes directly onto the cloth.

Cotton scrim

I am planning to felt these 2 pieces to make nuno felt hangings.

Cotton muslin

This little chap from Costa Rica was printed from a line drawing that I transferred to the screen using photo emulsion. I wasn’t happy with the colour intensity of the initial print so again hand painted with the dyes directly onto the cloth, I am planning to add at least one more layer of colour to add some more depth as it still looks a bit flat.

This print also used the spider-monkey screen but also used some direct dyes and paper stencils for the leaf and discharge paste with splashes of yellow pigment for the off-white background.

 

This print was onto some commercially dyed (blue) cotton, the fish were screen printed with discharge paste mixed with some red pigment and the ripples were discharge paste painted on with a paint brush. The white highlights are silver foil.

 

These last 3 pieces used a combination of the techniques, mono-printing, direct dye (printed and painted directly onto the cloth), discharge paste and pigments suspended in binder. I even  managed to use the gecko and hibiscus stencils I made in Ruth Lane’s screen-printing on felt class. Click here for more information on that class.

 

 

Now the million dollar question… what to do with all these new pieces of fabric?

Winged Vessels Workshop – Give Away!

On Sunday 29th July I will be teaching a face to face workshop in Normandy near Guildford (UK), we will look at two techniques that can be used to make 3D felted structures with wings or flaps and everyone will have the opportunity to make at least one vessel. These are some examples of what can be made with the techniques we will cover:

 

All materials will be provided as part of the class and there will be a maximum of 10 participants (that means you have a 1 in 10 chance of winning!).

If you would like a chance to win a place on this workshop all you need to do is:

  1. Share the URL / link of this page on social media (Facebook, Instagram etc)
  2. Post a comment with a link to where you shared this post
  3. Submit your payment for the workshop (places are limited to 10, on a first come first served basis) – please email me at teri@teriberry.com to reserve your place and for details on how to pay (I can accept cheques or Paypal).

Entries close at midnight Wednesday 25th July.

The lucky winner will be drawn at random and their course fee reimbursed on Thursday 26th July.

Good luck!

 

New Designers

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to spend the day visiting the New Designers exhibition in Islington, London. New Designers  show-cases the work of recent university graduates from a variety of creative disciplines. Week 1 focusses on textiles, fashion, jewellery, glass and ceramics and textiles were extremely well represented, especially printed textiles. I was a little disappointed to only find one fellow felt-maker, a lovely artist from Rotterdam who has recently moved to Dublin, Marleen Haaften. She makes beautifully sheer hangings by needle-punching different fibres into an almost translucent backing fabric.

Marleen Haaften

There were far too many individual artists for me to share them all here so these are a small selection of my favourites.

Andrew Sutherland’s textile monsters were derived from drawings he made as a child.

 

 

I was fascinated by Laura Ukstina’s modular approach to fashion, these pieces were inspired by Lego and she sees them as sections of a garment that can mixed and matched to create a variety of outfits depending on your mood.

 

Linda Anderson’s knitted pieces reminded my of sea anemone tentacles, I desperately wanted to run my fingers through them but thought better of it 😉

 

Lucy Turner’s knitted pieces also reminded me of the underwater world, coral formations this time, although it turned out they were inspired by Tuberculosis!

 

While this piece by Heather Ratliffe reminded me of days spent looking at fluorescing cells down a microscope in my student days. There was a UV lamp on the left that made sequins sewn along the edge of the fur fluoresce. A fascinating interpretation of some fairly standard dress-making materials.

If you can make the time, this show is worth a visit, granted there are a few pieces that I thought looked like they had been crafted by teenagers, but given that most of the work was produced by young people I was enormously impressed by the very high standard of the work.

 

Open Studio

The last few weeks have been a bit of a blur, the end of May was spent preparing for my inaugral participation in this event and the the first two weeks of June were the open studio event itself. It has been hard work but a lot of fun, meeting new people and sharing the magic of felt-making with them.

I confess, I have been thinking of hosting an open studio for several years but had plenty of excuses not to, the main one being that I usually work in my kitchen and dining room, not very practical spaces for hanging / displaying work and not really fair on Mr TB to have strangers milling about while he is trying to relax after a busy week at work.

I did consider using the garage but it isn’t a very pretty space (breeze-block walls) and where would I put all the stuff currently stored in there? Although if I am honest I think most of it should go on Freecycle or to the municipal dump. This year I had a bit of a brainwave, we live in a bungalow and have a guest bedroom at the front of the house, what if I put the guest bed in the garage for a couple of weeks?

The space worked better than I had dared to imagine, the mirrored doors on the wardrobes made the room feel large and airy and there was just enough wall space for most of my ready-to-hang pieces.

It was just large enough to demonstrate felt-making but I was rather ambitious to think I could squeeze up to four students in there for workshops, as it turned out I managed to arrange it so I never had more than one student at a time. As always seems to be the way, in the excitement of completing each case I completely forgot to take photos of their work but since I was teaching 1 to 1, I ended up making a case of my own alongside them, these are what I produced…

I made a short video tour of my “studio”, please come in….

What did I learn from this event?

  • Allow yourself at least couple of weeks to prepare the studio, price your work, tidy the front garden / drive and redecorate / move furniture if necessary.
  • Have a visitor’s book to collect emails so you can stay in touch with your new contacts. The open studio event is an excellent way to meet new people with a shared interest. I was surprised by the number of people who returned with a friend a few days later to show them what they had found.
  • It took me a good hour to put out the signs, blow up balloons etc each morning, don’t under-estimate how long it will take. At least half of my visitors said they were just passing and saw the signs, they are really important!
  • Most people paid by cash (and even had the right change) but I would have lost a couple of sales if I didn’t have a card reader.
  • A friend told me she sells a lot of greeting cards at these events – that was a good tip, I had some professionally printed and it offered visitors the opportunity to support my work even if they did not have a lot of money to spare.

What will I do differently next time?

  • I will bake some of my world famous chocolate brownies as little treats for my guests (if that isn’t incentive to get on a plane to visit me, I don’t know what is! 🙂 ).
  • Be patient, most of my sales came in the last 2 days of the event.
  • If I wasn’t running the event from my home, I would not open on a Wednesday, the footfall on Wednesdays was very low.
  • I will allow longer for the teaching sessions, it always takes longer than you expect doesn’t it?

I hope I have inspired you to take the plunge and participate in your local open studio event, I have met so many wonderful people, from other artists participating in the event, to new and potential clients and some potential teaching opportunities.

I had better get on with moving the bed back into the bedroom, Mr TB is already eyeing the room suspiciously, thinking I have commandeered yet another “wool room”, what he doesn’t realise is that I have felting / textile paraphernalia stashed in EVERY room, but we will keep that to ourselves 😉

Adventurous Drawing and Colour with Mark Cazalet

I feel blessed to have spent the bank holiday weekend drawing in the beautiful landscapes around West Dean in  glorious sunshine. Mark Cazalet was an excellent tutor, I signed up for this course hoping to come away using colour in a more considered way and he did not disappoint. He set us a number of exercises over the 3 days including using cool colours on warm grounds (papers) and vice versa, exploring the effects of black versus cream grounds and seeing the colours around us in a much less literal way.

The first drawing was made in the gardens, Mark suggested I redraw it from my original drawing without looking at the source.

 

It is interesting how the colours are so much more vibrant…

 

This one was a 10 minute sketch, playing with different colours to give and impression of depth, light and shade:

 

This drawing was exploring the combination of warm and cool colours together on a neutral ground:

 

I had 10 minutes before we were expected to pack up and return to the studio so I did this one just for fun:

We were asked to create some sketches of abstract forms  from what we saw in the gardens, from those I repeated the same design several times on different coloured grounds, it is curious how the colour of the paper has such a an impact on the feel and tone of the drawing.

 

 

These last two drawings are my least favourite but it was an interesting exercise, the first was warm colours on a cool ground:

And cool colours on a warm ground:

 

Now it is back to work for me! Enrolment for the new online felted bag class closes on the 22nd and the class starts in earnest on the 25th, I am still doing the final edits on the tutorials while trying to prepare for the Surrey Open Studios event beginning on June 2nd it is going to be a busy few weeks but both are projects I am really excited to be taking part in, if you would like to join in the fun please follow these links:

Felted bags online class: link

Surrey Open Studios: link

 

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