During the past month I have attended a couple of very useful workshops with the Edinburgh branch of the Embroiderer's Guild. The first of these was 'An introduction to artists' books' with Susie Wilson; we were shown a whole host of different artists' books some by Susie herself and some from her collection, it was so interesting to see the variety of shape, form and subject matter. Following this introduction to the subject we made a variety of simple books from folding and cutting a single sheet of paper; a single stitched signature book and then a folded spine book with board covers and stitched signatures.
Below are pictures of my folded spine book.
I chose to use a variety of different blank papers to create my book, I just need to decide what to put in it now!
The second workshop was a two day one with Ruth Issett. On day 1 we used procion dyes to paint directly onto a A3 size pieces of fabric - I chose a variety including cotton muslin, cotton poplin, silk habotai, silk noil and a silk linen mix as well as some threads. We shaded each fabric from one colour to another or created marks and patterns before rolling the painted fabric up in the plastic sheet it lay on in order to transport them all home where they were rinsed and dried. Rinsing the fabrics was a revelation; I had a very nice piece of silk noil that I patterned resulting in a muddy mess, I was bitterly disappointed but as I rinsed this piece of fabric out the colours were revealed and this proved to be one of my favourite pieces!
On day 2 we were shown how to create small units combining cut or torn pieces of fabric and stitch that could then be further combined or added to in order to create larger pieces of work. I found this workshop very valuable, it has helped me to think carefully about colour mixing and applying colour to fabric and left me with a list of things I want to try out.
It was a real joy to see examples of Ruth's work and to be allowed to look through her sketchbooks and samples; she was incredibly generous with her knowledge and expertise and shared so much information with us I hope we were able to fully express our gratitude.
These are my procion dyed fabrics and threads rinsed and dried ready for the 2nd day of the workshop.
Using the skills learned on the previous workshop I made a sample book of all the dyed fabrics made on the Ruth Issett workshop.
These two pictures show the sample strips inside the book.
A range of threads dyed with the same dyes as the fabrics.