Sunday, 12 September 2010

Gifted clock cases and natural dyeing

Now how lucky am I to have these fabulous clock cases! Our local Freecycle is called Freegle.......why, is beyond me, but its the very same as Freecycle.
A lady had found these in a box she bought at auction and didnt want them, and I was lucky enough to win of them is cast metal, so now my thinking cap is on!
I did once make a Christmas living room scene in a wooden clock case when in a dolls house club, but thats too easy to do that again!

Had fun this weekend, tripped out to forage for leaves and berries to dye some vintage cottons and silk pieces.
Amazing how such fab colours emerge from ordinary leaves.

I used buckthorn and got shades of aquamarine, rosehips gave a muted pink that reminded me of the pink underwear of way back, when my gran was alive.
Hawthorne red berries gave a more peachy pink and a cream shade.
Willow leaves with afew stems in too, gave a rich deep orange, elderberry shades of lilac through to purple. Ive beetroot to use yet and am storing the dye bath in containers to see if the colours still work after a while, or get any paler. OH and those colour catchers worka  treat in the dye bath too!!!

I love the subtlety of these shades, as opposed to the vibrancy of procions etc.
I managed afew pieces in tie dye to add to the effects too. Great fun!

Took pics, but the real gentleness of the colours dont come out of course, such a shame.
I picked up an old net curtain at car boot this morning and it was a salmon colour but has successfully dyed purple and green too so far.

Murky mess to magical colours!

Scrummy shades!

I just want to make things with them now and not go to work!
Now if they'd only pay me to stay at home...........

And lastly, I finally caught up with my Shelagh Folgate Challenge, so here's some roses drying till I can crack on with the next bit!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Cyanotypes on fabric

I took a workshop with Ruth Brown   ( last saturday, across the Humber river, at The Ropewalk in Barton on Humber. The Ropewalk is an old rope factory, lovingly restored into a Gallery, cafe and workspace for artists and small media businesses.
They do such lovely cakes in the cafe lol  ...... but I resisted!
Since I'm on a healthy eating plan and am loosely following the Dukan Diet principles ( lost a stone and am aiming for more!)
Its ironic I went there, because Ruth lives out at Sunk Island which is reclaimed river side lands, east of Hull, on the way to Spurn Head and here she was not only over on the west of Hull, but south of it and across the river too!
She has her own studio at Sunk Island and runs courses from there and I did enjoy this workshop with her. She knows her stuff !

She has one book out already 'Cyanotypes on Fabric' which I can recommend and a second book due out soon, which goes into detail about using negative transparencies with the photographic cyanotype process I believe.
Now above are the samples I came up with, feathers on the left and a slice of root which Id hoped might be more intricate but even so I quite like its spooky effect!
Above left is a wreath of twisted bamboo and two little dandylion flowers, a small doily bottom left and cut out plastic spiral shapes. On the left side of the right hand picture,( this pic also at end of this post) I've used two old string knotted belts, macrame and beads kind of thing. In fact their tail ends are at top and bottom right of the fabric. Centrally is a metal M, its about 6" tall and its laid on top of a strip of fine netting. Where the net touched the fabric it has left slight marks, where it wasn't touching, its ghosted. And the stars and small flowers are plastic shapes.

Now these two I did first and hadn't left them exposed to the UV sunlight long enough for them to develop that wonderful rich Prussian Blue colour, so they are more like a light denim shade. On the left is the seaweed that reminds me of old lyle stockings, that I pick up at Bridlingtons beaches. And the fish?
Those were made using self adhesive card making peel off shapes! Ideal if you want sharp, crisp designs.
On the right a successful doily image.
Ruth explained how to turn these into a yellow colour, instead of blue and then tea stain them brown..........that's my next trick ............but it will have to wait till there is more sun ..... and Ive caught up with the Challenge I'm doing with Shelagh Folgate. Ive fallen behind on it and if I don't pull my finger out Shelagh will be turfing me out of the Folgate Fold !
What will I do with these? well I have an idea or two, but that will have to wait for now.....

Trip to Spurn to chill out for a spell

Took a trip out to Spurn with a friend Jean, who doesn't drive and like myself, likes to beach comb and absorb the endless sky and sea out there.
She makes mention of it on her blog and explains abit about the magical place here ....
One side of the spit of land is estuary marshland and the other is the North Sea! Its simply wonderful there.

These pics are taken on the marshland side before the tide had gone out.
On the left looking back the way we had driven on ramshackle, sandy strewn 'up and down' paths that are breached by the seas each winter. On the right, looking out to the Humber River's mouth. The old lighthouse can be just made out to the left of the that picture, beyond which are the homes of the permenant RNLI who live out on this often inhospitable spit of land.
This pic shows you marshland on the left side and sea on the right, looking back to where you enter this bird preserve area.

And this picture is looking out towards the Humber River mouth, an hour or so later showing the tide has pulled out.
Here's a shot of the marshland when the tides pulled right out and the muds are exposed.
Not sure why we have floating gas rig out in the Humber channel but I think its been brought in for repair from out at sea. And hardly visible is a chap digging for goodness knows what in the muds, just to the right of the tallest tuft of grass lol daft soul!

An interesting groine segment, somewhat like an open mouth I thought lol abit like a beak even?
All that sea and sky, the peacefulness and only the ebbing tide as it rasped against the stones in its, to and fro-ing motions. Bliss!