Saturday, 28 March 2009

April Challenge: Collecting Textures

Textiles - Textures, the two seem inseparable. There are many ways to create textures, you can draw textures by mark making but a very easy way to do this is to transfer marks from one surface to another.

For this challenge we will be using a technique named frottage, a french word which artist's use to describe rubbing: as in brass rubbings. I am sure that many of us as children placed a coin under a piece of paper and rubbed it with a crayon or pencil to reveal the decoration on the coin. Well, this is an extension of this.

It seems strange that these experiments we make when we are young get lost and forgotten, especially so because with a little practice these can produce some fantastic effects.

In the picture below you will see some scraps of textured wallpaper. I have collected many of these over the years. If you go into a decorating store and ask from time to time you can often come away with old wallpaper books that would just be destined for the local landfill. This is what I have used as examples for this challenge but I am sure that there are so many other surfaces around us all that could be used, even the simplest woven fabric has a texture that you can borrow for this challenge.

I apologise for the quality of the photos but seen below are some very quick simple rubbings that I made, just to work out which textures I could use. I find soft oil pastels work the best for rubbings. You can use crayons but it takes a bit more practice and a firmer texture. The technique of actually rubbing should be noted, that is, always work the pastel or crayon in one direction, do not rub both ways or the paper is likely to move. The thinner the paper the better, for this I have used newsprint.

In the next picture I have used a yellow oil pastel and after making a series of rubbings I have used a blue watercolour paint to make a resist, this highlights the textures even more.

The next picture shows my first experiment with landscape, I realise that the photos are not as good as the real thing but I'm sure that you get the idea.

Now there are many different ways that you could step off from this starting point. I can give you a couple of simple suggestions but it is up to you where you decide to take your experiments.

Here are a few ideas:

  • You could use these frottage resists to inspire some embroidery, looking at the textures to help you decide the stitches to use.

  • You could repeat the experiments using fine cotton instead of paper. Making the frottage onto cotton and then making a wash over the top.

I'm sure that you talented ladies can find lots of ways to take these initial experiments further, don't forget to try lots of different textures. Look for them wherever you go; fabrics, stone, brick, plastics, leaves all sorts of places. Make lots of rubbings before deciding how you will use these. Think how you will put the different textures together, you may wish to use a wash to make a resist or you may like to look at different stitches.

There is one other way you might like to use textures, you could use it to print with. Depending where your texture is found. For instance, you could glue some samples of textured wallpaper onto board and use it to print with.

I hope that this challenge will inspire you to create work as marvellous as the work that you have made in all the previous challenges. You have all done so well in the last 3 months, keep up the good work. Good Luck Tricia x

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Happy Mother's Day - and work in progress

A Very Happy Mother's Day to one and all.

We have been looking at colour on the Textile Challenge site this month so to look at these flowers it seems an obvious statement to acknowledge and praise the wonder of natures colours. These flowers are a little more vibrant in real life; a deeper pink. In the real flower the yellow seems to sing in the centre of such a pink. I would probably be quite hesitant if putting these two colours together, but nature does it wonderfully albeit with mans intervention, I accept that these Chrysanthemums have probably been hybridised by selection.

There have been some wonderful examples of experiments in colour from members of the textile group, I do feel that we can all learn by each of these. I feel it has been a very useful challenge indeed.

My own efforts have been based around my fascination with changing light and sky colours and the effect that these have on the landscape. I have not entirely mastered what I wanted to acheive but I have made a start. Seen below are the first attempts in looking at group of Silver birch trees with a darkened stormy sky in the background. This scene also fascinates me because the field in the background appears almost gold in colour, even though it is actually just a field of grass, it is the sky and light which seems to effect it. A few minutes before this stormy sky appeared, this field appeared as green as the one in the foreground. It is amazing what you can see when you take the time to watch the changing light.

This felted piece is only work in progress and still needs a lot of stitching. As can be seen in the detail below. I will try to remember to show the finished piece when it is done.