It’s been a while since I’ve sat down with the intention of creating some artwork. I was able to do so at a quilt retreat I attended recently. I went to the retreat with the intention of playing and trying something new. The result was this small minimal modern textile painting created with Oakshott Fabrics and one of my hand dyed linens.
It was so much fun to sit and create without expectations! The shot cottons have a beautiful sheen as does the linen. The fabrics add a lot of depth and the machine quilting provide texture. This piece doesn’t have a name yet. What would you call it?
I have been intrigued by encaustic wax paintings. This is a very old art form that used by the ancient Greeks and Romans. The Yellow House Gallery in Toronto offered a class on this art form as well as photo image transfer. I signed up to take this afternoon workshop and had so much fun!
Photo Image Transfer
A mixture of beeswax and damar resin are melted together and applied to cradled birch panels.
Two coats of wax applied to the wooden board. Both processes begin with this step. For the photo image transfer, a photocopy is placed right side onto the wax and pressed into the wax with a smooth object. The ink transfers into the wax and then the paper is removed by carefully washing it off.
This photograph was taken in Italy of a stone house. I love the texture and colours. The paper film is not completely removed yet.
At this stage of the photo transfer there are still bits of paper left to be removed, but I can see the what the finished piece looks like and am so happy with it.
Encaustic Wax Painting
The second piece involved painting with coloured wax. I also wanted to incorporate some textiles into the artwork. I brought a small amount of embellishments that I thought might work, including silk fabric, beads, bark, shells and beaded embroidery floss.
Two layers of clear wax are applied to the cradled board first and then the coloured wax. Here I’ve added my first layer of colour by mixing black and white wax.
Second layer of colour is a beautiful shade of red, thinned by clear wax.
Stripes of silk and embellishments were positioned and a layer of wax applied.
A beautiful pearlescent powder was used to highlight certain areas. After a few days of curing, the wax will dry clear.
Close-up of the embellishments, texture and colour.
I have fallen in love with dyeing fabric! Each time I dye fabrics I am amazed at the results. Each piece of hand dyed fabric is unique. This beautiful mandala was snow dyed along with a few other pieces of cotton and I wanted to use this piece without cutting into it.
I auditioned a variety of hand dyed fabrics for the outside edges. I decided to quilt as you go, keeping the borders separate from the mandala.
The mandala was machine quilted in a spiral with a walking foot, once I got close to the edge, I stopped, added the borders and continued with the spiral.
I also quilted the corner block in a small spiral, echoing the larger mandala.
This is one of the snow dyed shibori fabrics that was dyed at the same time as the mandala, so the colours worked well together. I cut into this piece to make the corner block.
I’ve been spending a little time doing some hand work. I was inspired to go back to a project I started 2 years ago after reading: Slow Stitch: Mindful and Contemplative Textile Art by Claire Wellesley-Smith.
are included in this beautifully photographed book. There is a lot of inspiration and also a few ideas for starting your own slow stitching projects.
The piece I am working on shown above started with an embroidery I began when I was a member of the Canadian Embroiderers’ Guild Guelph. I made a few small pieces incorporating all the fun techniques we were taught. But, the samples languished in a cupboard until my mother suggested that I incorporate them into my quilting.
This embroidered and beaded quilt really is a slow project! I see that I blogged about this project first in December 2014 and then in 2015!
The piece I am currently working is a companion piece to Island Sands which was completed a few years ago.
I especially like the texture created on the silk noile – ripples left behind in the sand when the tide goes out.
I’ve collected up the threads, fabrics, and beads I may use and placed them all together in a plastic box. Hopefully this will keep me organized and on track to finally finish this very slow but satisfying stitching.
Quilts On The Wall is an art quilting group that my friends: Helen Garland, Catherine Clarke and I formed. We will be exhibiting our textile art in a month long exhibition this June 2017.
I created a small postcard using the technique and style I am developing for this exhibit. Small squares of fuchsia hand dyed fabric is fused and stitched onto a mottled gray cotton. The finished piece is 4″ x 6″, the dimensions of a regular postcard.
The next two pieces are slightly larger and are still in progress. Machine and hand quilting have yet to be added. These three pieces are the beginnings of a series of work using a fused mosaic technique.
Each one of us is busy creating new art to display at the S. Walter Stewart Branch of the Toronto Public Library. More information about the exhibit, including more photographs of works in progress will be forthcoming. I hope that you will be able to join us in June when the exhibit opens!
I took a few more photographs at the World of Threads Festival that closed this past weekend. This was my first time attending and I was awed by the talent, imagination and whimsy of the artists. Enjoy a small selection of the beautiful pieces at the show.
If you have love art and textiles, make your way to the Art Gallery of Burlington for the third biennial fibre art show: Fibre Content 2016. The juried exhibit is on from September 8-18, 2016 and showcases outstanding Canadian artists.
l attended the opening reception on Sunday, September 11th with my friend Helen (@piece_by_piece) and her proud mother Barbara. Helen’s piece: Seaton Trail was hung in the gallery space where it could be seen from the entrance.
I met and spoke to Jennifer Earle who wove, embroidered and beaded the beautiful shawl above. The details are stunning!
Jennifer also created the hanger out of copper tubing to display her entry.
This was the first time I had ever attended and so happy to see the amazing works on display. There were 125 pieces on display in 2 gallery rooms. The three jurors chose these from the 218 submissions from 102 artists.
I spoke to Pat Hertzberg, a textile and mixed-media artist who recently moved and how this change has influenced her artwork. Her artwork conveys a lightness and transparency that is beautiful.
This triptych of floating feathers made by Gunnel Hag captured their effortless flight. She had originally displayed it horizontally, but after seeing it hung vertically, Gunnel thought it might even flow better.
Mita Giacomini was one of the very talented fibre artist who had 2 pieces in the show as well as coordinating the interactive exhibit. Here she is in front of the board that shows how she creates her work.
She calls the technique she developed “surface weaving.” She described the process and had the sample to illustrate the steps involved. Mita also has information on her website as well as photographs of her other pieces in this series: Overhead Underfoot.
A feature of the show is the series of Artist Talks given by three fibre artists. These one hour talks are free of charge and open to everyone. The first talk was given by Dianne Gibson on Saturday, but you still have time to hear: Maggie Vanderweit on Wed. Sept. 14th from 10 -11 am and Mita Giacomini on Sun Sep 18th from 1-2 pm.
The photographs I took are just a small sampling of the beautiful work presented in the Fibre Content show. I hope you have the opportunity to see the outstanding art in person. Fibrations is the not-for-profit organization that organizes Fibre Content. All of the artwork in this show will be featured on the Web gallery, where information for the past two shows: 2012 and 2014 can be found.
I found a beautiful mother of pearl thread keeper at The Workroom, a beautifully curated quilt shop in Toronto. I had seen these thread keepers and wanted one but I didn’t really need an embroidery thread holder! I finally caved in and bought one. It was after I attended the Creativ Festival and saw the gorgeous hand dyed threads from Nell’s Embroidery that the ideas coalesced into a fibre art necklace.
The mother of pearl thread keeper that you can see here from The Workroom’s online shop along with a package of hand dyed embroidery threads from Nell’s Embroidery was incorporated into this piece. Each package contains five metre lengths of silk and rayon ribbons, perle cotton thread, boucle, chenille and perle cotton threaded with beads. They are hand dyed and luscious! I bought a couple of colour ways after much deliberation.
I incorporated these fibres along with a co-ordinating piece of fabric that was rolled into a tube and created this piece.
I love the way it turned out. So, I have a piece that holds thread just not in the way it was intended!