Dye Workshop 18th November

On Tuesday we were carrying on with Shibori, but we were now working with shibori knitting; using coins, marbles and thread to shape the fabric, and creating our own dye baths. The class was split into three groups, and each group made a different dye, a synthetic dye, direct dye and an acid dye. My group made the direct dye bath, I didn’t know which dyes were in the other dye baths, so I wouldn’t know what effect they would have on the fabrics we were using until after I had experimented. We had a mix of synthetic and natural fabrics, to test in each dye bath and to see which dyes worked on which fabrics. I liked the different results which I ended up with, by using the natural and synthetic fabrics in all the different dyes.

Shibori knitting on natural fabric.

Shibori knitting on natural fabric.

Shibori on synthetic fabric.

Shibori knitting on synthetic fabric.

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Book-Making 17th November

Yesterday we were looking at making books out of the mark-making samples we had been experimenting with for the last three weeks. Helen showed us two different ways of folding paper to make books, one being folding the paper to create a spine, and then binding them together with thread; the other being a series of folds to create a four page book.

I really liked these little techniques, making books from found and recycled papers, which you could then use as a sketchbook, or from previous work as a way to display them. It’s quite interesting to mix papers to create different textures, as well as using coloured papers as different grounds/surfaces.

Different papers folded and bound together with thread.

Different papers folded and bound together with thread.

A4 sheet of brown paper, cut and folded into a small book.

A4 sheet of brown paper, cut and folded into a small book.


Colour Inpsiration – Mark Rothko

After our talk from Helen on Monday about understanding the impact and significance of standardised, mass-produced colours on the art of the past 60 years, I started to research artists who are deeply influenced by colour, and using colours in their work. Having heard of him mentioned previously, I started to think about Mark Rothko and his work with colour. I find his work very inspiring; his use of colours, harmonising and blending them together to create very emotive paintings is very impressive. I find his work very calming and thoughtful; and I will look towards his work when I’m working with colour, and keep in mind how he works.

Mark Rothko

Mark Rothko

 

 


Cath Davies Keynote Lecture – Cultural Approaches to Materials and Visual Culture 13th November

I found yesterday’s lecture extremely interesting, and informative. I liked the ideas Cath explored and put forward, of how you can make meanings from what you’ve created, adopting a cultural approach and how objects and visual culture have cultural connotations.

Cath explored the ideas of how objects evolve and are renewed overtime, how connotations change and how these connotation can then be unpicked and understood through research; the example Cath used was the Dr Marten’s Original 1460 Boot, which has changed from being quite a marginalised object to being fully embraced in mainstream fashion. She talked about cultural biography, how objects are culturally constructed, and that whatever you’re working with should be explored, looking at the recognised ages within the materials life, to better understand how the identity of the object or material can then be changed.

Another way to understand the identity or cultural connotations of an object are to look into the cultural markers of the object; what its original function was, the purpose the object was made for, the role it has played etc. and how these cultural references are embedded within the object, and how new meanings can emerge because the object has been brought together into a new and distinctive style. She explored the ideas that objects are symbolic, social artefacts that are embedded with narratives, how you should look at how an object speaks and how meanings change overtime.

Each of the ideas that she explored in this lecture was extremely helpful and an important part of understanding the materials that you use within your work and how even your materials have meanings that can be changed and explored and manipulated by what you pair them with.


11th November Dye/Print Workshop

The dye class on Tuesday was focusing on shibori; working with hot water dyes, natural fabrics and experimenting with different ways of folding fabrics. Making sure that I experimented with as many different folding techniques as I could, using string, elastic bands, blocks and clamps to manipulate the fabric and where the dye will take. While changing the different ways I folded or scrunched the fabrics, I also mixed the different colours on the fabric, sometimes dipping different parts of the fabrics into the dyes, and other times, re-folding the fabrics so that different parts would then be dyed.

Dye samples.

Dye samples.

Dye Samples.

Dye Samples.

Each of the different processes created such different results, how each fold makes a different mark on the fabric, as well as how long the fabric has been left to develop in the dyes. While working with the fabrics in the dye workshop, I kept in mind the work that I had been doing on Mondays, looking at different marks and colours. I liked working with folding and dyes, how I can think of these dyes fabrics as grounds upon which I can then stitch or embroider onto, how working with marks can influence the work that I create in these workshops.

Dye Samples.

Dye Samples.


Mark-making 10th November – Paper Manipulation/ Simple Items from Nature/ Lines, Grinds and Geometrics

Paper folding, making lines, drawing from natural items and experimenting with bleach.

Paper folding, making lines, drawing from natural items and experimenting with bleach.

Monday’s lessons was all about the different ways of creating grounds, working with different papers and paper manipulation; looking at how different marks are created by the way in which paper is folded, torn or scrunched. I looked at painting grounds after having folded paper, as well as folding paper and then painting with different tools and colours (liner brushes, round brushes and a ruler) on different grounds and papers. I also experimented with using bleach, on painted surfaces and on different papers, using the simple items from nature that I had brought it, I started to use the bleach on some of the different leaves and printed these onto different paper, thinking back to last week and using the stencils.

The previous painterly mark-making lessons have helped to influence my thinking during Monday’s lessons and during the dye workshops on Tuesdays; thinking about the colours that harmonise, compliment and contrast as well as how I can manipulate not only the papers I’m using but the fabrics that I’m dying.

 


Print Workshop 28th October/4th Novermber

Last Tuesday was my first day in the print workshop. Having completed my four weeks in stitch and having learnt so much I was really looking forward to starting dying and printing. The first lesson started with paper stretching, using normal photocopy paper, we wetting the paper and then stuck them down with brown tape, this method would stop the paper from cockling when wet materials are used on it. We could then use batik, wax crayons, salt and dyes to create different patterns and marks on the papers. I really liked using the batik, I love the resist effect that it leaves behind; and I really liked that once the dye had been painted on the paper, if you put salt over the top, it would absorb the dye and leave a sort of speckled pattern behind.

Paper stretching, batik and dye samples

Paper stretching, batik and dye samples

Next week started to use screens. Using the same inks that we had used for the paper samples, we were show how to paint an image onto the pack of a silk-screen, and then once the paint had dried, how to transfer the image onto fabric. This was a very interesting method of printing. Once the image had been painted onto the back of the screen, we used a sort of binding paint, to push the ink off the screen and onto the fabric. The result was very impressive and interesting to produce. We also did some silk painting, firstly using batik to create a resist before painting onto the silk. Once the dyes had dried, the silk was then placed under the hot press to melt the wax, leaving behind the fabric that was protected from the dyes. I really love the method of batik and how each creation is a one-of-a-kind production.

Batik.

Batik.

Batik detail.

Batik detail.

Yesterday was my second session in the print workshop and we were creating heat transfers. This was where, using a specific ink, you painted a pattern or image onto a sheet of paper, and then placed the paper, and a piece of synthetic fabric, under the heat press. Making sure the dye on the paper was dry, the heat of the press would transfer the image form the paper onto the fabric.

Heat transfer.

Heat transfer.

Heat transfer.

Heat transfer.

 

Using leaves and feathers, I created patterns and images using stencilling and printing the leaves/feathers onto the paper, using harmonising colours that would look nice together. I then took theses papers to the heat press, and using the synthetic fabrics, transferred the images from the paper onto the fabric; each paper images should produce about 5 fabric transfers. We also did more work with batik yesterday, this time using acid dyes to paint the silk, again I love the method and the outcomes of batik. I’m looking forward to started shibori next week.