Monthly Archives: December 2014

Boxing Day Blues

Or more precisely glorious shades of teal, a light turquoise and a pale golden yellow. After the mayhem and excess of Christmas Day it has been lovely to spend the day in my studio dyeing fabric.

A couple of years ago I took a 5 day Colour Studies Class with Leslie Morgan of C2C.(http://www.committedtocloth.uk/). It revolutionized how I use colour in my work. Leslie teaches a two step dyeing process that creates a family of 15 harmonious colours. One of the colour families I dyed during that class was the extended teal and brown family shown above. I have been using these fabrics in some of my Hidden Message pieces but needed to ‘top up’ my stash. So today I created 5 dye buckets – a dark, medium and light teal, a light turquoise and a pale golden yellow. I used a high immersion process and lots of agitation as I want fairly flat colour. I am a chemist in my day job so needless to say I keep detailed records of all my dyeing sessions. This allows me to reproduce colours fairly accurately. The dye buckets will be left overnight before I rinse and dry the fabrics. The second step will be carried out in dark, medium and light brown dye buckets. I will use a high immersion process again but with a little less agitation so that I end up with 22 different, slightly textured colours that go together perfectly!

Teal and Brown Colour Family

Teal and Brown Colour Family

High Immersion Dyeing for Flat Colour

High Immersion Dyeing for Flat Colour

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15 years of blessings

There is a tale told by American singer songwriter Jim White that says something along the lines that you should count up your blessings, a minute here or an hour there, and put them in a jar. And if, at the end of your life those blessings add up to 15 years then you’ve had a pretty good life.

My blessings have come in many forms; a loving and generous husband, happy and health kids, a wonderful grandson and a satisfying day job. But more recently my blessings have come from hours spent in my studio creating my art. I have stitched for as long as I can remember. Time working with fabric and thread has always brought me pleasure but somewhere along the path pleasure turned into passion. An interest became an obsession. A calling.

I define myself as a textile artist but I truly believe that art only exists when viewed by others. This studio blog is another step on a path that I am now committed to. But why a blog and why now? Why now is easy – 2015 is going to be an important year for me. As part of Etcetera, a group of 7 textile artists, I have my first gallery exhibition. Why a blog – because by documenting my progress it becomes a public statement of intent. Which is both terrifying and empowering. And, of course, a blog is a way of marketing myself and my art.

Those who know me will know that I am not a big user of social media – it takes time away from making art – so I will not be a prolific blogger. So expect posts once or sometimes twice a week. And expect them to be about what is happening in my studio and in my life as a textile artist.

Sneak preview of my new series 'Ruins'

Sneak preview of my new series ‘Ruins’