Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Experimental embroidery

Inspiration for these projects has come from a range of sources.  Sometimes a piece of printed fabric suggests a design, sometimes a photo, then a technique bring together an idea and sometimes a concept is the starting point.

This scene was developed from a piece of experimental printing I made at a workshop by Sandra Meech.  I subsequently visited a bluebell wood and looked at the fabric in a new light.  It is largely machine stitched using automatic stitches from the machine's repertoire, then embellished with hand embroidery.  This was exhibited as part of our Embroiderers' Guild exhibition at Horsham Museum in 2014. Following this event, a friend donated for this.

I had two photos, one of a fern and the other of a wall, taken whilst in Northern Spain.  I attended a course by Frances Westwood from our local Embroiderers' guild, called Transfer your Affections. I learned how to use transfer paints to print onto fabric, just the techniques I needed to use these ideas and have subsequently used them again. I used some new stitches, including Basque stitch, which seemed very appropriate, since I had been in the Basque country when I took the photos. This is on my bedroom wall!

Experimenting with sheer fabrics and machine stitching to create Autumn leaves.  I used a watercolour painting as the starting point.  I then tried some using soluble material and assembled all into a composition based on a painting I had done.  The jug is padded to make it 3D and  the background is printed. This was sold at the South East Embroiderers' Guild exhibition at Denbies in May 2017.

This piece was constructed during a weekend course at West Dean led by Wendy Dolan.  We overlayed sheer fabrics with machine stitching.  Mine suggested a garden so, I made little flowers to attach.  The finished piece was made into a a silk bag which someone purchased at the Brighton Arts Trail 2016.

This picture arose from the Sandra Meech course too, where a piece of printing looked like a cornfield.  Having lived in Norfolk for some years I tried to replicate the Norfolk poppies, using soluble material and machine stitching.  A friend donated for this at my first Macmillan event.

This is a very large piece.  It was made after the Applique project I did for my RSN course.  I made a number of experiments to create the background and some of these were not used so I decided to create Gardens of Heligan Mark 2.  I began with some background machined embroidery, including some of the foliage.  I then created all the little foxglove trumpets in needlelace and applied to the design.  I also incorporated a silk shaded butterfly that I had made at an RSN summer course led by Kate Cross.  I embellished with a number of applied and embroidered flowers.  This was on display in the Horsham Artists Open Studios exhibition at Roffey Park 2015 and Brighton Open Houses trail 2016. It has now been sold at The South East Embroiderers' Guild exhibition at Denbies in May 2017.

Two book covers made at a workshop with Anne Kelly. They were composed using photos and mementoes from my holiday in Central America, to make covers for my next trip. The larger cover has 'Gracias por la vida que me ha dado tanto' sewn on to it.
(Thank you for life that has given me so much).
To see why perhaps look at my blog  Carolyn's Adventures.


My latest experimental piece was inspired by the wonderful leaf colours seen in New England in 2016. We stayed in a resort called Magic Mountain and walked around a lake called Emerald Lake.  There were wonderful reflections in the water and we walked across a forest floor covered in leaves.

I have made opaque leaves using florists' wire for the veins and transparent leaves using machine embroidery and sheer fabrics.  All have been cut out and will be applied to the tweed fabric background.  I have used many RSN techniques, but also broken a number of 'rules' This is work in progress.

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