Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Image Transfer - Do Try This at Home

So for me and  I suspect for a lot of other artists working with fabrics and textiles, the holy grail of techniques is image transfer. That is transferring images and text onto fabric in order to incorporate that piece of fabric into a quilt or stitched project.  The other week I had the pleasure of attending an image transfer workshop taught by well known textile artist and tutor Annette Emms

There are myriad ways to do image transfer and much has been written on the subject involving some really convoluted methods using nasty chemicals but what Annette has done is demystify the whole process by paring it down to a few key tried and tested techniques and all using items found around the house such as emulsion paint, cling film and a hot iron.  

As always after any workshop I attend I like to consolidate my learning in the comfort of my own home. In other words go home and have a go myself accompanied by a cheekly little glass of something chilled. So here are my results both in and out of the classroom. 

This image was transferred onto cotton calico using emulsion paint.  Haven't we all got photos like this of unidentified relatives that have been passed down through the generations from parents and grandparents?  I have a few that were passed down from my mother and I have no idea who they are and she didn't know either as by the side of one of the photos in an album she has written 'your guess is as good as mine'. Photos like these lend themselves perfectly to image transfer to give an  ephemeral quality.  

This method used gel medium.  It's one of my daughter sat gazing into a mirror in a restaurant while we were on holiday. One of my favourites of her. When using images like this in my work I am not looking to achieve that perfect facsimile of the original but more of a distressed look.

This method uses sellotape then stuck down onto cotton.

Sellotape combined with page from a vintage book.

Another using emulsion paint but this time transferred onto brown paper.

The iron-on T-shirt transfer method

And at the end of a very creative and productive day all my results are neatly collated along with copious notes into a little handmade notebook from Annette. Another successful workshop and Image Transfer demystified.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Clear Desk Policy

There is a saying that creative minds are rarely tidy. I agree with that to a certain extent and it would be great to have a large studio space where you can really let go and be as untidy as you want without always having to clear up after but when you are restricted to a small work area then I am afraid for me tidying is obligatory. I am by nature a tidy person (much to husband's annoyance) otherwise I feel suffocated by clutter which stops the creative juices flowing. Trouble is then once I have spent time tidying I have ran out of time to be creative. Anyhow I had been on the lookout for a perfect desk tidy to contain all my pens, pencils and general desk detritus and found it in a great antique shop Bishopgate Antiques in Bishy Road on a recent trip to York to visit my daughter at university there.

To be honest I seem to always be in tidy-up mode when in my sewing den, because although when I am not actually creating I still think I am doing something worthwhile. This has been a necessity in recent months as I had to somewhat reluctantly relinquish a quarter of my space to my other half who has invaded with his work desk so a big sort out was in order.  I find de-cluttering very liberating as it's freeing up space plus I always feel quite virtuous when taking my 'unwanteds' to the charity shop and hoying a few bits and pieces in the recycling. 

All the sorting meant I finally got to chop up all my felted jumpers (felted on purpose you understand, not because I  had the washing machine too hot) into neatly stacked and tied bundles ready to sew them into a throw. 

Why settle for one iron when you can have two.

Ikea solutions! And you can't beat a bit of Billy for books.

More Ikea storage for my Embroidery and Quilting Arts magazines and I knew those vintage bobbins would come in handy. 

My precious Rowan knitting magazine collection going right back to Issue 1. What I would save in a fire (as well as sewing machine and Mulberry Bag of course).  So enough sorted and thrown out for a while. Let the creative juices flow!