Ann showing us various techniques
A group of us enjoyed an extremely interesting and productive day learning how to use transfer paints. Ann Smith, one of our members, led the day and started by talking about the paints themselves which usually come in powder form and are mixed when required. From experience she recommended the paints sold by Art Van Go but also mentioned Colourist paints which are bought online and come already made up.
Ann explained that the transfer paint had to be painted onto paper (we used A4 size) and when totally dry, it could then be ironed onto a man made fabric. She had kindly prepared some papers ready painted for us so we were able to get started straight away.
We had been asked to bring along a non steam iron but several of us found our irons not hot enough and fortunately Ann had borrowed an iron press which was very quick to use and worked extremely well. We had to remember to sandwich our work between sheets of baking parchment. We were shown how to layer the designs up and warned that the colour of the paint/paper did not always reflect the final colour when ironed on the fabric.
Ann had a lovely selection of fabrics for us to use – silk satin, crepe de chine, poly voile and polyester special. She also had a good selection of books for us to get design ideas from and several people cut out figure shapes from a magazine and used them as stencils. The outcome was most effective.
After we had mastered the skill of transferring the paint we all prepared our own papers. Some people also experimented by using fabric crayons produced by Crayola and several of us had papers several years old and we were pleasantly surprised when they still worked. Finally we were shown how to apply a foiling glue to our work which we had to leave until nearly dry and then ironed the foil between baking parchment.
Before leaving we all put our work on the table to admire. Thank you Ann, for a most enjoyable day.
For our June meeting members heard an interesting talk with slides by fibre artist Yvonne Morton. Yvonne explained how she started as a teacher and then decided to concentrate on her own work.
She held a solo exhibition in Salisbury Library where she used Eastern images as a theme.
At this time Constance Howard became Yvonne's mentor and she spoke fondly of her by saying Constance always remembered your work and that she is greatly missed.
Inspiration for her textiles came from numerous sources and she mentioned artist Craigie Aitchison’s Crucifixion and Bedlington terrier and Cecil Collins’ Sleeping Fool and Angel of Flowing Light. New influence came from contemporary fine artist Marie Laywine.
Subsequently Yvonne was commissioned to create two pieces for the Salisbury Hospital Scanner Suite.
She decided to go back to education and followed a degree course. Whilst on the course she regularly found herself out of her comfort zone having to use charcoal, pastels and other medium but managed to get back to textiles as soon as possible.
Yvonne then researched African art and was inspired by the Kuba people of the Congo. Their dance skirts were made of woven raffia with appliquéd shapes and in her current work she uses silk. flax and raffia. She explainted that patterns would be handed down and the making of the textile was as important as the textile itself.
Wanting a new project Yvonne then did some research at the Foundling Museum in London. She explained that 'given up' babies were renamed but their admittance was marked by the handing over of a piece of cloth so that the mother could identify the child if she was able to reclaim it. Sadly out of some 16,000 babies admitted only 142 were ever reclaimed. Yvonne’s subsequently went on to exhibit her work “Fragments for a Foundling” in a gallery at West Bay, Dorset.
Our next meeting will be on Monday 1 July when our speaker will be James Hunting and his subject “Traditional hand-stitching used in a contemporary way”.
Information in this blog is provided by branch members who have attended the meeting, workshop or event.
Marlborough & District Branch is a member of the Embroiderers' Guild, the UK's leading crafts association
* The Embroiderers' Guild website -https://embroiderersguild.com/
* The Guild Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/embroiderersguild/
* The Guild Pinterest pages - https://uk.pinterest.com/theembroiderers/