Saturday, 14 June 2014

Printing and having fun.......

Wednesday June 11 saw five members of Diversity meet in Viñuela.  We had a shaky start as the room had been double booked as it's Cultural Week this week in the village.  After a phone call to the town hall all was sorted and the other group kindly volunteered to move elsewhere.  There was limited space too, as in one half of the hall a huge elevated stage had been installed ready for flamenco demonstrations the next day and there was a procession of men in and out making various technical adjustments.  We took all this in our stride and had a great day working on our various projects.  Unfortunately because I was enjoying myself so much, I forgot to take photos as we worked, so I'm afraid there are only a few here to see!


Helen was my team mate today, helping me with the mark making while I spread the thickened dye for monoprinting.  Here we are with the last piece of fabric to use up the dregs of the print paste


I was pleased with this practice piece of  screen printing using thickened dye, only the second try at this technique, and below are the samples Helen and I produced also with thickened dyes, some on white cloth, others on previously dyed fabric.  Helen used the end of a swimming pool noodle borrowed from Yvonne to make the circular marks, a technique I'll be using again as I like the results.  Thanks Helen, I had great fun!




Cath was feeling very weary after a poor night's sleep, but enjoyed experimenting with her block produced from her "journey" drawing.  Cath discovered that she preferred the print results where she applied the fabric paint using a sponge, rather than brushing the paint on to the block.


Above, Gwen shows her very successful first attempt screen prints using the block made from her "journey" drawing, and below the same block print using I think discharge paste on the black fabric and a bleach pen on the blue fabric.  It will be interesting to see the final results of these two samples when they have cured and been rinsed and ironed.




Yvonne spent much of the session giving advice to those of us who hadn't tried out these techniques before, and also found time to make sample prints with fabric paint onto her previously dyed fabric above, and below trying out discharge paste on black fabric.  Again I look forward to seeing the results once the fabric has been rinsed and pressed.




Helen brought in her newly purchased embellisher and practiced using various fabrics donated by other group members.  Helen enjoyed observing and taking part in our activities too, and it's great to see her regaining her creative  mojo.  Helen is going to make a new "journey" drawing and continue to work along with us in future Diversity meetings on this project.


We were all exhausted after our busy session with all the upheaval going on around us too, but agreed we had a great session and and feel we are firmly back in the groove after a faltering few months.  Rachel



Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Moving along......

On Wednesday May 7, six of the Diversity members met to explore printing techniques, in their ongoing "the journey" projects.


Yvonne did some screen printing, while I prepared another print block after finding a further design element I wanted to explore below.



Jill began printing on to fabric with the block she made above, and Jenny prepared to print with her blocks below



Cath printed onto various fabrics with her original design, and also brought along several other smaller blocks she is exploring this technique with



Helen developed a design she liked and made a string block



Jenny encouraged everyone to try their blocks not only with inks and paints, but with discharge paste and thick bleach above, with Cath's discharge paste print below



Cath discussed her print with Helen, explaining she was a little disappointed in the print block


Yvonne says she has now found a design element she is happy to continue with, and made prints with paint and discharge paste above.  Below are more of Cath's stamping the top two rows are potato prints with discharge paste, and below she has made marks with a bleach pen.




Above the discharge paste on two of Jenny's pieces is curing and beginning to appear, and below she printed using metallic acrylic paints



Above and below are more prints from print blocks Cath designed



Above, Cath was pleased with her original design stamped using fabric paint, and below another of Cath's print blocks, both in positive and negative on fabric using acrylic paint.  Very effective on the hand dyed fabric Cath!



Above a further print from Cath and below the result of her discharge and bleach dyeing after washing out the paste and bleach


Everyone agreed this was a good productive day, and  we are all looking forward to the next play session.                Rachel

Sunday, 19 January 2014

The journey continues........

Diversity held it's first meeting of 2014, when eight members continued with their current project "the journey".
After a general chat about what we had been doing during the Holiday break,   Yvonne showed us some ice-dyed fabrics she had produced and explained what she had been working on in her Creative Sketchbook course.
Helen opened the session on our current project.  The drawing travels through the English countryside on a train journey and alongside a canal.  Helen went on to show us a few tracings she had made from selected areas to consider as possible designs to make a stamp, but wants to explore these further before making a decision on her final stamp design.


Helen's journey

Next Cath showed us her ideas, working from an area in her drawing which she has isolated and traced, duplicating it several times to come up with a final design which will be now used to produce a stamp.  Group discussion lead to us deciding that we would each produce a cushion using our final design choices, and have them completed in time for the VSS exhibition in the autumn.

Cath's striking design

Jenny explaining her thought process

Next we moved on to Jenny's work.  Jenny is our mentor in this project, having worked in this way numerous times, so it's alwasy interesting learning her thought process of how she progresses from the small "window" selections she has traced to the next design stages.

Some of the selection choices Jenny has made for further exploration


Jenny chose one of the selected areas filled in some of the shapes in the area then enlarged it, duplicated it, produced a positve and negative drawing of the same area and came up with the designs below.  Jenny explained how with a few little changes the same shape can be made into several different layouts encouraging us to try the same with our own selected areas.





In this shape selection of Jenny's, she has left the areas unfilled, but again enlarged the shape, then duplicated it.  Jenny thinks this design could be suitable for use in a digitised embroidery and may explore this idea further.
We next looked at what Gwen had been working on.  Gwen says she was unable to find a selection which she thought she could work with, until she tried making her selections using a 1" window.

Here is the selection Gwen has settled on using and she began by filling in some of the line shapes 


Gwen worked on grided paper and proceeded to try out various layouts by duplicating and mirroring her selection




and finally decided on this layout, enlarging it in size.

Gwen began work on making her stamp by the end of the session

Every picture tells a story!  

Yvonne told us how frustrated she felt at not being able to find a suitable selection from her drawing to explore further.  Yvonne tried  a different approach in an effort to move forward, using a suggestion Jenny had made of photocopying her original drawing then cutting this up into 4" squares to see if these would yield any ideas.  Yvonne says she found a few potential areas, but still nothing "jumped out" at her.  Jenny suggested she could try and make fresh selections from these smaller pieces, and eventually Yvonnne found a selection she likes and explored this further.


One of Yvonne's selections, duplicated with a few extra lines added

At the end of the session, Yvonne says she felt happier now that she had a design under her belt, but would still explore further areas. 

 Jill arrived at today's meeting with a design she created at the last meeting,


At Jenny's suggestion Jill began exploring another selection she had made previously to see if she could come up with anything else.

duplicated,

and the same design with line spaces filled in

and further selections from this new design

 
Jill tried duplicating circle selections, then duplicated them and added lines to come up with the design below 

Carol worked away quietly and found a couple of selections which she then joined and filled in to give a design she was happy with.  Carol went on to experiment with funky foam and card to create a small stamp, these can be seen on the left of the photo below.

Carol's selection and stamp trials


 For my own work (seen above), I had difficulty finding a selection I liked when working with 2" windows, but as soon as I took Jenny's advise and tried with a 1" window, I found several and narrowed these down to four, which I then re-drew on the computer using Corel Paint Shop Pro .  I was then able to duplicate, enlarge and mirror these to give me some ideas to explore further 



using the same shape enlarged and in different layouts 

I am not sure yet whether I will pursue this design further and produce a couple of stamps to make this layout into a centre panel for my cushion, or re-visit one of the other shapes which I also like.
We all agreed how much we enjoyed this session, and are looking forward to the next one when we hope Ann will be well enough to join in too.  See you next time.
                                                                                         Rachel