Monday, 24 November 2014

Yay! I have a thread stand!!!

Not so long ago I posted about my new tidy sewing room with newly organised fabric shelves and sorted threads. Well it is still tidy, but the promised thread stand proved to be a bit more complex.
I purchased a lovely new stand from the knitting and stitching show this year and eagerly awaited delivery.  It was to hold 120 threads which (I am embarrassed to say) isn't all of them, but it is a start. Anyway, when it arrived I excitedly took it home and Paul carefully installed it beside the fabric unit. It looked lovely so I prepared to fill it only to discover that it didn't fit a single spool of thread in my collection.  Disaster! Who makes a thread stand with spokes measuring 12mm? So afternoon a quick telephone call, they sent me another stand will 100 spokes which only measured 8mm. Result.
So that one arrives, and nothing fits. Arggggh. Paul could see that I was a little perturbed and so offered to help. And on Sunday he took the afternoon and made me a stand.
Well, repurposed the old one! Step one - cut all the spokes off.
All gone!
I didn't photograph the process of cutting and sanding 120 6cm long pieces of doweling! 
Then he drilled 120 iddy biddy holes, and then carefully glued all those little spokes into the holes.
Doesn't it look good!
And so here it is - all finished and full of thread, and doesn't it look great. Paul really is a lovely chap! I didn't want to tell him that this is less than half of my thread stash - so he may have to do it twice more!

Friday, 14 November 2014

Play time - a workshop with Faye Gagel-Panchal

During the summer I took a day off to enjoy a number or exhibitions on for Peterborough Artists Open Studio. It was a chance to enjoy the work, and chat to many innovative artists who open their homes and work studios to members of the public so we can have a good rootle around!
Some artists gather together in one place, including churches, shops or restaurants. In one such place (Stibbington Church)  I found the work of Faye Gagel-Panchal which is unique! She works with paper, fabric and paints to create stunning works of art drawing reference from her extensive collection of saris and Indian textiles. She creates layer of texture over many months, and then seals it behind numerous layers of varnish until they resemble pieces of enamel. She creates small fragments, all the way up to large canvases.
I loved her work so much that I signed up for a workshop in her kitchen. Myself and my friend Sarah went for two sessions over two weeks. I was going to create a canvas and Sarah  was planning to create a fragment.
Week 1 we created a design based on her selection of saris. They are stunning.
This purple one was the source that I chose. 
I then created a design using some of the images. I covered a canvas block with handmade paper and then cut out my design elements. I chose a paisley centre with a border around two edges.

I then used gold to outline the elements.
We left it there and took our stuff home to dry. It was suggested that I started building up some layers of paint in the week before the next workshop, which I did - though a little tentatively.
The following week we went back and the real fun started! I used beads, glitter and layers of paint to create my design and add texture. I carried on working on it for weeks and once I was happy with my design I could start building up the layers of acrylic gloss mediums. With 24 hrs needed to dry between each layer it has taken weeks to create a gloss finish. I'm afraid the picture isn't great because the finished piece is quite glossy and so the flash plays merry heck with the picture quality.
 I am delighted with the results, and now I need to find somewhere to hang it. It was a really freeing experience making this piece. Much of the work I do now has to be precise by its very nature, so being a bit looser was fun. Faye is a great teacher with a huge amount of talent and an ability to draw work out of you without you even noticing, and you even get cake! Now that's what I call a bargain :)