Saturday, 27 October 2012

Architectural embroidery workshop

It was bitterly cold in Hornsea yesterday for the workshop with some sleety showers and then a tiny bit of snow here last night, not good.

The embroidery workshop was something completely different for me and was run by the very talented textile artist, Gina Smith who is part of the Diverse Threads group in North Yorks. Gina is particularly into architectural embroidery which is kind of building up layers of fabric and then embroidering or embellishing upon them. Below are 2 of Gina's textile artworks.

The subject matter is not necessarily architectural but for this workshop we were asked to take our own picture of something like a building, a doorway, archway or such to work upon.
I took a view of the Shambles I had, with hindsight this was rather too detailed for a first attempt and a bit ambitious! I think some of the other ladies had been on a similar workshop last year and they knew to take something simpler.

We were given an info sheet on what items we needed to bring along and I had slightly mis-read one of the most important bits which meant I got into difficulties as the workshop progressed. In the items to bring, it referred to 'shears', I interpreted this as scissory things or pinking shears, it actually meant shear fabrics, floaty silky, organza type stuff which I had very little of and not in the colours I wanted to use. I only sussed this out the night before when it was too late to change my project or buy more fabric. Anyway, the shear fabric was needed to build up layers, to create shadows, to insert other bits n bobs between layers and so on, so it was really was a big part of it. I on the other hand had been thinking we were using cottons. 

Cutting to the chase, you needed to draw your photo onto some backing fabric, being quite bold in biro.

You then put another piece of plain cotton over the drawing, opaque enough to see your pen lines. You then select shear fabrics for the background and it is almost like painting as you cut other shear bits up and place them in position for the different parts of your picture.

At this point I realised mine was too complicated and I didn't have the right colours of fabric to use.

The horrible chiffony fabric had a life of its own and wasn't good for cutting small bits which my picture consisted of. This is about as far as I got as we neared the end so not much of a result to show I'm afraid, and no actual embroidery on the fabrics.

I wasn't put off by my lack of success, in fact I will be keen to try again but that will be at a time I can concentrate more, when the weather is good and the light is good and when I have some suitable shear fabrics to use. So you could say a work in progress which is going to reappear at some point next year perhaps.

An interesting way to do textile art and with a lovely group of ladies so a good day was had by all.


greenrabbitdesigns said...

Even if you didn't get as far along with it as you wanted it is looking good Sally. :) I do hope you continue on with it as I would love to see it finished.
No big freeze here, it's raining at the moment and just under 10deg!!!
Vivienne x

Chelsea Richards said...

I found this totally useful! Great post! It looks like that I have a new ideas for my art class next week… Thanks for sharing…

patty said...

Thanks for the words of encouragement V, I'll see if I can make a big effort next year as I'd like to finish my scene of York Shambles.
Hi Chelsea, glad someone found this useful as I struggled a bit with it.