Saturday, 21 April 2012


I spent Thursday and Friday on an Machine Embroidery workshop with Alison Holt.  The subject was 'Seascapes'.  This was a completely new discipline for me and I was a little apprehensive but I told myself that it was the experience I was after, not to create a masterpiece.  The first thing we had to do was select a photograph, and I chose a fairly simple one with not too many cliffs and huge waves.  That will all come later.  Then we had to trace off the design on to fine silk after stretching it on to a frame.  The next step was to paint the picture with silk paints after we had gone over our traced lines with gutta which would stop the paints from running where we didn't want it. Alison gave us a demonstration each step  of the way.  She showed us how to create the textures and impressions we needed with machine stitch and then we were let loose to create our pictures.  Our painted pictures were stretched on to an embroidery frame and at first I found it difficult to control the frame as it slipped very easily all over the place.  Alison always works without a foot on the machine and I was dreading this as when I have tried before the results have always been disastrous. However this time I managed to do what I was supposed to.  It takes a lot of concentration;  the machine needs to run quite fast to stitch properly and working on such a small scale is new to me but I don't think the results are too bad although there is room for much improvement.!    It is still unfinished. I need to stitch the sand, though I quite like the look of it without stitch.  I think I will do sparse stitching for the sand but there is quite a lot of texture there.  I won't be finishing it for a while as we are off to Ardingly again on Monday for the International Antique and Collectors Fair and then France to do a bit of selling at a Fleamarket in St. Lo and a bit of buying from our favourite dealers. 
Dorset Art Weeks is coming up swiftly and there is still a lot of work to be done for that.  I have made a bunch of sketchbooks and done preparatory screenprinting on old french linen for cushions,  I am going to do some more indigo dyeing on silk for scarves so I can take these with me to France to do the preparatory stitch resists.  I am going to be exhibiting with a group of other Textile Artists at Highway Farm just outside Bridport.  Have a look at our website, you might think it worthwhile coming to pay us a visit.  You will find us here .