Thursday, January 25, 2018

A Scrap A Day - Progress report

My Daily Art project for this year has started nicely. So far I have not had to catch up, I have always found time to get it done 'in time', i.e. I had enough time before going to bed to get it done in enough of a leisure. And I like the way it is developing.
While I was in England, Chrisse insisted that she be involved in the project by contributing the threads during the days I was there. So all the following scraps have been stitched onto the linen with Chrisse's threads.

Only one of the scraps during the week was attached with hand-dyed threads I had acquired from InStitches on Saturday, when they were giving a talk and workshop at the Thames Valley CQ Group Meeting, which we went to as well, driving there in dismal amounts of rain, and back.

And this is what it looks like from the back:

I wonder whether I should take daily pictures of the progress, but I don't think I will. It is kind of fun to lose track a bit on the order of appearance of the scraps on the piece. It is not supposed to be a diary.

Monday, January 22, 2018

A week in England

I have just spent a week in England, visiting with Chrisse Seager. I had been co-reps with her when I was still a regional rep for SAQA, and when we parted working together she had invited me to come and stay with her to play in her dyeing studio. This past week was perfect as my son was on skiing week with his school, and my German students are doing a two-week-practicum, so I took the chance.
It was a very nice week. We concentrated on breakdown printing which turned into a steep learning curve for me. I had only ever done one single breakdown screen with Ali George in Australia, so trying this to a deeper extent was an interesting experience. I love the process, I like the results I got - mostly - but I have to admit that I think most of them are hard to use. Not all screens broke down successfully, either, I probably put too much thickened dye paste onto them, or did not push the mark makers in deeply enough. It was partly flow, and ‘oh, I love this’, and partly ‘so why is this not working …?’

Especially last night the screens I was trying were giving me a hard time. They had been finished for two days, perhaps they were too dry already. Or the problems I mentioned above... In any case, I had a good week and hope to take some textile inspiration back home.

A bit of touristy stuff came with it, apart from many good and long talks with Chrisse who has become a good friend. I took a long walk along the canal that her house is situated on, admiring the locks and the location of this little house which is now a café, seemingly at the end of the world.

And we went to Stonehenge. The pictures are misleading - it was full of people, but the way they lead the paths around it, keeping the masses out from between the stones, you do get a chance to take a picture with nobody in it. This was a good weather day, too. 

Stonehenge was awe-inspiring. The size of the rocks, the admiration of the technical effort that must have gone into putting them up on top of each other - and the wondering about what it all meant, even if I wasn't willing to pay £6  to get at least some of the explanation for that on audio. (I think an entrance fee of £19.50 is quite enough to justify the dispension of audio guides included. I know that maintenance and preservation of this or any such place cost a lot of money, and I understand that an organization like National Heritage must make ends meet, but I thought that was a bit on the impertinent side of rip-off!)

It rained heavily for the last two days I was there, which put an end to plans for bike rides or other walks, but did not lower our spirits.

Now I am back in Germany - a bit tired after a lengthy trip home from the airport because my family could not pick me up - and wonder how the coming week will turn out which has many issues up ahead again. One issue already should have happened today but did not, as a court hearing of one of my Senegalese students who is being put to court for 'illegal presence in the country' was postponed because the interpretor did not show up. Which might increase the cost for the defendant because the lawyer will charge an additional trip to the court room... Things like that make me mad.

I do hope that stitching will be a constant in my every days again, more so that it has been lately...

Monday, January 8, 2018

A scrap a day - new daily art project for 2018

Last year I did not really follow through with a daily art project. Plans for starting a daily drawing project fell through, I did not keep it up, and I did not do daily photography either. This year I hadn't thought about it well in advance of the beginning of the year, in fact, I did not even start thinking about it until the day we came back from our vacation.
I wanted something simple, something textile, not something that would include such a big obstacle as getting myself over my hesitations that I can' t draw anyway...

I have been collecting pieces of thread that occur when changing threads on the longarm.

I have a heap of pieces of linen that have awkward shapes, which I got from a weaving place in the Bavarian Forest, where they produce table cloths from their handwoven linen.

I also have lots of scraps, and embroidery thread in the same color.

So I decided to combine these ingredients. The project is called 'A Scrap a Day'. Every day I will take one of my (mostly yellow) scraps and attach that to the linen. Either by hand stitching, or by machine.
It will remain to be seen what lasts the longest - the year, the scraps, the thread, the linen... (probably the threads). In any case - I started yesterday.

The first scrap attached.

No rules regarding the stitches used, the size or the shape of the scraps.
Perhaps a bit of 'in the vicinity of the previously attached scrap', but even that I am not sure about.
This is the first two scraps:

I am looking forward to it. Just hope I don't usually leave it to the last couple of hours of the day...

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

On vacation

We're on vacation, and I had planned to write a post. But internet is slow here, and I have decided that I won't spend a long time waiting for the computer to upload images while we're here...

Happy New Year to everybody - the picture is from a night-time walk on the moors with the first full moon of the year, on January 1.