Ongoing blog written by Stella and Karen, who together form the textile group The Read Threads
Tuesday, 24 May 2011
Nearing the end of the residency
I only have two more days left in the residency studio now and those will be sent setting up a small display and talking to some of the business owners about the work I have been doing inspired by my visits to their premises, so today was really my last real making day in the mill. I spent it working up samples based on my visit to The Chair Workshop in Sedbergh. I'd loved the curved marks left by the Masai bells on the door but I have in the end been more inspired by the marks left in the worktop varnish as the workshop owners rotate the chairs they are mending. They reminded me of the marks skaters leave on ice or the way a child might scribble a big circle onto a sheet of paper with a wax crayon. I did lots of studies using a pale brown ink laid over wax lines. I'd loved the wax resist sketches I saw at Leeds Art Gallery by Henry Moore last month so it was a pleasure to play with the same technique. I also tried curving splashes of silver ink and liked both of the effects.
By a wonderful coincidence my chum at Skipton's Oxfam shop had reserved a couple of lovely pale brown wool blankets for me and these were my starting point for this week's samples. I used them to hook the background then first tried bleaching, then painting on some lines. Neither worked so today I used white glass seed beads and silver embroidery thread to lay out some delicate irregular curves. I'm still not quite there yet and might retry bleaching lines with some advice from Stella on how to thicken the bleach to make it stick where I want it. However, that will be for another day, and definitely back in my home studio not at Farfield. I am now looking forward to chatting with the business owners with a view to them displaying some of my work in their premises during the summer. Let's hope that they like them!