an artists' view

an artists' view

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Richard Hamilton R.I.P.

Yesterday I caught the news that Richard Hamilton had died.
Famous for the collages he created back in the 1960's which ushered in the 'Pop Art' movement. Famous for the paintings he did depicting the dirty protest, and the IRA hunger strikers of the 1980's.
And famous for the cover of The Beatles album (that became known as) The White Album.
In the interview the played on Front Row last night, he said that he wanted to just have reference numbers on the plain white cover, and not include the embossed name of 'The Beatles'.
Minimal indeed!
It would still have sold as many copies though!
I have a numbered White Album; though the condition is atrocious! I went out and bought a replacement vinyl copy, it was just about unlistenable. Obviously I put the new vinyl into the old cover though!

Dyed Paper

This is some paper I dyed by steeping it in rainwater with onion skins. The paper is hand made Indian paper, from a lovely sketchbook/notebook I was bought a few xmases ago.
The black edgings are from the small metallic bulldog clips I used to hold the folded paper together in the dye-pot.
My very first go with dye-ing using plants!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Spinning the Whorl

It's been such a busy summer. I've not had a chance to write up all the things that have been happening. And now here's September again, and things are cranking up back into action with work.

A while ago, Jon and I went to East Yorkshire when it was Archaeology Week, and visited a farm near Driffield where they were holding a display and activities to be part of the celebrations.

They have a replica of the 'Wetwang Chariot' on display, and a video of it being pulled by a horse, and a woman riding/steering it. It's an amazing reproduction, and I was reminded of the Ferrybridge Chariot which was dug up when the the 'new' M62/A1 connection road was being built. I saw it when it was on display at Pontefract Museum. Sadly it's now in storage, as there isn't enough space to keep it on permanent display.
These finds make me wonder what is beneath our feet that we know nothing about; mysteries which only turn up when roadbuilding occurrs.

Still; the day out in East Yorkshire was fun. And I got to see a replica Anglo-Saxon loom, with loom-weights made from the holed stones found on the east Yorkshire beaches. I had a go on that.

I also found someone to demonstrate how to spin using a drop-spindle. We had a real laugh as we experimented! It's harder than it looks! And those women using the drop-spindles would do it at the same time as they were doing something else!
I have utter respect for them!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Dye-ing; and Wool

Some fabric l ironed on transfers l'd initially painted on paper. An interesting process, though l did think...'well why not simply paint directly onto the fabric?' I still do ask myself that question.

Meantime, after the onion skin infusion, I've got 2 bundles soaking that I made whilst in Scotland, plus one I put in a jar with beeroot juice (India Flint's Solar-Dyeing, as she calls it), and another steeping in the Herb Robert.

Whilst in Scotland I also 'collected' a big bundle of sheep sheared was just lying on the ground, honest guv!
That's soaking in a box in the garden; awaiting my action on what to do with it. It does need washing; and it also needs teasing apart somehow, to make it possible to work with.

When I start the textiles course again, I'll have access to some carding combs to help me with that....hurrah!

Monday, 5 September 2011

Fabric Dye-ing, and Herb Robert

Herb Robert turns from green to red in the leaves. I've read that this can produce a red dye, so have picked some, and steeped some fabric in the liquid.
Unfortunately this plant has a disgusting smell (!) so the house has reeked, whilst I've been working with it. I'm soaking a linen/cotton blend fabric, so it will be interesting to see the difference between this and the thicker cotton fabric I've been using so far.

Autumn and Holidays

Who knows where the time goes? as Sandy Denny once asked!

Jon and I went to the Isle of Islay in Scotland, in the middle of August; so that was exciting, as well as very restful. Campervan Blanche did us proud.

Finlaggan is the place on Islay known as the site where 'The Lord Of The Isles' were based, though they moved around their kingdom, rather like the Medieval and Tudor kings did in England. Above is the standing stone at Finlaggan, which overlooks the visitors centre. Growing on it, is some remarkable lichen. Around here is where I found the sheep-fleece.

Finlaggan sits out in the loch, an ancient site built on man-made islands (crannogs). Like all the islands in Scotland, sky and water dominate. In gullies white froth sits atop peat coloured water, creating patterns.

And the crannog reaches further into the water, where once there was a pavement from one island to the next. Now underwater, you can glimpse the rocks falling away into the depths.

I found another of those neolithic carved balls that I keep finding in various museums (Museum of Islay Life). We camped on the beach and watched fantastic sunsets; and also saw a couple of gorgeous moon-rises!

We walked round the magical Walled Garden, where we bought some seasonal veg.

I did quite a few drawings, that I'm now looking at re-making into textile pieces; AND I took some fabric, which I made bundles of, and soaked, dyed, and tied.
They are currently soaking in a bowl full of tea (!); for the tannin, to help with the mordanting.

A piece of fabric I'd left soaking in onion skin water whilst I went away, has been removed, dried, and is now ready for use. The first of my plant-dyed fabrics!
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