30 January 2015

Ceramics, week 3

Earlier in the day I had made the fabric shapes for dipping: stitching and gathering, wrapping and pleating, and then steaming in my home-made apparatus, which consists of a square of fabric with corners tied. It fits over a large pan of simmering water, but must not touch the water. You have to be careful with cloth near a flame, so the flame was at its lowest and I put the corners up on the lid as much as possible -
Safety first!
The steamy parcels
At the class, it was exciting to get the delicate items from last week - intact; they're about 4" tall but my plan (or, hope) is to make them larger -
After the day of winding at Espacio Gallery, I made some balls of cotton wound over crumpled paper, and dipped them, then let them drip. Which gave rise to the idea of letting the stitched fabric drip, rather than puddle - and drying it with a hair dryer so that it would keep its tall shape. Let's see if that works -
Robert suggested painting the fabric with glaze, for stability - it can dry and the fabric can be dipped next week -
This is what went into the kiln - some stamped tiles, filled in with black slip, and five textile creations (fingers crossed) -

29 January 2015

Poetry Thursday - page 235 of A Humument by Tom Phillips


Can a picture be a poem? This one can, if you go to the web page on which it appeared (click here) and listen to the author reading it. Hearing it adds that extra, sensible, dimension.

The picture is p.235 of Tom Phillips' A Humument ... which started life on 5 November 1966 and is now in its fifth edition, as the artist remakes pages. It has its own website, where you can get the book, prints, and even an app.

Here's a screengrab so you can see lots of images of it at once, as well as Tom Phillips in the bottom right corner -
Click to enlarge, or search for "humument" to see more
Tom Phillips (b.1937) is an artistic polymath -  his work, it says on his website, includes "painting (both figurative and abstract), opera (composer, librettist, set designer), concrete poetry and ornamental forms of writing, sculpture and site-specific designs (mosaic, tapestry, wire frame objects). He has also taken on several para-artistic roles – critic, curator, committee chairman for the Royal Academy, translator..."

He became an artist, the story goes, because while in primary school he heard the word artist and learned that an artist is someone who doesn't have to put his paints away - so he decided to become one.

28 January 2015

All wound up

It was good fun at Espacio Gallery's Anti-Gallery Gallery show last week, sitting and doing things with wool and thread - some people came because they knew what was going on, and others came in off the street, looked at the work on display, and stayed to help wind a memory ball or do some knitting -

Other things were going on too - Pat was inviting people to try printmaking -
and Esperanza was making a fluorescent ball, which she squeezed out the door to sit on the pavement -
My idea for the memory ball is that a person would be enjoying the sweet while winding the wrapper into the ball -

Some of the winders -
Gabrielle and Karin, from Hastings
Two young men from Madrid who now live nearby
Catherine [hope I remembered the name right!] introduced the idea of tearing the wrappers
Shirene also contributed a length of braiding
Knitting instruction was on offer
Viva learned, Agnese already knew how
(note the display of  newly-made prints on the wall)
Later on...
Morwenna with some of her Continuous Making project
Tap performance by members of Women's Tap Rhythm Collective
 After which, more winding -
In the background, near the window, Caroline's knitting, to which we contributed

27 January 2015

Drawing Tuesday - ironwork at V&A

Lots of lovely linear things, like this lecturn - but no space near it for settling in on a drawing stool -
This grille was far away but enticing - symmetrical except for the mermaid in the middle - perfect for charcoal -
What I didn't know was that charcoal is now prohibited in the V&A. The warder who broke the news very kindly let me finish the drawing "but do be quick, we've got one of the curators coming to look at an object incident" (someone had been tampering with a screw, perhaps with a view to removing the object).

After a week of being carried around, the drawing has now mirrored itself -
Next challenge (pencil this time) is this 17th century German bracket - again, it was the 3Dness that attracted me -
The proportions and angles were made trickier to capture by the slanting lines around it. And there turned out to be "more than meets the eye". This is the point where I nearly gave up -
Some time later, a bit wishy-washy, a bit inaccurate, but all there -
Next time, contrast - contrast, contrast, contrast!

Michelle was capturing pattern (with enviable contrast) -
I know she develops her sketchbook pages when she gets back home - a lesson to us all. The simple design here could have many developments -
Mike was certainly using contrast - a screen by Guimard, who did the Paris Metro entrances -
and these are by jeweller Wendy Ramshaw -
Afterwards I went back and observed variations in curlicues -
Those are 19th century copies of older ironwork, so I went to look at "the real thing" in the medieval galleries - the Chichester Screen, for example, 12th century -
Along the way, wonderful shadows from the ironwork gallery's centrepiece (19th century) -

26 January 2015

Developing the graphite travel lines

Wetting the paper before writing with soluble graphite (on gessoed bristol board)

Paper prepared with a wash of grey-green acrylic paint

Taking apart a book published in 1738 - sacrilege?

The bookpages gessoed and written on
Single pages treated with pva (left); the other three are gesso, with writing in various materials

Leftover paint on brown bags - too colourful, at the moment anyway

Lots of water versus no water

Gessoed till receipts, with felt tip, gold pencil, biro, water and graphite, pencil

Fine sand added to gesso; when written on and put into the sketchbook to dry, it made a sandy offset print

25 January 2015

"Please do not touch the quilts"

The "do not touch, please" sign is all too often ignored at quilt shows, and it can be an unpleasant duty to remind people (though there are ways, and ways, to do this...).

Human nature being what it is, seeing the do-not-touch sign is likely to make people want to touch!

Here are some attempts at a solution to this dilemma.
"You may be stitched in the ditch"
"Unauthorized touching causes chocolate to taste like brussel sprouts"
"Unauthorized touching cuases adult children to return to your home forever"
"You may be cut into half square triangles"
"You may be stacked and whacked"
Displayed in Utah (via)
Nice little (or larger) quilted signs -
California (via)

From North Carolina (via)

At a show in Canberra (via)

Made by members of a quilt guild in Richmond (VA?) (via)
 I'm less than impressed by this sign, in a shop rather than a show -
 Ah, the irony of this quilt by Elizabeth Hartmann -
Note the reminder!

Other aspects of quilt-minding are considered in "White Gloves at the Ready!" on Ragged Cloth Cafe.