Alice – last day

We got sent out for a walk again. Then we came back to make books and do anything else we needed to finish off. So I made books with some of my papers and then soya waxed some of them. Here is one of mine. 

   And another. So I now have June’s book. Just need to finish April’s and start May’s!!

Then time to pack up and come home. A great workshop – so very glad I did it. 

Alice Fox -day 3

Well, Day 3 hit my weak spot – weaving. This is a skill for which I have very little patience and even less aptitude. 

It was a beautiful day so we went up to the meadow and sat around picnic style twisting grasses into threads. I was rubbish at it!! I had to do a section on weaving when I did my Open College of Arts Textile course. I only did one piece and took against weaving as a requisite skill. I did do a small piece – others all did a better job than me. Jackie kindly twisted a piece for me later in the day so I could stick it in my book. 

In the afternoon, we did proper weaving on a frame – except for yours truly. Everyone else used a frame and set up their warp in thread and wove in thread and grasses. Here is what I did on one of my pieces of wood collected on a walk.

It was much more satisfying for me. Jude did a fabulous piece which I have on my camera and will hopefully remember to download tomorrow.

Just in case you are wondering, this year’s book project is in a bad place. Less procrastination required.

More on Alice tomorrow.

Alice Fox – more

Day two – more walking and then we did monoprinting of the leaves and grasses we had collected. We also used a pasta machine as a press to print. Here are some of my prints:


I liked the grasses and some of the leaves but some I found too “it’s a leaf and so”! The grasses had movement and interest. But different things float different people’s boats and later in the week, Alice showed us a way of overcoming the “flat” print.

More tomorrow.

Alice Fox Workshop

I am lucky enough to be on an Alice Fox workshop this week. She is a fabulous tutor – very calm, clear and knowledgeable.

We have done lots of walking in the the nearby fields Рdoing tasks which included starting a collection of bits.  Only I found a tree trunk Рit has the most beautiful rings on it so is going home with me.

Day one, we did rust dyeing with tea rather than salt or vinegar on paper and fabric. Lovely dark colours unlike the strong orange on colours one gets with salt and vinegar.

Here is a picture of my friend, Yvonne, and Alice having a chat.

More tomorrow…………

Matthew Harris workshop

Recently I went on a workshop run by Matthew Harris at Bobby Britnell’s Moor Hall Farmhouse studio. The studio is in the middle of nowhere – beautiful countryside and lots of sheep, mostly on the road. 

I am a great fan of Matthew’s work and was delighted to get a place on the course. I wasn’t quite prepared for what we did!! We had to take something with us that was no longer in use – suggestions were an old shoe, handbag or anything else that we could take apart. I took the head of a carpet cleaner we threw out some years ago – not sure why the head remained in the garage. So the rules were – we had to take the object apart completely. Then number all the different components. Using dice we had to select 3 bits to make a drawing tool. I ended up with a spring, a bolt and a small rod which I sort of wrapped together. Then we had to use it to draw the original object from memory – of course, I forgot to take a photo of the original!! There were some fabulous drawings from the real artists in the room. Here is mine at the top of the photo below.

In discussions with Matthew towards the end of the course, I hit an interesting problem. Matthew wanted to know where I planned to take what I had been doing into my work. He was concerned that I said that it was unlikely to be incorporated in the near future, except in my sketchbooks. I know that when I did a Denise Lach course four years ago, it took a long time for the concepts of her text as texture to be incorporate in any of my work. I need lots of time to mull over and play with it to make it my own. 

So yesterday, I tried to use the same tool to draw on fabric. I wanted to get a similar image discharged on black and miserably failed. The tool doesn’t work well with either formosol or discharge paste. It needed something stiffer and gooey so I switched to textile inks – still difficult but much better. I now have a pile of fabric like the bottom half of the photo above. Next step is to thickener up the formosol paste and see if that will work.

Better get on with it. Hope you are having a creative day.