The sun shone through the windows as Guild members gathered for their monthly meeting. After the general business matters had been covered the dayschool started.
Chris began with a short power point presentation explaining her personal journey with textiles and her love of plants. She explained plants gave her so much to inspire her work with their colour, shape, scent, meanings, memories, tastes, structure and arrangements.
Next we were led into a series of warm up exercises which helped to take away the fear of drawing onto a blank page and they were all good fun too.
Have you ever tried drawing with your non dominant hand or using cocktail sticks and cotton wool buds with ink?
Then we moved onto producing negative images on paper using graphite pencils and rubbing out shapes with a putty rubber and other techniques. In all of the exercises we had to think about the size of the image, proportions, spaces and groupings.
Producing mono prints was the very messy part of the day but everyone concentrated hard to make a selection of prints. Using ink and a very economical newspaper pad (once a sheet had been used just throw it away, nothing to wash and you’re ready for the next attempt) we tried different techniques; making marks in the ink with drawing implements then placing fabric over the top and rubbing gently and drawing onto the back of the fabric once placed onto the ink pad.
Lunch time came and went quickly. Chris took us into the back room to show us her work. She explained that she works on very small mono prints and builds her designs by layering fabrics and using simple stitches like Straight stitch, French Knots, Fly stitch, Back stitch and Couching to distort long stitches.
Her embroideries were stunning and her choices of fabrics and stitches added to the overall effectiveness of her work. She was a real inspiration to us all.
Back in the work room we set to stitching over some of our prints.
Meanwhile other members were discussing and starting to work on samplers for the Harris museum as well as continuing with their own projects.
And, if you're wondering why some of us were making 'samplers', watch out for the workshops at the Harris Museum later in the year. There will be a chance to see some very old samplers - and some rather more modern ones too.