Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Summer School July 2015

When I arrive at Alston Hall the first thing I do is walk round the gardens which are kept beautifully.

I was the only member from North Lonsdale attending Summer School this year but I was about to learn about cyanoprinting which is something I have always wanted to have a go at.
The tutor was Ruth Brown and the first thing we did was to paint some material on  frames with a light sensitive solution. These were then put in a dark cupboard to dry overnight and be ready for use in the morning.
We then put various plant materials and anything interesting to make some samples which you can see in the pictures below before they have been exposed to UV light.

The pieces were pinned slightly if they did not lie flat and keep contact with the surface. The boards were then put under the sun bed for the UV light to activate the light sensitive material. When the material started to go a dark green the objects etc were removed and the material washed and rinsed and then placed in a slightly acid bath where the beautiful shapes and blue colours emerged.

It was definitely an Ooh moment when the shapes emerged! 
Ruth demonstrated different techniques of scrunching and rolling material and then gradually opening out to produce patterns on the cloth. She also showed us how to add things or take them away thus giving different exposures to objects.

Ruth then demonstrated how to cyanoprint a digital image by making a negative.
It was a very enjoyable workshop and I took home a range of samples on a variety of natural materials.I intend to have a go at home and I have some ideas for a couple of the prints!
The three day course was run by Bella May Leonard and was stitching on acetate and building up 3D structures and you can see some of the work below.

Rusting was the other course led by Alice Fox and some of their work is below.

Summer School is always worth a visit and it is good to just concentrate on one technique at a time. It is also a time to catch up with other members from the North West Region in comfort and with good food.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

"Get Plastered" Maggie Hickman Smith July Meeting 2015

This month our workshop was led by Maggie Smith who has developed a technique of working with plaster onto paper and calico, applying colour and then stitching into the result. She brought lots of samples to inspire us and some beautifullyfinished pieces as you can see below.

Maggie demonstrated how to mix the plaster; one rounded tablespoon of polyfilla, one small dollop of PVA, one larger dollop of white matt emulsion. We all waited in a line like Oliver with our bowls to receive the polyfilla! This was mixed to a smooth creamy consistency with a fork.
Maggie then showed us how to apply the plaster, first to paper then calico with a spreader and then how to markmake into the plaster with various items - corks, sticks, card, printing blocks.

After lunch we were shown how to add pieces for texture such as scrim,  tissue and threads and how to use masking tape as a resist.
These pieces were left to dry and then colour was applied using Koh in Noor.

It was a very interesting day because it was like nothing we had tried before and it was also good fun. By the end of the day we all had lots of samples and lots of ideas how we might use this technique. We took our pieces home to experiment with stitch and use them to make cards or part of book covers.
Thank you Maggie for introducing us to a very different technique in a very fun way.
Sample with stitch applied to book cover