Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Ceramic inspiration

I went to Ceramic Art London at the weekend which was really interesting.  A wide variety of ceramics, some functional, some weird and wonderful and a lot of them inspiring. 
grey orange jars
Photo from:

The friends I went with were unanimous in our liking of James and Tilla Waters' work.  I love the muted blue grey east coast seascape feel, which is put into beautiful relief by the bright orange.

I've been playing with fluorescent orange quite a bit recently, and so their ceramics inspired this sample - not sure I'd have thought of putting these colours together previously, but I do like them and it's definitely something I want to pursue.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Silk shading

I'm trying to convince myself that I like the new technique we started learning last week: silk shading.  It's so tiny, ridiculously small, which means it takes forever, and then the finished piece is just ... flat.   

I know, the whole point is to create light and dark through shading, but it just does nothing for me.  I have consoled myself by choosing colours I like for this exercise (inspired by agave and echeveria plants), but I'm still not sure it makes up for the fact it took a day and a half. 

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Beatrix Potter

Quite some time ago I promised Beatrix Potter 'name' pictures for two young friends of ours.  I have finally got them finished (who would have thought hedgehog spines would be quite so time-consuming?).  The second one has yet to be framed and stretched, but I'm awaiting any last-minute suggestions from OH, and wanted to blog about them now.

The lettering is done using Caran D'Ache water-soluble pencils (so in effect watercolour paint), overlaid with seeding. 

All of the figures are appliqued, padded with toy stuffing and then embellished with stitch.

Jemima Puddleduck's bonnet was a piece of shaped felt folded and stitched into place and her 'coat' is a piece of printed cotton fabric with detached chain stitch.  The hollyhocks are more Caran D'Ache, with embroidery on top. 

Mrs Tiggywinkle is more applique, her bonnet and apron are from a recycled laundry bag and her blouse (and bloomers hung out to dry) are from an old bra(!).  The laundry basket was a variation on basket-weave stitch and the socks on the washing line were my first success with needle-felting.  After much trial and error and suggestions from many different friends (various threads, wire, paintbrush bristles, wood splinters ...) I used bristles from a (brand new) scrubbing brush.