Saturday, 8 January 2011

Collage week one

These are collages made using recycled  paper, crayons ink & stitch. I've long been inspired by Jan Beany & Jean Littlejohn; in this instance the first part of their book Creative Embroidery & Ruth Isset's Glorious Papers. I look at the books now with a glimmer of excited recognition as when I first bought them I was unsure of what they were talking about. What has helped me understand a little more of the process are some of the, to me, down to earth & yes, step by step 'workshops' in Quilting Arts & Cloth paper Scissors.

I came across Jill A Kennedy's article; QA June/July 09 No39 on making a paper/fabric background.  ( the pic on the link next to the pink cuff is the embroidered paper patchwork in the article) Our very own Jackie Cardy has a wonderful article 2 pages before Jills! ( it occurs to me, after i've written all this, I'm not going to be accused of copywright fraud or plagerism am I? I'm just sharing what I did inspired by, etc, all credits done. What do you think? I certainly don't f'eel' this is wrong, or I wouldn't do it, it's already out there, in public.

She's used pink & blue wax crayons, love those colors but I used burnt orange & blue watercolor crayons for the first collage & once I'd bought some wax crayons I blindly chose & green. Oh. She suggested one page of circular shapes, one page of linear patterns & the 3rd, blocks of the chosen colors. Sometimes you can overlap the colors & sometimes leave gaps, for the ink to sit on or fill. I didn't do much scratching into the wax to add texture.

watersoluable crayon & ink

cheap wax crayon

Cheap wax crayon & ink - quite different

On coming to use the orange & blue Brusho Inks with a sponge brush, I realised my mistake of using soluable crayons, but wonderful colors emerged, see above, 1st pic. I went over & over it, adding a little red or brown here & there & smiled when I read Corrine's "scribbling" post. I could relate to that, it reminded me of my  birthday postcards, total freedom. I don't have a gold paint stick to go over the crayoning here & there so I used my adored Treasure Gold wax. A gold paintstick is on order! (just for ease of use, honest!)) You then layer a darker ink over the gold bits.

The next stage was to iron the pages! I'm not sure if the wax was melted into the paper but it does look very rich. Anyway, the kind of ironing I enjoy! Then more coloring, more gold wax & ink & ironed again. Of course all the ironing is done with a piece of baking paper or parchnment paper either side of the piece.

Then it's suggested to iron on a piece of interfacing on the backs of the papers but i don't have any iron on interfacing so I used the nappy liners I bought a hundred years ago with some shake on bondaweb stuff. laborious to say the least! Mind the heat if you use nappy liners! Next add Bondaweb to the fronts of the papers but as I didn't have any of that either (on order ;) I didn't. Not sure of the purpose of that, to tone it down a little? I didn't like the look of it tho, when I used it (all up) on a sheet of cuff fabric under organza once.

Then you crumple the paper up a few times to soften it. That made the red green & brown paper a little faded. Then you cut out the bits you like/ cut it into sections & reassemble it with pattern next to blocks of color, & I put light next to dark. Easy sentence to write, quite nerve wracking to do, but hey, just go for it! Feel the fear & do it anyway as they say! Jill laid the chosen pieces down onto parchment paper, butted the edges up leaving no gaps with iron on interfacing on top, covered by parchment & ironed it down. Mine wasn't cut that well so I sprinkled more bondaweb onto nappy liners &  ironed bit by bit carefully. Time consuming my way! 

Then comes stitching, lots of stitching. Jill used free motion stitching with matching colored threads, metallic thread, different zig zag sizes, straight stitch along the patterns, light & darks. I couched down one or 2 pieces of wool but you could use ribbon & by hand, shaped wire.I didn't do much hand stitching, guess what, I was on the minutes! I never leave myself enough time. Jill used a variety of stitches & yarns, straight stitch, french knots back stitch. She also added embellishments, flowers using layers of sheers & machine cords. Her work is stunning. Do go & see. Lots to try later!

If you're a member of QA's community (free) you can get tips from Jill under "free stuff" She also said there were lots of embroidery stitches in QA magazine issues 1 - 6 but I have issue 1 &  am missing 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6! Anybody willing to share the contents of those? Are we allowed, especially as they're forever sold out?

I finished the blue & orange one..well, this time round. it's about 12" x 5"

(just viewed these last few pics properly (a cookie has gotten into the program I usually use) & I see they're fuzzy, as I said, last minute, light going, last day...sorry!)

Jill suggests a felt backing for her 9" x 9" piece zigzagging all round for stability.

No felt so I backed it with sturdy denim. I do have a lot of that as it's what my craft fair stand panels used to be made out of. Not sure if I'm going to frame it 'properly' (my DH thinks my creative mess should be presented neatly to the public) or make it a very mini hanging. I also forgot to stitch my initials into the piece, may do it carefully by hand.

Not finished the other one yet. Never thought I'd use pale green & orange cotton that was kicking about - yes the red turned orange somewhere along the line. I think I'll umph it up a bit & scribble with some black thread.

I even made a sample for my sketchbook!

I'm impressed if you got THIS far!


Suztats said...

Looks like you're having lots of fun experimenting and playing, Emma. I love to see what you're creating! Thanks

Heloise said...

Well I have; and it was all very interesting. I have used painted nappy liners, ironed and applied to other surfaces for texture. Just need to watch out for rough hard edges. They all look good, it is the sample I like most of all.

Laura said...

these are so much fun Emma!

Jill said...

Wow- must admit i skimmed, but it is quite late - but I shall be back for a thorough read and note taking!!

Jill said...

Had to come back to ask if your had seen Carol Wiebe's cracked paper quilts (just google to find her)? Some of her techniques would work well with these. And just to add - you may have the view, but I have Art Van Go, just a few miles away, (unfortunately I can't mail order a view). I shall look out for Ruth Issets book when I visit next week, with some Christmas present money burning a hole in my pocket.

Anonymous said...

These came out really great. There is not much that any of those artists you mentioned cannot do, what a great source of inspiration from Beaney and Littlejohn, always blow me away. For those who can't draw, scribbling's the ticket. Thanks for the mention. Please, do more!
xox Corrine

Unknown said...

That looks great fun, reminds me of using crayons and ink together when at primary school, I think it was mainly when we were making fireworks pictures! :) x

artymess said...

these are great Emma I must admit I didn't read all the instructions I just enjoyed the pictures ............xx

Jan said...

I read it all, found your technique interesting and like your results. I can see one doing more with this. I had tried it myself awhile back, reading the magazine, but my results were so poor I threw them away. Yours are worthy, thanks for sharing.

Beverley Baird said...

What gorgeous pieces! Great description of the process as well! Love the colours you used as well.
Hopeyou've had a great weekend!

ju-north said...

A great tutorial! Must try some of these ideas out - have you tried nappy liners on top of other layers? Great on velvet ..

suziqu's thread works said...

Just love this work Emma - excellent results!
I really also like Jill Kennedy's fibre work.
I checked my CQ mags for you but I also don't have the first few so can't send you copies sorry. I have a few girlfriends who have given me doilies and lace over the last couple of years so I have quite a lot now to go on with and I seem to be using more and more lately in my layered work.
Boy you have been busy! Keep it going girl!
x Suzy

Unknown said...

THese are stunning!! Very inspirational too. Thanks for popping by my blog - I have added you to the very long list I read!

Mail Art Dramas said...

stunning results, rich colors...job well done. I think i will give this a try soon.
thanks for sharing,

layers said...

such textures and rich colors- and so many- you have been productive and working hard.

Anonymous said...

A beautiful and useful tutorial - so glad I found your blog; I'll be following from now onwards. As to your query re plagiarism: as a writer myself, one never minds sharing so long as the origin is acknowledged and a link given where possible (I've done just that in my latest 'journaling' post). And surely, that's what blogging is all about, sharing and learning from each other. Now to add myself to your list of followers - and good to make your acquaintance through cyberspace. P.S. I have those issues of QA somewhere; when I come across them, I'll let you know as you are welcome to borrow them.

Lorraine said...

love the first one

Anonymous said...

I love the way that you have used what you had. The results are stunning.

Jensters said...

Wonderful to see all the different examples.