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26 March 2016

Combining the Mix

I like my blog, I use it as a means to record my arty thoughts, to log an idea, or work, which gives it a date.  I have several blogs I follow via Bloglovin - they vary in topic, textile art, collage, mono printing, papermaking, bookbinding, and even quilting, which seems at odds for a totally non quilt making person.

Of course you follow what interests and these days so much intermingles,  I can find myself led to others by a style, or a wish to know how something works, or someone with similar or compatible interests to my own.

So whilst enjoying reading other artistic thoughts and processes I came across a sentence this week which set me off thinking, oh dear, can't deal with this.

I call myself a Mixed Media Artist.  I stitch, so how to describe?  Its a topic which often goes round and round amongst fellow creative stitchers.

Artist - would be ideal, but then its more of a Painter association I feel.
Embroiderer - well yes, but in my head I think of the precision of goldwork, exquisite fine detail stitching.  Not the clumpy random exploits I offer up.
Textile Artist - for while I was happy with this one... and it is the way most of my genre choose to describe themselves.
However, for me it didn't seem quite enough, just not quite matching.  Paper is my fabric of choice, and I prefer paint to dyes, I like hand and machine stitch.  I might use beads or bbq sticks.  Us creative stitchers still find prejudice and lack of understanding as to what our techniques and skills can achieve.
So Mixed Media Artist seemed to be a better fit for me, and open more doors.

So here I am settled with my label, not giving it any more thought, until this week.   There it was... should not refer to it as Mixed Media.... should be known as Combined MediaArghhh like that trips off the tongue any better.

I like Mixed Media - kinda fits me... chuck it in together, mix it up and see what comes out, and call it art darhlink!!

Well I have overheard it said – you know which one Beverley is… she’s the one who makes the weird stuff!


Embossing powders, Frantage - hand stitching beads


Papers, stamping and machine stitch


Hand made paper, stitched seams


Machine stitch, paint effects, paper beads, ephemera


11 March 2016

Sampling the Samples

When stewarding its often a good idea to be doing something, so as to engage with people.  So I decided on some play, a furtherance of the postcard pieces I've already made.


previous makes

Quite ironic I have another sample made, given that I have been on a clearing out spree.
Actually the decision to sort was made months ago, but so far the neglected pile on top of the cupboard transferred to a neglected pile on the floor.

It has long been my intent to sort my City and Guilds Part 1 work, however its in the loft, so haven't got to it.  My Part 2 textile work never went into the loft as it was contained in A3 folders.  Such a volume of things we made.  My friend's husband always used to say we did more work for City and Guild Embroidery, than he ever did for his PhD in Astro Physics!
Part of the reluctance to sort, is not only the time and effort, but the finances expended, on presentations folders and all sorts.  Ssssh best not to mention out loud.

So let's do it.... one pile to keep - one to bin - one to photograph to keep a record and then bin.

I started with my Research Project, doubt I've looked at it in years.  Made the fabric covered folder.  Opened it up 18 A3 pages, indexed, bibliography, beautifully presented. Heck there's reference to a supporting folder of info, what is that?  Where is that?
Looked through it all, and its all gone in the bin.
Our Part 2 tutor gave us additional projects, not part of the course requirements.  We had to take our Research Project topic, find a book title which matched it and design a book cover.  Looking through, I'd forgotten about the other additional related project.




Design a Container.
So there it was, ideas, technique samples, full size patterns, in more than one option -  but the piece was not actually made.  Big pile of stuff again, and for nothing other than the practice of doing. No hard earned log book ticks!!!  (Any CandGers will know about the precious tick)

Rest of the folders were my textiles samples.  Piles of them.  Actually most went in the bin without a second glance.  The simple reality is I don't reference them.  I do know the techniques, I am capable of remembering, and some I can't see me ever wanting to do again.  I don't need pages of fabric dyeing samples using procion, acid and direct dyes with multiple fabrics and threads.   I remember a lesson in dyeing fleece, and the awful pong of devoré.  Setting off the college fire alarms when we used a mini oven to warm heat mouldable foam.  Heck, found a bag of beads which we had learnt how to dye ourselves..... like I'm repeating that any time soon.  We made our own from resin too.  I bought resin - it went hard..... in the tin!


dyed beads

Only a couple of pages will be photographed before binning, and I'm keeping very little.


This play sample, because likely it can never be made again, by anyone. 



Its metal chocolate wrappers which are heated to change colour.  Chocolate no longer comes in coloured foil, darn it, research excuse gone.

Needlelace and Stumpwork will never be my thing, but this technique sampler is so neat, stitching precise, even, and a face which looks like a face, and the wired hand, sooo tiny. Have to keep it just to prove I did it!



I think that's 5 x A3 folders duly sorted, I've put things into one single A3 wallet folder, and even that may get further editing in due course.

Part 1 stuff is in the loft... along with the Part 2 countries and history tomes, and likely the huge back up folders for the assessment pieces.  Hopefully they will find their way to be sorted shortly.

However as paper is my love.... I am not ready to discard all the samples made for my Paper Art qualifications.

Its not been painful to dispose of, I don't need this stuff as evidence as such of my achievement.  Part 1 may prove more taxing, it was such a very important opportunity in my life, start of a long held dream.  When it comes out of the loft, smelling musty, somewhat dusty and housing spiders, likely decisions will come easily!