A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Latest Art Piece

Today I would like to share with you the methods I used to make one of my latest art pieces using synthetic fabric and some of the techniques I have shared this month.

I am interested in the change of landscape over time and the many layers, some of which are hidden, which are left behind by successive generations to relate a story.

I started with a photocopy of a map of an area in Dorset UK where I had spent a holiday. This area is littered with fossils and was the home of the author Thomas Hardy.

Needing more images for my paper lamination I used photoshop to manipulate some of the photos that I had taken whilst on holiday.

Two of my photos that I manipulated and below the transformed images. I then photocopied both of the black and white images.

 I also used text that I had manipulated on the computer. Hardy’s poems and the story of Tyneham a village that was taken over by the Ministry of defence in 1943.
The use of text is an important part of my visual language as I am fascinated with the shape and rhythm that the repetition of related words can create. My own manipulation of the text creates another layer to the visual narrative

One of my favourite of  Thomas Hardy's poems added to the stones photocopy.
I laid these images out and laminated them onto a piece of polyester.

During the time that I was making this piece I attended a course with artist Alice Fox on Rusting.
Alice showed us how you can paint fabric with tea and use objects to colour the fabric.
Silk or cotton is usually used for this technique but I was pleased that it worked on the polyester and not only where the paper was laminated onto the fabric.
I laid my fabric on polythene and painted it with tea. I then placed several pieces of rusty metal that I had acquired onto the wet fabric. I left it for a couple of days to dry thoroughly checking that the rust was transferring.
I then rinsed it out.

 After I removed the the fabric from the polythene I was left with some really interesting marks.
I took photographs for future reference.

After rusting the fabric I knew I wanted to make a long hanging piece. To give the piece more structure I used misty fuse to add another length of plain fabric to the reverse.
I originally thought it would hang on a wall but taking it down from the design board I noticed that it was more interesting with the light shining through it. 
It still needed some more visual interest so using my sewing machine I embroidered with a pin tuck foot and a twin needle and a gimp which I had rusted.

The lines reflect the contour lines of the map. 

I made another two pieces the same with slightly different imagery but without the embroidery.

I then used a 2 foot drain pipe to pleat these two pieces. I rolled the fabric around the pipe and gradually tied string around the pipe and squashed the fabric down the pipe.
I then steamed the fabric for about 20 mins. When it was thoroughly dry I untied the string leaving the pieces permanently pleated.

On Wednesday I will use my final post to show you the finished pieces in situ at the exhibition.


  1. This is a wonderful depiction of the process of paper lamination and the inclusion of metal to provide the extra aspect of rusting and tea staining... delicious. I would love to see a photo of the final pleated piece. Many congrats on a very successful art piece and exploration of technique.
    Bethany Garner
    Kingston ON Canada

  2. What an interesting process and beautiful work! I wish I could see it in person! And thanks for the link last post to Claire Benn's video. HAVE to try this!


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