High Summer on the Common

Took a walk n the Common today without my faithful friend. Since he has become epileptic I find that he needs my full attention, so I reserve my walks with him merely for observation and a little light gathering. It is a very hot sultry day and I could hear the hum of the insects
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One of my aims was to fine some suitable flora to refill some of my now empty jars. The above is a potential candidate. I also gathered some dock seeds and some blackberries.
They are now all sitting in jars of water. I am going to see what happens to the water before filling them with fabric. I suspect I need more of all.

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Lots of flowers in bloom still to be spotted
However it is clear that seed and berry season will soon be upon us.

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Another aim was to take some of my finished cloths and photograph them in situ as it were
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A Reveal

I returned from my holiday and checked on the jars that have been stewing gently on my conservatory windowsill. Since it has been very hot I decided that it was unlikely they would go any further – the liquid in the jars were all clear. I also want to try some more plants etc and there is a limit to the number of jars I have

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As is soften the case with natural dyes some of the promise of depth of colour was lost when they were opened

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This one is oak bark on alum mordanted cotton. It was originally very much like the birch bark from my previous experiments so I added some rusty nails. It has come out a pale mottled grey with some quite lovely marks including some tannish areas
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This is the willow leaf and twig cloth I chucked in some copper staples which has definitely had some interesting effects
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This one is the Forsythia mordanted with alum. This has come out a yellowy green – I was expecting more green than I achieved
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This one is the cherry bark I was hoping for more pinkish tones but the mistake is mine. I added some vinegar when I should have added some alkali. I am going to repeat this experiment. I am still pleased with the results
Lastly and most interestingly I froze some elderberries last year. I kind of expected purplish colours and in the jar the fabric appeared black. I was surprised therefore with this result.
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a beautiful shade of teal. I am well aware of the notorious fugitive reputation that elderberries have. I am interested to see whether the act of freezing has any effect on this. I am going to have another go with this years elderberries too without freezing.
I am working very much on the principle of the need to work with nature and not try to influence it too much. I am going to use what I achieve with no preconceptions and let it inform me of the next step. Thus if the fabric fades so be it I shall still use it.
I still have 2 jars of St Johns Wort, one jar of honesty flowers and a jar of birch bark which has yet to exhaust.
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The New Crop

This weekend saw the FdA stitched Textiles final degree show at Eastleigh College. It seems a lifetime away yet only a year since this was I and my fellow Marks and Stitch students in the same position.
It was a fabulous show hats off to all this years crop, everyone produced some lovely work. I took a lot of picture with my large camera but sadly for some reason they were all duds. These are a few I was able to snatch on my phone this morning that are ok sorry to anyone I leave out but rubbish images are not a good look!

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This work entitled ‘The Hunter or the Hunted’ is by Linda Onions who has been focussing on childhood memories and fairy tales. She combines quilt methodology with non traditional three dimensional work .

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Sarah Waters work ‘The Growth of a New Fabric’ is literally that – she has been growing her own fabric using a combination of yeast and bacteria in a glucose solution, which when dried becomes a useable surface

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I particularly loved these little shoes.

I also loved Barbara Stranges small abstract landscapes in ‘Where the Sea meets the Land…’

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Lastly I managed to snatch a couple of good pics of Helen Sills extensive body of work ‘Welcome to my Planet’ where inspiration clearly comes from within

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I particularly loved her pile of 3D forms

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All in all a fantastic well presented exhibition congratulations to all