At summers end

Children are back to school, the sun is shining and that gorgeous autumnal light has returned. The berries are ripe for picking, butterflies are everywhere, the bees are busy and the land is showing signs of slowing down for the winter sleep. It is harvest time, foraging time and jam making time. I am holding … Continue reading At summers end

Dyeing silks and things in the microwave

I had some fun experimenting this last week dyeing various items in the microwave. I use Dupont silk dyes for all my dyeing projects and these are steamed fixed in a pressure cooker which can take up to an hour plus the use of water to rinse. Some time back I learnt that you could fix dyes in the microwave… but I was reluctant to try not being a fan of microwaves anyway.
However… having seen another textile artist posting gorgeous pieces on Facebook and learning that she had fixed them in the microwave, I vowed to try the very next day. A bit of googling and I found some basic instructions which I followed. This was not enough for my enquiring mind though. I wanted to test other materials that I had previously steam fixed successfully. Continue reading Dyeing silks and things in the microwave

Mixed Media Textile Bundles on Etsy.

These are a wonderful way of gathering gorgeous bits n bobs without having to invest loads in large amounts of things.

As a textile artist I use a large range of products and materials across my various projects and have therefore amassed a vast pile of goodies. I decided to make up these textile bundles as inspirational packages for mixed media textile workers, or anyone who might find them a great resource. They can be used for junk journals, jewellery, scrap-booking, bags, wall art pieces, clothing, needle books and whatever your imagination creates.
These are available to purchase from my Etsy shop. Continue reading Mixed Media Textile Bundles on Etsy.

Mermaids Purse

Earlier this year while wandering the beaches nearby, I came across an unusually large number of Mermaids Purses in various colours and shapes, some I had never seen before. These curious flotsam that wash up on the tide are the egg cases of sharks, ray, dogfish and other similar sea beings and yet they conjure up something more mystical, magical and altogether more charming. Continue reading Mermaids Purse

Trees and silk, my two loves

Bringing an idea from the initial thought, to sketch to fruition takes its own sweet time. It has to be allowed to be born when the elements are ready to come together. My current creation is a fantastical hat made from sari silk ribbons, silk, cotton, felt and silk wools. Beads will be added too. There my be Celtic symbols too as this is most definitely an Irish hat. Continue reading Trees and silk, my two loves

Wherever you lay your hat.

While the outdoors continues to draw me to explore and photograph, I am spending some time being creative at home. In a previous post I wrote about the hats we are creating and this is the one I made as a stand alone piece. I have a few others that are paired with a cuff. These hats and cuffs are handmade using traditional millinery techniques and are in silk and cotton.
These are some of the cuffs, I have hand dyed cotton lace and ribbons to match the silk ribbons. While many of my pieces are shabby chic, there are also cuffs in gothic blacks and reds, there will be bridal ones too. I can see young ladies at their graduations wearing them and elegant ladies at garden parties looking fabulous. Any occasion that calls for wearing a statement piece. Continue reading Wherever you lay your hat.

Arashi Shibori silks

Shibori dates back to the 8th century in Japan where traditionally indigo was used to dye fabrics. There are different forms which with folding, stitching, compressing, binding and twisting the fabrics, form an array of designs and unique patterns. I adore working with silk and have been making hand painted scarves for many years. I like to explore new ways of applying dyes and came across the Arashi Shibori technique a few years ago. Arashi means storm and the patterns formed using this pole wrapped method create designs like driving rain. It is at its best when used on long pieces of cloth. Since the late 19th century, Japanese artisans working 2 together, could wrap up to four 12 yard kimonos on 12 foot poles saving a lot of work on older methods and techniques. This is perfect for silk scarves. Once I had got the gist of the process I played around with it, twisting and folding the fabric as I wrapped it, this created amazing feather like patterns. I try to keep to no more than four colours which in turn when blended will form other colours, these must be thought about too so they are all compatible. Continue reading Arashi Shibori silks