Monday, 9 September 2013

Textiles of the Past. Work in Progress

Working from primary sources as opposed from photos  is often the best way of capturing the 'feel' and essence of an object or artifact. There is something special about handling a piece of old textile that has been made and used by someone from a bygone age that can be conveyed in your own new work.  
For our workshop day on 9th September we used antique textiles as inspiration for creating some really contemporary pieces.
Here are a few pics from the day in the new hall ( which is fab to work in and a special thanks to our lovely caretaker lady who helped us settle in).
Just a few pieces of the real  stuff to work from. An array of world textiles from my collection.
Joan selecting some colours and textures to tie in with the  afgan trouser cuffs she had chosen to work from.
Linda was working from a Sind wedding headdress with shisha glass and very close work embroidery. She did a lovely detailed colour drawing in her sketchbook ( see right hand lower corner).
Kathy had chosen an Albanian goldwork piece as a starting point for her work. Changing the colours but using the shapes and symbols from the piece - you can tell she is working frantically - look at her hands go !!!
Pam selected a small area from a 1920s bag and worked with the shapes and flow of the piece.
Look at that stunning and utterley delicious fabric she purchased from the Festival .Just perfect for the squares on her piece.
We all gushed over this. Purples and blues in  shot metallics. Would make a brilliant Shirley Bassey dress !!!
Silks and more silks. Sue fell in love with an antique piece of patchwork - grandmothers garden hexagons hand stitched of course. But she really loved the backing that showed all the mark making in stitch. Changing the scale and using machine stitch, her piece will show strong influence from the original.
Olive selected a delicate lace panel. Cutting out star shapes in a variety of fabrics and colours, she has applied them to a black discharged backing. With the intention to work into it with machine stitch. A powerful contrast in colour but it works !
Ali took a Victorian beaded purse covered in roses and other florals and extracted some interesting  shapes from the piece. Applying hand stitch over the top with the intention to add beads to reflect the original piece.
Ann choose an old Afgan piece because she loved the rough ridged texture. Working in hand stitch and intending to work machine stitch over the top, she used simple shapes and sari ribbons to show the influence from this embroidery.  Oh how are you going to do the cowrie shells?

Having a break for lunch - but still working of course. Hope everyone enjoyed the day and got some interesting aspects from it. Looking forward to seeing some finished pieces.
Great big hall and lots of tables and plug points -  a success for our expanding group.
We missed everyone who couldn't attend ,but  hope to see you next time for the  October session.
Sally Hutson


  1. Wonderful inspiring day, so much beautiful work to choose from . How hard those skilled crafters from the past worked to sew their inspired pieces . They certainly inspired us to make our own pieces .
    Thanks for a super day Sally . What a collection of diverse textiles .

  2. Managed to put that under Sarah's name , but at least I was able to write something ---- Linda