Sunday, January 28, 2007

Stamping away

Today was a day for catching up with fabric book pages - the lesson this week focused on stamping, both with rubber stamps and from nature. I had to laugh when the lesson was posted - it was the only time so far this winter (and likely to be the only time) when we had snow covering everything - just when I needed leaves!

Anyway, I finally got around to really playing with stamps - though I have added a few things to previous pages, it's true. It's very hard to see in these photos, but I have done lots of background stamping, in addition to the more obvious ones on the second set of pages. In the red/purple pages, both backgrounds are heavily stamped, the left one with a rubber stamp of a feathery leaf and the right one with actual leaves - three sizes of ivy and a small fern frond. Because the fabrics are quite dark the stamping adds texture rather than dominating, which is what I was after.

In the left hand page, the image of an Indian woman was printed directly onto fabric - because I have no intention of washing these pages, I didn't use specially treated fabric, I just used the same method we used in an earlier lesson to print onto twill tape - I printed the image out on thin card, then attached a piece of fabric with double sided tape and printed it again. It was a fairly pale image to start with, and of course putting it on coloured fabric makes it recede into the background even more. This was intentional, and I'm pleased with how it came out - I was worried it might be too faint, but it works, I think. After attaching that image, I stamped in various colours with a feathery leaf stamp, then added skeleton leaves, a bit of ribbon cut out, some elephant sequins and a design I printed onto a transparency. I attached the transparency with some beads. Olivia helped me with these two pages, including letting me use some of her beads (I actually had some the right colour myself, but she really wanted to be able to lend me something I didn't have, so I was duly grateful - she's 7...)

With the right hand page, I decided to stamp all over it before adding anything else. Olivia and I inked some leaves - ivy and a fern frond in various colours and applied them to the fabric. The fabric was quite mottled to start with, so the stamping is subtle (though not quite as subtle in reality as in the photo, I admit). I then added some bits of paper, postage stamps, two transparencies (one just with glue, one attached with a brad at the top) and some German paper (the bees). It was hard for me to stop adding at this point, but I didn't want it to get too busy - I will add some decorative stitches later, though.

I forgot to say that the first thing I did today was to put together some of the other pages I have waiting - so now, I have all of them completed except for what I did today (and the one green page which is the flip side to one of these pages). Not sure how many more pages we are supposed to create, but I'm beginning to feel this book is nearing completion. It will need at least one more side in order to finish it, but it might not want a lot more than that...

After lunch, I moved onto the blue pages, which Sarah helped me with. This time I decided to make at least one page where the stamping was the focus. I have a large compound stamp which I like but had never used, so I decided to give that a go for one page. On the second one, I once again stamped the background, but also brought a few stamps to the foreground on paper for emphasis.

This is the one with the featured stamp - it doesn't look bad here, but it's clearer in reality - especially the central bit, which is a patterned hand and the word "LOVE" below. I decided adding any other stamps to this one would detract from the main stamp so just added some funky paper, some stickers, star sequins and some letters from an old game. Love that ephemera... We tested the stamp several times before deciding how to use it, and came to the conclusion that due to the nature and shape of the stamp, it was possible to easily put two colours of ink on it, which is not something I usually try - too fiddly. My stamping is getting much better than it used to be - we'll see if that's true with dyes & paints, too next time I try that!

Finally, this page was done by covering the entire background with stamps in various colour inks, then building on top. Quite early on, Sarah and I decided to cover the whole page with a thin layer of Angelina, as we liked the hazy effect that gave. The girl is printed on matte photo paper, with two pieces of lace running behind her. The star and flower shapes are paper; I have stenciled the star pattern onto the flower shape and stamped one of the shapes I used on the background onto the star, but this time in neon pink, just for a spot of brightness. Then the Angelina was added and sewn down with a few lines of decorative stitching. And finally, I put a strip of embossed felt (a new craft shop find - very cool) down the side. This is the only item that is on top of the Angelina.

In all, a very useful day - not just because I got several sets of pages made, but because working with each girl in turn worked very well. They don't argue that way, for one thing, and for another, they have a slightly different way of looking at things than I do. I don't always agree with them, but it's interesting to have some other input. DH, while admiring of the finished product, would not be helpful in the creation process - not his sort of thing at all...

Monday 29/1: Anna's comment reminded me I haven't said anything about which class this is since some early posts about these pages - the class I am taking is a private online class with my surface design group (which is a closed group), but it's given by Lenna Andews, who offers similar classes through and elsewhere - check out her website if you are interested in this sort of thing. I think she's a very good online teacher (and no doubt in person too!).


Carol said...

I love your work, i am so glad you left a comment on mine so i found you! I have seen your TAST stuff and it is lovely. For mine I coloured some wonderweb and ironed it on to taffeta, and I pinch a bit off each week now to work on.If you look back a few weeks I am putting them in a book for my GCSE children at school, I teach textiles to 11-16's! I love your stamped pieces.

Carol said...

My email is, if you want to chat again!

Anna Nowicki said...

Kate - you say 'the lesson was posted' do you mean on line - which course, where etc etc - I would love to take part in work like this. HELP. Anna Nowicki