Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Minerva Exhibition

Our Minerva Exhibition is now on, and panic over, I have a little time before the next project! It does feel strange not to have any stitching on the go - well, I say that but there is the UFO box in the stockroom.... 

I've been delighted at the work the girls in Minerva have accomplished over the last year. Despite babies and weddings etc., everyone in the group managed to finish at least one piece. Our theme for this year was Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, with a 3d project as part of that and as usual a colour themed exercise.

I'd decided on a monochrome theme this year: Positive & Negative. I had a piece that I'd started at college and not finished, so it was a little selfish of me to suggest the theme I must admit, but I did do another couple of pieces and had planned more, so perhaps I'll have to do a black and white body of work!

Positive & Negative
For this piece I started with a piece of black felt and layered fabric, thread, ribbon, buttons and beads. Machine stitching embellishment was used in the main. I had a terrific piece of black fabric with white latin text which I scanned in, reversed and printed on Ink Jet cotton. I also used some buttons I acquired at an exhibition at the V & A, made some black and white Tyvek beads and to finish it off altered an Ikea frame to make it onto a box frame.

My main piece is entitled Chained to the Past. Another collage, this time using vintage, antique and modern lace, buttons from my mum's button box (some of these may even be Victorian as I'm sure she inherited my Grandma's button box). I also used lace flowers which were part of my own wedding headdress, and part of a lace doily both of which were distressed with rusting powder.  I had wanted to include a clock, the time of which had been stopped at 8:40, and was delighted to note that the doily was sectioned into 12. I added hands which I distressed (lots of distressing in this piece!) with alcohol ink. There is also part of a lace table cloth which I used to use on my display when I sold Tupperware many years ago (hi Toni!).

The image of  the bridal supper table was printed onto Ink Jet cotton. I first embroidered it with a proprietary ivy stitch from my sewing machine, but decided it needed more texture. The ivy was made by using part of an embroidery design from a Brother V5, stitched onto soluble fabric which was washed away when it was completed and then stitched on. I added a chain, key and a lock and found a little plastic shoe which I couldn't resist stitching in once I had knocked the shine back with a bit more alcohol ink. 

The figure was made on a background of dupion silk, with lace for the skirt which I outlined with free machining, silk gauze for the veil and bullion knots for the hair and the figure was then padded with felt. I backed and edged the hanging with a piece of brown silk which had been hiding in my stash just waiting for this project (never throw anything away!).

The Lost Shoe was my 3d piece. This was made by laying down threads onto a piece of Solufix soluble film, then free machining over it. Whilst it was still wet from washing the film away, I molded it around a shoe last I bought from the Museum of London and left it to dry. I made a sole and a heel from silk-covered Pelmet Vilene and edged the top with silk bias binding. I made a silk fabric flower for the front of the shoe and added an embellishment from a packet of decorative buttons. I added the ivy as an afterthought but think it works quite well. This was made by stitching onto green organza backed with soluble film (where would I be without it?), washed and cut with a soldering iron then wire was wrapped with thread for the stems and tendrils. 

There are more pictures on the Gallery 50 Facebook page and the exhibition is on until Sunday 27th September so do come along and see it.

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