Found at Newark Park - three tiny pheasant feathers. Painting and pen on calico, appliqued onto felt.I like the simplicity. Just needs a few hand stitches to pick out the colours. Note to self- keep it simple!
Finished! I did over stitch this and had to go back and undo. I put more colours in but lost the lightness of the feather. A good lesson learned and always one to ponder on- when to stop stitching? A lesson to carry over to the next piece.
I am making an outdoor piece for the exhibition at Newark Park-at work with the frost looking magical outside.
This is a much larger scale for me than usual but it needs to be bold and weatherproof to go outside at the exhibition.(25 x 86 cm)
On the wall of my studio. Finished! It has taken 3 days. The colours were difficult to match as the feather colours change depending on where you look at it. I looked up the science- it's called structural colouration. production of colour by microscopically structured surfaces fine enough to interfere with visible light. The feathers are brown but reflect blue, turquoise and green. Peacock feathers are symbols for compassion, openness, immortality and watchfulness.
This week I have had to analyse my work process because I am giving a short workshop to some textile students next week. I have had to think about the techniques I use. All the pieces have a story or a memory- this one is a walk- so a footpath piece. Years ago I did a whole series of work on footpaths, so i am drawing on that experience and the techniques I discovered. Well a life time of techniques.Footpaths- symbols of journeys- real or abstract. I started this little one by unpicking some old seams from my clothes.Pulling out threads to make the hedge textures. I Dipped some felt in tea, to take off the whiteness of the felt.Then some free machining into the felt.
Assembling the pieces together. The tree line which way round? The darker side.........
or the lighter? The feather found on the walk- made on soluble fabric- use or not? So many questions to consider. What to add what to leave out? So the work progresses slowly and eventually the questions get answered or carry over to the next piece. It is all driven by the story- a walk on a damp, dark winters day and finding a feather on the path. While I am working on this piece the next emerges.
Using soluble fabric, snippets of organza and metallic thread- fabric made feathers in colour this time. I am thinking of them ( found feathers) as found treasure. In Newark Park all the layers of history lie before the visitor- all the clues to how the house was built and added to, from the Tudor hunting lodge to present day. In the grounds- the same process but the birds remain. Different species must have come and gone, but some the same- observers of the changes? Well they have their own agenda.