Tuesday 30 June 2015

Myths, Magic and Muddle

Another long gap between blogs, mostly due to bureaucracy - hence the word muddle in the title. We decided that we should change the base of the Workshop on the Web partnership to recognise the role that Fiona (and not forgetting Sam) play. Same business - just a new name added. It involved the restructuring of practically every aspect of the business, including re-applying and being approved all over again for everything from the bank account to the taking of credit cards. It all went through OK,  but they took a mighty long time to do it. It must be even harder for people with brand new businesses - at least we had a good track record. I shall spare you the unrelated saga about changing to a shopping cart system on our web page in order to offer kits. Thanks to the amazing Fiona Dix who hosts our site, we can now offer kits through WoW - our first accompanied my article on silk carrier rods (backed by metal shim). 

However, I think we have made it through the dense thickets of corporate clumsiness and it may even have been responsible for a whole new design theme I am exploring. In the middle of it all I had no time for stitch so I went back to drawing. 

While doodling, I drew a landscape with high cliffs, guarded by a barrier. Mysterious. Then I found, by chance, the Facebook page of Symphony of Shadows Masks - some great work there. She recommended a book, 'Mythago Wood' by Robert Holdfast and, guess what, it is all about a mysterious wood with barriers and cliffs. It is deeper than that on so many levels, working on the premise that we create our own mythical figures and settings based on old, folk memories. A tough but gripping read.

So I have started a design book, based on that book and plan a series of stitched textiles when I have finished working through the ideas I'm exploring in drawing and paint.

This page (right) represents the myth of the Green Man - a leafy creature that I am longing to stitch. If I thought about him within the confines of Mythago wood, he would become real and probably quite threatening - he looks a bit cross. The whole thing coincides rather wonderfully with some work I started in the 'Cut, Shape, Stitch' book - I invented a race of warriors and lion-like beings and they are very at home in this land of myth and magic.

I found a wonderful Pebeo paint called Prisme which gives the mottled, metallic effect in the warrior below, left.

You can also see the work in progress on some of the other pages. Many are coloured by laying stencils (some commercial, some of my own) on wet paper. Weights are placed on parts of the stencil to change the take-up of the paint. Val CH and I used to call them pressure stencils.

Blogger is refusing to let me place any of the pics where I want them - but you get the idea. 

I also tried some of the Spectrum Noir alcohol markers that Sam Packer reviewed in the last issue of WoW. They come with a fine point at one end and a chisel shape at the other - great for mark-making. You can see it on the warrior's face and the landscape below him.

I used the Brother Scan n Cut to cut out a tree and, in the pic below am filling the shapes with Prisme.

This is one of the characters from the book - she enters the wood to search for her brother. I might use her for an icon-type textile - she is very suitable.

Well, that is all for now - my mythical wood calls me but I hope to be back soon.