Inspiration from Nature
The opening few notes of The Isley Brothers’, ‘Summer Breeze’ conjures up the smell of jasmine, the sea and sun lotion and I can feel the sun on my face and the breeze wafting through my hair. It was brilliant to finally be by the sea again last half term and it was great to be on my first photo shoot ! My daughters made up the crew and they did a superb job with the photo editing. It was more than a little breezy !
All of my art work is inspired by nature and being in Devon was a creative feast for my senses. From the wild flowers to the vast array of birds to spot I collected dozens of photographs to pin up in my studio ready to inspire new projects.
Silk Scarf Designing and Making
My scarf collection that you can view in my shop here at The British Craft House is inspired by the winds and seed pods. The patterns describe the movement of winds and the seeds as they take off in the wind, some designs feature abstract seed forms and I use bold colours to represent new life and simply because I love joyous vibrant colours! I love reflecting on the rhythms and patterns in nature and themes of growth and new life and because of this I have named each scarf after a wind e.g. ‘Braw’, ‘Taku’, ‘Ostria’ . There is of course a very practical use for my scarves too that also connects us to our weather!
This scarf collection is an experimental collection of scarves combining unique techniques that allow me to draw onto the silk material and control the mark making and pattern designs. Each scarf is developed through sketchbook designs and samples before being painted. If you have ever had a go painting onto silk you will know that the ink diffuses and spreads very quickly, so I need to prepare the silk surface and mix the inks with a special anti spread medium. My years of experience drawing and painting come in to play as I consider how to create a variety of marks and lines and how to mix and blend my colours. I counted up that each scarf involves between 10-14 different processes and a total of approximately 5 hours to make. So don’t be misled be the apparent simplicity of some of these designs, hand made really does means made with love !
In these two story boards you can see some of the processes. The pink and orange scarf has been stretched onto a homemade frame constructed using plumbing materials ! I then stapled elastic around the frame so that I can suspend the silk under tension. I developed this way of using pins so as not to leave any marks on the silk. In the story board below you can see a design developing in layered stages and you can also see my packaging that I have printed using my seed pod logo design that I cut out of lino. I will share with you more about my other art practices in future blogs but if you are curious to stay in touch and find out more about me and my art practice then please follow me on Facebook or Instagram and subscribe to my newsletter.