Last week I posted about my discovery of a beautiful example of Tudor woodwork, the Parham fire surround. I found the detailed carving inspirational and have developed a motif from one of the pheasants lurking in the carved vegetation.
Here is more of the process shown in a few photos as the design is first outlined and then painted with dye, pink, old gold and moss green, on a handkerchief-sized piece of silk.
I was not convinced about the old gold so it was dropped when I expanded and transferred the design to a larger, 90 x 90 cm square silk twill scarf.
As I recently mentioned June is the month of roses and I do love a classic pink rose – I think that’s why I have been working with pink all this month.
And, the pieces are now ready to be rolled in paper and steamed for a couple of hours to fix the dyes.
Most of the scarves I sell are bought as gifts. And, whether my customer is buying from me in real life, or online, I carefully fold each scarf within acid free tissue paper and place it in a box. Now there is more to boxes than just simply being a cardboard container.
Originally I chose a pale blue and black box design with a blue and black image on the lid. It was okay, but I always felt the boxes were too deep for a silk scarf.
Last year I changed my supplier and now have plain matt black boxes the appropriate depth.
Initially, I added my pink and black colourful logo to the lid. However, I didn’t think it really worked, so . . .
. . . for my recent outing selling my work at ‘British Crafts at Blackthorpe Barn’ I decided to change the design for the lid to give a more muted appearance.
Mind you, the rest of my display was so full of colour, pattern and ornate props, I doubt anybody noticed the appearance of the boxes!
Last weekend and again this coming weekend I will be selling my work at ‘British Crafts at Blackthorpe Barn’. The venue is a fantastic, timber-framed Suffolk barn dating from about 1550. Over its long history the Barn was used for threshing and storing grain. Indeed, the Barn was still used as a grain store up until 1985. It is a beautiful airy space with the massive timbers supporting a 30 metre long, thatched roof.During the course of the weekend it was a pleasure to meet so many people, especially some very talented crafting folk not least my neighbours, Karen, of Karen Risby Ceramics, and, Kerry, Kerry Richardson Designer Jeweller.A big thank you to these experienced and accomplished designer makers for their warm welcome to this newbie to ‘British Crafts at Blackthorpe Barn’.
It is now the season of Christmas Fairs and the ‘British Crafts at Blackthorpe Barn’ weekends are already in full swing.
I shall be joining a host of other crafters selling their work at Blackthorpe Barn on the weekend of the 25th & 26th November and the following weekend of the 2nd & 3rd December. If you are within striking distance of Bury St Edmunds turn of the A14 and come and see all the great work on display . . . . And, say hello!
As we approach Mother’s Day (here in the UK) I have been lucky once again to be selected by UK Handmade to have a couple of my scarves featured in their Spring Showcase.
As you may already know I take all my own product and publicity photos. I have been photographing my own work for four years now, but try as I might I still can’t get my head round photographing in advance, in preparation for the next season. I always marvel at the wintery Christmas television adverts that were most likely shot in high summer.
The best I can manage is to create the feel of a season. For spring this year I initially had a go at working with yellow, but in the end I have chosen pink for the main colour. I’m going all out with spring pink. In fact I have even rearranged my shop homepage to start with all the pink and mostly pink scarves. Who doesn’t love a little double pink cherry blossom?
Last autumn I felt like renewing how I approach my work. Nothing major, but some adjusting here and there, some tweaking and a few small changes in how I create my silk pieces. I have been developing using some of the more regimented medieval motifs into less restrained pieces, combining the stylised forms with looser more naturalistic ones.
Then when introducing the colours I started by wetting the silk with water first and then adding the dyes in a painting style more similar to working with watercolours.
The results – after steaming to fix the dyes – were okay. I was happy with the outcome using this type of medium weight flat crepe and this scarf is now listed on my shop.
It’s just under two weeks’ to Valentine’s Day. Naturally, there’s plenty of red merchandise filling the shops, but I’ve noticed there’s more choice than ever and if red Valentine’s cards, red flowers, red boxes of chocolates, and so on, are perhaps too traditional, you can now find similar in pink.
Currently, I do have several predominantly pink silk scarves listed on my online shop. However, perhaps a combination mixing it up – pink with accents of deep red is less obvious and slightly more memorable??
Mind you choosing a scarf that is not overtly considered the traditional Valentine’s ‘colours’, say, grey (altogether more muted with the merest hint of pink), could be just the ticket!