Radical Embroidery

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I signed up to take Radical Embroidery at Oregon College of Art and Craft. It was a 3 day workshop. It turned out to be not that radical, but I learned a lot about using embroidery as an art form. The instructor was a delightful young woman from the CA bay area, Victoria May. Her website is here. Her work is a bit radical as she has a fondness for the gritty and industrial debris that she finds in her travels. I think that adding delicate embroidery to these found objects serves to confound the viewer.

On the first day, we learned different ways to create line in our work. The piece at the beginning of this post is my sampler. We used Dynaflow paint on canvas to  begin our work. Then I added lines in various ways. We used organza in our work. For this line, I painted organza which I tore into strips and couched down. I really like the effect.

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The next day, we moved on to working with painted organza layered on canvas and we were to capture some things between the layers.

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I had some previously quilted rusted silk which I cut into rectangles. Two pieces are under the organza and the middle one is on top. I am in the process of stitching the quilted silk pieces down. Then, I will add some interesting stitching to the rest of the piece. I am thinking of adding a bit of rust to this in some way.

Then we were introduced to stitching on water color paper. The trick here is to pre-punch your stitching holes with a needle or awl. For my piece, I stained the water color paper with acrylic ink and got some interesting effects by blow drying it. Click on any photo to see it larger.

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I am in the process of stitching with variegated thread, following the design created by the ink.

On the last day, I had an idea that I just had to work on using some of the materials that I brought.

First, I painted the canvas with indigo Dynaflow paint. I forgot to get a photo before I started stitching, but you can get an idea from this photo.

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I had some indigo fabric with clamped circles. I cut out three circles for the composition. I also had a dark blue shibori organza which has black lines in it. And I also had a piece of Rymplecoth that my friend, Maris, gave me. It is more loosely woven than cheesecloth and is used for cleaning and polishing. She uses it in her felting. I dyed it a dark black. It takes the dye really well.

I used strips of the organza as I wanted some of the painted canvas to show to give a better value change. I ripped some holes in the Rymplecloth so that the organza can poke through.

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The top circle is on top of the organza and is couched down and stitched with silver metallic thread.

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The other circles are under organza and stitched with the silver thread. I have started doing some stitching on the organza and canvas and then I will tack the Rymple cloth down.

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Here is the final layout which looks a bit messy, but I think I know where I am going.

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I was feeling a bit overwhelmed earlier this week and wishing my recovery was moving faster. Yesterday, I had Mr C  help me get my sewing machine table back where I use it and pulled the Janome up out of hiding. It made me so happy, I almost danced. I think it is a symbol for the life I want to live and now, I am feeling so much better and have been doing better. I think I turned a corner.

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All I did was shorten some clothes, but it felt good. My knee didn’t like the knee lift, but that will get better.

 

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