This week marks 5 whole years since I first posted here, since Ephemeral Gecko was born.
For reals? Yup.
This blog is the ongoing project of documenting those in between stages of my art – the ephemeral places – that places buried beneath layers of paint or existing just briefly before being deconstructed and reconstructed. Why gecko? idk…Just because.
As part of my year full of color project, TWELVTY, I spent much February stitching together these gorgeous little textile wall art pieces from layers of hand-dyed recycled fabric, paper, buttons, beads and embroidered together with happy thoughts.
Clothing that’s not quite wearable any more, fabric scraps and snippets, material I’ve dyed, painted, embroidered, cut up and sewn up and all the projects and garments that haven’t quite made it, that haven’t quite played out, but they’re still lingering. Then there’s the trimmings and buttons and beads, the threads, the wools, the fibres….
Lingering, for the longest time.
I just needed the nudge to know what for.
And the nudge happened recently! I’ll tell you more soon, but there’s something enormous in the making: a turning point in my days, a purpose I couldn’t see until so suddenly it showed up to me. It keeps showing up in my dreams, and I’m waking up in a full on spin of ideas.
And they are manifesting as these bizarre little creatures.
Like a meandering meandery thing, so much to say, so little sense of order…!
Amongst the changes I’m progressing through in recent months, I’ve re-aquired a bunch of stuff that’s been in storage for a number of years. Some of which: a veritable shedload (well, technically, half a van load) of miscellaneous textiles which are gradually cycling into new creations. From linen to clothes and curtains, some are older than I am, some scrips and scraps, but they all have fantastic futures as somethings beautiful and/or useful (in most cases, I hope, both).
Then at the same time the gods of synchronicity have sent some gloriously inspirational folks to cross my path. I can’t leave them unmentioned in this post.
Drawn in by the delight of uniquely upcycled clothing and the wonderful mantra I’ve since adopted as my own: Dress like nobody’s judging. I wish I’d gone back for that red coat, but I did leave with a head full of fresh ideas. And I’ll catch another coat another time.
Then the colorfulicious Katwise pinged up on my web-wanderings radar. Recently her splendidly multi-coloured home has been featured in articles all over the place, you may have seen it? As an artwork it’s amazing even if it surpasses your personal technicolour tolerances.
If you have even an inkling of a desire to learn more I can really recommend her ebooks.
Between these guys and the web-rabbit-holes I’ve explored as a result, I’m all fired up for some cosy winter sewings coming up soon. Just need Santa to bring me a serger (or eBay, gotta be a little realistic) and I’m good to go!
a little while ago I might have mentioned I was invited to participate in a local exhibition. Well, today I delivered my things to the gallery, and this evening I spotted one of my pics on their website. Wowzers! This is seeming quite real now! But more wowzing yet to come: I checked out the gallery’s facebook page & whaduknow, my pic is their cover pic!
Happy gal! 🙂
Today I took a bunch of my stuffs into college to use the photo studio – so I now have some properly lit pics to show you! There’s nothing to beat having a real expert set up the lighting and lend you their really good camera!
I’ve been invited to show some of my textile work in a little local exhibition,
so this is a little preview of what will be there!
Some little while ago I got all buzzed up about an idea to do some batik. A trawl through the web came up with Dylon Easy Batik and as I couldn’t resist (HA! geddit!!) giving it a go.
I have to say firstly, it is a lot of fun.
With the consistency of cream (shake well – I forgot one time and it does separate unshaken), it paints on nicely. I was using cotton sheeting, and found it absorbed and spread, so even the finest lines came out a bit chunky. In that sense it’s limited in comparison to real batik, but something to build into the design I guess. The other main difference is that unlike batik wax it is flexible when it’s dry, so none of that lovely crackle effect. But other fabrics need testing on!
First easy batik doodles!
This is the underside of a freshly dye-painted sample. The eagle eyed amongst you might notice the batik-stuff appears speckled. It isn’t. This only happens if you use a fluffy-with-velvet-trimming-fuzz-covered surface to paint on. Oops. No matter, it all comes out in the wash.
Now that leads me on to another thing. If one were to follow the instructions one would paint on the stuff and allow to dry, pref overnight, then iron to fix (did all that), then to place the fabric flat in the dye for 30 mins (longer and the resist loses resistance), not aggitating it for fear of loosening the stuff from the fibres.
If, on the other hand, one is me, one might choose to go off recipe at the point after the ironing…
I had planned to paint and drip procion dyes, swish with water, get a nice watercolory-effect then fix with soda ash per dying instructions on the bottle. Building up by layers, some more batik-stuff, more drying-ironing-inking cycle, etc…
But, surrounded as I was by so many delicious colored inks (not fixable), I ended up using a mix of procion dye (unfixed, didn’t bother since all the other ingredients became involved), ink, dylusions spray, coffee, tea…
It was a giddy whirl of color, it was really out of my control altogether. i just decided these samples would be ingredients for non-washable creations. Simple as!
But sometimes, just knowing something won’t work is not reason enough not to give it a try. After all that ironing a certain amount of fixing must have happened. Plus I knew full well if I’d been wearing white when I did this, no amount of laundering would have got the splashes out! So I *washed some edge snippings to see what happened… just how much color loss and more importantly, washability of the stuff
Surprised by the results – less color loss than I expected, and total stuff removal (speckles n all!)
*washing: hand washed in cool water, no detergent, just til the water ran clear.
I started by recycling a quilt I made years ago, stripping it down for usable fabric, but there wasn’t going to be enough to complete the project.
I scoured boot sales, charity shops and my wardrobe for possible cut-up-able clothing, and finally the shop-that-sells-everything came up trumps with 2 large offcuts of pink cotton velvet.
Although pink isn’t a color I plan to use, but I chose it for it’s 2 very easy options: + yellow = orange, and + blue = purple.
These arrived at the end of last week, so the weekend was dying time!
It has a certain wonky appeal, which I put down to IK‘s aversion to ironing.
More precisely, IK’s aversion to clearing space to set up the ironing board. Coupled with the memory of a sewing time many years ago when I let IK iron on the carpet instead of the ironing board. It didn’t end well for the carpet.
We ironed some pieces today (properly), they look much better for it. We agreed the ironing board should be left up while construction stage is still in progress! 😉
This time last year I was just finishing a year’s foundation course in art and design.
For the end of year show I made a textile sculpture, but the design wandered off a long way from my original idea.
Although i liked the elements of it, I wasn’t happy with the overall look.
These are bits of a re-made version. It will be a wall-hung sculpture in 5 parts. 3 are nearly complete, the other 2 are nearly started.
I’ll post some more as it moves on.