I loved the idea of making a shell book and, like Ineke, I found my shells on eBay.
I wanted the book to have the feel of following the current of the sea, so I printed a series of fishes running through each page, using fabrics that reinforced this idea and adding stitching which I hope mimic the fronds of seaweed and other plants waving in the current.
The back of this shell is so beautiful, with wonderful markings and encrusted areas.
This is the final book of the course. It has been a wonderful journey which I think is only the beginning of further creations.
A new book, focussing on words around a theme. It took a while for me to find my theme, but as the garden grew more and more parched before the recent rains, the word ‘water’ kept creeping into my consciousness.
The pages are in sequence and reflect my thoughts around water and our relationship with it. The cover is made from painted pelmet vilene. Some of the pages have been created using flour paste as a resist, some using salt as a resist to move the fabric paint. Other pages were screen printed or arashi dyed. The snow page is textured paper coloured by using paint on a roller. The spines are cut from khadi paper which was dipped into an indigo bath. There are three signatures, sewn to the cover with hemp thread.
The left hand page below has strips of printed abaca paper overlaid on printed fabric.
Below I have used silver leaf for the moon although it looks white in the photo, plus painted bondaweb.
Another book I loved making.
I have a lot of fabrics that I have dyed and printed with flower and leaf forms, often using the plants themselves, so this seemed to present a perfect opportunity for another book. I also used rusted fabrics, some leaf imprints using transfer dyes onto Evelon, beads, buttons, pieces of lace and both hand and machine stitching. There are three signatures, the spine is a piece of driftwood found on Hove beach and I used some polymer clay beads I had made a long time ago and which needed a home.
The pages are in sequence.
This third book is based on the Japanese concept of Wabi Sabi. This is the art of finding beauty in imperfection. The word wabi can mean humble by choice, sabi, the appreciation of rustiness. However, it is said that if you ask a Japanese the meaning of the words, they cannot translate them, which leads me to wonder if they have something of the spirit of “duende’ about them – something heart and soul felt, but intangible. This book takes the circle as its inspiration. I also found somewhere the idea of a circle becoming a square, which I have incorporated into the pages.
The front cover
The back cover
All the fabrics I needed I found in my stash : cottons, linens, silks, dyed with natural dyes and indigo, rusted, eco-printed and composted, then printed and bleached with circles of various sizes. I also used old teabags, bits of lace and pearl buttons, together with machine and hand stitching.
The pages are in sequence.
Finally, I used a piece of driftwood as the spine, made three signatures of four double pages each and a variety of beads to tie the threads together. I loved making this book – it brought together all my favourite fabrics and colours and ways of embellishing them.
This is a zigzag book that can also become a hanging if hung from the closing ring.
I love poppies and my garden is always full of them, so I took this as my theme, from buds to seed through the year.
The image on the left shows the first three pages, that on the right the final three. Each page has at least four layers including the central spine that runs through the whole book and are all my own hand dyed fabrics. I used a series of techniques – in order: mono print, collagraph, appliqué, a paper napkin, another mono print, and a photo transfer. I had difficulty photographing this last image because of reflection, hence the white marks. Then added the pieces of text and embellished with beads.
I so loved the first scroll I made that I couldn’t resist doing a second one. I’ve called it “Indigo Blues” as all the blue pieces inside are indigo-dyed fabrics. The outside is the only Procion dyed fabric and this has been stamped using acrylic paint.
As I was adding stitching, along lines suggested by the patterns, it felt like the ebb and flow of the seashore, so I embellished with beads and shells. I would have liked a piece of driftwood to roll around, but had to settle for a bamboo stick.
I went to the Fashion and Embroidery show at the NEC last month and saw some fabric books on Ineke Berlyn’s stall which I really loved, so I was pleased to find that she was doing an online course for these. Five different books over a six month period.
This is my first one, a scroll which could also work as a hanging.
The outside: A piece of Procion dyed curtain fabric, over stamped using acrylic ink.
The inside: Strips of fabric hand stitched to the backing. All the fabrics are bits left over from previous work, mostly my own dyed fabrics, a few commercial pieces. Some have previous stitching on them and are quite thick, the excess cut from quilt borders. The pearl buttons are from my mother’s collection, now passed on to me. The stick at the end has been many times through the eco dye bath.
The scroll rolled up and secured:
I really enjoyed making this and am looking forward to the next one. It is also a long time since I have used only hand stitching.