Thursday, 25 April 2019

back at the dye-pots

Wayhey, I'm dyeing wool again! My North Ronaldsay wool order finally arrived last month but I was a bit slow getting near it as I spent some time setting up a dedicated dyeing space, separate from my painting. I've spent just over a week in my new space and it's much more efficient, I love it.

Here are the first few batches to come out of my pots:


There are four 100g skeins of each colour available at the moment. They're all North Ronaldsay 2ply pure wool, which works up like a fingering weight/4ply.

Somewhat typically my digital pocket scales broke as soon as I went to use them (to weigh out dye powders) so I couldn't refer to any previous colour "recipes." As a result these batches are one-off colour mixes, although I plan to recreate them once I get new scales as I really like how they turned out.

 "wet sand"

 "crashing waves, Hoxa"

"midsummer sunrise"

"blue Horizon, Hoxa"

 "Sand O' Wright beach"

"Birsay shoreline"

 "Warbeth rocks"

More colours to come soon! I also ordered some North Ronaldsay aran weight wool which I'm looking forward to dyeing.

Thursday, 4 April 2019

exhibition: found on the shore

Currently at the gallery I have a mini exhibition of new work inspired by walks on favourite beaches: pebble shapes, the repetition of circular marks found on pebbles, the ebb and flow of the tide and traces of waves left behind on the sand.

All the pieces have been executed on canvas using a sewing machine and often embellished with hand-stitching. I chose canvas as a surface to "draw" on for its strength, neutral colour and texture. I wanted a neutral surface in order to concentrate on linear qualities, however on a few pieces I applied acrylic paint to the canvas and then washed it before sewing, leaving faint traces of the paint. This created a more worn surface, subtle enough to not detract from the sewn marks.

I chose the sewing machine as a form of drawing as I find it creates a satisfying quality of line; both subtle and strong and with an inherent texture. Many pieces include hand-stitching where I wanted to achieve smaller or more intricate mark-making. Using a combination of machine and hand-stitching allowed me to explore a broad range of lines, from delicate to very bold.

 "found on the shore"
size: 13cm square
acrylic paint and thread on canvas

*sold*
"pebble circles, II"
 size: 13cm square
acrylic paint and thread on canvas

*sold*
"fragments"
 size: 13cm square
acrylic paint and thread on canvas

"pebble circles, I"
size: 13cm square
thread on canvas

*sold*
 "ebb and flow rhythms"
size: 13cm square
thread on canvas

"pebbles and ripples"
size: 13cm square
thread on canvas

"pebble"
size: 13cm square
acrylic paint and thread on canvas

*sold*
"scatters and traces"
size: 13cm square
thread on canvas

*sold*
"tidal rhythms"
size: 14.5cm x 26cm
thread on canvas

detail from "pebble circles, II"

detail from "pebble"

detail from "pebbles and ripples"

detail from "tidal rhythms"

gallery view

gallery view

gallery view of the whole exhibition

All square pieces measure 32.5cm square including their frame and "tidal rhythms" on the far right is 34.5cm x 46cm including the frame.