Tag Archives: homemade

Flightless Birds and Feather Children

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I wanted to share with you all a couple of amazing artists, one of which I have just stumbled upon and the other who I follow avidly and have done for a few months now.  The first is an amazing sculptural artist called Lucy Glendinning who creates the most phenominal sculptural peices, usually depicting small children, with fur or feathers covering their whole bodies.  They remind me of hibernation, of coccoons, and winters evenings.  They make me think of sadness, stillness and softness.  Im just completely in love and wanted to share Lucy’s amazing work with you all so here are some of my favourite works of hers.  Please check out her website http://www.lucyglendinning.com/ for more amazing images and her biography.

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Another insanely talented textiles sculptor who I have fallen madly for these last few months has been the uber talented Mister Finch.  His work is like magic to me and I think he must see the world as a young child does, picking up the perfect feather from the ground, staring at the smallest things in wonder.  Mister Finch creates mainly birds and insects from recycled embroidered textiles, wire and anything that catches his eye.  His work often reminds me of dark fairytales, Sometimes Grimm, sometimes stunningly beautiful.  Im in love and here are so of my fav’s of his but definately go check out his awesome work for yourself!  http://www.mister-finch.com/

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At the moment, I seem to be hardly sewing myself, I have a feeling because its the most wintery month so far here in Melbourne and my sewing room is absolutely FREEZING and far to far from our little cosy gas fire.  Recently I can be found perched on a giant cushion pile with a birdsnest of wool surrounding me, the click-clack of knitting needles and the hum of our gas stove making my heart smile.  Im working on this project at the moment, my first knitting project in a long while, and I am LOVING every warm fuzzy moment of it. 

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Im knitting this beauty in 100% Merino Wool in a beautiful teal blue.  I really want to track down this beautiful mustard wool by Brooklyn Tweed pictured above as this colour is just STUNNING.  Once the project is complete Ill put up some photos, and if anyone is interested in this pattern please just comment below with your email and ill send it on to you in PDF form. 

Until next time!

Bex

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Dye Experiments part 2

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So the Beet dying session ended up a bit of a shambles, and all the fabric finished off a very very very weak shade of pink.  I HATE pink, so for the last couple of days Ive been playing around redying the material and some beautiful little doilies and bits of cotton lace i picked up, this time using chemical dyes.   Ive been playing around with 2 colours from the RIT dye range, ‘Wine’ and ‘Chestnut Brown’.  I intend to go back to playing around with natural plant dyes in the next few weeks, my mother is posting me out a parcel with a great book on natural dyes so I can see where I went wrong.

Here are a few images of the dye batches that I have been working on:

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This image above was my first attempt, using the ‘Wine’ colour way.  Some of the material took the dye well and came to quite a good shade but there were a few peices that were far too pink for my taste so today I set about creating another dye bath, this time in Chestnut Brown.  I want to have a lot of different shades so I kept the best peices of the Wine dye bath, then quick dipped a few peices in the brown and long dipped some others.  The results are great and im really happy with the mix of the 2 colours.

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The chemical dye range that I used for these tests was RIT dyes, which you can by in most fabric shops in Australia.  They are super strong and Id really recommend doing the dye baths in a really well ventilated area and thoroughly washing the material before wearing it.  Something that I really liked about these dyes is that they are SUPER cheap (half the price of Dylon, $6.99 instead of $13) and that they suggest you add a cup of salt and a tbsp of laundry detergent to the dye bath.  I’d never heard of adding these things to the dye before and it really did the trick, the colour is pretty stayfast and very vivid especially on white material.  I also really love the RIT website for this amazing colour ways chart (http://www.ritdye.com/colorit_color_formula_guide) which shows you the quantity and mix of colours needed to create different shades.  This is obviously not exact as every fabric is different, but is a great place to start to get an idea of mixing dyes.

So final outcome is looking really good.  I’ve suprised myself by being super organised and taking dye samples and writing down all the details of the dye processes Ive done.  Here is a little snap shot of my new textiles sketchbook!

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Ive been coming up upon a bit of a textiles ‘dilemma’ at the mo, one that I have experienced in the past as well: where is the line between taking inspiration from other people’s work/creations and just down right copying their styles.  Ive seen this happen countless times, most obviously in the Goa clothing scene in India but really all over the world and through out the entire fashion scene…i mean really thats how the industry works.  But when it comes to small time designers creating small amounts of hand made peices that does seem to need to be a line that one doesnt cross.  I find that hard sometimes, as I constantly trawl through the internet and facebook looking for inspiration and see things that I just love and want to recreate, and thats usually how I create…copying a favourite dress, trying to recreate something ive seen on someone else…. But there comes a point where I am starting to wonder whats MY style?? What do I make that is really unique?

Its a tough lot of questions and ones that i dont have an answer to just yet.  So for now I will post some amazing images I am getting a lot of inpiration from at the moment, and may be what inspires my use of the materials Ive been dying.  I particularly love this first image by Oona (http://www.etsy.com/shop/Moonalia).

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I really love the natural tones of the materials that Oona dyes,and also her use of remnant fibres for applique.  The shapes are also really flattering and love the asymmetrical hems on a lot of her peices.

So thats it for now.  As of tomorrow I am working solely on Holly’s wedding dress until it is complete and ready to ship THEN ill get to play around with all my new dyed fabric!

Bex