Saturday, April 30, 2011

Little Gems at Open Studio

Inspiration often comes from the art of other artists. In an old Stitch Magazine from the Embroiderer's Guild (U.K.), I found a small project using aida cloth and the art of Paul Klee for inspiration. I was fascinated because I love small and portable projects. 'Jeweled City' above is my version of the project. I started while away on holiday and finished the embroidery when I arrived home. With encouragement from my friends, I decided to share what I did. Recently,my friend Sandra invited me to teach at her studio. Over three days I had 24 students start little gems.

This is my class sample, which is a smaller and simpler version of Jeweled City.
 At the studio, we painted small pieces of aida cloth and Venice lace with acrylic paint in jewel colours. Some paints were metallic as well. While the paint was drying, we planned a design on paper after drawing three columns on our paper. I had my students trace a 4"x6" rectangle on their background, also aida cloth. We included about 5 arched blocks in our design. Odd numbers always seem to look better.

This is my sample I started while in class. I decided to add a couple of triangles as well. I asked the ladies to fasten their cut pieces using  only a dot of glue. The shapes are secured with a running stitch or back stitch in a variety of colours of embroidery floss. Bits of painted lace are also attached as focal points. below is my second sample inspired by Persian turrets.

Here Erin and Norina are working away diligently. 
After the pieces are secured by stitch the fun part begins! I gave each participant a guide of a variety of stitches to use with ideas for combination designs. They included such stitches as french knot, detached chain, and fly stitch. I really like to use the straight stitch to make patterns such as the basket weave.

Here we are happily working in the studio. Sandra is on the right front trying her hand at stitch.

Doeteke has a lovely design. Michelle is using some Easter colours in her city.

Linda is also incorporating turrets from foil chocolate egg wrappers into her city. Her friend Karrie is working on her project.

Here Anne, Heather, and the two Lindas are concentrating on their projects.
I suggested to my students that their finished gem would be suitable to be framed with a mat or in a shadow box with the edges turned under. It will be exciting to see all of their projects finished. Each one was unique in colour and design.
I look forward to teaching another project at Sandra's Open Studio in June.


Sheree said...

I just found your blog and your open studio classes look very interesting. Can you give me more information on when and where they are held. I hope I live close enough to take a class.

Carol Wiebe said...

Your work is a real gem, Donna. Great idea, wonderful execution. And those in your class are obviously catching and running with your creative energy.

Anonymous said...

Your original piece is stunning Donna. This looks like a perfect technique to teach at a workshop. Everyone certainly seems to be enjoying themselves.

Carol Sloan said...

these works are beautiful! What a wonderful workshop idea!