Ceramic work and stitch fusion

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detail of “Mare” 2017

With this series, I aimed to explore how ceramics could be adorned by embroidery. When I went to the local ceramic studio that is open to the public, I had no other concept in mind than to create something that I could possibly stitch on later…

While the clay was processed through the compactor, it lay between damp cloth. Immediately, I noticed that there was an interesting imprint of the cloth on the clay. It looked as if the clay was a thick piece of cloth itself! I then decided to not further process the clay but to simply cut it in small squares and to prick random holes in them that were large enough for a common embroidery needle. I then had these “tiles” put in the kiln.

A few days later, I picked up my now fired tiles and brought them home. I sorted some out and arranged them on my studio table. They looked like ceramic “inchies”! That’s why I decided to arrange them in fours and paint them and decorate them in an “inchy-ish” way.

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painting the ceramic tiles with acrylics

To have a neutral background, I cut out some felt squares. I then stitched the tiles on the black felt and further adorned them with beads.

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one finished tile, adorned with bullion stitch and glass beads

I then arranged the tiles in groups of four and sew them on cloth and put the finished pieces on canvas or directly sew them on painted canvas. The painting of the canvas and the fabric manipulation of the background fabric contribute a lot to the finished pieces!

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“Basalt” (2018), on painted canvas
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“Mare” (2018), on manipulated fabric on canvas

Looking at my creations, I wondered if anybody would buy my works… I thought, I could maybe add a functional bonus so that the works could be viewed as well as used! Thus, I made some of the final pieces into key/jewelry holders. 🙂

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“Volcano” (2017)
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“Mare” (2017)
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“Rustic” (2018)
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“Sunkissed” (2018)
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“Chili” (2018)
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“Rose” (2018)

 

A teabag a day (part 2)

Remember this project I worked on together with my daughter last year? Well, she finally finished her little book of arty-fied teabags! 🙂

So I can share part 2 of the story: A Teabag A Day by RHN


 

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Rust meets textiles

Pentecost this year was very creative for me!

I was able to attend a 3-days-workshop at the art studio of Arti Lemon (artbylemon.com) about oxidation processes in painting. Arti is a painting artist specialising in rust, ink, marble flour, bitumen and some more techniques.

In Arti’s workshop, I learned how to initiate and moderate oxidation processes for mixed media art pieces. Iron becomes rust, other metal particles become patina. The shading depends on many factors such as temperature, humidity and – of course – the sort of chemical you apply to the metals.

As I am primarily a textile artist, I was experimenting with fusing textiles and rust.

These are my “results” so far:

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Rusted 1 (2018)
  • wallpaper and vintage lace on mdf board
  • oxidated silver, copper and iron
  • 15 x 15 cm
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Rusted 4 (2018)
  • vintage lace on mdf board
  • oxidated iron, copper
  • hand embroidery
  • 15 x 15 cm
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Rusted 3 (2018)
  • pressed dried physalis petals and cloth stripes on mdf board
  • acrylic paint, oxidated copper, graphite
  • hand embroidery
  • 15 x 15 cm
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Rusted 2 (2018)
  • vintage lace and synthetic gauze on mdf board
  • oxidated capper and silver, acrylic ink and acrylic paint
  • linocut stamp
  • freestyle goldwork
  • 15 x 15 cm

 

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Rusted 5 (2018)
  • background mdf-board: Chinese paper and acrylic paint
  • foreground mdf-board: oxidated iron, acrylic paint and seed pod
  • 20 x 20 cm

edit July 2018: I was thrilled to learn that Rusted 2 won second prize in the “All Waterscape” competition of the CAGO (Contemporary Art Gallery Online) within the cathegorie “mixed media”! 🙂

Le perle di vetro a lume da Murano

Bead work has a millenia old relationship with textile arts. I remember visiting an exhibition in Zurich a few months ago about the Nasca culture (200 a.c. to 650 p.c.) where I saw beautifully stitched textiles with handmade ceramic beads. –

During my third visit to Venice this spring, I learned more about the famous “perle di vetro a lume da Murano”: the Murano glass beads.

Glass making is an ancient handicraft that originated in the Arabic area in the times of the Ancient Greeks. It is said that the Syrians perfected this craft during the following centuries.

So in the late Middle Ages, glass products were in very high demand in Europe. They were a treasured merchandise good. Clever Venetian craftsmen from the isle of Murano decided to try to follow along and started experimenting with glass making themselves. What started with copying Syrian glass making evolved into an experienced and widely recognized craft over the centuries. And with the downfall of the Osmanian Empire, Murano glass definitely conquered the world trade.

Glass is made of silica sand and salt acid. For color, various mineral acids are added.

colored silica sand
mineral acids and colored glass samples

The famous and also for textile arts and crafts often used Murano glass beads are made of colored glass bars, fused into a thicker bar and finally cut into small pieces that are then further processed and molded.

a bead worker’s bench
glass bars

In the local Museo del Vetro (glass museum), old sample cards of glass beads are on display, such as the two below, fabricated by glass artist G. B. Francini 1820-1861:

I am totally inspired by this beautiful collection! I love the variegation, don’t you too?

All pictures taken by me in Museo del Vetro in Murano.