Today I went to Birmingham and District Guild of Weaving, Spinning and Dyeing. There has been a couple of months break for the Summer and we are now back to monthly meetings. Today was a days workshop with the very talented Linda Rudkin. I knew the workshop was on 'Flower Pounding' but other than that I had no idea what to expect apart from a lot of noise. I really didn't think this workshop would be for me.
Here is one sample of Linda's fabulous textile work;
This one is beautiful;
Linda bought many inspirational pieces to share with us of her examples of 'Flower Pounding'. Flower Pounding is literally that! You pound with a hammer to extract the natural pigment of fresh flowers and foliage to create a print on fabric. Essentially it is very simple to work on a sampler, experimenting with which flowers and foliage work well. Linda's book is very concise and beautiful and will explain step by step what you need to do to create fairly instant gratification of stunning, unique and natural prints. If you are skilled in hand embroidery or machine embroidery or quilting, then the sky is the limit for how you can use and enhance your prints.
The above is the result of me playing and experimenting for about an hour and a half. Can you imagine the noise of twenty people flower pounding at once? The blobs that look like squashed blackberry and squashed tomato are from flowers with quite fleshy petals. Linda has an amazing knowledge of flowers and had no problem naming them, for me however it was more that is a nice 'Red One' and that is a nice 'Purple one'. I loved the ferns, and the Pansy turned out well, so did a small Primula. Very interesting results were gained in a short amount of time. 'Flower Pounding' does not create fixed dyes and they cannot be washed but they can be dry cleaned. In the afternoon we tried something much quieter, 'Flower trapping'. A method of 'Trapping' the flowers into fabric, using a fixing web and chiffon. I used some fern and beautiful blue Hydrangea.
These are now preserved in the fabric. The prints from flower pounding fade with time, where as with flower trapping the colour should not fade to the same degree. I can recommend both for methods for a fun bit of experimentation, for pounding you need a hammer, a wooden board, masking tape, cotton and fresh flowers. You tape your flowers to the cotton and pound with your hammer on the reverse, when you remove the tape the print is left on the cotton. It really is that simple. Trapping flowers in fabric is a little more complicated, using a sandwich of baking parchment, cotton, fine bonding web, your flower design, more fine bonding web, fine chiffon, and baking parchment. You then use an iron on the cotton setting to seal it all. Ironing, not pressing as you do not want to singe your flowers. Flowers need to be as flat as possible so you may need to snip bumps and lumps off prior to sealing your design, tweezers are also very useful.
This is a sample of a piece of work that has been outlined with a fine etching pen. It looks amazing and really highlights the detail.
Everyone who took part had something attractive to take home and feel proud of.
All the different designs displayed on one table looked fantastic.
This was my favourite. It reflects what is happening outside at the moment, everything is turning decidedly Autumnal. The nights are drawing in and as if by magic more crafting time appears.