Natural History, the final instalment.

The last pieces of the Natural History series were laid down and machine stitched last week, and now it’s hand stitch and bead time.  I enjoy the final stages, although I must start to make more compact work, this long format is awkward to say the least. The pieces have the habit of knocking everything off the table when you swing them round to stitch from a different angle. Note to self: start to make miniature pieces of work, when these are done, and the pieces for From the Bright Sky, also quite large, and the book Shadow and Light, which also has big pages.

Here are the last few of the Natural History series.

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This piece is made from linocuts collaged and stitched onto acrylic painted and printed calico.

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The components ready for the piece below.

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This chap has appeared previously in Into the Cacao Grove, an artist book I made a few years ago. He needed another outing.

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This piece sort of fell together; it was easily the quickest one of the whole series to make. By chance I had the stripy painted Khadi paper and the quite old piece of embroidery out together, and there they were, partners. I just added the lower section, the predella, which is made from Khadi paper too. Below is a detail of the embroidery, which is recycled from an older piece of work.

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And here are the materials for the final piece.

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This cotton fabric was printed with a thermofax screen, using pearlescent Setacolour. I was going to keep it pale, but I do love to apply some black Indian ink to some of these prints, it’s quite thrilling, like those magic painting books from the distant past…

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The centre colourful portion is Khadi paper printed and dyed, with fabric additions, put on top of the collaged printed cotton.

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And a little detail here of a small laminated leaf I picked to draw ages ago, from a small park close to the new Library of Birmingham.

This leads neatly, and honestly it wasn’t planned, into this photograph below. We went to the Library on Sunday, and I spotted these two books randomly left on top of the donation box. Or maybe not randomly, but I really enjoyed the juxtaposition…I love public libraries.

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We also went to see these two shows at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. The Printmakers’ exhibition was really interesting. I know quite lot of the artists and also my old studio was in the building where they still have their printing workshop. Qalam, the art of beautiful writing exhibition was beautifully curated, and features gorgeous ancient books and artefacts, and contemporary work in metal, textiles, print and ceramics.

Unfortunately the Printmakers show is now finished, we saw it on its last day.

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7 thoughts on “Natural History, the final instalment.

  1. Steph, the work is really beautiful and I’ve just had a real chuckle at the library books! I hadn’t, of course, realised how obvious the titles were…. Jane

    1. Thanks Bonnie, this was mainly an enjoyable exercise in using what I had, you know, all those fabrics and papers that you make and keep.
      On a crazy making spree they all came together, it was great fun. The finishing of them is a little slower, however…

  2. As ever, a feast of colour combinations and imagery. The laminated leaf against the grey tones with that hit of orange and purple with the black is fabulous. You’re building up the excitement to the final instalment Steph…..

    1. How come my comment has come through as anonymous I wonder? I had to reset my browser and lost a lot of things that were set up – possibly my contact details for comments? Did not mean to be under the radar Steph.

      1. Hi Lesley, I have only just spotted this comment too on my dashboard, they usually appear in my e mails. All will be back to normal soon, I imagine.
        That leaf is lovely, I must steal a few more, they keep very well for some reason.

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