The gallery is a wonderful space which exhibits work for sale by artists who live in the High Peak. Three of my original hand stitched pieces are on display as well as four prints. I also have hand made cards, hand knitted keyrings and hand stitched suffolk puff brooches for sale there too. There are some beuatiful pieces in the gallery by very skilled artists and craft makers. And the organisation re-invests any profits back into the gallery. Well worth a visit and a great place to find that original Christmas gift!
Last week I had the opportunity to babysit my friend's studio-shop 'Fibre' in the Manchester Craft and Design Centre. During this time I boosted my stock of handmade greetings cards, trying out various designs to fit with different occassions. Here are a few images of my designs.
I am really pleased with the finished piece and fortunately so are my clients. I used grey thread to imitate the strings of the guitar, keeping my embroidery background present in my other works. I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed painting and I plan to make more ready-to-buy canvases soon.
I have neglected my blog over the last few months, however I have resumed my creativity and thought it was about time to share it.
I received a commission for a painted canvas, specifically for their music room with a guitar image and sunburst and using three colours of wood brown, white and black. I haven't painted for such a long time and, having started the piece, it has really made a change from my university style of work. This image is a second sketch idea of what I envision the final canvas to look like.
This piece is directly respondent from the original drawing, creating a painterly texture with individual stitched marks. Varying tone creates depth in the piece and the Geese are subtle in form and colour. This piece will make an appearance in my final degree show.
The phone box has lots of space surrounding it and I think another focal point is missing. I am however, drawn to the feeling of isolation that this piece suggests and the unfinished quality of the railings; it is as though they have jus been abandoned. This piece does need further work and I will think carefully about adding another element.
Initial sketches, recording objects and animals that I have abstracted from their natural surroundings. These drawings can be worked further onto larger pieces of paper; thinking about composition, space and the placement and pairings of specific images.
Handstitched samples of chickens in different settings. The surrounding space affects the composition of each sample and the relation between the images. The smaller sample I feel works better in terms of composition and narrative as the chickens work together and tell a story. The colour blending and shading of the chickens gives them a realistic feeling, a suggestion that they have been taken from real life and captured in stitch.
More black work samples, which are very time consuming. The stitched birds seem to work better than the inanimate objects; the wheelie bin seems to be missing depth and texture which I could add through applique of hand painted screen print. I have been playing around with these images in compositions and patterns for commercial designs for childrens interior fabrics or wrapping paper... pictures to follow!
Experimenting with various methods of reinterpreting the same image in fabric. The 'blackwork-ed' bird has more appeal than the appliqued one, however I do like the handpainted silk screen leaves which add depth to the otherwise flat image. From these samples I have realised that scale and detail of the image is an important factor in my work, and in the next weeks I will revert back to my original style of drawing and capturing images.
I enjoy working with watercolour as I can layer the various tones and shades. These two images are contrasts of the country and urban environments and from these I intend to interpret them into stitched pieces. In the next few weeks I would like to experiment using different techniques with the same image to see how it changes the perception and reading of the illustration.
My 3D fabric microphone in action. Captured in black and white, it is seeminlgy unsuspecting but a closer look shows the cross-hatch stitched detail of the mouthpeice and reveals it as an imitation object.
The installation display of my individual leaves for assessment. The artificial light casts unusual and beautiful shadows on the wall; the hanging leaves create varied definition of shadow and add depth to the display.
As part of my Uni project work I am looking at making artificial objects from everyday life and placing them back into the environment. This is my experiment dressing bare trees with my cut-out foam and paper leaves. The leaves go almost unnoticed, but a closer look or double take reveals they are unnatural.
I hand craft greetings cards for all sorts of occassions, and I am more than happy to take commissions! I am also a Textile Artist creating hand stitched images reinterpreted from drawn observations of the nature and environment around me. I am a BA Hons Embroidery Graduate from Manchester Metropolitan University Visit my website: www.helenharkawenko.co.uk Contact me at: helen.harkawenko[at]hotmail.co.uk