Friday, 28 June 2013


Cosmic Red, Margaret A. Rowe, 2013
This past week I have been working on a set of artworks for the Small Works Exhibition at Brunswick Street Gallery. The exhibitions runs from 2 to 16 July at the gallery, 322 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia. Drop in if you're in the vicinity.
Cosmic Blue, Margaret A. Rowe, 2013
The artworks are for sale at $400 each. They are 30 x 30 cm, painted silk with hand sewn beads, professionally framed.
Cosmic Yellow, Margaret A. Rowe, 2013
They were a lot of fun to do. I hope you enjoy looking at them.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Bitty Books

Recently my daughter taught a workshop on basic bookbinding to some of my textile art class mates. It was a very full day as we learned how to make a simple case binding and a coptic binding. I'm afraid my books are rather poorly made, which I'm glad about - I shall leave the bookbinding expertise to my DD. It was more important that my friends had a fun day and took away with them the knowledge they sought.
My coptic bound book was lots of fun to make. However, when I finished attaching the covers, one of my knots on the text block came undone. DD had to invent a method of repair.
I can truly appreciate how good my daughter is at bookbinding.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Dying fabric for my next art piece

My next art piece, at school, is The Sojourner project. The work will be displayed at Epworth Eastern Hospital for a year and then auctioned off at their gala ball, with all proceeds going to the hospital. This is a fantastic opportunity for an emerging artist such as myself.
At this point in time (and plans have a habit of changing) I am creating a hummingbird - one who stays temporarily. I want to do him in gold and felt a deep blue background would best show off the gold and really make it stand out. I discovered some gorgeous fabric in the stash at school - the leaf patterned fabric at the bottom of the left page - but being white I had to try dying it. I've used KraftKolour Procion dyes and tried them on a few different types of fabric to see what happens. I was completely surprised by the leaf fabric not taking the dye all over. On the front it has dyed the background and on the back it has died the leaves. There was no label to tell me what this fabric is made of so I'm guessing it is a synthetic mix.
My dying techniques also need some improvement as can be seen on the right page where not all the fabric has been immersed sufficiently. I was aiming to have complete coverage. The above photo shows the results from 'navy'.
This photo shows the results from 'turquoise'. A really lovely colour, but not at all what I was seeking for my Sojourner project. I love the variations in results though - how interesting!
Here is the result from 'marine blue'. Again, a very nice range of colours, but not what I'm after. I do like the leaf fabric very much indeed, and maybe I should dye some more for a future project - but which colour? Decisions, decisions.
The final photo shows a mixture of the 'navy' with 'turquoise', which resulted in the leaf fabric looking very similar to the straight 'navy' dye. Top left in each photo are tests of the dyes on paper - Khadi paper made in India of 100% recycled cotton rag, 150 gsm. Here there is the mix, then turquoise, marine blue and navy on the right.
All very interesting but not the result I want to work with. On to the next thing ...