When I saw the theme for the May challenge on Art Elements I was very excited, you might say obsessive as I thought of nothing else for 3 days. Then we went to Liverpool which gave my brain a rest. I wrote a list of at least 10 ideas before I left so not to forget, but on my return I knew which two I wanted to investigate further.
I gathered together my rock pool photos, none of which are turquoise or azure blue like those on the internet but I do feel connected to these less colourful pools of the UK as I grew up near the coast.
Both ideas use techniques I’ve not used before, or I have only just learnt but isn’t that what a challenge is all about, stretching oneself?
I started with something that was familiar, out came the clay and my shell moulds and I got to making the ‘rockpool’. I was so engrossed I forgot to take photos.
While the bowl sat drying I started on the textile part of my make. I have only just learned about water soluble fabric but thought it might be perfect for making anemones, and the seaweed was made from tyveck which was stitched, painted, cut out and burned along the edges with a soldering iron.
Whilst waiting for the bowl to dry I was thinking about the term tidepools, as well as rockpools. While going through my photos I came across a photo with the tide going out, there are shallow pools left in the sand. Tidepools right?
I decided to make a stitched picture, as I need the practice having only just finished a stitching course, my thread painting technique needs working on.
Photos from a happy day at Newton by the Sea with friends.
It didn’t start well, I had some tension issues on the underside, and not enough colours of thread!
I realised that there was something wrong with the darning foot of my new machine, it’s fortunate that I kept my Gran’s old 1970’s Singer machine, the feed dogs don’t drop so I covered them with masking tape. It worked like a dream. Two days of stitching later I had something resembling the picture in my head.
This is stitched on felt which was placed over a larger piece of soluble fabric so it would fit my hoop and also because I wanted seaweed spilling over the bottom edge. I love the way the stitching distorts the shape of the piece, I wonder if you can have some control over this. Next the fun part of dissolving away the solvy fabric.
I stitched some seaweed and a weedy thread on the spare soluble fabric rather than waste it. I wasn’t sure if the weedy thread would work but it did, apart from getting tangled up in the bowl of water.
The next stage was to drill some shells and while I was going through my seaside stash I found I had a piece of driftwood the exact length for my hanging.
When the fabric was dry I hand stitched some pebbles and then assembled the piece, all will be revealed at the end of this post.
Back to my rockpool bowl now ready for firing.
The fired the bowl didn’t quite live up to my expectations, not sure why but I don’t really like it. It’s probably destined to be a bird bath in the garden. I wasn’t sure if I should spend the money on the resin but following a discussion with OH, who asked what had been my intentions with this piece, and did I meet those intentions, (which it did so far apart from adding the’ water’, I just don’t like it) so I decided to continue with the rock pool as it’s all about learning new techniques and answering those ” I wonder what if” questions, so I ordered some resin.
The resin arrived , I couldn’t wait to see my seaweed and anemone’s underwater.
And here is the finished rockpool, my lovely husband drove me 4 hours so I could photograph it on the beach.
Saving my favourite ’til last here’s my finished wall hanging, which I love. It’s the first thing I see in the morning, and it reminds me of a lovely day at Newton by the Sea with friends. Happy days!
Ebb Tide at Newton by the Sea.
I have started anther ‘rockpool’ inspired project but I will save that for another post.
Here’s a list of everyone participating in the Art Elements blog hop, why not head over and see what they have been up to, I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s blogs.
AE Team Members:
Thank you Lesley for a very inspirational challenge.