Natural Dye

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I recently went on a natural dye course at the blackcountry living museum. Dispite being born in the west midlands, so not all that far away from this location, I have never previously visited.
I had such a good eperience at this workshop the session was well taught and I learn so much during the time frame.

 


The course was great value for money and the price included lunch tokens and 3 free drinks which could be used at various eateries situated within this beautiful and  fascinating museum.
I can highly recommend studying on a course here.
Natural dye is a subject I have really wanted to learn about. Working with textiles and having a background in printmaking had me feeling it would develop my practice.
I am currently researching and compiling a book of natural dye samples to use for reference.

 


I am having fun mixing colours together to get certain shades, pinks and purples are so far my favourite.
I have printed a white dress using the natural dye print/steam process. I hope to have this on display at the Banks Mill open studios event later this month (22nd till 24th November).

 

I will aim to upcycle the dress further adding naturally dyed trims and embroidery if time allows.
I will also have a small selection of naturally dyed scarfs and tote bags for sale. A few of my textile art pieces will have naturally dyed elements also.
In the future I hope to plan and deliver forage and natural dye workshops along with my partner, Brendan McDowell, who is a forager and forest school leader.

 


These workshops would include a short forage for something to eat and also dye with.
The workshop would cover the basics of dye baths and printing/steaming.
I am also considering the concept of natural dye cloth doll workshops so watch this space.

Art tuition

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I have always enjoyed art and craft work and I have worked with a wide age range for many years. I have always found the way they learn to be interesting and fascinating. I have worked with children in a school setting and also for leisure activities so I feel my involvement and experience is wide ranging. My work is not only limited to children I also have knowledge and skills to work with specialist groups such as adults with learning disabilities. This has made me aware that there are barriers to how people can learn and consequently I have learnt to adapt my lesson/activities to meet the needs of the individual.

My background is in art, I completed an art degree specialising in illustration at Derby University. This has given me knowledge and techniques/skills which I can facilitate to others. I take my continual professional development very seriously and I have therefore attended informal and formal training days and courses post qualification. These include courses in first aid, life drawing skills, tailoring, printmaking techniques and puppetry. This has encouraged me to develop a wide range of activities and lesson plans. I have and continue to attend several formal and informal training days as part of my CPD.

The following is a case study from a previous student who attended weekly one to one sessions. During 4 years we worked on different craft projects usually initiated by the student herself. I have worked around their limited fine motor skills and as their confidence has grown  hand muscles strengthened and with my encouragement is now able to pick up smaller objects such as beads because their dexterity has greatly improved. This is important to them socially and I developed a strong rapport with them, which has added an extra dimension to their everyday life. This experience has taught me to consider how everyone has different abilities and a well-planned lesson has to take account of individual capabilities. Pictured below are examples of projects developed over time many were given as gifts.

 

I believe in preparation and always like to have examples of my own work to inspire my students. As a dyslexic I believe it is important to engage learners through all the senses. My exemplars are a visual way to draw children into the activity to inspire them with ideas. I am passionate about creativity and I am always inventing new ideas for drawing games which serve as great icebreakers or warm up activities during lessons.

 

Art classes for children include topics on traditional art techniques, painting, colour mixing, drawing, sculpture and printmaking. I believe it is important to learn the foundations of art. Craft and freedom to be creative is also highly important so craft activities are often used.

I am excited to begin art classes in my studio in banks mill. After running regular art clubs in Birmingham and then again for two years when I moved to derby the 2 year break since having my baby has felt too long.

kidsartclass poster copy (1)

Empowering Exhibitions

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Empowered women of women’s work exhibition is the first exhibit I organised and helped curate.

This exhibition collated a beautiful selection of my students work displaying their skills in textile art and painting.

The second exhibition of students work is still currently displayed at the community café in Derby city’s Arboretum until the end of April.

 

 

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This exhibition is an interactive presentation of individual students collaged art pieces. These are shaped into simple paper dresses of my design.

Held up by hangers the dresses can be taken down so the reverse can be seen.

Blow you can see close up images of my example paper dress.

 

 

Jazz Age inspiration & Art Nouveau updated

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During November I celebrate my birthday and past years I have never really enjoyed myself, for many different reasons which are not of importance right now. This year I and my partner really needed a break and so a planned short trip to London had been arranged.

There are always many exhibitions I want to see in London and sadly miss, especially if the timing is not right and I do not have any free time for a journey to the capital.

This trip really would be a quick visit though so we did not have much time to see a whole lot. I decided on the fashion and textile museum’s1920’s Jazz Age fashion & photographs exhibit. This seemed an ideal theme for my recent interest and obsession with this era’s style.

jazz-age

The museum is fairly easy to find from the London Bridge tube stop. Interestingly though we stumbled upon a building on our way which is painted in the exact same colours as the museum which confused us somewhat.

museum

The museum inside is quite small so dedicates its whole space to each display. It is Lovely and spacious to walk round and for exploring the delights presented. These 1920’s delights did not disappoint either. I took a few photo’s of dresses with fabrics and designs that appeal to my style the most. In fact the gold looking velvet garment looks very similar to an outfit I already own.

A gallery gift shop is always a must for me to, more often than not, purchase postcards which I add to my growing collection.

This time, because in a birthday treat buying mood a small pack of Fashionary mini sketchbooks found their way onto my person.

These sketchbooks are pretty helpful for the budding fashion designer and would make a great gift for a student I imagine. Each page has a template with a very handy textile dictionary and measurement end pages.

fashionista-book

I can highly recommend a stop in their cafe too, I follow a gluten free diet so had been happy to discover a few cake treats I could actually eat.

A stroll through China town, for dim sum and baked goods followed by the Lion king (a musical I had wanted to see for years) marked the perfect evening and rounded off the days activities nicely.

A sketchbook touring exhibition opportunity (www.sketchopen.co.uk) has fired my passion to get creating and produce a completed sketchbook/journal.

I am, sadly, not the type of artist to keep sketchbooks other than during my college student days. Most of my work is drawn on loose paper and filed into folders.

The mini fashionary sketchbook is an ideal size for me to realistically complete one to a standard I will, hopefully, be content with when submitting to meet the deadline (28th feb 2017)

So onto another daily drawing challenge I go. Follow my Instagram https://www.instagram.com/elizabethblades/ to keep updated on my #18daysoffashionillustration.

Inspired by inktober I have thought up 18 prompts/themes with suggested mediums which I will endeavour to keep too.

challenge

I have begun a drawing project, on a topic which I have wanted to explore through my art for a while and have not found time due to a full year of planning and teaching workshops.

I am making time now using Christmas as a perfect excuse to create some beautiful gifts. I have always adored art nouveau and the strong style which artists such as Mucha adopted as his technique.

The general white washing, to put it bluntly now, in everything from Hollywood films to children’s illustrated books is something that is far from representative of today’s society. I find this trend boring and think changes are desperately needed, especially considering the political year the west has had.

Notably when looking through past art nouveau designs they are always depicting females who are European in appearance and largely fair haired.

If you have read any of my previous blog posts you will already know I have a very mixed heritage including white and brown nationalities. I don’t relate to a typical blond and or blue eyed female, so why should I only draw them. I am also wondering why do we tend to draw face’s that are not too different from our reflection? At least that is what I had been doing. Only really having reference from life model’s, magazine’s and other publications which are most of the time prominently European looking faces. I think this is very limiting and is another way for us to not further progress as a society.

I am also an artist who is fascinated with faces, a variety of beautiful shapes and structures. Beginning with a design for my partners mum, who is a Kenyan Goan, My composition incorporates a lions head, Lupita Nyong’o (a Kenyan actress) and vine leaves which are typically seen in art nouveau pieces.

kenya

I still don’t have as much free time on this project as desired so I have joined up with my very talented, and if I am honest more skilled colourist, partner who lives and works as an artist too.

He and I will work together I will design and do the line work, he will paint and add the colours.

I have a few unfinished illustrations that will develop over time, pictured are snippets from my previously mentioned loose papered ‘sketchbooks’.

art-nouveau

I am feeling very inspired by imagery and patterns from this style of art So I am integrating art nouveau arrangements with the feminist symbol.

I am teaming up with International Women’s Day derby festival committee to lend my creative hand to an exhibition they are creating for the festival day in March 2017.

These symbols I have designed will, hopefully, be coloured in an array of methods and names will be written across the fists.

The IWD derby team have been researching and discovering women from derby’s Herstory archive to collate a time line and I am volunteering to help transform the findings into an exhibition.