Friday 12 July 2019

Textile Landscapes

This month the theme on the Colourcraft Blog is "The Wonder of Nature".

I thought I would share with you here the process of making Textile Landscape cards so that if, like me, you have lots of fabric scraps you could have a go yourself.

For the landscape sky I like the stability of Tyvek Heavy Weight PaperTyvek makes some wonderful skies when misted and then sprinkled with a few Brusho crystals. Some skies can be stormy, some with a Northern Lights like effect.
You may have a Tyvek envelope that has been sent to you that you can open up and upcycle!
Made from 100% polyethylene, Tyvek can be used to create many unique surface effects. It shrinks and bubbles when heat is applied – which is another story I will save for another time. Tyvek produces interesting distressed/3D effects when used with a heat gun, can be moulded, overprinted and layered. I use different weights of Tyvek for different textile art. I cover the different uses in my popular Paint and Stitch workshop. Future workshops can be seen on my facebook page.

I wet the Tyvek paper and then sparingly sprinkle on some Brusho powders. You can use a brush to alter the spontaneous design. For English skies I always sprinkle some grey Brusho and add in a little violet and/or blue.
When dry, cut the painted Tyvek the right size for a third of the card design. The size will depend on the size card you use and how much of the card front you want to have as textile. The card border really adds to the finished design so don’t make your textile too big!
I use a piece of calico as the base for the land and attach this to the Tyvek sky with a row of stitch.
Silk carrier rods are a by-product produced during the silk reeling process, They come in lots of different colours, including variegated, which I also use in my art and workshops. They contain the natural gum which makes them quite rigid, but they can be split down into thinner layers which are more pliable. Put the piece of natural silk carrier rod into water to soak.
Choose appropriate threads. As a minimum use a green for the land and a whitish one for the sky. I love to use embroidery threads, especially variegated ones.
When you reach the side, turn around and come back, incorporating more pieces as you move down the picture.
You can stitch by hand or by machine.
In my textile art, one section became part of a rock pool inspired piece. Another a bubbling stream, another a stone wall.

Another textile art material I love to use is silk carrier rods.
This will be used for clouds later.

Layer different textile pieces to create a landscape.

Audition pieces until you are happy with the effect.
Sew along one of the layered fabric pieces, to join it to the calico base. I usually start on the horizon.

Trim the sides You can use the offcut to add depth in the foreground as shown

Take the silk carrier rod from the water and gently tease it out to create wispy pieces that can be used for clouds.

I also use some sheep wool that I collect from barbed wire when out on walks. Arrange these and stitch down.

Add some details, such as trees, using small scraps of fabric and stitching. Variegated thread and different kinds of stitch can produce good details.

When your design is finished, apply double-sided tape or glue to the back and attach to the front of the card. Don’t forget to initial your design!

I sell kits to make landscape cards which include painted Tyvek paper, silk carrier rod and lots of fabrics in my Etsy Shop

You could make a seascape as well

Other uses of Tyvek paper:
The paint, or indeed anything, can’t pass through the Tyvek, so both sides can be painted/printed/stamped, differently.
It also makes a lovely “vegan leather” book cover as the Tyvek takes the paints revealing a textured effect.
Children at one of my children’s stitch workshops, enjoyed decorating Tyvek and then using them to make durable luggage labels.

The lighter weight Tyvek, (which is used in the white crime scene investigation suits), needs careful heating as it heat distresses easily, but makes some great additions to paint and stitch pieces. The unpredictability of this medium needs to be grasped and is all part of the fun.
What do you use Tyvek for?
Helen x

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