Archive for the ‘textiles’ Category

Time & Nature

Sunday, February 3rd, 2019

Exploring objects and textiles is keeping me away from painting in the studio at the moment, but that’s ok, because I’m not just a painter…..

Today, I have been working with time and nature but, now it’s too hot to do anything much, as the temp in the valley has reached 39 Celsius and getting hotter.

I get torn between contemporary and lush, extravagant. Old bones, textiles, rusted wires, watch faces, bits of stick with moss , vintage cosmetic bottles and handmade French influenced, embellishments are on my bench.

Memories and feelings keep flooding back from my times spent in France. Especially touched by Versailles palace and other places in Europe and England. Old history feeds my creativity.

Old rusted wire and found textiles are twisted and sewn with gold threads and remind me of couture and Versailles decadent history.

Formed into fragments that will probably be part of something else.

This one looks like a weird kind of bird.

I’ve also had the de-clutter bug lately so its feels liberating to use up stuff Ive been hoarding for ever.

© 2019, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

Art & Recycling. Textiles & Mixed media.

Friday, January 18th, 2019

Art and recycling goes hand-in-hand in the textile and mixed- media side of my arts practice.

My artworks are often created from old, discarded clothing, vintage and antique textiles, papers and found objects. I enjoy making use of stuff that has had a life already; a life that is often purely functional and as far removed from ‘art’ as you can imagine.

I’ve been recycling all my life to make art. As a child, I pulled apart, old clothing and nylon stockings “I used to collect fabric waste from mum’s sewing and knitting basket, making wall hangings out of that.” Nowadays, I cut up my own clothing and others, antique quilts, vintage linens, fancywork and men’s suits.

The process of searching and collecting materials, is also, a very important part of my art’s making. It may take weeks, months, even years, to find a piece that talks to me. Most of the time though, a fragment of fabric, clothing or object, will trigger off the idea. I collect and document many of the pieces I find, by labeling or remembering, its history of when & where it was found. This gives me another layer to work with.

The search for materials has taken me to many weird and wonderful places over the years.

The sometimes, dodgy, back streets of cities, in Barcelona, Italy and France. Markets and charity shops in Australia, France and England. Underground spaces, abandoned buildings, coast lines and vacant beaches. Friends, family and strangers, have also, donated materials to use in my work.

By transforming old, recycled and reused materials, it enriches the stories I like to tell in my contemporary art and gives a new life, to materials destined to be wasted and thrown away.

© 2019, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

Rust Dyeing Fabrics

Friday, December 28th, 2018


Summer in Australia is the perfect time for eco and botanical dyeing outdoors. During Winter, I like to save little bits of fabrics, lace and papers in a box for Summer dyeing. This is how I rust dye my fabrics….

Many years ago, I collected heaps of metal junk to use for sculpture. As, I no longer weld, I now use the rusty bits and pieces that are scattered all over my property, for my dyeing projects.

The gathering of the metal objects, wrapping them with the fabric spraying with vinegar and binding with rope and wire is quite relaxing. I call it mummy wrapping.


Rust Dyeing Fabric

MATERIALS:

Fabric: cottons silk… work best

Rusty metal objects: cooking pans, car parts, rusty nails, screws, pipes, copper objects

Wire, string, wool or rope just something to bind the fabric to the rusted item

Plain white vinegar

Rubber gloves

Plastic sheet or bags

METHOD

1. Gather all the items together wet your fabric and spray with vinegar.

2. Wrap the fabric around and around the rusted object as best you can.

3. Make sure it’s tightly bound with the string rope or wire. Cover with plastic so it stays moist.

4. Leave and wait for the magic to happen.

5. This may take an hour or 2 or if you want deeper textures of rust a week or 2. Then un- wrap your beautiful rusted fabric.

6. Once the fabric is dyed to the depth you want, soak for 30mins in warm water with a couple of tablespoons of salt to make the rust dye colourfast.

7. Wash gently in warm water with soap powder rinse dry and voila!

I also rust papers and larger pieces of fabric using a different method that I will share in a future post.

To see more of my free tutorials please go here

© 2018, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

TurkRedghost Series. Textile Art. Antique & Vintage Textiles.

Wednesday, June 27th, 2018

I grew up in a “make do and mend” family, where nothing much was thrown away and would be mended or, re-purposed into something else, therefore, many of my textile pieces are hand- made, created from antique & vintage sourced materials and may include, discarded, abandoned, found objects. I have been working with textiles all my life. My mother was a dressmaker and as a child, I would collect the fabric scraps and make wall hangings and soft sculpture.

For further details about my textile pieces, please go to my gallery page and click under  “Textile Art”

“TurkRedghost” series

Sometimes the antique textiles I work with, seem to yell at me, but mostly, they lay silent, as I make my own marks alongside, others gone before. Ragged bits, old and new stitching, tracing marks left behind on old textiles are a reminder, of a time when women, had many obligations and few choices. I feel comfortable, as I stitch, tear, dye and reinforce the fragmented pieces. Somehow, I hope, in a small way, by reclaiming and reworking the textiles, I can give a voice to those women.

 

 

 

 

TurkRedghost 1

 

 

 

TurkRedghost 4

 

 

TurkRedghost 3

 

 

 

TurkRedghost 2

 

 

© 2018, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

After Exhibition Blues. Textiles.

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018

After exhibition blues has hit!  I’m all painted out at the moment, but still enjoying some textile pieces Ive been playing around with for a while now.  Looks like some old photos and found objects will make their way into the project too.  Please see “Spaces Below” exhibition details in the sidebar on the right.

 

 

Ragged bits , old and new stitching, tracing the marks left behind on, 120 yr old textiles.

 

 

Memories and ghosts from the 1800s, remind me, as I work, of a time when women had many obligations and few choices.

 

 

A time when, women were completely controlled by their fathers, brothers and male relatives and their sole purpose in life was to find a husband, reproduce and then spend the rest of their lives serving him.

 

 

If you were to break free, you would be crucified, ridiculed and seen as “not normal, insane, bullied and tossed aside.

 

 

The textiles from the 120 year old quilt toppers I work with, sometimes, seem to yell at me, but mostly, they lay silent, as I make my own marks alongside others gone before.

 

 

I feel comfortable, as I stitch, tear, dye and reinforce the fragmented pieces.

 

 

Somehow, I hope, in a small way, by reclaiming and reworking the textiles, I can give a voice to those women.

 

 

Just like in my own life, when I was powerless, art gave me a voice to express myself, where once I had none.

 

 

 

 

 

© 2018, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

Old Army Blanket and Collage.

Friday, April 21st, 2017

Still working on small textile collages.

 

 

I found an old army blanket from my childhood and couldn’t resist  it’s raggedy worn, loveliness and further rusted it. Leaving it in the elements outside for a few weeks.

 

 

It can take ages moving pieces around to get the right composition.

 

 

then sometimes it just happens straight away.

 

 

 

Adding more marks…

 

The good thing about using a stretched canvas as a base, I can stitch right into it.

Just like using a embroidery hoop.

 

© 2017, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

Time, Change, Erosion and Decay + Freebie Rust Dyeing Tutorial

Friday, March 17th, 2017

The process of transformation. Time, change, erosion and decay are qualities I like to celebrate. I examine and explore, the properties and possibilities, of my material and want to push the boundaries of something to get a deeper understanding.

In my latest project, I’m working with textiles over a 100 years old. I want to work with the worn and deteriorated textiles and collaborate alongside those, who in the past, so carefully stitched, mended and created, the pieces for comfort and warmth.

Each piece was once, carefully hand -stitched and now, breaking down and worn. I have very selectivity pulled apart and unpicked areas, and kept some intact.

Some areas of fabric, are so badly worn it breaks in my hands, so I have to reinforce it. Most pieces though are just left in their original state.

I then, like to push the process further with, natural & rust dying methods, mark making, hand stitching and painting with caste iron, botanical paints.

Numerous times, I expose the materials to the elements to experience the changes.

Getting to the essence of my material helps me to translate and describe its being. I rarely know the outcome of my projects and just go with the flow.

Wanting to know how to rust – dye?  Please see my  free rust – dyeing tutorial

© 2017 – 2018, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

Stuck for Ideas.

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

Sometimes, when I’m stuck for ideas making artwork and it’s just not happening, I  like to throw a heap of things together and arrange them near my work.

The items, may relate in colour, texture and type or be opposing which, I find much more exciting. Your brain will automatically try to come up with solutions. Expanding your ideas and creating new ones.

The flow on of ideas is sometimes amazing. It can lead to, resolving the artwork in front of you, as well as, give you ideas for a whole new body of work.

Juxtaposition and connections of items together seems to work for me.

I believe there is a creative force that is connected to everything we do.

© 2017, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

Experiments with Concrete Cloth and Rust. Sculpture.

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

Experiments with Concrete Cloth and Rust. Sculpture.

Just a quick update about what Ive been doing lately.

 

IMGP0141s

 

Work for my exhibition was almost finished, until, I discovered a bunch of rusted textiles Id forgotten about. Now, I want to make more sculpture. A solid form with thin wafers of cloth, concrete and rust.

 

Jenny Davis_Concrete Mixed Media s7

 

Today, I’m heading into the studio to work out how to achieve this. Wet concrete is very formless so pouring, layer, upon layer of cloth then, concrete, in a mold, just wouldn’t work. The cloth would get covered with concrete on the outer edges and I want slices of cloth sticking out and visible on the outside.

 

Jenny Davis_Concrete Mixed Media 2s

 

Funny thing is, when I Googled it, all I came up with was my own experiments and work with concrete, cloth and rust.

 

Jenny Davis_Wallmatter Sculpture_ 2016

 

So, I’m now in the process of inventing how to do this:)

More details about my “Wallmatter” exhibition coming soon!

 

 

© 2016, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.

Concrete. Rust. Textile. Sculpture. Work in the Studio.

Sunday, April 3rd, 2016

Concrete. Rust. Textile. Sculpture. Work in the Studio.

Experiments with concrete, rust and textiles in developing sculpture.

 

IMG_20160322_130507

 

Junk packaging for mold making

 

IMG_20160320_094659

 

Taped up packaging filled with concrete, rust and cloth.

 

IMG_20160320_113503

 

Poured wet concrete sculpture

 

IMG_20160320_113444

 

A series of 3D objects in the making

 

IMG_20160320_113316

 

The first raw reveal after 24 hours. At this stage, I need to make my final decisions and changes to this sculpture, while the concrete is still soft enough to work with. I discovered in some of my earlier experiments, once its rock hard, its more difficult to work with.

 

Jenny Davis_ Concrete textile Sculpture 1st reveal s

 

I am still working on this series of sculptures using concrete, rust and textiles that will be part of my “Wallmatter” exhibition.

 

© 2016, Jenny Davis. All rights reserved.