This page will give you an idea of the variety of techniques I use and how I have developed my work.
My work has emerged as four ‘ranges’. I have generally worked only using Watercolour techniques, where you apply dyes using brushes or sponges and then work colours one on top of another allowing them to blend, or use water or various agents - alchohol, sugar, salt - to move the colour around and create patterns, textures and effects similar to watercolour painting. Always abstract, I have not yet been tempted to try the traditional florals . Over the last year, I have been exploring other techniques to augment and enrich my creative vocabulary. I aim for a balance in my work between control of materials and methods whilst leaving space for the spontaneous and serendipiditous.
My most popular scarves last winter, were the Squares range that you can see in the gallery page. These involve dividing the scarf into squares using Resistad lines to contain the colour, then working over in water or dilute colour with a thin paintbrush, to push the colour back. I use the brush to to decorate with stripes checks, spirals, spots etc
I received several commissions to paint scarves in different colourways including the autumn colours and the purple one shown below and in the Squares Scarves gallery. I am now working to produce pale grounds on fine chiffon and crepe de chine to achieve an even more delicate and subtle effect.
Having worked using shibori previously, I was inspired to return to it by seeing Isabella Whitworth exhibition at Bovey Tracey DGC in Devon. Shibori is what we knew of as tie-dye but with more ways of stopping the dye reaching the silk that just wrapping round elastic bands. It is a Japanese technique which can involve tying, pleating, wrapping, clamping or using wooden blocks to block the dye from the fabric. Traditional work uses indigo dye on natural ‘white’, but you can experiment with all manner of colour combinations, grounds and adding different techniques in layers one on top of the other. As you can see in the ‘Shibori’ gallery, this has produced some really effective results.
On returning to work after months of being laid up and dreaming ideas and not being able to implement them, I started to work more with gutta or Resistad, which is used to stop the flow of the dye and restrict it. This is in contrast to the watercolour and shibori techniques which are more free, expansive ways of working. I had been looking at Paul Klee again and was reminded of the ‘Take a Line for a Walk’ art lesson, so beloved of art educators in the 70s and used it as a means of rebooting. Drawing with the resist gave me a new stimulus and I have ended up with a little collection of really very different pieces, that have been very successful in a their own distinctive way , as you can see in the ‘Take a Line for a Walk’ gallery. The last piece is actually two similar scarves, sewn back to back, to be displayed against the light. They look even more interesting when moving. There is a video showing the effect - the last picture in the gallery. I have been working on ways of hanging them to show off this feature.
I hope this explains a little of how I work and the breadth of techniques, experience and knowledge I bring to producing each scarf.