Yesterday the Calicostitch Roseangle class had their first look at our new venue. I arrived a little before the students and opened the shutters and curtains, got the kettle on – most important – and started preparing for the workshop. I decided to do the mono printing on fabric workshop that I have done several times for EG groups and it is a good way to produce a strip of textured colourful fabric in a relatively short time. Students started to arrive shortly before 10am and had a look around Dundee Art Society rooms where we are to be based. The main room, as you will see from the photos is large and can easily accommodate a large group. The tables were set out for us, the heating was on and judging by the chatter everyone seemed happy with our new home.
I think it was a good idea to have a few hours in the room so that we all know where we are going to be from September but I think everyone enjoyed catching up with the news – even although it is only a few weeks since we were all together at College taking down the exhibition at the end of the academic year.
Dundee College has had many talented City & Guilds students over the years and another whose work was much admired by both members of the public coming to view the 2012 exhibition and the External Verifier is Kate High. With the end of the academic year Kate has completed year 1 of Level 3 Creative Techniques and will be back in September to start year 2. Her theme for the Research for Design unit is ‘Cobwebs and Feathers’ both things of delicacy and yet strength and these pieces, a set of three hand embroidered hangings, were inspired by Native American design. Kate started by exploring what happened to bandage muslin and calico when space dyed with potassium permanganate to create earthy tones. She deliberately left these with uneven borders to evoke the animal skins used by Native Americans for many and various artefacts.
On to these surfaces Kate embellished other fabrics and threads, added areas of beadwork based on authentic American Indian designs and finally added hand stitch in the form of needleweaving, line stitches and seeding. She looked at the different uses of feathers, how they clipped them, stitched into the strong central spine of the feather and finally hand stitched her own feathers on to the background fabric. The subtle colour changes were remarked upon by the EV and the three pieces worked very well as a group.