Midnight Garden

May 13th 2014

 

My silk wall hanging, “Midnight Garden” has come home to roost for a few weeks.  

http://www.deborahkemball.com/gallery_midnightgarden_fq.html

It is a quilt I gave to my brother some years ago and I hadn’t seen it for quite a while until last week.  I am teaching three workshops at the Quebec Salon at the end of this month and feeling that it is my best example a silk applique,  I asked him if I could borrow it for a few weeks.  It arrived from the UK last week and seeing it again was like seeing an old friend after too long a time.    I have been enjoying seeing it afresh, the colours of the silks strike me most and how perfectly they stand out against the midnight blue background.  I love the embroidery and this still remains one of my all time favourites.  It’s amazing that all this embroidery is a result of only two stitches, and that’s all!  Without more ado, here are some close ups……

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Creative Diversification

May 2nd 2014

 

I have been quite busy with the applique of my red version of Floral impressions.   I’m on the borders now.   I have interspersed it with my new knitting craze, especially now that we are in the throws of the Stanley Cup Play-Offs (hockey, for those of you in the UK, ICE hockey and very important hockey what is more!).  Lots of TV so lots of knitting time too.

I am loving my applique but I am hankering to go back to my papiermache days again after a lull of many years.  It’s funny how Amsterdam has always had this effect on me.  I was there in March and after wandering around the city for three days longed to make something three dimensional.  I want to make a massive, crazily over-sized bowl, out of the thinnest most transparent tissue paper, gold leafed on the inside to sit on the floor with a light behind it.  I don’t know how long I can wait.  Until you have finished the Floral impressions quilt I tell myself.  

Here are some examples of my papier mache which sold in art galleries and design shops in London in the 90s.ImageImage

 

 

 Paper roses too – my own adaption of flower making which resulted in gorgeous, hand coloured, crinkly papered and surprisingly tough paper roses.  Indeed, many of these pictured are more than 20 years old.  It seems unbelievable that they have lasted so well.  Visual overabundance turns my head – so I love to see one of my urns overstuffed and weighty with paper roses too.  They are nothing like fragile silk flowers but are crinkly, textured and very tactile.   You can really scrunch them and they’ll bounce back.  Most of the paint colours I used were ochres, umbers and madder red for a scrumptious palette of antique colours.  I would tint the wallpaper paste with these acrylics and use that to stick three layers of crepe paper together and dry it in the hot Cypriot sun to make the crinkly, stiff paper with which the roses are made.  I used to sell them too and the shops went on to sell them for about $10 a piece, even then, so I think only I, the maker, or a millionaire, could afford to fill an urn with them.  These urns, bowls and flowers have festooned our houses for nearly twenty years now and also those of my close friends and family.   I think I’m going to have to get back to paper and glue again.  

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You have to admit, there is a bit of a running theme to my work.  Maybe next week I’ll show you my ceramics!

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