TECHNIQUES

Traditional techniques combined with a modern sculptural approach establishes the structural integrity of my work. Outlined below are skills and examples when considering the creation of my Textile Wall Hangings. 

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TRADITIONAL TECHNIQUES: Applique, Patchwork and Quilting. Early works were machine stitched but I now enjoy hand stitching as a more organic approach. Dressmaking techniques enables fabric to be manipulated, with padded structure and layering.

A SCULPTURAL APPROACH: Padded and excavated cavities provide depth and sculptural density. 'Tomato', 'Jesus 2', 'Mother and Child', 'Vibrant Buddha Temple', Girl 1' and 'Old Ted' are examples of 3D contouring.

RECYCLING OFF-CUTS: Effective in creating panels of colour and texture, layering for additional depth. Frayed edges promotes a wealth of natural texture. A compact colour palette can be achieved by densely stitching short fabrics (a traditional rug making technique).

3D FLOWER HEADS: Individual petals hand stitched to a padded applique head. Petals are created from machining two pieces of fabric right side together with an opening to turn out. Excess fabric left around the stitched edge when cut provides the bulk necessary to give structure to the cavity. Hand stitching petals around the flower head provides artistic licence to create individual form. Embellished with light reflective beads and sequins. Beautifully sculptural.

SCULPTURAL CONTOURING: Layering fabrics to create volume and depth is a simple yet effective way to contour a surface, anchored with a stitch, embellished in beads and sequins to enhance. Naturally frayed fabrics provides an elegant fragility.

USING WOOL: Enhances texture and creates volume. Knitting and crochet feature as both background and embellishment. Wool jumpers are used in the layered formation of flower heads to contour an area. French knitting (using a bobbin to create tubular lengths) and creating a variety of pompoms (volumes vary according to the type of wool used) take me back to my early childhood.

ORIGINAL POETRY: Poetry features in both collections, adding an emotional layering to works, hand embroidered in wool and silk threads. Viewers are transported back to my own childhood, my love of old nursery rhymes, taking tea with Old Ted, enjoying the Easter parade in the North East of England, baking tasty treats with Grandmamma.

UNUSUAL TEXTURES: The lining of an old cushion, partly disintegrated, forms a natural tree sculpture in 'Buddha'. Disintegrating layers of fabric are used to create the stem structure in 'Abstract Flower Design B'. Snagged and frayed fabrics express neglect and poverty in 'The Children's Act'. The erosion of a synthetic rubber used in 'Tomato' is symbolic of the ageing process. Cat hair creates 3D sculptural flower heads in 'Abstract Flower Design E'. And 3D silk flowers represent the crown of thorns in 'Jesus 1'.

RECYCLING: I am passionate about rejuvenating textiles no longer valued in our throw away society. Carboot sales, charity shops and donations from family and friends provide me with a wealth of possibilities. The crushed velvet curtains from my childhood can be seen in many works. Indian silks provide intricate detail to be used in embellishment. Wool knits provides density. Lace adds delicate detail. It is the accumulative effect of using a wide range of textiles and embellishment which gives my work it's unique quality with surfaces encrusted with beads, buttons, light reflective sequins and old jewels. Some textiles have been reworked and others organically grown over time.

© 2023 by Bunny Matthews Decorator. All rights reserved

TEXTILE ARTIST: LIMITED EDITION PRINT FROM THE NATURAL COLLECTION
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Working from home in the Greater London Borough of Barnet, UK
ORIGINAL POETRY

'Spring Garden' takes the viewer back to my childhood with 'Easter Sandals': 'Standing proud, little jewels adorn the washing line, waiting for me to set them free. They leap and twirl like acrobats of the high trapeze. Silver threads catch every bit of light that comes my way, and I hear them giggle in anticipation of the day. The hunt for brightly patterned eggs and church bands parading through South Shields, with banners high and trumpets loud. So it was in my day. As vivid and refreshing...