Learning to Layer

I’ve been working on my hydrangea embroidery quietly – mostly in my lunch breaks at work. Trying to decide how to draw / paint in stitch I’ve been experimenting with layering simple stitches. The first layer of small running stitches was inspired by looking at the amazing Japanese cloths in the recent Boro exhibition at Somerset House.


On top of that I’ve put single strands of purple and French knots. It seems to be working rather well even if I am making it up as I go along!!


Ps I can’t believe it’s only a week since I got back from Portugal ….. Seems like a world away…..

In an Art Nouveau Style

Went to pick up my two glass panels yesterday from the Rainbow Glass Studios as I know there is an open studio for past students on most Monday and Tuesday evenings.  Richard emailed me earlier in the day to say that the greens had turned out as blues – he had mixed the colours for me himself as I was in such a hurry at the end of the Sunday session and had no idea why this had happened! We certainly hadn’t had time to do a test firing.  What did I say about not being able to see the actual colour when you are painting it on….!

Anyway to correct this he had silver stained the back of the leaves to add yelllow and turn them green so was I happy for him re fire?  I was… and by some happy accident as he admitted it had turned out the most beautiful colours and very art nouveauish.  I had used a book of free use Art Nouveau designs as a starting point so it was particularly appropriate.

Here is a link to the Rainbow Studios website where Richard has posted the work finished by myself and other students in the class (no ‘J’ panel as it’s not finished yet, but mine are the ‘T’ and the owl.)

Colouring Glass

This weekend I went back for a second go at glass painting at the Rainbow Glass Studios in Stoke Newington. Last year I did a one day course which showed me basic painting techniques and silver staining – the mainstay of much of the glass painting of previous centuries. Apparently the name stained glass actually refers not to the joining together of pieces of coloured glass, but the silver stain which adds additional yellow and amber glazes to different colours of glass.

This time I was doing a two day course, and so Richard let us loose with the more modern coloured powders used today to literally colour plain or coloured glass once a trace outline has been painted.

We started off with a recap of the same techniques as last time and I produced a rather pretty owl – and even managed not to ‘metal’ my silver stained background.

However, I was also trying to complete two pieces of glass for the small windows in our landing at home – a T and a J for myself and the Scotsman. Mine had sunflowers – mostly because I like them and the Scotsman’s had thistles. I did the designs in a tearing hurry last week – mostly in my lunchbreaks – and would really have liked some time to tidy them up…nothing new there then.

I might have made it to the end of the two designs if I hadn’t realised part way through Sunday afternoon that I had put the J down upside down after its first visit to the kiln and had been gaily painting on the back of it since then!! Cue me wiping all the colour off and starting again…it would have worked after a fashion but wouldn’t have matched the T. I blame the people across the road who had a party on Saturday night and stopped me getting a full night’s sleep…!

Anyway I finished the T and partly painted the J – I go this evening to pick them up and see what they look like. In a similar way to ceramic glazes and transfer dyes you can’t judge the colour until it’s been fired.

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Now I just have to wait for an opportunity to go back to the studios and finish off the J….