By jane2012, Jul 22 2018 10:04AM


It's been a while, I know! I would love to be more disciplined and post more regularly here, but life has a habit of getting in the way!

It's been a busy summer here at Chez Sharp and between preparing for and completing my charity walk in June and working full time on top of that, there hasn't been a lot of time for creativity. Now that the walk is done (more of that in a later post) I have been throwing myself into some creative projects and it's been so nice to come back to!

Alongside my more traditional textile batik work I have been experimenting with batik on wood and have to say, I've been really enjoying it! I started off by having a go on some cheap off cuts from our local Scraps Store here in MK. They take discs of wood discarded in the making of speaker boxes at Marshall's in Bletchley and sell them on to artists and makers to do with what they will. The wood is only cheap ply so the finish was not brilliant but I was pleased with the overall result and it has definitely spurred me on!

The principle is the same as for textiles; you map out your design and apply wax to the areas you don't wish to colour. It is a lot more immediate than with textile though, which is quite satisfying, and when done on a nice piece of wood, the dye can really bring out the grain. This is definitely something I will be developing, so watch this space!

I've added the images here and as you can see I've also upcycled a star light purchased from Mrs B's Emporium in Wolverton, and an old Ikea mirror I bought years ago. My next project is another purchase from Mrs B's; a small ornamental dresser. Can't wait to post the pics of that when it's finished!

By jane2012, Dec 18 2016 11:19AM

This week I've added two new works; I know, they're like buses right? Nothing for months and then two come along at once!

Well, they do take a long time to produce - the batik process itself is generally quite quick and if my time isn't interrupted by the mundanities of life, such as going to work, eating and sleeping, then it can take me about a week to produce one. It's the stitching that takes the time. Not one for socialising a lot, I am more than content to settle in for the evening with my favourite programme on the TV, my lap-top tray, magnifying lamp and some embroidery cotton! If I could I would do this constantly but I have discovered through extensive research that I can only stitch for a maximum of 2 hours at a time. If I do more, my eyesight starts to fail and deep vein thrombosis sets in. Oh well, we are supposed to suffer for our art aren't we?

This particular batik incorporated bleach into the process to lift colour out of the background. I wanted to go for a print effect; I love Japanese woodblock work with those bold outlines, and I'm really pleased with the result of this one. It's definitely something I'm going to try again.