The W.I. Taster Sessions: Drawing + Batik

The Clifton, Bristol branch of Women’s Institute recently asked Heart Space Studios if we would organise a special series of textile classes for their members – so we have put together 3 classes to demonstrate how to develop drawings into designs for textiles.

We chose to draw from flowers – very W.I. and to develop studies to take onto the Batik class – it didn’t quite work out that way – but the results are extremely promising.

The idea was to give the members tasters with a view to developing a whole series of evening classes built specifically for them. I taught the first drawing class and the results were really inspiring, large and luscious drawing emerged for the close studies…

I had chosen 2 types  flowers, those with full faces of interesting detail, Anemones – above, Daisies

and Cabbages – as September roses were not really blousey enough for my purposes….

the drawing below really captures the strange colours and growth patterns of the cabbage…

other flowers were chosen for their silhouettes, Lilies

and long stemmed Anemones

And because of the studio’s spot lights we were getting some wonderful shadows thrown onto the papers, perfect line drawings for the next class in Batik.

the same lights also caused the rapid wilting of the more elderly anemones but they, like tulips die very gracefully.

this drawing below really captured the quality of the flower, both the full faced and the silhouette.

So I was really looking forward to seeing how the group translated these studies into Batiks…..and they completely ignored them, choosing instead some (very attractive) flower photographs that the tutor, Debbie Bird, has brought with her “just in case”……….

however once Debbie had explained how to set about developing  a linear version of the images to enable drawing with a melted wax line, they soon got going to develop more interesting textile studies….

And the colours soon started to flow once the wax line was dry enough to contain the liquid, it is always fascinating to see the cclolour belled to the edge of the line, you wait with baited breath to see if it will escape your initial drawing with the djanting.

Debbie showed various techniques to apply the dye to wet or dry silk.

but the dry results are always fascinating to see –

and some of the Batiks did at least resemble the original flower studies of the previous drawing session or so I like to think!

The last class will be a “show and tell” by  3 Heart Space Tutors’  of their drawing/research books and folders that demonstrate how the process of drawing and sampling in many different media, results in finished textile based work that is both personal and original.

Post Script:and did they sign up for the more paying drawing and craft classes – of course not!

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