Saturday, 15 August 2015

Prickly Pals

Oooh it's been a while since I've posted but I've been busy delivering workshops to the Leeds Young Creatives at the Leeds College of Art Summer Art School. It ends next week so I will blog about inspirations I've taken from it when the inks all put away! In the meantime, I have been working on my cacti and succulent collection - and I don't mean my real life ones but my crafty ones. A year ago, I collaborated with my Nana, Syliva, who is an incredibly talented maker - her expertise lie with knitting. Even in her 70's she is approached by companies to make creations for their brands and even adverts! It's amazing - she doesn't have a computer or promotes herself, she just makes great things and word gets around. Anyway, she invented a knitted cactus pattern and whipped up these fellows for my birthday last year: 

Since then I have been making lots of different types! They are so fun to make because you can play around with each cacti meaning that each cactus creation is completely unique. Some have hats, some have un-spikey (thread) spikes, some are tall, round, fat, thin, weird... like normal cacti are! 

Here are a few of the different types I've made recently:

If you like you can follow my Pintrest board, 'Knit n Stitch' where you can keep up-to-date with the other knitting and stitching creations, pretty sure they will be revolving around cacti for a little while longer.

 I only ever make the one cactus once, so everyone whose purchased one so far will have a one-off. 

I am going to write up a downloadable PDF with the pattern on soon, so you can have a go at making your own creations from my Nana's pattern - I just need to research the VAT/Tax changes which happened this year in the UK for makers to sell digital PDFs to make sure that when I upload it it's all above board. 

Over the last few weeks I have been transforming these designs into 2D! I went on an inspirational trip (and expensive as I had to buy LOADS of plants) to Cactus Land in Lincolnshire. Not too far from where I grew up, actually, even though I was unaware of it at that time. If you like cacti and succulents: GO! It's amazing. I spent some time photographing all the beauties and then drew them ready to be mono-printed. I originally did it to use as examples to show students during the Summer School at Leeds College of Art to mono-print using cut-out shapes. I've always been a sucker for delicious texture and mono-printing allows gorgeous textures to come through - which, of course being mono-prints are one-offs too. Here are some process pictures:

Here are some photographs of the final print! It's printed on 250 gsm heavyweight un-coated white paper so that the textures of the mono-prints really pop out! You can see it listed in my etsy and folksy shop alongside the remaining knitted cacti I have available:

I'm sure you've noticed the cacti printed pattern cloth to the left of the print - more on that coming soon!

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