Wednesday, 19 July 2017


It's been one of those weeks!
For starters, I waded through Monday morning without a clue as to what I was going to do for my weekly art project, and then once I had found a starting point, life's little interruptions meant a stop-start approach to my working practice.  Something that doesn't put me in the best of moods!!!!  Oh the joy of a solid block of time in which to work!

Nevertheless...we are here & you are wondering why I have a stunning Iznik tile as a visual aid to the start of my blog today?!

An interesting article on the significance of the tulip in Ottoman design, led me to recollecting my wonderful visit to Istanbul a few years ago.  I was particularly wanting to see what 'tulip' inspired tiles I had managed to photograph.

Easier to view were my set of coasters!
AS you have probably guessed, I'd decided to have the tulip as this week's muse.  Even though the tulip is another plant that I have tried and failed to grow in my garden, each year I buy bunches & pretend that they have just been plucked from our own carefully tended soil!

Thankfully I had taken a few photos of my most recent bunch, so with the stylized  tulip designs of the Ottoman Empire in the forefront of my mind, I set about exploring the lines & shapes of the bunch I had documented before me.

I was particularly pleased with this close up photo looking INTO the tulip, & I hoped that I would be able to use that in some way.

Out came the pens & in the limited time I had available to me, I noted my observations.

I decided, at some point, that I was going to create my own tile.  Having to keep my goal of using contemporary reverse applique in each of my art projects, I then had to carefully consider what  size my motifs were going to be & how I was going to accomplish a tile effect.  The tiles generally had small motifs, with lots of additional small pattern components & twirly tendrils of line.  This was going to be an interesting challenge.

Once settled on a design format, I used the lightbox to help me trace it onto each quarter of my 15cm sq fabric block.

Before the cutting back began, I needed to create a background & wanted to use paints to bring the finer patterns to life.  I soon discovered that my paints are..ahem...a little dried up!  As were my fabric pens!  Out came the sharpies & wouldn't you know it...they bled! I cobbled together a 'painted' background with a water colour cake, fabric dye & various pens !!  By no means perfect, but it does look a little 'tile-ish' already....if you don't look too closely!!

Keeping a simple colour scheme, but choosing 3 different reds, led me to select these fabrics for my layers.
Under the sewing machine needle it all went & then out came the scissors.  Here's what the cutting back  revealed...

I am so pleased with the end result, especially given the stop-start nature of getting the WAP to this point.  The colours immediately transport me to the tiles seen lining the walls of Istanbul's Mosques & whilst my design is not particularly Ottoman looking, it is MY design & I'm pleased with it.  The test is in how it looks as a repeat pattern?

I don't need much of an excuse to use my layout app to find out!
Bold & fresh & lovely.
A good result from a frustrating start of week!


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