Mary McIntosh - Textile Artist
Mary McIntosh - Textile Artist

This gallery shows images of my work produced for the City & Guilds Diploma and exhibited at the Further Education Gallery at the Festival of Quilts. 

 

My design inspiration for all of my C & G pieces was a traditional brickworks near my home on the Suffolk Essex border .Bricks have been made by hand on this site for hundreds of years and I loved the textures and colours created by raw red clay, the black soot of the kiln, and the rusted ironwork given a rich patination by years of heating and cooling.

 

In this set of five 3D vessels I wanted to create several textured surfaces to suggest the bricks themselves after they had been weathered and distressed by decades of heat and smoke from the brick kilns. They also take on the forms of chimneys. The materials used were  a mix of kunin felt, gesso, acrylic paint, moulding paste, lutradur and xpandaprint with all of them being also stitched by both hand and machine and distressed with a heat gun. There is also a bit of metallic foiling and some dyed hessian! 

Detail from the vessel made by moulding paste 'bricks' stencilled onto kunin felt, coloured and then rusted with a rust activator solution and then highly distressed with both a soldering iron and heat gun - the molding paste areas resisted leaving a really lovely rusted and crumbling surface which is actually quite strong.

Detail from another of the textured vessels. The 'bricks' were made from synthetic fabrics includng a really horrid bit of gold lurex circa 1973 plus 5 or 6 sheers on a felt base. This was intensely stitched with a variegated thread and then distressed with a heat gun. The individual bricks were then cut out using a soldering iron and applied to brown felt panels. I was taught this technique by the wonderful Pauline Verrinder at her 2009 summer school at Cottenham College in Cambridgshire

Mini Quilt 12'' x 12'' made for City & Guilds and based upon the brickworks kiln door. This quilt has a background of text printed onto tissue paper, coloured with inks and then applied to a base. The arch is made from painted scrim and vilen and the bricks are made from copper scored to give texture and then coloured with boot polish.  There is a also a lovely copper panel turned to verdigirs by the use of a patination agent at the bottom which has not photographed well and the border is interesting as it is a black felt backing allowed to overlap and then given a burnt filigree edge with the soldering iron. Come and  see it at Birmingham up close to check out the detail!

Images from the main quilt which was inspired by the idea that clay dug from the ground, essentially mud, can be transformed into bricks by heat and the skills of artisan crafsmen, which then go on to restore  great buildings such as Hampton Court and St Pancras Station.

 

The main panel of my final quilt is made up to suggest layers of clay. Every scrap of fabric used is dyed and then manipulated by shrinking and stitch to create a highly textured surface. The fabrics used include cotton, linen, silk, velvet, sacking, newspaper, lutradur, sheers and tissue paper to name but a few. All the fabrics were then applied by stitch onto a cotton base, layered up with wadding and a backing, and further stitch added to make up the 3 layered quilt.

Below is the bottom section of the panel.

Belwo is a middle section of the panel  - I have insrted words associated with the firing process within the quilt.

This is whole of the central panel.

The Left hand panel is made using the paper onto fabric lamination technique as detailed the book "Paper & Metal Leaf Lamination" by Claire Benn, Jane Dunnewold and Leslie Morgan. Having used a small amount of paper and text in the main panel I wished to include much more of it in the 2 ouside panels. Painted newspaper and my own written text on the the brickworks were laminated to a sheer fabric using matt medium and then the paper removed leaving the colour and the works behind. This was then layered up to make a quilt and some areas stitched.

As with the main panel the colours were graduated up from the grey clay, through the golds and oranges of the fire to the top dark reds of the finished bricks.

The Right hand panel came to life following a workshop with Kim Thittichai at ArtVanGo where she showed us paper chenille using painted newspapers. I just loved the colours and textures this made and went on to experiment further using not just newspapers but incorporating my own painted text, along with layers of sheers and net and tissue  which were layered up, stitched, cut and then blasted with a heat so as to shrivel and distress to create another textured surface. 

 

Image from the top of the Right hand panel.

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© Mary McIntosh