From small beginnings….

Being part of a textile network is so important for me. As part of Fusion, I get to exhibit, talk textiles and take part in workshops. All of this gives me motivation to keep creating and try new ideas.

This weekend has been spent in the company of my Fusionista pals being tutored by the wonderful Alison King

The aim of the workshop was to develop ideas from studying and drawing small natural forms. I took a basket full of inspiration but chose to work with a tiny fragment of seaweed that has been on the shelf in my workroom for some time. I like the tonal contrast, the curving form and the link to my beloved coast.

Our first task was to draw a detailed section of our chosen object

The biro really captured the rhythm and strong tonal contrast in the seaweed. Working small and detailed isn’t my usual style but it was good to have the opportunity to focus on drawing- I always aim to draw regularly but work, family life and deadlines interfere!

This was the drawing that inspired all the work from the weekend. We progressed to working with ink and sticks – I love working this way – the marks are so bold -and there’s that element of risk brought about by using something quite inflexible.

Alison wanted each participant to follow their own route from the initial start point- so I ended up outside with a 6 ft length of paper and my paint brush lashed to a stick !

It was a bit breezy but luckily not raining. It felt very free to work in this way in this scale. It was good to be reminded that I relish working on a large scale.

My next task was to try and convey these expressive marks in fabric and stitch.

After an intensive, immersive weekend I have a full sketchbook and lots of ideas bubbling in my mind….large scale pieces to follow.

Published by Donna Cheshire Textiles

I am a professional textile artist specializing in Appliqué and Free Motion machine stitching. In order to create a unique colour palette, I hand dye my own fabrics and then use these to create the landscapes and coastal scenes recorded in my sketchbook. I often incorporate recycled or vintage fabrics in my work - they add meaning to the story the work is telling. I love being so close to the Northumbrian coast and countryside and I especially like taking time walk and draw these stunning landscapes

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