Tag Archives: Alice Fox

Creative Workshop with Alice Fox

The best way to spend the weekend?? Wrapping fabric around rusty metal then dipping it in tea!

Textile Artist Alice Fox delivered an excellent weekend workshop for me and my fellow Fusionistas.

Over the course of the weekend, Alice shared her working practices with us teaching us the alchemical effects of tea and red wine when used to dye fabrics with rust. (We already knew all about the alchemy of imbibing them;). There is a little magic to the process – different teas make different colours emerge and the marks made are unique each time – even if you try to wrap in the same way and use the same liquid.

This is the cycle repair tin wrapped in muslin and soaked in tea – there are two small screws tied in the bundles on top.

 With a different tea (& shorter dye time) the colours achieved were softer than those achieved on my earlier experiments at home. The paper shown here was stained with rust from wire wool.
Alice provided us with a range of tasks to complete over the weekend; preparing fabric samples by finding  different ways to texture the surface, using the marks created to dictate where and how to stitch, challenging us to redeem perceived ‘failures’ by folding them into books. She talked about her own work, the intentions behind it as well as the process used to create different pieces.

 The success of the workshop was clear when at the final review we saw how varied the outcomes were for each participant. As with all the best workshops I came away with new techniques to try and new ideas to develop in my own work – I certainly won’t be abandoning my beloved sewing machine anytime soon but Alice’s contemplative approach has given me new insights into my own methods.

It was lovely to spend time stitching and thinking with friends old and new, roll on next year’s weekend with mixed media artist Shelley Rhodes !

Pause for Thought

Its half term here, no school for a week, the clocks have gone back so the evenings come quickly, giving time for reflection on what I am making and why I am doing it.

Two new sources are infiltrating my ideas this week, firstly Boro textiles. Wonderful recycled cloth from Japan. My initial research shows that these fabrics were made of necessity from worn out fabrics and garments by peasants in Northern Japan. More details on the wonderful Sri Threads website.

I love the texture and layers of these fabrics, they seem to encapsulate time passing, weathering, the effects of nature. 

A step further on from my appliqué and stitch perhaps. It’s certainly giving me ideas; new influences slosh around in my mind like ingredients stirred up in a cauldron. These fabrics are bumping up against those Joan Eardley landscapes I’ve become so attached to, sketchbook experiments are developing.

In the post today, I received a lovely book by Alice Fox. I’m taking part in a workshop weekend with her in a couple of weeks, so I thought I’d do some homework beforehand. 


I was reading the first few chapters with a good cup of tea, when I discovered that I shouldn’t be drinking the tea but using it as a mordant! So now I have a baking tray full of tea soaked rusty objects in the front room!
I KNEW there’d be a use for all those rusty items I’ve collected! The book also mentions lots more textile artists, some new, some familiar, all further cause for research. 

I’m collating boards on some of these themes on Pinterest, it’s a great way to store ideas and themes. So long as I don’t spend too long searching and too little time making….