Tessa Spanton SWA Artist, tutor, writer


Welcome to my blog.
This is where I write about some of the things that inspire my work,
news of exhibitions and works in progress

Saturday, 27 August 2011

florum 2011

Strelitzia reginae painted on silk (c) Tessa Spanton

It's nearly time for the next florum exhibition (admission free)

It is held at the visitor centre at the Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve Details here

Several different artists are taking part, many of them professional artists or tutors and over recent years nearly £12000 for the work of the Wildlife centre has been raised from sales at the exhibitions.

I will have 7 silk paintings in this exhibition as well as giclees and cards.

Right next to the centre there is an enormous bee hotel, a wildlife garden, a bird hide with information about the birds and a lake as well as more extensive walks to other lakes and hides. Ideal for a family visit or for artists wanting to work en plein air!

It is a fitting place to exhibit flower paintings. The bee hotel a reminder of the interdependence of living things as so many plants depend on bees for pollination.

The visitor centre where the exhibition is shown has displays illustrating the prehistory and history of the site, the creation of the nature reserve, its habitats and the wildlife which they support.Visitors can handle all sorts of 'treasures' such as nests, feathers and thirty-thousand year old mammoth teeth.

10 - 17th September 2011 Open daily 10 - 5
Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve, Bradbourne Vale Road, Sevenoaks TN13 3DH

The Reserve is off the main A25 and is well signposted. Follow the track past the Riding Stables and bear left when it divides. Continue as far as the Wildlife Centre where there is ample free parking.

There will be works in different media including watercolours, oils, mixed media, etchings, machine embroidery on painted silk, silk paintings, coloured pencils, jewellery etc. and different styles and subjects including botanical, floral and landscapes.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Rose pink and sky blue silk scarf

It's a lovely sunny afternoon today for photographing some silk scarves.
I made this one by a sort of shibori method that involved rolling and gathering the silk then painting on the dyes. I like the patterning that happened, never too sure what it will be like till it has been steamed to fix the dyes then unwrapped. A bit like a butterfly emerging from it's chrysalis.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Antique Rose and Peach Silk Necklace and Scarf

This necklace combines pure silk with wooden beads. It is made of a lightweight pure silk (Pongee5) and has been dyed using steam fix dyes. The colours I have used and the patterning achieved remind me of the patterning of butterfly wings.

I have used the Arashi technique to get the subtle patterning. Arashi is a type of Shibori that invloves twisting the silk then winding it tightly round a tube or pole before painting on the dyes. The colours are then steamed into the silk and the silk washed and ironed.. The colours are antique rose and a pale creamy peach.
The silk is ruched around compressed cotton beads and the necklace is light to wear.It is fastened by tying so is adjustable.
Length when tied is between 16-18in
silk beads 15mm

This necklace was made from the same piece of silk as this scarf below.
Both are available in my etsy shop

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Adventures with glass, silk and paper

I was invited by Helen of tiaratiara to join her for a creative craft extravaganza day and I have written about her in a previous post when I went to her for lessons in making lampwork beads.

Helen demonstrated glass bead making and papercrafts and offered ' have a go' sessions.
I ran 3 silk painting make and take classes; silk lavender bags, necklace and scarves.

Helen is making a cupcake bead and is applying white (glass) icing, she went on to put little pink dots on the icing. When finished the bead is threaded with silver wire with a red Swarovski crystal for the cherry on the top.

Silk necklaces painted and assembled during one of my make and take sessions.

These are the only 2 photos I took as the day was busy. In between I made some glass beads, stamped some labels and had a go on a Bigshot. To find out about that go to Helen's blog here
and if you scroll up from there you will find a recipe for the cake we had.
I am hoping the beads have survived the cooling process and if so will post photos later.