Friday, 13 March 2015

Lamination results

So here's what happened. I had a bit of a rethink about the content when my dear heart suggested that the Venetian door might look interesting surrounded by flowers. My mind immediately jumped to my most favourite book in the world, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. For those of you who don't know it, it is the story of Mary, a lonely little girl, orphaned by cholera in Colonial India, who is sent "home" to her Uncle's house in England. Home is a forbidding Yorkshire mansion, Misselthwaite Manor, full of secrets and strange cryings in the night from behind closed doors. Here, another lonely little boy, Colin, is cooped up in an upstairs room because he is an "invalid". Mary discovers him, unbeknownst to the adults and, having been spoilt herself, has no truck with his spoilt ways, ignoring the tantrums and his determination that he is dying. She also discovers a walled garden in the grounds of the Manor house, locked away behind an old, ivy covered door, in which no one has been since the Colin's mother died. Mary finds her way into the garden, and takes Colin there because she is sure it holds a Magic, which will make him well. Gradually, with the help of local boy Dickon, who has a skill and instinct for all growing things, they weed and plant, prune and sow seeds, laugh and play and, as the garden comes back to life, so the children flourish. Eventually Mary's uncle, Colin's father, returns from abroad, where he has been wandering, deep in mourning for his lost wife. He walks out into the grounds of the Manor, to discover sounds of laughter from behind the high walls of the garden, and his son full of life and joy, racing through the door, with Mary not far behind him. 

So, I took some text from the book, my worn Venetian door and some images of flowers from our garden and combined them to produce this - with apologes for the poor quality of the images - the iPad just isn't as good as a proper camera.

Here it is shown laid against white fabric, and below, some of the spare bits put together without much thought just to see what happened. Because the matte medium goes on through a textured screen you end up with a broken image, hence the white showing through the voile.

I think I may be able to work with these, adding embroidery and embellishment to enhance the images. However, I do prefer the lamination laid over some of my previously dyed fabrics, the white shining though the voile is too stark a contrast, dark fabric underneath makes the image look ghostly, whereas here the colours blend together and might become something rather nice. I might try dying a piece of fabric specifcally to get the right colours behind the differing elements of the image but, as a trial, this gives me some ideas.

I've taken elements of the text in the book to give a hint of the story, focusing on the key points. The broken nature of the image means that some of the text is lost, but I think I can reinstate it with stitch to make the story clear.

We also did some laminating onto solid fabric - a similar technique, except you apply the matte medium to the fabric and the surface of the image, rather than through a screen and the layer of voile. This was a hurried amalgam of a picture of a beautiful diamond leaded window in a church in Suffolk, and some images taken from old herbals. I cut the images up and recombined to make a patchwork of stained glass, plants and words. Very fiddly as the individual bits of paper have to be taped together on the back to hold them all as one piece. Once dried and heat set, as with the voile, you soak the whole thing in a bucket of water, then rub away at the back of the paper until only the images from the front are left. Obviously I had to reverse anything with words on them so they came out the right way round. 

Perhaps a grid of black ribbon and some additional stitch might give me a rather nice panel for a cushion cover or some such. It may take a while though, back to work on Monday, so don't expect a fininshed article for a while, or perhaps several whiles!


  1. Love this "laminating business" Kat !!!
    (I will try to find the book, sounds promising ;-) ...)

    1. I've really enjoyed the laminating this time, tremendous fun. The book kept me delighted all through my childhood and has coloured my view of gradens ever since


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