re-new

I am pleased to be among the participating artists commissioned by Toast in collaboration with Kettle’s Yard to re-work worn garments and waste fabrics, turning them into something new and unexpected.

The display aims to promote the idea that clothes can have a life beyond their first wearer; creatively supporting a low carbon lifestyle.

RE-NEW will be on show in the Research Space, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge 30 October – 3 November.

looms

Alice Fox inkle loom

I’m developing some new work in the studio at the moment. I’m experimenting with various weave techniques and enjoying being back at a loom. I have a table loom that was rescued from going in a skip a few years ago. This spends most of its time sitting in my studio looking rather redundant but I’m making good use of it now. I’m preparing a series of samples, on which I will then experiment with other processes. I love the act of actually making a structure that becomes a fabric and I’m aiming to end up with some quite three-dimensional pieces… but that could all change.

I am also playing about with an inkle loom (shown above). When I acquired my Grandmother’s floor loom (currently sitting redundant, but maybe over the winter it will see some action) there came with it a whole load of paraphernalia, much of which I didn’t know what to do with. Sadly, Granny died before my career change and my professional interest in textiles developed so I didn’t get to share this interest with her. She spun wool and wove rugs on the loom I now have and I wish I’d had an opportunity to learn from her experience. I do have some of her rugs though, as well as a couple of her paintings.

One item amongst the box of wooden accessories I realised was an inkle loom and I’ve just been working out how to use it. I bought a book but this still wasn’t very clear and I realise how different it can be to learn something when you are shown what to do rather than trying to understand a written instruction. With the help of various online instructions and a couple of false starts I got the thing warped up and have started to weave on it. I even found Granny’s little heddles, made from some strong yarn, that had sat in amongst other things and I hadn’t realise what they were for. They’re still strong and now in use on the loom.

Alice Fox Inkle loom warped

And as if those two looms aren’t enough, I’ve got a couple of tapestry frames on the go too for more samples.

cloth + rust + stitch

Alice Fox linen, found metal, stitch

I’ve been stitching away for a few weeks in between other things. I’m experimenting with different ways to stitch with and round the various rusty bits and pieces that find their way into my pockets on a daily basis – a kind of rust journal. It starts out white and I’m enjoying the crispness of white on white, but it will change.

Alice Fox linen, found metal (group), stitch

These ones are being trapped and stitched round. They will then go outside in the weather to see what marks the rust will make on the cloth and thread they’re embedded within.

Alice Fox stitch with found rusty metal

This is a different piece, one that is now living in the garden and has started to develop marks.

shirt collar

collar arrival

A few months ago I was invited by Kathleen to be part of a group project involving some vintage shirt collars.  The brief and some of the developments can be found on the project blog here. So this is what arrived back in the summer and has been pinned to my studio board while I considered what to do with it.

Alice Fox shirt collar

Last week I finally got round to playing with this item that is sort of a ‘found object’ except it is someone else’s find. I studied it as if it were some sort of specimen, investigating its make-up, structure and features. I drew it, photographed it, took prints from it and slowly took it apart, documenting the process. At each stage I took a print, initially blind embossing (putting it through the press with damp paper and no ink). The marks it made became slowly more ragged and dis-shevelled as the edges were un-done.

Alice Fox shirt collar blind embossed print Alice Fox shirt collar deconstructing Alice Fox shirt collar rough edges

It was so pristine and white that I daren’t mark it with ink initially, knowing that once I did there would be no going back.  Eventually I plucked up the courage to do so and now the collar lies in its dissected state, flattened and black with printing ink. The prints it made have wonderful detail where the loose threads caught the ink.

Alice Fox shirt collar inkedAlice Fox shirt collar print detail

I like it as an object. It has a history and a story that I can never know. I don’t know yet what I’ll do to it next but I’m looking forward to finding out…

pavement pieces

Alice Fox Pavement Piece #16

I’ve been working on some small textile pieces that are part of the series of works called Gifts from the Pavement.  These compliment the paper based prints that formed the original exhibition.  They are made in the same way, building up layers of rust print, collagraph print (both using found objects from the Saltaire streets) and stitch, but this time on silk.

Alice Fox Pavement Piece #20 detail

Alice Fox Pavement Piece #16 detailAlice Fox Pavement Piece #16 detail 2Alice Fox Pavement Piece #17 detailAlice Fox Pavement Piece #18 detail

These ones have just gone off to the framers and I have a little stack to work on through the holidays.

 

concrete textile

Last week I collected my Beach Ghosts prints from Artlink in Hull and took a little time on my way back to say hello to the Humber Estuary.  I walked briefly on the foreshore almost under the north end of the Humber Bridge.  It isn’t the most glamorous foreshore in the world but there is something about that point where land meets water that is captivating whatever the situation.

Alice Fox Humber bank sketch

I took a brisk walk in the sharp wind, making a few quick scribbly sketches before the biting cold took hold of my fingers.

Alice Fox Humber bank concrete textile 2

The bank here has the most intriguing erosion control.  It has a fluid smooth form and was obviously created using a textile basis filled with concrete that was then hardened.  These bulging shapes still have vestiges of their textile origins but are now solid concrete, complete with zips and woven surface texture.  It reminded me of the innovative stuff some textile designers and artists have done integrating concrete in their work, for example here, here and here.

Alice Fox Humber bank concrete textile 1Alice Fox Humber bank concrete textile 3