Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Week 27 Discovering the beauty of Markal Paintstiks Level 1 City and Guilds Textiles @Busy Bees Patchwork Studio

Busy Bees Patchwork

Your centre for City and Guilds Textiles and Patchwork
in South Wales

 Week 27 City and Guilds Level 1 Certificate in Textiles 7161

Markal Painstiks

May 2nd 2018

First let me apologise for the absence of last weeks blog! We had such a busy session learning about transfer dyes and how to use them by the time I looked at the clock it was time to go home and no time to take pictures. I thought perhaps a blog with no pictures would be pretty boring so I decided not to and make up for it this week.
Although our sessions are 3 hours, time just seems to fly! and yet most people feel that their best work is done at home in the comfort of their own surroundings, where you can take time to think over the process or technique and tailor it to your own design.
We all work in different ways and I always found that I loved going to class, meeting up with my fellow learners, learning the technique for the week and then going home to put that new found knowledge into practice. Meeting up with my fellow enthusiasts gave me a boost, seeing how others approached the same task, mulling over the different fabrics, threads and paints, listening to other ideas and points of view to me was a very important part of the whole journey.
Unlike school I hated missing weeks because of half term, but I suppose my teacher deserved a break but I really missed going to class. Although going to class was the best thing, I could never produce any thing I was happy with in those few hours, my best efforts were always at home in my little sewing room, crammed to the ceiling with all my lovely stuff around me like a bird in a nest! I guess we all work in different ways and some people prefer distance learning and some may not have the luxury of having a centre close by to attend but for me, the camaraderie of class mates really makes the whole experience of learning extra special!

This week we are discovering what effects we can gain from using Markal Paintstiks.
In essence these are oil paints in a crayon form. When you first use them from the packet you have to remove the outer dry skin which forms naturally when the paint is dry. These little bits of dry oil paint can be collected and melted between two sheets of baking parchment to form random splodges of paint or you can blend them with a stencil brush.
Once the dry outer casing is removed you then use the sticks to make rubbings onto paper or fabric. The colours are very solid, not very vibrant but they do look great on a dark fabric or paper, because they are opaque. Dark fabrics are notorioulsy poor for printing on because the ink sinks into the fabric but the Markals seem to sit on the fabric surface and adhere like glue. Within 48 hours the paint is cured or dried and is then permanent and water proof!


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They come in a huge variety of colours, and
unlike other paints they last for years, because
they have this self sealing habit, so when
you remove the skin they are ready to go!
The solid colours can be mixed like other paints
so yellow and blue will make green and so on! 





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They also make an iridescent oil stick,
these are really super and leave a beautiful
shimmer. They can be mixed with the solid
colours too!
If you like a little bling or a subtle shine, these
paints are really fantastic!

Both Paintsticks work well on any fabric type,
once dry they are soft to stitch into and are
permanent and water proof.



They are a considered purchase, but a little paint goes a very long way!
They are definitely worth a try, don't be disappointed with your first attempt, because most techniques need to be tried more than once. Quite often we want something to work first time but unfortunately to get the best out of any skill it needs to be attempted more than once. Can you remember learning how to write as a child, or learning to drive or getting to grips with your first job, we only get better at something when we do it over and over again. That's why I am giving the ladies another week next week to appreciate the paints a little more. There are so many techniques to learn whilst on the City and Guilds course there never seems to be enough time to really explore certain techniques to the full. Hopefully they will use these paints more in Level 2 !


Here are some of the results of our time together today!


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Already I can see some wonderful works or art in the making, the one just about is just gorgeous! This could be used as a background for stitching into or if a shape cut from the fabric it could be appliqued as a sea turtle's shell or butterfly wings. 

I am sure next week with a little time to themselves they will come up with some amazing ideas. The best results from today's experiments probably came from the rubbings taken from blown vinyl wall paper.  It comes nowadays in so many great patterns to make rubbings from but also when we applied the oil paint to it, it was thought that perhaps we could even use the wall paper to stitch into and I am hoping someone will have a go, because I am definitely going to have a go when I get some spare time.

Everyone was impressed with using stencils and a stencil brush, the bristles of a stencil brush are shorter and flat at the top, the paint is applied to the fabric or paper by either stippling or swirling.  Stippling gives a speckled effect and swirling gives a lovely blended effect, the paints can be blended to give a lovely depth of colour. Further paint layers can be applied to give a more solid colour.

I think I have covered everything we have done today and if you have bought these in the past from shows I hope this blog inspires you to get them out of the bottom draw and have a go. Find some stencils, wood block stamps or even take a rubbing from the living room wall paper or better still, pop down to your local DIY store for some samples and see what you come up with, feel free to post them on our facebook page I'd loved to see how you get on.

Here are some results from last weeks session on transfer dyes, another week of playing and look what they have come up with!

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It's always difficult to learn a new technique, getting your head around something you are not used to is very demanding but I think these are just stunning for just 2 weeks trial.  These may not end up as embroideries but future projects will certainly be inspired by them I am sure.

That's all for this week I hope you will have time to be creative and maybe get out those transfer paints or Markals and give them a go.

Level 1 is nearly coming to an end, if you are interested in applying for Level 1 I am taking names now for September 2018. I only have 10 places available and already have 4 people interested so give me a call at the shop to register your interest. We have our exhibition coming up on the 21st July at Duffryn Community Centre, Newport, South Wales, you will be able to see the girls work in the flesh and chat to them about the course as well as me.

Take care and speak to you soon!
Best stitches
Beccy x