Sunday, 5 July 2009

Beryl Taylor inspired art

I made this piece for a swap Sweetpea is running on CC Swaps. The swap requirement was that whatever we made had to be inspired by or in the style of Beryl Taylor. I love Beryl's work and have made several paper quilts in the style of her work. I decided to be a bit more ambitious and adventurous this time, and go for a fabric paper and embroidery project.

Fabric paper is a fabulous base for mixed media - and very simple to make (although it does take a long time to dry). You just take a piece of fabric - gauze or fine cotton - and paint it with watered down PVA white glue (the cheaper the better). Lay some scraps of tissue paper or thin gift wrap down onto the fabric and paint with more glue. Leave gaps between the scraps. Add torn strips of white tissue paper along with more glue, to cover the whole thing. While the glue is still wet, add a wash of watered down fluid acrylic paints in 2 or 3 colours. Leave to dry overnight.

I glued my fabric paper to a layer of felt, then cut nine 2 inch squares from the sheet. I machine stitched around the edges of each square, using gold thread. I stamped some medieval text onto the squares using Stewart Gill Metallica bright gold paint applied to the stamp with a colorbox sponge tool. I edged the squares with more paint. I took a square of mount board and covered it with velvet, then mounted my squares onto it with gel medium.

Having created a background, I needed to add the decorative focal point to the piece. I wanted this to stand out from the background, so applied a thin layer of white gesso over my fabric paper. I hand drew a design copied from a medieval tile from Strata Florida Abbey, the resting place of several Welsh Princes, and cut it out from the fabric paper. I layered it onto some deep blue-green fine netting, machine embroidered the centre, and the outer ring, then hand embroidered the cut out using gold thread, and added some beading. The photo below shows the piece with the gold thread work almost complete but not yet beaded.

I cut small diamonds from fabric paper and painted them with a coat of transparent iron oxide, then added them to the circle around the design, with a bead in the centre of each. Finally, I mounted the circular piece onto the squares background. The background squares are much more vivid than the picture shows, and I'm really pleased with the finished piece.

I hope Sweetpea likes it too!


  1. Adrienne it was really nice to read how you created your masterpiece - Sweetpea will love it I am sure x

  2. Ooooh Pea is gonna love it!

  3. WOW you have created a work of art ! as you know i,m really into Beryl's techniques at the moment,thankyou for sharing yours,fabulous work,lucky Sweetpea !x




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