Textile Art Commission

Hogweed in yellows and grey

For me, one of the lovely things about doing a commission is that I find myself working on something which is not what I would have chosen. The colours might not be my first choice, so I am introduced to a palette that I wouldn’t otherwise have considered. The size might be such that it presents its own problems, but then that allows me to see a different potential for my own future work.

I have recently completed a piece featuring my hogweed design which is over eight feet long, maybe not the biggest picture ever, but my biggest to date, and in shades of grey and silver, with yellow and limey green, a combination that I have not used before.

My first step was to find all the right fabrics. This ended up being a mix of linens, cottons, silks and synthetics. I then made a couple of small sample pieces incorporating all the fabrics. This was so that the client could see how the colours and fabrics look together, and how they would work within their room.

Once confirmed, these sample pieces were then kept to be made into cushions, and I was able to start on the picture.

Alex 3 arranging shapes (2).jpg

Laying out all the pieces, creating the composition is usually something I do on my dining table. For this one I had to clear floor space.. . my floors have never been kept so clean!

Once the main shapes were attached and stitched, I was able to handle the piece more easily to add the more detailed features.

The actual machining was an interesting task. I found it best to use two tables, side by side, to take the length, and the weight of the fabric.

Once it was finished and stretched, I made the frame. The mount was painted with the client’s own paint (therefore perfect for the room), and I mixed a darker shade of grey for the frame.

So, job done, cushions put together, and delivery was made.

Another lovely thing about doing a commission for someone, is realising how spot on they were about the colours and the size... It was a few weeks before I saw the picture hanging in its place. It really couldn’t have been a better fit!