WORKSHOP WITH JANET EDMONDS: PANEL INSPIRED BY GIORGIO MORANDI
SATURDAY 14TH OCTOBER 2023
Textile artist and CETG member Janet Edmonds welcomed ten CETG members and two visitors to a workshop at Great Kingshill Village Hall, to create a small panel inspired by the work of Italian artist Giorgio Morandi. She began by introducing the artist’s work. Morandi specialised in stylised still life paintings of small groups of vases, bottles and containers, in a subtle colour palette. His images were so minimalist, sometimes leaving it to the viewer’s eyes to complete the shape he depicted. On display were a number of Janet’s own pieces inspired by his paintings, which formed the pattern for the workshop.
The first part of the morning was spent splashing fabric paints on our background cloth, adding gesso to tone down the colour and to attach scrim and similar delicate materials. We chatted as we chose our own colour schemes, swapping stuff with our neighbours if we liked theirs better than what we’d brought.
After a quick cuppa, Janet explained the second part of the workshop where stitching skills came to the fore – creating a small 2D vase or bottle shape in detached buttonhole stitch worked on card for stiffness. This took all our concentration and silence reigned until lunch when we took a break and wandered around to see how everyone else was getting along, sharing tips on how to overcome the fiddly nature of the work.
After lunch we returned to our stitching. Some were speedier than others, having wisely chosen a simpler shape or thicker thread which made progress easier. We paused as Janet described how to detach our vase (and its future companions) from the card and sew it onto the fabric. Snipping the stitches which attached our delicate vases to the card was a scary moment, as the flimsy shape bent and twisted in our hands!
Janet told us alternative ways of making vase-shapes in fabric to attach to our painted fabric which we could stitch over to create pattern and form. She also showed us how to embellish the background with simple stitches to depict shadows and create a surface on which the vases would sit. As a final flourish, she demonstrated how to make a tiny 3-dimensional pot by coiling thick thread and overstitching it, shaping it round her finger.
At the beginning of the day Janet had said it was unlikely we would have time to complete the piece during the workshop, so when it was time to tidy up, we laid out our part-finished pieces to admire each other’s progress. Such a variety of results from a single idea. But we’d all enjoyed learning new skills in friendly company, undisturbed by the usual interruptions we’d get at home. Some of us at least, would be inspired to finish our own mini-Morandi.
Words © Liz Wilmott/CETG 2023
Photos © Liz Smith /CETG 2023
Morandi-inspired work by Janet (detail)
Work in progress by Janet
Display about Giorgio Morandi
Stitched vase in progress
Display of part-finished pieces