Sunday, May 13, 2012

Meet: Aislinnn McKinnis

Aislinn McKinnis is a local artist and neighbour of ours who works in the most incredible coloured embroideries, I First met Aislinn at a 'crafternoon' last year and was mesmerised watching her work.
Determined to give it a go myself, Aislinn gave me some fabric and swatches of yarn and I got cracking! Although it was heaps of fun free-forming the design I found myself struggling to break out of the grid-like structure of the embroidery fabric and turned to Aislinn for some lessons.

On the 8th of June Aislinn is exhibiting with us alongside Pauline O'Shanessy-Dowling in a show called 'Fandango'. Both of these artists work in vibrant colours and free-form designs, yesterday I watched her work on the below piece and had fun taking pics of her working.

To begin Aislinn ties a simple knot in a length of yarn and beginning from the back she works stitches into the grid, in this piece she works stitches just one little grid length long, in others she might work longer stitches.  I learnt that to reduce the visual spaces between stitches she places the needle in the little space between the larger grid hole. (see the pic below)

My fave bit to watch is tying off the ends, using a simple granny knot she slides it close to the work using her needle, and then weaves the end into the work before cutting off.

It might seem annoying at the time, but the below examples show how much more 'compact' the back becomes if you take care of this little detail. It makes it so much easier to mount or frame once you are complete. Another handy hint is to leave a boarder of a few inches to make hanging or framing simpler too.

It's interesting to meet an artist working in colour through textile, rather than a textile artist working in colour... does that make sense? I can't wait to hang 'Fandango' and see the collaboration currently in progress. Keep posted for photos of that process.

Yesterday was my 'weekend' and I had a great day, I will be posting what we got up to tomorrow. Till then,
X Steph