As part of assignment 3, we are required to make a start on a themed sketchbook that will form the basis for a final piece at the end of the course. I have had lots of ideas with potential, but few said a lot about what I really enjoy and get excited about. I asked my husband to look through my ideas and pick something that he felt said most about my preferences, and we decided tea was the stand out choice. Once I started thinking about how tea could be explored in this context, it was clear this would be a really interesting path to follow.
My initial thoughts have been:
– researching costume, hats and baskets used by tea pickers
– painting flowering teas
– looking a shapes and designs on teacups/saucers/pots and other paraphernalia such as a decorative strainer
– making fabric from teabags
– dyeing and staining fabric and paper with tea
– encorporating dried tea leaves and flowers as inclusions in stitched fabric
– exploring accidental drips and ‘coffee rings’ left by cups
– using teabag threads and tags to finish the book
– tieing tea with psychological states – ‘Mad-hatters tea party’, ‘tea and sympathy’, sweet tea for a shock, calming chamomile, etc
Here is a sample of my work so far. I have tea-stained the pages before using them
I have been working on how to make a fabric from tea leaves, and for this I pressed the damp leaves in a flower press before sandwiching them between two sheets of bondaweb. The result is a solid wafer like material that is very fragile. I think it will be possible to stabilise with stitch but is has no flexibility at all.