Friday, 16 August 2013

Materials and Techniques - 'Bekahdu Handmade'

Last fortnight, I learned a lot about being a milliner from Helen.

Next in my series of guest creators discussing their work, materials and techniques is the very artistic Rebekah, who is a textile artist from Peregian Springs, Queensland. Her online store is Bekahdu Handmade.

Please tell us a little about yourself. 

I have always created, back as far as I can remember. It was really only when my first child was born that I began to try to create for a living. I wanted to be able to stay at home with my children for the important first years of their lives so I began sewing bibs and toys to sell online. Three children later this has evolved into what I do today. I used to be a painter then fell in love with sewing so I guess I merged the two over time into my art quilting.

What materials and techniques do you like to use?

I create thread painted textile art quilts and journal covers. I mainly use raw edge layered fabrics as a base then stitch over the top. It is essentially painting with the thread, with the fabric base just to block out colour areas. I also love randomly pieced patchwork for my journal covers. I sometimes embellish these with cord, ribbons, buttons and a bit of hand embroidery. My favourite material is of course fabric. In my art quilts I generally choose my fabrics based on texture and colour, to create the feel of the surface I am replicating. I also use a range of textures in my journals to add a bit of interest to the surface. I want them to feel beautiful as well as look interesting.

What challenges have you faced in the creative process?

I guess my greatest challenge is in my art quilts, [where I try] to create the mood of the moment. I want each one to have an “atmosphere”, which can sometimes be hard to capture. They are mostly based on photos that I have taken in my local area, sometimes merging two or three photos to create on image. I try to remember the feeling of being there, in that very moment, the breezes, smells and sounds. There is a lot of making it up as I go along as well. There have also been some challenging moments with my fabric piecing to try to join fabrics to achieve the pattern I wanted... curves in particular can be tricky.

What drives you to create?

have a need to sew every day, I get a bit edgy if I don’t. I can’t always do it, (life gets in the way!) but I try... even just for ten minutes. I do have to spend a bit of time making my “bread and butter” items... playmats and other basic patchwork... but this still gives me my sewing fix for the day. Whenever I am out, particularly down at the beach with family, or in the park, I am looking for those ideal moments. I take loads of photos, usually just on my phone as I always have it. I then go through the photos to find the ones I love and go from there. Sometimes the end result doesn’t actually look like the photo it started from, they can gain their own life along the way. My main inspiration would be the sea.  I do love the beach and the way it can look quite different from one day to the next. I also love clouds and have literally hundreds of cloud and sunset photos. I think that’s my next obsession.

What is coming up next?

I am using this year to put my work out there a bit more. I have never been terribly good at showing people what I do, but have decided that this is the year to do it. I have several competitions coming up, a magazine feature, have been accepted into a couple of shops and will hopefully actually have an exhibition by the end of the year.

All images are provided by Rebekah of Bekahdu Handmade.

If you would like to share your materials and techniques with this Blog, please contact me.

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