Friday 2 September 2011

Summer's back!

Maybe I shouldn't tempt fate but, after a couple of quite autumnal days we've been treated to some glorious late summer weather. We made the most of it today to visit with our youngest daughter in Cheltenham.  Her tiny but productive garden is a real sun trap as her outdoor grown tomatoes prove!

From Cheltenham it's just a short drive to Beckford where Beckford Silk can be found. This is far more than a shop - although you can buy silk fabrics by the metre or fashion accessories and garments made from silk you can also watch demonstrations of the printing processes carried out on site.

A guided tour of the silk screening studios was fascinating and certainly made us appreciate the skills required for the production of the many beautiful fabrics, scarves and neckties.

These are samples of the different types and weights of silk fabrics that they dye, print, discharge and devore. By clicking on the image to enlarge it you'll also be able to see a view of the lovely Beckford Silk building.

I loved most of the fabrics but the dyed georgette silks were particularly irresistible!

Although the advantages of using silk screening techniques over traditional block printing were explained to us, I couldn't help but find the wooden print blocks very desirable as objects of beauty in their own right!

The intricate designs are amazing aren't they? Makes me want to do much more printing!

If you get our DesignMatters e newsletter you'll already have seen that Laura posted an image of my recent sunflower painting attempts. I thought I'd just finish with a closer detail showing the effect of sprinkling salt onto wet watercolour paint. It's a pleasingly simple way of introducing a little visual texture into a painting! If the sun continues to shine I plan to spend more time painting in the garden tomorrow. Fingers crossed it'll be good! (That goes for the weather and the painting!)

Have a great weekend - bye for now, Linda


  1. Those print blocks are out of this world! Thanks for sharing. And I love the watercolour sunflower too.

  2. Oh my, what a glorious outing! The silk shop is wonderful and those print blocks are pieces of art. I presume that some silk came home with you? I wouldn't have been able to resist. Wishing you a sunny weekend in the garden painting.

  3. my father also making wooden block in pethapur gandhinagar gujarat