11 January 2013

Gwen Hedley and substrates

In Gwen Hedley's book, Drawn to Stitch: Line, Drawing and Mark-Making in Textile Art,

Drawn to Stitch: Line, Drawing, and Mark-Making in Textile Art

she discusses experimenting with substrates. In short, a substrate is anything you use to make an image on like paper, fabric, canvas or even transparencies.

I decided to make a book of substrates as well. This was almost as fun as making marks. Later I will use a combination of marks on various substrates. You might want to play along...

I made this book with watercolor paper because I knew I would be adding liquids to the pages and didn't want bleed through. Some substrates I made were so thick that I had to make them outside of the book and simply pop them in as loose pages on glued onto the watercolor paper.

finished (stitched) book

Brown construction paper pages (8)

Watercolor pages (40)

Brown paper bag pages (8)

Inside view

"Sueded"* magazine bit glued with spaces to see paper beneath

Great textured envelope that an holiday card came in - very nice

Tea bags

Heavy white envelope bits - some address showing!

"Sueded"* paper bag

Hand dyed scrim with holes made in the surface with an awl. I really want to explore this type of substrate with stitch in the future.

Dryer sheet. I have used dryer sheets MANY times in the past including ironing them to freezer paper and sending them through my printer. lovely stuff.

Inside lining of a holiday card envelope (thanks Kit!)

It these were boards this would be called "live edge". Can't wait ti make some marks on this surface!

Shiny silver envelope (thanks again Kit)

Water coloring on copier paper glued in.

Water colored news print.

Newsprint bits

Netting glued in (thanks Judith). I love this netting. Tea bag sponging on the right

And then I set it on fire - quite unintentionally. Wish I had a video of me RUNNING to the bathroom with this sueded brown bag aflame. Not so funny at the time (smile)

Inside of a security envelopes in bits

Used paper towel. This should look good with charcoal perhaps??

A heavy plastic the deli uses to place sliced cheese in. I am obsessed with this substance...I stitched it to tissue paper and stuffed the sections with string and trim waste.

Must do MORE of this

Just love this

Corn husks stitched onto heavy 140 lb watercolor paper

Painted with watercolors allowing the paint to color the watercolor paper where there were breaks in the corn husks. This is really wonderful.

Pages drying.  Looks like fun doesn't it. Want to play along?????

* Sueded paper:

Take a piece of paper. I use heavy brown paper bags or shiny magazine pages from National Geographic. Crmble them up over and over then fold in half and twist tightly. Open and fold in the other direction and twist tightly. Open the paper and "scrub" it like you are trying to get a stain out, section by section. Tears are OK. Make use of tears by coloring the torn edges or allowing colors to saturate the material you have apply the sueded paper to.


  1. OMG!!!! This looks like so much fun! I think I need to try this... great, great pages!

  2. So funny to be reading and then suddenly be pulled "into the book!" :) You're welcome!

    I love the "more of this", the "on fire" and the "live edge" ones. Very interesting to me.

  3. I have that book also. What a nice pages you have created.

  4. Oh dear... Another book for the wish list. I really like the corn husks. And have to try the sueded paper. You always make me want to play along.


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