Embroidered Gas Mask

Shal's Blog, Uncategorized

I am on my final year of my degree, my FMP………do I really know what I want to do……not really, so I find myself turning to my blog to start noting what I will be doing this year.  For the first 6 weeks I have messed about with experiments, playing with plastic, playing with books but sat in my house was an old gas mask that my son left behind after going to Uni himself.  Not the most glamours thing, but it got me thinking, what about clashing some ideas together.


I thought about embroidering flowers on it first as its the kind of thing I have done before.  But then I started to give the mask a story, who wore it, where may they have possibly have been while wearing it.  No one will ever know the history of this mask.  Then I saw a black and white image of Dandelion clocks.  As children we wish when we blow the clocks, could someone be wishing to be home.

I didn’t know if this mask would take me pushing a needle through it, so I practised on a spare piece of rubber to see what would happen.  Using a thin needle it seemed to work ok.

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This is still a work in progress, the stitching has been finished.  The head is going to be mounted upon a battered 1930’s copy of All quite on the Western Front.  Watch this space for the finished work.


So, what can you make with a used tea bag?

Shal's Blog

I have been messing about and experimenting with the concept of up cycling and re purposing for the last few years now, normally favouring book sculptures/ carving. But while at Uni on my 1st year I wanted to expand my idea and find out what I can do with something seeming impossible to use.  I wondered what else I could do with a tea bag.  Now previously I done a self portrait on tea bag so I knew I could draw on them, I had also stitched cup cakes into them, but the down side I personally find with Up cycling projects is they can come off as very crafty rather than works of art.

There are artist who successfully uses tea bags in their practice. Ruby Silvious being the most well known one I feel with her miniature portraits and still life paintings on individual bags and Kimonos constructed from vast amounts of used bags as well.

So once used, you have a thin wet membrane that with not much effort tears what do you do with it, well they are more robust that you may think once they are dry again.  So for this project I created two hopefully different works of art with tea bags that do not look like craft projects.

The first being a tea bag parasol,

The Second I want to push myself out of my comfort zone and do something totally different.  Connecting the tea bags in both objects to the image its self. Using a large canvas water coloured tea bags were attached and using charcoal, chalk and acrylics the image was drawn onto the bags.  ( this is for sale contact via web page)

IMG_1850 I love the parasol but is has now met its end and has been destroyed, but the canvas remains.  Will I ever use tea bags again for art works? I might but until inspiration strikes its back to the book sculptures.