17 December 2013

21 October 2013

Embroidering Again

 I've decided to stop experimenting and continue perfecting the method of working on light under-painting with applique and embroidery on top to define the drawing. I keep making these things so big and now I have hours of sewing to go!

26 September 2013

21 September 2013

A Pirates Tale

I have been in the UK for a few weeks looking after my Father, hence I sadly couldn't do my second month at the Torpedo Factory. I did lots of sorting for him and was delighted to come across a favorite childhood book that was only a vague memory.

The Pirates Tale is written by a 5 year old Janet Aitchison and is a crazy, colourful, very non politically correct story with lots of death and marrying children. It is full of fantastic illustrations by Jill McDonald and I can't believe I found it, I never expected to see this again.

23 June 2013

A Second Devil in The Cupboard Automaton

It's is about half way through being made and this time the devil is going to be in the cupboard under the stairs.

He will be tormenting Mr Punch

22 June 2013

Automaton Knitting a Robot

I have been working on a range of knitting girl automata, this one knitting a robot I finished yesterday.

Today a wonderful little boy came in to the studio and was really fascinated by her. He asked how long it would take for her to finish the robot. He then spent ages turning the crank to try and get her to knit more of it. (At lest 15 mins and then kept sneaking back in to get a few more turns) 
I can clearly remember when I thought that knitting was a skill that involved bashing sticks together to make woolen things. 

03 June 2013

Caroline McCatty at the Torpedo Factory

I have some pictures for those of you too far away to come and see me. I am in studio 333, Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat and Sun all June and Aug. This is what's on the walls at the moment.

I will be making things in the back of the studio.

31 May 2013

Visit Me at the Torpedo Factory Art Center

I am at the Torpedo Factory Art Center, in Alexandria, Virginia for the month of June. I will be in studio 333  as a visiting artist. If you get the chance please come and say hello. I will be working making automata and textile pictures and there will be things to buy.

15 May 2013

Smoking Babies

What was I thinking, they took to it so naturally!

14 May 2013

New Automaton of a Girl Knitting a Monster

I have slightly improved my knitting mechanism and here is a short film of a girl knitting a woolly monster.

06 May 2013

Moon and Wardrobe Automaton

The moon is finished and works perfectly, video to follow shortly.

He has strings and levers to move the eyebrows and moustache attached to his false nose glasses.

But the goings on in the wardrobe are not resolved!

The woman falls all over the place and getting her back in the wardrobe is like trying to get an extremely inebriated person into a car, irritating as she slides back out. I quite like this aspect myself but I think she may be too unpredictable and break the door.

23 April 2013

Eric the Cat

I have just come across a photo of a embroidered work that I sold a while back and have realised that this was the perfect scale to make my stitched images. I now need to try and figure out what size it was and get back on track.

16 April 2013

Moon Wardrobe Dilema

 The moon has his painted face, I just need to decide whether to dress him in a night gown or day wear.

And here are the rest of the characters almost ready to enact the next Proverb.

15 April 2013

Large Embroidery Finished - Nip from a Cat

After an epic battle with my sewing machine (most of the problems could have been solved by oiling and cleaning) I have finally finished another large picture. I still need to stretch it as this one is far to big to become a cushion but I am so thankful to be able to move on. I am trying to be very disciplined and not start a new work until I have finished the one I'm working on, I have to do this because I would never finish anything!

 It has sparked ideas and ways to move forward with many technical problems solved. I stopped the unstitched areas of the picture from distorting by bonding white fabric onto the back of the work, this kept the fabric weight and stitch tension fairly even throughout the embroidered images. So where on each figure there isn't coloured applique on the front there is white applique on the back. I am still trying to work out the perfect scale to make the image so I can retain the detail of the stitched drawing, this scale is a bit large as a lot of the stitched line detail blends away as you move back to view it but I am getting there.

01 March 2013

Wooden Moon

I am making a moon with fake nose, glasses and moving moustache. He is really part of a larger composition but I really like him and think I will have to make a few more, giving them the mechanism from the Jumping Jack pull string toy and just have the tash and eyebrows move.

I have a very precious (only to me) small collection of joke glasses with nose and moustache.

27 February 2013

Another Mr Punch Automaton Finished

I started with a proverb but I made the stage too small and had to take out the policeman. He was there to symbolise the Law so it no longer makes any sense but I do love the final result. Maybe now more of a nod to Pandora's Box... Mr Punch's Cupboard.

21 February 2013

Biting Cat Automaton

Another cat prototype complete, although this is a variation of the one that spurred me on to make some cats. When you pull his tail he shuts his jaws and will bite anything that is foolishly put in his mouth.

19 February 2013

A Pokey Tongue Cat Automaton

I have finished a cat, when you turn the little crank his tongue pokes out and pulls back in.

 I have a few prototypes on the go so more cats will follow.

07 February 2013

22 January 2013

Working out the Mechanism

After spending the afternoon with cardboard, string, masking tape and fishing wire, I have worked out the movement and got most it moving. Now: the devil dances in the cupboard and opens the door, Mr Punch closes the door and hits himself in the eye, the crocodile chews, the policeman puts his whistle to his mouth and points away from the door and the flower lifts the child to look out of the window. Can't wait to start painting!

18 January 2013

Automaton Starting to Take Shape

I do have a design but it is very unresolved so this will evolve. At the moment it is long and thin with stuff happening in a room and a devil in the cupboard.
(I probably need to rewrite all that if I want to make myself sound like a proper artist..)

17 January 2013

It's Always Easy to Start with a Scary Cat

The first few hours of stitching and thankfully some detail is starting to emerge. At least, if the whole picture goes awry, I can now turn him into a nice cushion.

11 January 2013

Mr Punch Embroidery

I started cutting a new automaton today but it doesn't make an interesting picture as yet, just a pile of oddly shaped wood. I have also started embroidering some of my Mr Punch designs.

This is quite massive at about 4  foot square and quite daunting as I know it will take a very long time to complete. I have started with a quick paint sketch and applique base, now ready to begin machining. This Mr Punch, now I see it at the side of my Blogger About Me photo, looks uncomfortably similar.

07 January 2013

Knitted Bender

I found a good pattern on Ravelry and after a couple of aborted attempts have knitted a Bender! I am a bit rubbish at tension so the first attempts came up far too big and this one is a bit snug on the loo roll. I recommend the pattern should anyone want to knit a Bender.

06 January 2013

Knitted Finger Monsters

I am waiting for my husband to finish using the workbench so it's silly season and I have turned my hand to knitting Finger Monsters. This was inspired by a recent trip to the National Pinball Museum in Baltimore where is saw this one and decided to look for my collection. For some strange reason I have been collecting these all my life.

My oldest Finger Monster

and the two attempts at making a knitted version.

I should get the bench back tomorrow or I'm off to buy finer wool.