Thursday, December 10, 2009

November ATC swop

Another varied group of ATCs arrived this week from the November "Tis the Season" swop on Facebook. I was especially pleased with the reference to the Archers in one as I am a hopeless addict. The organiser Sue has posted pictures of all of them on her blog Crafters Corner so you can still see the ones I made.

Module 3 Chapter 9 Continued

This next batch of work is all about enlarging and taking sections of the drawings to come up with new designs. When I looked again at the drawings, they reminded me of some images from my module 1 sketchbooks, the first is a newspaper advertisment and the second one of my photographs of electricity pylons. (I always think these coils make them look as if they are wearing dangly earrings) so I have included them for reference.

Above - the couched gold threads could represent the lines of pipes, and the drawn lines in gold pen (on the A4 sheet in previous post) could be sets of wires. Below - similar spirals.

Third Stage and Fourth Stages - Take A Long Thin Portion

First I took slices from a photograph of the 2 drawings and original image at different sizes.

Then I took a close up of a small portion and printed an enlargement (by printing on A4 sheets and taping them together). This is roughly 25 by 30 inches - to show the scale there is a 10p coin (1 inch) on the bottom left corner.

I then cut this into strips and played with different combinations.

I like this second one - possibly enlarge to make a set of hangings?

Or this could be a single very long hanging - floor to ceiling.

I also thought about vessel shapes. After a bit of folding, looking and muttering, I decided that because the design is busy, it would need a simple, clean shape. I taped 3 of the sections into a triangular arrangement - if I were making this, I would probably make the body in the black and blues/mauves and have the gold lines represented by something wrapped around the vessel (eg wire, stiff cords).

Stage 5 Take An Extremely Small Portion
For this I took some even more close-up photos of the A4 drawing.

I chose the second one and enlarged and printed it as before, this time on 9 sheets of A4. At this magnification, it shows some lovely scrunchy textures from the pastel marks and the pen lines look like thick, glittering cords.

Here it is with the original so you see just how much bigger it is. I didn't think to mark it when I took the picture, but the spirals in the enlargement are the tiny ones immediately to the left of the small portion stuck onto the a4 design.

And finally, I cut it into squares and rearranged them to make 4 linked designs.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Module 3 Chapter 9 - First stages.

For this design exercise, I chose to use a fragment taken from a photo of one of my module 2 metal thread samples (above left, it is the top sample in the sketchbook). The sample is very small so the photo already enlarges it. Above right shows my first try at continuing the design onto A4 paper and below is the second. Both used oil pastels and the second used gold pen.

I used the second design to take it to the next stage, changing to Markel sticks to make larger marks and reflect the texture of the original stitching. The blues/purples on black relate back to the colour scheme used in my research project in module 1. The photo below shows the fragment placed on the A4 sheet which is on top of the larger design.

Making Christmas Shopping Fun... buying lovely handmade things. The insect lavender bags came from Fig in Bristol and the brooches and books are from Jackie Cardy's Etsy shop. If you haven't already found it, take a look at Jackie's blog DogDaisyChains to see more of her work and better photos - lush. Now to figure out who gets what. Hmm, one for you and one for me, one for you and one for me...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Cogs - it's hard to let go

I know I have finished my cogs piece but I keep finding interesting things that relate to what I was doing. I have been admiring David Roy's kinetic sculptures for some time and in his blog this week, he hightlighted some videos of mechanical sculptures on YouTube. And guess what - full of cogs. I particularly like this one

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Last part of Module 3 Chapter 8

Here are my ideas for ways to interpret the edge designs for my chosen fabric.

1) Above, a simple edge - the fabric has been pleated and beads sewn into the folds.
2) Below (on its own and with the design) - a more fanciful edge. This uses the idea from an earlier sample of pod shapes stitched on felt, cut out (as one piece) and applied to the edge. I stitched a couple more pods directly onto the fabric. However, the machine stitching did not stand out against the bold colours, so I added the pink cord (French knitting). Underneath are more loops of French knitted cord picking up the turquoise from the fabric - I used a little knitting mill so the cord is very quick to make by the metre.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

October ATC swap and some fun stuff.

Here are the ATCs I got in return for the October swop on Facebook - I really enjoy seeing all the different styles and interpretations of a theme. I was planning to post a picture of the ones I made for November, I could have sworn I took one, but my camera says otherwise and it is too late now they have gone in the post. Bother. I will have to wait for the pictures to be posted in the group.

One of the other places I like to browse at random is Instructables - here you will find out how to do/make anything you can imagine. It is mostly electronics, DIY etc but there are all sorts of craft projects too. I like the ones by Lynne Bruning using electronics in fabric and clothing - see below for her latest one and her website is here.

flexible LED eTextile ribbon array - More DIY How To Projects

Pulling Together Module 3 Chapter 8

I am continuing experimenting with edges for this chapter, working up to making an edge based on the designs in my last post. Once that is done, only one more chapter for module 3 - hoorah! I have downloaded the next module which is themed on flowers - a bit of a change of style for me. It will be fun to see how to tie it in with my personal machinery/industrial landscape theme; I have been reading about yarnbombing which suggests one way and I am sure there are others.

There follows a list of all the samples so far. The sizes vary, so I have put a 10p coin in the photos for scale.

Picture 1
is a repeat from an earlier post to keep all the images together. From the top there is
a) edge cut at 45 degrees and frayed on left, threads withdrawn on right with running stitch added.
b) horizontal threads withdrawn part way up the fabric, machining over vertical threads into bars, fabric folded and twisted to leave machined bars at the edge.
c) bottom edge frayed for about 2 inches then folded to the back and the frayed ends pulled through and stitched down in bunches.
d) bottom edge frayed as before and threads withdrawn further up. Folded back and machine stitched to make a hem with the area of withdrawn threads at the edge and the loose frayed ends hanging behind. A strip of dyed scrim is slotted through the loops.

Picture 2
a) Stitched peapod shapes inspired by the chosen fabric. There are two layers, the top one has been cut away at the edge and inside the pod shape while the bottom one is faced and stuffed.
b)The edge has been cut into triangles and zigzagged; 2 rows of triangles cut from stitched fabric have been applied above. (The triangles refer back to the research project in module 1).

Picture 3
More triangles from stitched fabric, this time connected by lines of straight stitching to spill over the edge.

Picture 4
3 small samples of edges created by joining two pieces of fabric with a water soluble material and stitching. These were then folded over to make a stitched edge. From left
a) yarn trapped in the stitching to hang down - this is not quite right as I should have worked from the right side of the fabric to stitch the yarn in. If you enlarge the picture, you will see that the hem is on the outside.
b) straight stitched lines
c)tried to make pod shapes.

Picture 5

Two samples using sheer fabric
a) distressed by running under an embellisher and slashing to give a frayed edge that continues up into the fabric.
b) 3 layers cut and joined using a stencil cutter in repeated cog shapes.

Next is batch of flounces - I got into these so there are quite a few. I found a useful resource was a book called Decorative Dressmaking by Sue Thompson which has a chapter on using flounces . I have shown them with the paper patterns to show how they work.

Picture 6
A straighforward circle gives an even flounce along the edge.

Picture 7

The same size circle but with the cut out part offset and cut apart at the narrowest point so the flounce is larger at the centre.

Picture 8
As 7 but this time cut at the widest point.

Picture 9

As 6 but cut apart at an angle which gives a slight taper and curved ends.

Picture 10

Changing the shape of the curve - I think this is more elegant than the circle.

Picture 11

Another trial shape - not as successful on a straight edge because the centre is boring, but might work better on a shaped edge.

Picture 12
Changing the edge of the flounce using a circular saw shape.

Picture 13
This one doesn't have a pattern as it is a cut out spiral - didn't really work on this scale, I think it would need to be much shorter and fatter.

Picture 14

Last two flounces. I like the sculptural possibilities of using stiffer materials - I can see how they would work vertically, for example on a vessel, holding the waved effect. These two are made from left over scraps from samples made for Cogitation, and both use a circle pattern as in picture 7. From the top
a) lightweight lutradur, painted and stitched, is attached to pelmet vilene. This holds the curves really well without flopping and looks quite delicate with light shining through. It could be put into seams or lots of layers could be added up with the curves lining up. And of course some of it it could be burned back.
b) loose threads on partly dissolved soluble (as we did at summer school) - this is a bit crunchy to the touch and doesn't have the elegance of earlier samples. However, it can be pinched and folded into shape when dry and does hold its shape well.

Picture 15

A late addition to the water soluble edges. This one has a satin stitch edge with the shapes echoed below by lines of free machining and above by Markel sticks brushed off a stencil.

Picture 16

Starting to think about interpreting the paper designs, these final two samples are based on the peapod shapes. From left
a) shapes stitched on soluble material and onto the fabric - I wanted to have some as outlines and some solid, but the outlines did not have enough stitching to hold together when I dissolved the water soluble material.
b) same idea but this time stitched on polyester felt which was cut away with a stencil cutter. The felt was applied to the fabric, some more stitching added and then the background was cut away to give a shaped edge.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Module 3 Chapter 8 Continued

I have revisited the edges I did back in June - above, the first one has been pleated and stitched in place and the others cut out to give a more definite edge.

Below, some new samples. Top left is a cut up photocopy of the fabric. The other two use stamping with foam to continue the pod shapes.

I am hoping to update my website soon with the final notes on Cogitation.

Happy Hallowe'en.

This is my set of ATCs for the October swop on Facebook; I have been practising with the digitising software to design and stitch the pumpkins. You can't really see it in the pictures but the light colour is glow in the dark thread. Have fun if you are out tonight!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Weekend in London

Had a great weekend in London and completely overdosed on visual treats. This is a bit of a long post, so if you are sitting comfortably, we will begin (showing my age there). On Saturday, to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace. Greeted by Rachel John's display (above) as part of her Monumental Textiles. Into the foyer - so much to see that it was a good half hour before I even went inside the exhibition proper. Here is Casting Off...A coat for a Boat, a community project that included about 350 knitters. Yes it is a real boat and has been sailed... the gentleman modelling the nifty waterproofs knitted from carrier bags and bin bags.

What I liked about this project were the details, like these rodents (surely too cute to be rats)

and this seagull

There was so much to see that my poor brain couldn't cope, so I had to be quite ruthless and choose just the exhibits I really wanted to see. No photos allowed, so I am including links where possible for you to follow up. The highlight for me was Tom Lundberg's Microcosms - exquisite embroideries that seem to be full of stories. A selection of entries for the Pfaff Art Embroidery competition that I liked included a piece called Travel Bug by Louise Saxton made from reclaimed embroideries, scrap etc; a set of houses by Christine Atkins expressing how we take ourselves when we travel; Sian Martin's pathway Tread Softly.

In the graduates gallery, I was particularly taken by Solid Air by Roanna Wells -inspired by skyscapes and made from shaded stitching on organdy stretched over a backing, so that the shadows add to the effect. I assumed at first it was free-machining until she produced her sample and demonstrated that it was all by hand. Finally the exhibition by Fusion on the theme of Direction was fascinating - so many ways to interpret the word. My favourites were Melita Butterell's series Motorway Birds which combine goldwork with motorway junctions; Ros Murphy's Cosmic Towers - tall vessels decorated with images of nebulae and galaxies and Victoria Macleod's pieces based on aerial maps.

But it wasn't all admiring the work - couldn't resist a bit of shopping...

Now that's what I call a pair of knitting needles. I thought it would be light relief after struggling with my first ever sock. Inspired by Rachel John (see above for link) to have a go at a larger scale. The spray cans are a fabric paint I haven't tried before - non-toxic and water based it is child safe, permanent without ironing and, from the samples I handled on the stand, does not affect the feel of the fabric. I have promised my youngest that we will experiment over half term but I mainly thought they would be useful for adding extra layers on dyed bits. I will let you know what happens! The tool is for rugmaking and prompted a jolly discussion about the wisdom of carrying it on the Tube.

On Sunday, I went with my sister to the V&A to see Telling Tales - Fantasy and Fear in Contemporary Design - one of their free exhibitions which I can highly recommend. It runs until 18th October. As we had an hour or so to spare before my train, we picked a room in the museum at random and walked around. I have been visiting the V&A at least once a year since I was tiny, but I am sure I have never seen this room before. Part of the European rooms it is called cast courts and contains (life-size) plaster casts of architectural pieces from around the world - standing crosses from Cumbria, cathedral doorways and arches from Spain and Norway amongst many others. A bit mad, but you have to hand it to the Victorians - they didn't do things by halves and believed in education. There were once collections of casts like this in museums across Europe but they have all been destroyed, which makes these ones of historical interest in themselves. I liked this small cast from a church in Herefordshire - look at the pleats on the robes.

We finished with a visit to the V&A bookshop (until my sister threatened to drag me out) where I compiled my Christmas list. I had to have the book in the photo above straight away - it is about yarnbombing, which is a kind of graffiti but using knitting rather than aerosols. If I only had the nerve...