Monday, March 30, 2009

Bits and Pieces

Had a bit of a shopping spree this weekend but it is all good stuff. At the Embroiderers' Guild meeting on Friday, I picked up these lovely metal braids.

They are flat braids but scrunch up nicely - I think they would be great for bracelets with wooden beads stuffed inside. Another one on the "things to try" list.

Saturday was the South West Regional Day at Cannington, near Bridgwater. A chance to hear talks by Audrey Walker and Lucy Goffin on the theme of journeys (and make pages of illegible notes) and to browse in the Guild bookshop. Okay, more than just browsing - I came away with these two new books.

Art Van Go also had a stall, so I stocked up on some small samples of copper shim in different thicknesses and Wirecloth - woven metallic fabric - that I can use in my cogs piece (see here).
A good day all round.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Making Banners

I have been keeping busy this week making banners for my daughters to display their Irish dancing medals. I don't normally post about domestic sewing - the embroidery designs are bought in ones for the computerised machine - but I am hoping that some of the other dancers would like to have one made, so I wanted to put up some photos. The dance school is fundraising to send a team to the All Ireland competition next year - we need to raise enough for a set of matching dresses - so for each one sold, I will be making a donation. If anyone reading this is interested, please email me for details. More pictures below.


Grrrr... Tried to post twice - the first time, the photos disappeared and then the whole thing crashed. I will get back on tomorrow and sort out the last post.

Later - yippee, fixed it!

Module 3, Chapter 5

Thank you Margaret and Helen for your comments on the cogs. I am looking forward to developing this idea, and Sian suggested making the whole thing in metal and wire for my 'piece using metallic techniques'. Foolishly, I agreed to work overtime until Easter (and the extra cash is already spoken for - sigh) so time is a bit limited - lots of little bits but no nice free days to really get stuck in. I have ordered some clock movements to play with - as often happens, it costs as much to buy 1 in a shop as it does to get 5 online so I will have plenty. If this doesn't pan out it is clocks all round for Christmas!

Meanwhile, here are some pictures of machine braids for chapter 5 - I will come back to chapter 4, which is stencilling, but I am in sewing mode at the moment (see my post on Quodlibet).

The first picture is, from top, combining built-in patterns on felt, then on strips of fabric and paper. The colour scheme is from a colour study back in module 1, using up bits of dyed fabric samples. Below, a selection of built-in patterns overlapping, stitched on soluble fabric. Finally, I digitised one of my knotwork drawings and made this sample by stitching it out several times - to add to the sketchbook.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

More Ideas With Cogs

I hadn't realised how long it has been since my last post, so here is an extra long one to make up. I am still keeping busy with machined braids but have no photos at the moment, so those will have to wait for another post. Today I have been revisiting my cogs ideas after seeing Sian's comments on the proposed wallhanging. My problem here is that it is quite similar to the last piece - i.e. black and grey on white background, layers showing through - and for the course I need to show that I can do other things. Which means I can either adapt it or pull another design from the sketchbook to work on. I have grown quite fond of the hanging, so I think I will put it aside as a future project (you know -something to do in the odd 5 minutes of free time) and have a rethink.

You might remember the sketchbook pages from this post using the same small cog image repeated to fill an A4 sheet with added lines in gold pen. I didn't mention it at the time, but in amongst the pencilled scribbles in the book were some thoughts on making moving pieces, perhaps by using clock movements, so I got into 'cutting and sticking' mode to see how this might look.
So - how about using the print as a background and having cog shapes moving on top? I attached some paper ones with brass fasteners to look at the shapes as they turn. Ignore the colour for the moment, this is a rough sketch. If the pivot is offset from the centre, it is more interesting (see below) and at various times the cogs would overlap, so I would need to figure out how to mount them to allow free movement. I toyed with the idea of making them 'real' cogs that move each other once the first one has started, but I felt that the engineering would overtake the piece, by which I mean that the requirements of accuracy of shape and robustness of materials would limit how I could make the cogs. This is meant to be textiles after all.

Next question - what would it be made of and mounted on and how big? Obviously this would need to be a solid panel and the background should be strong enough to take the clock movements. The size is also going to depend on what the movements can cope with. A couple of months ago my husband came home with this sheet of copper, rescued from the skip at work (you can see I have got him well trained). It is about 31cm by 48cm (a bit longer and thinner than A3) and nicely distressed with lots of scratches and a bit of verdigris. Could make a background?

To get an idea of how it could look, I printed the design onto a clear temporary sticker and laid it over the copper sheet.Okay but a bit busy. I could transfer the image to the background using dry rub decals (I have some to try) but would have to do it in pieces as I can only print A4. So I might as well change it around a bit. For the last picture, I cut up the image and then put on the textured (card, gesso, paint) cogs made back in November to see how they would look. They need scaling up for the larger size and I haven't planned how to interpret into textiles. Lots more work needed before the design is complete, but I think we have a contender for the assessment piece.

PS do you find that as soon as you write something, a better idea comes along? I was just about to hit the publish button when a thought popped into my head. How about making it all look a bit more distressed/older by hanging something like cobwebs (threads? distressed scrim?) around and about the cogs, maybe distress the metal some more as well. Also needs some kind of edge treatment, possibly frame with pieces of copper shim (emboss/stitch).