Sunday, May 24, 2009

Module 3 Chapter 7 - Weave

For this chapter, I am exploring the contruction of weave through using paper straws and small samples in fabric, thread and anything else that fits my theme. I am continuing to use the same colour scheme and some of the braids from chapter 5. (In case you are wondering what happened to chapter 6, it is a choice between using knit or weave). I had done some of this work during module 1 before the course was rewritten, but never finished it, so I have been adding to it this week. First, here are the paper experiments I had already done.
From Gallimaufry

From Gallimaufry

Two old samples, one in strips of fabrics and the second trying water soluble paper on metal strips and wire. I need to have another go with the paper as this is not very good.

Next is a larger sample which incorporates some of the braids from chapter 5 with coloured and textured metal and strips of fabric and yarn in the colour scheme from the research work in module 1. Most of these are ones I dyed as part of that module. I have tried to reflect the machinery/industrial landscape theme by weaving in triangular sections that relate to the work on pylons and by including metal.

My next sample (to the left of the picture) used wire for the warp as I wanted to fold it in the same way that I folded paper for the pylon designs shown on this project page. By coincidence, the speaker at our Embroiderers' Guild meeting last week was a weaver called Laura Thomas who has (amongst other wonderful things) made some pieces using very fine wire and silk, which she has then folded and pleated. This inspired me to have another go using a much finer wire and yarns and weaving it tightly. This gave me much cleaner, sharper folds but as it is time-consuming, the sample is tiny - about 2 inches square after folding and I could only fold it side-to-side (the paper is A4 sheets pleated in several directions).

Finally, I tried a bit of circular weaving by warping around all four sides of a square frame, a technique featured in Workshop on the Web some time ago, to make a cog-like shape.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A Busy Week

You know how it is - you wait all winter for an exhibition to visit and as soon as May arrives they all come together. I took some time out on Sunday to go around part of the Severn Vale Art Trail in Thornbury and met up with Heather whose blog I have been reading for a while. Yesterday I braved the rain to go over to Ashton Court to see the work by Gordano Textile Artists and catch up with some friends. Heather is also a member of this group and has posted pictures on Ragged Old Blogger which are well worth seeing. All being well, I am heading into Bristol on Saturday to see another group exhibition at Bristol Guild and I must get my act together to go to Stroud before the textile festival finishes. Whew.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Last Bit of Chapter 5

Finally finished playing with these braids, rearranging and layering them to make an acceptable presentation. I wasn't happy with the backgrounds I had done so I tried again and came up with this by stencilling using folded strips of freezer paper and Markel sticks on a previously dyed piece of cotton.

And then added the braids...

From left to right we have
1) Scraps of dyed scrim decorated with built-in machine patterns using soluble fabric as a base, stitched onto a braid made by wrapping a long thin wire frame made from a coat hanger with lots of yarns and strips of fabric (actually more like a fringe because I had to cut it off - looks quite cute as a bracelet, perhaps I should make some more).

2) Free machining on felt to make spiky cog shapes cut out with soldering iron, threaded through with a short piece of free machining on soluble and longer strip of built-in pattern stitched onto fabric and paper.

3)Free machining on felt triangles (relate to pylon shapes from earlier work) threaded through with another piece of braid from 1).

4) Free machining on felt circles threaded with short piece of braid from 2) and longer piece made with threads/yarns laid out on soluble fabric and secured with built-in patterns.

5) 2 wide braids made by combining lots of thinner ones using all the techniques above. The orange piece also has a sheer fabric decorated with French knitting made with a very fine metallic thread that is very loose and loopy held down with a machined pattern, and the blue has a twisted centre strip of fabric-wrapped wireform.

Finally, I cut up the two wide braids and rearranged them to create a new textile piece.

And while I had the paints out, I decorated the cover of my knotwork/braids sketchbook using the same stencil and Markel sticks over acrylic paint. Here it is drying before varnishing.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Module 3 Chapter 4 and Chapter 5 Continued

Chapter 4 is making backgrounds by using paper braids as stencils to decorate fabric for backgounds - above are two I made but not looking very interesting at the moment so I will probably add to them. I have carried on making braids for chapter 5 by machining soluble fabric, wrapping wireform, and stitching down groups of threads and am starting to weave and join them to make wider braids and new textiles.

Finally, I have carried on thinking about the cogs piece and been playing with having bits move. I have made a mock-up to try various arrangements of cogs running on the minute hands of the clock movements. As they are mounted off-centre, I needed to check that they would not crash into each other. I didn't fancy staring at it for an hour while they completed a revolution, so I set it running and used a webcam to make this little time lapse film - it is only 13 seconds long and not good quality, but you get the idea of how it might look.