Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Hanging - but is it finished?

I've spent the last week attacking the hanging with pin tucks.  I laid it on the floor to see how it was going and took a photo.

Photo 1   
Then I put it on the table to start sewing - it was scrumpled up to keep it from hanging over the edge and I realised it looked much better like that, so I played with it on the floor and decided I prefer the way it looks  - see below.

Photo 2

OK not really like a crack but nice and stormy.  Does it still count as a hanging if I display it on the floor?  It is a lot shorter like this - about 1.5m.  Not sure if it is finished so I am going to put it aside for now - I will be seeing Sian at summer school and get her advice.

A quick plug for anyone who doesn't already know - the Urchfont Manor open day is on Sunday 4th July and there will be exhibitions of work from the various textile courses there, including Distant Stitch students as well as traders.  I will be there all day so come and say hello.  The manor is set in its own grounds in  the village of Urchfont near Devizes, Wiltshire and is a lovely place for a day out especially if the sun is shining.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Following a Theme

I have just been sorting out pictures from a half-term trip to Sussex and realised these ones from Pevensey Castle kind of fit in with what I have been doing.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thoughts on Colour

I had been thinking for a while that there was not enough difference in the tones of the colours on the hanging, so yesterday I used Markal sticks to lighten the large pale patch and touch up other areas and then carried on stitching.  The pictures below show in greyscale the untouched fabric and its current state - not a huge difference but a bit more contrast.  It also shows how the shadows from the tucks are adding darker areas - for now, I am leaving the lighter part untouched.

Untouched fabric 
After painting  and some tucks.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Brief for Site Specific Hanging

The Brief

To produce a hanging for an exhibition at St Nicholas Church, Gloucester as part of the Three Choirs Festival in August 2010.

The Site

St Nicholas is a church located in the centre of Gloucester, a short walk from the cathedral, and dates back to the 12th century. It is no longer used for services but remains consecrated and is open to the public in spring and summer, frequently hosting art exhibitions. The church is noted for its pronounced lean which can be clearly seen when you stand in the nave – the pillars on the north side lean outwards as does the archway. During the week-long festival, there will be an exhibition of quilts in the centre nave and other artwork under the tower, along the north wall and on pews - this is where the hanging will be. The church will also be used for a number of music workshops and concerts.

Special Considerations

As this is an historic building, there can be no alteration or damage to the fabric of the church i.e. it is not possible to attach hooks or nails to the walls, although anything already there can be used. However, the curator is happy to tie items around the pillars, throw lines over beams or existing cables or hang very large artworks from the tower. In addition, there is a hinged pair of six foot hanging screens available and items can be placed on the floor under the tower, propped against walls and placed on pews.

The building is consecrated so although artwork need not be religious, it must not be offensive or disrespectful of the Christian faith.
St Nicholas Church from Westgate street.

Floor Plan
South window

West Window
My proposal is to place the hanging under the west window - the distance from the windowsill to the floor is 3m - so that it can be seen from the nave.  As I mentioned before, I am hoping it will resemble a crack showing the storm/chaos outside.  The next picture has been reproduced with permission from and I have superimposed an image of the hanging to show how it might look.  When I met the curator, we discussed draping it from the windowsill and tying to a hook that is already there but as an alternative if this doesn't look right, I have a telescopic pole which will support it without showing (the kind you see at festivals with banners or windsocks on).

Mock-up of hanging in situ.

Following on from my earlier posts, I have decided to pursue the idea of using tucks to emphasise the design.   As it would be difficult to back the hanging after it has been distorted, I tried another sample with a dark backing to see that the effect with two layers is still what I want.  It does make the tucks appear softer, so in the sample shown below I tried slashing them to add some drama.  You can also see in the lighter section that I experimented with kantha stitching but felt it was too organised
Sample showing slashed tucks on left.
The last picture shows how I have started adding tucks to the bottom half of the hanging  - even with only a few in, you can see how it is starting to change shape.  When I have done some more, I will decide whether to slash some or all and possibly add more colour behind to show through in places.