Monday, 20 January 2014

Chapter 9(a) - another sample

I made a startling purchase the other day ....

... no I haven't lost the plot - look at that tempting grid just waiting to be stitched.  Following an inspirational workshop with Isobel Hall, I decided to try weaving stitched strips of cotton.
The above image is a very close close-up.  I used black thread with a turquoise bobbin thread and relaxed the tension so that the bobbin thread peeked through.  After stitching one line, I flipped the fabric over and reversed the stitched line.

I threaded up the strips using a large bodkin and did running stitch then returned down the line with a large tent stitch.  The cotton frayed more than I'd planned and threatened to overwhelm the pattern of stitching.  I also had to keep untwisting the strip as I sewed.  Interestingly, the tent stitch resembles tiny capsules/pods/mussels.  I think this type of stitching would be more effective stitched over a large area, using a  degree of variation in the colour of the backing cotton.  Paper or Vilene could also be used as a base for the strips.

Overall, I stitched this sample with my HEAD rather than my HEART, which is why I'm not particularly pleased with it.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Improved photos of Chapter 9(a), Module 4.

Following your feedback, Sian, I have begun to work into some of the samples and have taken clearer photos for you to look at.

1.  Machine stitched pulp/rug canvas sampler (previously submitted).


2. Added handstitching - from top:
-  diagonal straight stitches 
-  long-legged cross stitch
-  elongated chain stitch
-  uneven button hole stitch 

3.  More detailed photo of handstitched sampler ideas (previously submitted).
4.  Close up of red stitching on charcoal pulled-thread sampler.
5.  Rug canvas painted with red acrylic.  Some ideas including weaving ribbon
and beading in the spaces.
6.  Another experiment - woven raffia dipped in pulp then a large letter "a" handstitched
with a large, loose backstitch using suedette cord.
7.  I returned to the pulled and wrapped thread piece and wove a thick black cotton back and forth to create a mesh within the original "bars".  I may stitch over the top of this.
8.  Close up of a piece previously submitted.  I took your advice and have removed (by wetting and rubbing) some of the paper behind the green vegetable net.
The top row of stitching resembles handwriting, the lower a Cyrillic script and the panel at the left side resembles (to me) a runic writing form.
 9.  close up of 8.
 10.  a further close up of 8.

9.  Close up of handmade cord couched onto pulled-thread background to form a network.

I hope these pictures are clearer - thank goodness they have loaded OK!  I will continue with more samples and post them ASAP.  I confess I am struggling with this part of the module and how to express the rhythmic but varied patterns of writing.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Posting problems

I am finding it impossible to upload images at the mioment and even Live Writer does not work. Back soon!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Module four Chapter 5

I've made a start on drawn thread work.
First I dyed various types of fabric, plus some bamboo knitting ribbon, which dyes beautifully. Above is some of the ribbon (spooled onto loo-roll tubes) and some pieces of evenweave fabric.

1. First-ever attempt at drawn thread work - I used a very loosely-woven linen and gingerly withdrew enough threads for a pattern to start to appear.

2.  I got a little bolder with this sample.  This linen is not very good quality.

3.  This hand-dyed evenweave fabric was a little more robust.

4.  This fabric was part of a set of unfinished hardanger napkins which was being sold off at a local event.  I cut away the work that had already been started and overyed it to fit in with the colour scheme for this module.  It was very easy to remove the threads and they leave behind a naturally "rippled" effect.

Tip - Once ready for photographing, or before applying paint, I used a large A4 single label to temporarily hold the fabric in place.

5.  I used ink and permanent pen to colour this piece of evenweave.  I think I made it far too fussy for the purpose of the exercise.

6.  Threads pulled to left and right, as shown here.  There is an interesting "tweeded" effect.

7.  Another over-fussy piece of fabric.

8.  I've shifted threads in this central band.  The effect is very subtle (too subtle?)

9.  A different view of the same sample.  This is possibly nearer to the effect I was hoping for.
I shall prepare more fabric with larger and more solid blocks of colour, which should give better results.

10.  I pulled loops of thread from the central area of a fabric sample and wove them back into the fabric.  Tip - I found self-threading needles really useful for this!

I cut away blocks of threads on alternate sides of this sample in preparation for weaving them back in.  I found it so much easier and less damaging to the threads once I had removed the crossing threads.  This is ready for me to start weaving.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Module Four Chapter 4

And so on to paper-making.

1.  I knew eating so much ice-cream during the summer would pay off as these tubs were ideal for preparing paper scraps in different colours.
2.  The resulting papers.  I merged black and turquoise - rather lumpy though.  The black area has a rather nice boot print which was not intentional but looks interesting.  While the paper was still pulpy I added snippings of red plastic net to the beige sample but found that very few of the snippets adhered to the paper.
3.  I had made a plain piece of white paper to test out my technique, to which I added some scraps of organza, some strands of hessian and finally some snippings of green wool.  I really believed it would all stick but I had to go over the sample again with more white pulp to sandwich the embellishments in place.  Another lesson learned.

4.  Another plain white sample but this time I used a roller to apply acrylic paint in three colours.  I did not want to go for total coverage as I feel the plain paper areas give this a depth which is far more interesting.

5.  Just for fun - I noticed I had some Xmas stamps from last year which complemented my colour scheme so I ripped one into tiny pieces and applied the scraps to a piece of red paper.

6.  I had bought half a dozen new bobbins and tried pressing them into the beige paper while it was still damp.  The result reminds me of fossils!  Unfortunately I could not get the impression to go through to the other side, which would have been just as interesting.

7.  I had the bright idea of cutting letter templates from a giant sticky label.  Sadly, the wet pulp flooded underneath the templates, lifting the labels and just making a very large sheet of paper.  I would have to use something with stronger adhesive, although this could damage my screen.

8. I picked up on Sian's suggestion about sandwiching threads and ripping through the top layer.  I took a piece of red paper and laid down some wire in a random, "wiggly" shape.  I then overlaid some turquoise paper and saturated the whole piece, being careful not to dislodge the wire.  Once the whole thing was thoroughly dry I carefully ripped out the wire.

9.  I had made more samples in red which turned out much finer and less "chunky".  I sandwiched some green threads and ripped out a "window" in the top piece of paper, revealing the threads underneath.  I left the fringe of threads in place.  Wetting and pressing down on this sample created lovely wrinkles in the paper.

10.  I made some green paper which was quite fragile.  I folded it over into a sort of pocket, trapping some red wool.  While the sample was still damp I impressed a pattern with the end of my (cold) heatgun and to my amazement the pattern showed even after the piece was completely dry.  Again, I've left the thread to form a loose fringe.

11.  I hunted around for something to make a corrugated pattern in paper and came across some "hoof sticks".  I sandwiched them beween two layers of beige paper and pressed the layers together firmly.  I also spritzed a little green acylic ink while it was still damp.  Once completely dry some of the sticks dropped out of their own accord and some are still trapped inside, but the tubular structure has remained.  In the top sample you can see where the paper has ripped, forming a litle window through which you can see the trapped stick.  I was pleased with this sample.  The empty tubes could be filled with thread or wire (or just about anything I suppose!).  This gives yet another design option.


Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Mod 4 - further work on Chapter 2

I have returned to lettering and developed some existing and new ideas.

13. Above - I scanned a page from Collins Dictionary featuring the definition of "alphabet"
 and used this as a background paper.
14. Above - a handwritten grid made "cells" and I filled these with individual letters.

15.  Above - In triplicate to accentuate the patterns - I used a disposable fork and sepia acrylic ink to trace "alphabet"  over scanned dictionary ground.
16.  Above - Sian suggested I make a stamp based on the motif I designed usingthe letter "P" in a circular pattern. 
(a) I painted a piece of cardboard with acrylic to strengthen and seal it;
(b) I sketched the design in permanent pen;
(c) I covered the board with double-sided tape;
(d) I stuck cord on to the board, following the inked guidelines.
17.  Above - all cording in place.
18.  Above - I painted another layer of acyrlic over the whole stamp to counter the stickiness of the tape and to seal the stamp and make it last longer.

19.  Above - I used my home-made stamp with red ink on a dictionary background sheet.

20.  Above - I used the stamp as a rubbing plate with oil pastels on a background of handwritten and reversed "alphabet".  The rubbing softens the strong lines of the handwriting.

21.   Above - a "stretched" alphabet makes the lettering more abstract and could form part of a layered design.

22 (a) - Above - remember this rattan grid?

22 (b) - Above - following Sian's advice I wrote using a candle and pressing on firmly.  I then spritzed two colours of ink across the lettering, which jumped off the page!

23 (a) Above - I had found a piece of rug canvas (3.3 holes to the inch).

23 (b) Above - the same candle technique over the rug canvas gave a better result.  The grid show through quite clearly.
24.  Above - more play with handwriting. I overprinted this document, changing the orientation as an easy way to create a dense grid pattern.

Chapter 3 - Grids

1.  Above - A linen mix - very loose and open.

2.  Above - a turquoise dress net - very dense and strong.

3.  Above - a natural open-weave fabric.
4.  Above - double tapestry/needlepoint canvas - extremely strong and fairly stiff.
5.  Above - red fruit net.  Nylon, stretchy and strong.  Can be doubled, twisted, plaited or rolled.
6.  Above - a very strong and resilient vegetable net.

7.  Above - rug canvas - I painted one area with red acrylic paint as a possible contrast in a future sample.

8.  Above - I used a plastic frame and raffia to make this grid.  I think it looks rather interesting!

9 (a) .  Above - Using soluble film and an embroidery hoop, I machined a rough grid pattern.


9 (b) Above - I removed the film from the hoop and rinsed it in warm water.  I did not remove all the "gunky" stuff so that the resulting mesh has a little bit more strength and can be manipulated.

10 (a)  Above - I took two sheets of kitchen towel and strips of hand-dyed (by me) bamboo knitting ribbon.  I stitched the ribbon to the kitchen towel in a loose grid pattern using two colours of thread (red and black) and a close zigzag stitch, stitched twice to secure the ribbon.

10 (b) Above - I  soaked the piece in warm water and then gently rubbed away most of the kitchen paper (I liked the effect of leaving some behind and am contemplating spraying the whole thing with ink!).

Meanwhile I have pieces of paper dripping all over the place for the next chapter - what fun!!!