Friday, 27 April 2012

Chapter 9 Samples 4 and 5

Sample 4 Slashed Applique
Worksheet (A4)
Slashed Applique Close Up
14cm x 14cm
Again, it was exciting to try out a new technique. I'd seen this method used in historical costuming at an exhibition in Stratford and knew that a sumptuous textured effect could be obtained. Because I chose fabrics that frayed easily, I worked the edges with the blades of tiny scissors, quite easily. I had visited Janners, a silk mill in Suffolk, about two weeks ago and bought lots of natural textured silk in their sale. I dyed this piece purple and it became almost fluffy as it shredded. The fibres are all slightly different; from the metallic strands to the matt threads of muslin. It was a really satisfying exercise with a soft abstract outcome.

Sample 5 Ripple Applique
Worksheet (A4)

Ripple Applique Close Up
14cm x 14cm
Initially I wondered whether the shape I'd chosen was too complex but decided to cut away on both
sides of the top yellow linen, to reveal the collage of colours underneath. I actually accidentally burnt a patch of organza away when I was pressing the finished piece, but it was serendipitous as a piece of green muslin simply appeared beneath. It would be interesting to try this with a soldering tool!

Chapter 9 Reverse Applique

Sample 1 Mola Worksheet
Mola Close-Up
(17cm X 15cm)

I have seen examples of Mola in museum collections and was enthusiastic about attempting a new technique. Looking at the elaborate efforts
produced, I can only marvel at the skill of the needlewomen! This took me a couple of evenings to hand stitch and a lot of patience.... It requires a good light and considerable dexterity to turn corners and stitch evenly and neatly. For a first attempt, I was fairly pleased but in retrospect wished I'd chosen a more vibrant colour palette.

Samples 2 and 3 Contemporary
Worksheet (A4)

Sample 2 Close up
12cm x 12cm

Sample 3 Close Up
12cm x 12cm

This method was certainly a lot speedier than the previous one! (I read that when sewing machines were introduced to Panama, they were ignored by embroiderers who preferred to produce their mola by hand.....a genuine labour of love!!! I decided to follow Sians advice about printing on to fabric to produce the top and bottom patterned layer on the respective pieces. I used a pad underneath each piece and finished up with a much lighter, almost shadowy imprint which was easier to overlap. I like the different pink/plummy tones in Sample 1 and the matt/shiny contrasts of the different edges. With sample 2, I used 6 layers and particularly liked how some of the bonded fibres trapped between the top and second layer peeped out of the edges. The changes in depth perception made for an interesting concept.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Chapter 8 Complex Samples 5 and 6

Complex sample 5
Sample 5 Worksheet

The inspiration behind this piece was the furled petal shape of a flower on the initial photographic collage of star shapes. I padded the centre and then bonded it to the finished
piece. I think a second round of petals perhaps of transparent fabric would have been interesting. The eight sided star layer machined on top was completed in a strong fuschia pink but against the yellow looks red!

I enjoyed using a new set of 'dabber' type
tiny stamps to overprint my hand dyed
cotton for this piece. Although I used a specialist metallic thread machine needle, I really struggled with the Madeira metallic thread I machined with. It seemed to split and bunch and I spent along time unpicking and playing with tension to achieve a reasonable
stitch. The centre shape is padded and I've discovered some fabrics lend themselves more easily to this technique.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Chapter 8 Complex Sample 4

Sample 4 Close Up
Sample 4 Worksheet
 I selected 2 variations of my Estoile cut outs from
Chapter 4 and played around layering them in varying orientations. I wasnt initially very sure about my colour choices- too similar? BUT because all the fabrics had differing degrees of sheen, I liked the subtle textured effect that resulted. The shot silk tafetta in the very centre was a wondeful plum/black
colour but cut into a small piece, this effect was lost.

Chapter 8 Complex Sample 3

Sample 3 Close Up
Sample 3 Worksheet

I decided to use a Nordic star motif from my line drawings for this sample, repeating and overlapping it using the different techniques
practised so far. I cut away the central star
but when considering the sample in retrospect, wished I'd chosen a stronger colour for the bottom layer, as it gets lost!

Chapter 8 Complex Sample 2

Sample 2 Worksheet
Sample 2 Close Up
I chose the second design from the line drawings on one of the earlier pieces in the module. The Star of Bethlehem, even in 2D has a dimensional quality that I thought would lend itself to padded areas. I learnt
that this technique presents challenges depending on the fabric and stitch used, but after several attempts found a way to keep the organza intact.

Worksheet Chapter 8 Sample 1

Sample 1 Worksheet