Maybe it is because I will be moving soon and I am busy packing all my belongings into boxes, but I seem to be developing a fascination for drawing objects from my apartment. I have drawn some of the objects from my bathroom.
I was browsing through the book ‘One Drawing A Day: A 6-Week Course Exploring Creativity with Illustration and Mixed Media’ by Veronica Lawlor and one of the exercises was drawing a still life. So I decided to do my own take on that. I started by drawing some bowls. This is the result:
I then stacked some bowls and cups and draw them. This is the result:
I made another page using pictures of bowls from an old IKEA catalogue. I have cut some of the pictures and half and I cut the middle out of other pictures.
In order to be able to draw feathers accurately, I need to know what feathers look like. I also need to know how the wings of a bird move.
I started studying the shapes of feathers and the movement of wings. Birds can bend and stretch their wings pretty far, but the cannot stretch their wings so that the bones form a straight line.
After finishing assignment 3, I had chosen tree bark as the subject of my theme book. But after visiting a naturalistic museum, I had a new idea for my theme book: feathers. I was amazed by all the colours and textures of the feathers.
I have started collecting images of feathers and birds and I am going the print of some of the pictures that I took in the museum.
I have made a quick sketch of the feathers. The feathers at the top of the wing seem to be shorter than the feathers at the bottom. These little feathers also seem to be softer.
I also tried to match the colours of the feathers by using water colour paint.
Since I was working on assignment 4 which is all about weaving, I decided that I had to go to the TextielMuseum in Tilburg (the Netherlands).
Various textile factories have been located in the buildings where the TextielMuseum now stands. In 1982 the buildings were restored and the TextielMuseum relocated to these buildings. The most characteristic factory buildings were erected by the Tilburg woollen fabrics manufacturer and son of a home weaver Christiaan Mommers (1836-1900). These consist of a wide, low factory building (1876-1878) with a wooden shed roof, in which the weaving mill was situated, and a high factory building (1885) for the spinning mill.
The museum has a permanent collection called ‘The woollen blanket factory’ and it recreates the lay-out and atmosphere of a textile factory as it existed in the Netherlands during the period from 1900 till 1940. The machines displayed in this collection can still be used and it is really impressive to see these enormous machines in action. Below is an image of a machine that was used to sort the wool.
The TextielMuseum also has a collection about damask weaving. Here you can see several original looms, linen, original patterns and Jacquard cards.
There is also a TextielLab where you can see the process and the products made there by designers and artist. There are computer-driven loom, knitting and embroidery machines and visitors are allowed to try and work some of the machines (under supervision of employees of the museum of course). I have woven a couple of rows of a cloth by riding a bike, which was a lot of fun.
Furthermore, the was an exhibition called ‘Wool Diaries project’. Three young fahion designers were invited to experiment with an old age fibre. The final results are exhibited in three mini-collections. These three young designers are Borre Akkersdijk, Pauline van Dongen and Oda Pausma. In this exhibition you could see how the designers started with the raw materials and turned those materials into clothes. This process was shown through videos of the designers working in their studio, templates and woven samples. The end result was also exhibited.
The TextielMuseum is definitely a fun museum. It is nice to see the machines that have been used in the past to make cloth and to see which machines are now being used. It was a nice surprise that some of the old machines can still be used.
The quilt show in Rijswijk (the Netherlands) is the the first quilt show I have ever been to. It was a lot of fun but it was also very overwhelming. There were several exhibitions of work by Mieke Gootjes, a European group of textile artists called ‘Art Quilt Fusion’, a group of Hungarian quilters called ‘Modern Mühely’, Annette Jeukens and Jacqueline de Jong-van Baalen called ‘Street Art’ and much more.
There was too much amazing work to mention it all, but I want to blog about some of the highlights of these exhibitions.
I love the colours in this art quilt. It is one of my favourite quilts of the day.
Another piece by Sophie Furbeyre. I love the openings in the quilts and the details in each bubble.
This quilt was featured in the advertisement of the quilt show. It is a quilt made by Mieke Gootjes. I feel in love with the quilt the first that I saw it in that advertisement. The use of colours is amazing.
I found the exhibition by Annette Jeukens en Jacqueline de Jong-van Baalen around the theme ‘Street art’ also really inspiring. I love how both textile artist incorporate mixed media into their art quilts.
All in all was this a really inspiring day. My head was reeling and there was inspiration to be found everywhere I looked. All the artwork was amazing and I am definitely going back next year. But first I want to try out some of the things that I have seen at the quilt show!
I really enjoyed weaving. It is a lot of work, but I definitely think it is rewarding. I found weaving to be an almost meditative activity. The effects that can be achieved with weaving are really interesting and pretty. I enjoyed experimenting with different materials and techniques.
When I started collecting my yarns and other materials for this assignment, I realised that even though I have a lot of yarn, a lot of the yarn that I have is made from the same material. For instance, I have a lot if balls of eyelash yarn in different colours but I missed yarn in basic colours, such as black. While working through assignment 4, I collected a lot more yarn and other materials such as sisal, hemp cord, raffia and wrapping ribbon. These materials can change the look and feel of a sample. Yarn can give a sample a calm and warm feeling whereas natural fibres give a sample a back to nature feel.
I am pleased with my finished sample. I think I was able to translate my vision into a tapestry. I used the colours and shapes that inspired me and I can see the countryside in the sample. However, my first sample, inspired by the painting Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow by Piet Mondriaan, did not go as planned. I had trouble working from source material and I think that I underestimated how difficult it is to turn an image into a tapestry. I also wanted to use too much different techniques in one sample. I think I learned from that in my second sample inspired by the word ‘rural’. I had a lot of inspiration and ideas, but I only chose a couple of elements that spoke to me the most and tried to keep it simple.
I enjoyed putting colours together intuitively more because it does not feel limiting as opposed to working from source material. Weaving is not a very forgiving medium as it does not allow for mistakes. Having said that, I feel that it is important to also be able to work from source material, so I am going to continue working on my sample and learn how to work from source material.