Project 7 Your theme book

Since starting this course, I have been thinking a lot about textures in everyday life. Especially the textures in nature. I love being outside and going for walks and I often take my camera with me. Over the last couple of months, I have been taken a lot of close-up pictures of trees. I decided that I would like to use tree bark as my theme.

Below a couple of pictures that I have taken recently.

Close-up of a birch tree

Close-up of a birch tree

Close-up of a birch tree

Close-up of a birch tree

Close-up of a birch tree

Close-up of a birch tree

Close-up of tree bark

Close-up of tree bark

I think that all the different textures are really interesting and would work quite well in fabric and stitching.

 

Advertisements

Research point ‘Why craft-produced textiles maintain a place in our society’

I think that the main reason that craft-produced textiles are so popular in our society is that they are very personal and unique. Because of the internet, it is also easily available. Websites such as Etsy enable craftsmen to offer their work to costumers all over the world.

At the beginning of project six, I began reading about the art of different cultures, in particular the Aboriginals and the Kuna Indians. The Aboriginals use different techniques to dye their fabric such as batik, hand painting and screen-printing. Aboriginal art as we know it today has its foundations in Papunya the 1970s when art teacher Geoffrey Bardo let the walls of the school where he taught be painted with traditional Aboriginal motifs using acrylic paint. This led the experiments with different kinds of surfaces and an art movement was born.

Textile length, Puti (bush), cotton, screen-printed. Designed by Nyukana Baker and Nyuwara Tapaya 1989/90. Printed by Marie Warren, 1995. 95/319/3. Powerhouse Museum Collection.

Textile length, Puti (bush), cotton, screen-printed. Designed by Nyukana Baker and Nyuwara Tapaya 1989/90. Printed by Marie Warren, 1995. 95/319/3. Powerhouse Museum Collection.

The Kuna Indians are known for their Molas. These Molas have their origin in body painting. In the late nineteenth century, the women started transferring the body painting designs onto hand-woven cloth and later onto imported fabric. Initially these designs were painted onto the fabric, but over time the designs were transferred onto fabric using reverse appliqué. The motifs are either geometric shapes such as mazes or figurative, such as people and animals.

Mola

Mola

The art of other cultures is readily available on the high street in fair trade stores. Fair trade ensures that craftsmen receive a fair price for their work and costumers are able to purchase unique products.

When I started thinking about traditional art meeting contemporary art, I immediately thought of the trip that I made to the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam a few weeks ago where I saw some of the work of Kitty van der Mijll Dekker. She was a Dutch weaver who experimented with unusual materials such as cellophane, iron wire, raffia and synthetic yarns.

Reflection after Project 6

I liked working with fabric in this way. I especially like experimenting with reverse applique, folding and the raised shapes. I think it is a great way to add a 3D quality to your work. Overall, I am pleased with my results, but I do feel that I could have pushed have further. So I am definitely going to continue experimenting with the techniques mentioned in project 6. The one thing that I am not happy about is the moulding of fabric. I do not like the results and I did not really enjoy using this technique.

At the beginning of this project, I had trouble letting go of the source material that I had chosen to use. I felt really confined and had trouble letting go of the drawings instead of trying to copy them. I think I would have been able to work more freely if I had been able to just start experimenting with the fabric rather than working from drawings. That is probably the reason that I had a difficult time getting into it. I like trying out all the techniques mentioned in stages 3 and 4, but I struggled with stage 2. Selecting the right drawings and especially making the fabric collages let to a lot of doubts. I am satisfied with the larger samples that I produced using my chosen drawings, but I had a lot of doubts about whether the drawings that I had chosen, were strong enough and if they were indeed the right choices.

However, I do feel that once I was working on the final sample of Stage 4, I was able to let go of the source material and let the fabric control the outcome.

I enjoyed experimenting with all the different fabrics that I had selected in stage 1 and finding out how all the different fabrics react.

I do not thing that working with stitch is limiting. I have enjoyed every technique that I have learned so far in this course and I am looking forward to experiment with them more.

Project 6 Manipulating fabric_Stage 4 Raised and structured surface textures_ a larger sample

As inspiration for my final sample, I used a picture of the Golden Rock. Using a viewing frame, I isolated a piece at the top right of the rock. I tried to creature the shadows and textures visible in the picture.

Golden rock

Golden rock

This is the end result:

Project 6 Manipulating fabric_stage 4 Raised and structured surfaces_a larger sample

Project 6 Manipulating fabric_stage 4 Raised and structured surfaces_a larger sample

I quite like the end result. I feel like I have been able to create textures. I bunched the fabric together to create darker pieces, suggesting shadows.

 

Project 6 Manipulating fabric_Stage 4 Raised and structured surface textures

Folding and pleating fabric

Just before I started working on this exercise, I found two great books on sale. ‘Creative Tucks and Textures for quilts and Embroidery’ by Jennie Rayment and ’20 Folded Fabrics Projects’ by Louise Mabbs. Both books are really inspiring and were a great help during this exercise.

I love origami and this was the perfect opportunity to try folding fabric. I found out that folding fabric is not easy, hence the brad in the middle of my sample. But I like folding and pleating fabric and I am definitely going to experiment with it further.

Pleating fabric

Pleating fabric

Folding fabric

Folding fabric

Weaving fabric

I thought this was mentioned in the course book and I had already made this sample when I realised that it was not. But I added it nonetheless.

Weaving fabric

Weaving fabric

Quilting

I did some echo quilting on the first sample. For the second sample. I drew a simple design and quilted it.

Quilting

Quilting

Quilting

Quilting

Raised shapes

Trapunto

Trapunto

I read an article in Quilting Arts magazine a few months ago about Diane Savone who embeds everyday objects in her quilts. Her work is absolutely amazing and I immediately had to think about it reading through this exercise. I chose to enclose a cardboard letter M and bread closures between a felt and a piece of blue cotton. Sewing around the letter was not easy, but I am really pleased with the result.

Raised shapes

Raised shapes

Moulding

This was probably my least favourite part. I tried it using cotton and organza and used all sorts of lids and containers to mould the fabric over. I am not really fond of the results the fabric gets really stiff because of the glue.

Moulding

Moulding

Tearing, fraying and slashing

I attached four pieces of sheer fabric to the background. I sewed netting fabric on top of the sample on the left. I slashed the netting and threaded some whole through the holes. I slashed the yellow sheer fabric and threaded a piece of ribbon through the middle. For the sample at the bottom, I cut long strips of organza and threaded those through frayed curtain fabric.

Project 6 Manipulating fabric_stage 4 Raised and structured surfaces_slashing

Project 6 Manipulating fabric_stage 4 Raised and structured surfaces_slashing

I like the wavy effect in the sample below I sewed sheer fabric to a piece of cotton. I slashed the sheer fabric a regular intervals.

Project 6 Manipulating fabric_stage 4 Raised and structured textures_slashing

Project 6 Manipulating fabric_stage 4 Raised and structured textures_slashing

Faux chenille

Faux chenille

Project 6 Manipulating fabric_Stage 3 applied fabric techniques a larger sample

For my final sample, I chose to applique my drawing of an Amaryllis and use a square out of another drawing as a vase. These are drawings that I chose to use:

Drawing of an Amaryllis

Drawing of an Amaryllis

Experimenting with cutting out shapes

Experimenting with cutting out shapes

I used cotton fabrics for the vase. The flower is made using sheer fabric in white and purple. After I appliqued the vase and the flower, I decided that the flower needed something extra, so I used a running stitch to mimic the veins in the petals. I decided to keep let the fabric of the vase fray, because I think it adds a little extra to the sample. This is the end result:

Project 6 Manipulating fabric_stage 3 Applied applique techniques_a larger sampleA larger sample

Project 6 Manipulating fabric_stage 3 Applied applique techniques_a larger sampleA larger sample

I am pleased with the end result and I am definitely going to use this technique more often.

 

Project 6 Manipulating fabric_Stage 3 applied fabric techniques

Before I started with this exercise, I did some research on cut-back applique because I had never done that before. During my research I began reading about the Molas that the Kuna Indians make. I absolutely love their use of colour and the intricate shapes. The motifs used in the Molas are either geometric shapes such as mazes or figurative, such as people and animals.

When I started with the cut-back applique, I decided that I wanted to use some of the same bright colours that the Kuna Indians used. I used red, yellow, blue and an orange brown. The top fabric was not the best choice because is frays a lot, but I like the effect.

For the second sample I appliqued a flower on a cotton background. On top the flower I attached a flower shaped sequin.

Applique

Applique

In the sample below I trapped papers, candy wrappers, lace and a sequin between a layer of organza and cotton and sewed around the objects.

Trapping objects

Trapping objects

I do not have Tyvek, but I did experiment with melting plastic. I cut open plastic bags, put several layers on top of each other and ironed it. I then appliqued the plastic onto a background. I really like this technique especially because it is really unpredictable.

Fused plastic

Fused plastic

Fused plastic

Fused plastic