Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I'm seeing this shape in my sleep...

I grabbed the chance while the sun was vaguely out this afternoon  to take some shots of my finished wearable that I mentioned in my last post.  I don't know if the work has helped me sort out some technical issues for my PAP but I'm pleased with the results in this piece.
front view
back view
The bodice uses individually cut motifs from collaged fabric backed with batting to give some dimension, layered with chiffon lacework motifs and chiffon rouleaux.  I have to admit I underestimated how long it would take to sew each motif on by hand, but it was the only way to allow the motifs to intertwine with each other as I stitched.

bodice detail
bodice detail2
The dress / tunic is double layered so that I could layer the motif edging but allow for other shadows and shapes to form as the 2 fabrics moved independently.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Some thoughts on my PAP3

Getting close to the end of module 4, I've been thinking about my third personal assessment piece (PAP) for the last couple of weeks, and drawing a bit of inspiration from some exhibitions I visited over the summer.

The Gallery of NSW in Sydney had a lovely collection of Francis Bacon's work that I enjoyed.  His portraits are fascinating to study, with blocks of colour and so few distinct lines being able to give great expression in his faces.  It made be turn back to the faces design work I did in the last module and examine again how few lines and shapes I could get away with while retaining a recognisable face.

I also knew I wanted to continue the use of repetitive shapes in the design of this piece but avoid creating a repetitive wallpaper-like pattern, rather than an artistic design.

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney had a wonderful Anish Kapoor exhibition with reflective shaped surfaces in abundance and I loved the way this photo image of a large exhibit seems to be made from repetitive shapes fragmenting outwards.

So I thought of taking my magnolia shape repetitively, overlapping them, to create a bust of sorts.

I ended up with the design below:

The colours are not set, prefer them in dark mauve - lime green scheme I used in previous samples.

I tried another motif shape, based on twisted japanese yew trees since the original model of the face was my son Ewan (whose name means "of the yew tree" among other more Scottish derivations).
But I didn't feel this worked and that the original shape 'flowed' better so I'll stick with that one:
As for how I proceed I'm unsure and will try out a few ideas in time.  The background design obviously needs thought.  I had an idea of preparing a translucent background, perhaps lace ground so that the shapes are suspended and the negative spaces are visible but equally a heavier felted form might work.

While I 'muse' I decided to work on a wearable piece for an exhibition in April in which I've been invited to participate.  I thought I'd explore the shape further and so the piece will involve the shapes interlocked on the bodice in heavier embroidered fabric and the echoing shape in lacework.

As I have to be ready for photography in 2 weeks I'm a bit busy, but not too pushed to miss a trip to Spotlight today - the chance for 20% off Australia's fabric store on your own birthday is too good to miss - ok, I'm a woman of limited imagination I admit it.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Having fun with FELT - chapters 10,11

There were various aims of this section such as
  • working in either wet and/or dry needle felt process using inspiration from colour and design studies in previous chapters,
  • incorporating "slips"
  • utilising functional and/ or decorative stitching
  • developing a personal response to designs and challenging youself
Ok, maybe the last point was more my view than Sian's, since up to now I've done a lot of felting mainly in a 'conventional way' as I would see it.  So I took what I knew, and could do already and tried to play a bit more while interpreting my designs:
The first sample was based on this tonal design from chapter 9 (and shown in 10.1)
I decided to prepare a few different nuno prefelts from which I could cut the slips and then a background prefelt made tonally different by the way I laid out the tops.  
The slips prefelts were made by nunofelting organza printed with magnolia photos onto both pink or white wool to get 2 different looks.
Slips were cut out of each and fully felted onto background along with slips cut from dark pink prefelts.  I did some surface machine stitching using wool thread around some of the slips to give dimension and depth (10.3).
10.4 close up
The digital print on the slips is a little easier to see in the close up.

The next sample is based loosely on this monoprint from chapter 3 in 10.5:
I wanted this to be loosely layered so tore 3 dyed scrims and felted wool tops sparsely into them, giving holes and gathers in places.
These nunofelts were cut up in strips and woven / threaded through each other and more strands of wool top, then felted on to a white prefelt backing.  With only a little free wool between the scrims, certain areas were left loose from the backing.  Finally some free machining in wool thread was done on top.
A third sample was based on a similar monoprint:
I wanted to give this a different look whilst reflecting the layers of colour in the print, so began by making a prefelted sample of scrim nunofelt on purple tops.  Once dried I free machined in yellow then tied ceramic beans into the nunofelt and felted it fully by hand.
 Left to dry completely, untied and laid on to a pink felt background.  The tops of the felt bubbles were cut off to reveal both the purple edging of the cut bubbles and the pink layer beneath, then handstitched in white and pink running stitch to attach the layers together.  Finally yellow linen thread was threaded through the running stitches on the surface to reflect design print pattern (10.11)
One of my monoprints on black paper was used as a background in chapter 5 for fabric slips:
and this background was also the inspiration for a felt sample here:
The monoprinted lines suggested broken shards to me so I reconstructed the felt piece from a collection of broken / cut pieces.  Initially I digitally printed 2 similar monoprinted designs on scrim through the computer printer.  These were distressed/ threads pulled and prefelted on back wool tops. Once dry, the prefelts were cut up and rearranged.  Overlapping the staggered pieces allowed me to 'stick' them together by dry felting from the back and also create the scribbling back lines in so doing.  Couched pink and yellow threads on top further connected the pieces.
The gaps and the overlapping between the pieces are clearer in the detail of 10.15.

This sample became more 3-dimensional, here hanging on my display board:
Both background felt and felt for the slips were made 2-sided.  The background at prefelt stage had 2 lime green shapes set in and felted, then pin tucks sewn, and cut open to reveal the coloured felt from the other side.  The outlines of 2 shapes were handstitched in yellow.
The felted slips were fully felted, red on one side and yellow on the other.  Cut out they were handstitched in pink blanket stitch, and attached to the background in a twist using french knots.
I do like the way that both colours can be seen from different angles.

I also meant to felt a 'proper' 3D version of my slip ie a vessel, using resists but that will come in a later post once I decide on the scale.  I think this post is quite long enough for the moment.