Tuesday, March 26, 2013

More on PAP3

Have been working a little more on my assessment piece design (left), trying to decide how to employ felting techniques into the piece but still give a light, lacy appearance to the hanging.

My idea behind this design was the 'break up' or disintegration of the facial profile into its component (motif) parts.  Since the original profile is my son's it is my representation of him moving on from childhood to adulthood, the passage of time.  That image is fleeting and all too quickly gone.

I now have a specific installation site in mind for this too, having been given an opportunity at the end of this year to exhibit in a Sydney gallery.  I'd love it to hang there with a window as backdrop hence the need to work with the stream of natural light.

I've understandably scaled up the main part of the design and despite repeated photocopying producing dodgy tones, hopefully you get the idea.  This will make it about 1m by 1.75m

The colour swatches are from the intended exhibition colour theme so I anticipate using a dark blue as the darkest tone towards the light green as the lightest tone.

The profile pieces and the repeating shapes would be cut from prepared pre-felts and felted onto one translucent backing fabric.  I began sampling how the tonally different shapes would appear felted in an overlapping manner given there is always some colour transference taking place in the felting process, and looked at potential backing fabrics.  The size of the shape is the actual size in the scaled up design.

prefelts on scrim (with flash)
Here the prefelts are felted on a cream cotton scrim and retain their shape well. I tried machine embroidering on the dark prefelt (top of photo) with wool thread before felting and that worked well.
prefelts on scrim (without flash)
 Taken without the flash gives you a better view of the translucency.

I then tried using silk organza as the backing
prefelts on silk organza (with flash)
I had plans to write using machine embroidery on the fabric background with script eg. childhood, moment in time, fleeting etc but this only seemed possible on the organza - too much damage, thread pulling happened on the scrim.

So the upshot - the organza gives clean prefelts on the front but less visible on the back with gathering due to felting shrinkage.  But it does allow me to free motion write in the background.
The scrim I kind of prefer as it's more rustic, the openness of the weave is forgiving of the shrinkage and so i think will hang better, but I can't write in the background.  Is that something that I should do anyway?
If I went with the organza I'd dye that a cream / shell colour first, probably with hand dyed tonal variations produced.
Whichever fabric backing I use I plan to hand dye or paint the wool tops / prefelt to get a bit more colour variation (less blocky look) and probably embroider them a little before felting.  More after ?

I also plan to make some nuno prefelt shapes with digital images to felt in, and perhaps lace versions to add that would taper off at the base of the hanging.

Lots to think about....

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