Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Final paperwork for Module 4

Below I have commented on the storage and associated health & safety issues for materials new to my diploma work so far eg. use of wool and silk dyes.
I have self evaluated on work completed in this module omitting my PAP3 development, evaluation and costings etc of which will follow in due course.

Landscape (TM) dyes:
Powdered dye material used for dyeing wool, mohair, silk, alpaca (protein fibres) and nylon.  These are stored in sealed opaque containers out of reach of children and away from food sources and food preparation areas.
On current available information Landscape dyes have low oral toxicity, but it is advised that users avoid dust inhalation, ingestion, eye and skin contact by wearing gloves, apron and a mask when dealing with such dye powders.  Use utensils reserved for such use and not used for food preparation.

Materials to aid digital printing on fabric:
InkAID semi-gloss precoat:
Ensure that gloves are worn and there is adequate ventilation in the room of use. Keep out of reach of children.

Evaluation of work in Module 4
My focus of research into trees and vegetation for diploma made it easier to find close links to this module's floral based work.  My initial research in chapter 1 deliberately focused on new images to expand my sources already in my sketchbook, however I used images from Module 1 and sketchbook as backgrounds to link with new slips in chapter 6.
My design ideas for PAP3 employ newly developed motifs in Module 4 with designs and composition techniques developed in previous modules.  In this way I feel my work is progressing and benefitting from the course.
My artists study is closely related to the subject of this module and 2 of these artists have had a direct influence on my work during this time.


with samples made for chapters 5 and 6 of Module 4.

Contemporary Textile artists - chapter 13

To complete the work for this Module 4 I have been studying textile artists with a propensity for working in felting, creating sculptural forms and using Kantha stitching in their work.

I make no apologies for selecting Australian artists here as I tend to have more opportunity to study their work at first hand, and interview one or other at a later stage for further research in Module 6.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

PAP3 developments

Moving on from my samples of motifs on organza and rethought design in previous postings I sketched a working paper design in the colours I wanted to use.

12.7 design
The paper design has additional shapes to the felt motifs which will be in dyed organza then outlined motifs in colour and in white - a sort of progression into translucency, bearing in mind that I wish to hang this freely in a window space.  The very white sections on the drawing represent cut areas in the organza.

So here is the laying out of the design in prefelted shapes.  Because of the size (about 3m x 1.5m) I did this on the floor then struggled with getting it to the felting table in one piece.  Note to self: get a bigger table.

12.8 laying out felting design
The felting in process a section at a time:

12.9 nunofelting process
and the nunofelted organza before stitching anything:
12.10 Nunofelted hanging on organza
I have now worked into this organza adding the dyed organza motifs, embroidered shapes and cutwork.

You'll have to excuse the red curtains above but I wanted to photograph in an open window and the open patio doorway on a rather wet wintry afternoon had to suffice.  You'll see more detail in the next photos:


The top and side edges have been simply overlocked to finish and a top pocket formed to take a rod.
The piece is not completed as the bottom edge has not been thought through properly - but I will talk through a further few ideas with Sian when I bring it to Farncombe in July.

One thing I am particularly pleased with is how the hanging moved in the breeze, seemed to go with the movement of the design, and that despite the felting thickness the hanging remains delicate.


Monday, June 3, 2013

Rafflesia blooming

I've been working on this felted backpack for an exhibition next week - the challenge being to work to a theme of "Rainforest".  To avoid that section of the hall looking just too green I looked to the flowers of the rainforest for inspiration and came up with the rafflesia flower, native to Indonesia.  

photo courtesy of
It's that flower that gives off a scent of rotting flesh (I believe) so my son was impressed, of course.  Up close it has great texture with raised areas of coral colour on the red petals, and in the centre the spikes can be a vivid orange. I didn't want to make a bag that looked like the flower, simply mimic the colour and texture in felt as the fabric.
The felt for the bag started as a large area of natural corriedale tops, laid and felted to a prefelt stage incorporating small round pieces of a cream cotton scrim. Dozens of ceramic beans were tied in 'shibori style' where the scrim was nunofelted and the piece felted and fulled to completion.  Once the beans were squeezed back out, the lumps remained felted in.

At this stage the shibori-ed piece was about a quarter of the original felt size.

It was then dyed using acid wool dyes to a deep red.  As these things happen invariably I wasn't happy with the cotton scrim on the lumps as it looked 'too cream' now against the red.  So back into a dye bucket this time of Procion dye it went to redden the cotton scrim.
The bag was lined with a vivid orange cotton lining and drawstrings made through large eyelets top and bottom.  A twist clasp also provides closure at the top.
Felted leaves were made also bearing an eyelet so that they could be threaded through the drawstring, but alternatively removed completely if you felt like being less colourful!
I added some curled felt vines to stop someone in the family calling it a strawberry - there now I've said it you probably can't see it as anything else !

You'll see more of the rainforest inspired craft at NSCG exhibition next week 13-15 June - hope to see you there.