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....

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Arts and Crafts Preview night

Last night saw me at the opening night for the Arts and Crafts exhibition at the Sydney Royal Easter Show due to start on Thursday for a couple of weeks .  I had entered my wearable art tunic and bag in the exhibition, and was so pleased to find that I had won a 1st and 2nd for my trouble.  My tunic had also gained a 'standard of excellence' award so my mother's dressmaking tuition on finishing hems and linings proved great again.  My husband still thinks it's a nightie but "a very nice nightie, dear".  Ahh, the critics....

 The white dress you can just see on the left of the photo was amazing - great screen printing in tudor script and metallic lacework around the bottom and neckline.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Some leftover pieces to use

Having cut more motifs than I realised I used them up in an evening clutch bag:

clutch flap
The clutch is made from silk dupion with more lacework cutaway in chiffon on top.

back of clutch
The part I had the most fun with was actually the front under the flap where I did dense free stitching in variegated thread over the silk leaving the motif shapes untouched - ie stitching the negative space.
clutch front
I reckon that technique would look great in a contrasting colour on felt so that the shapes would "bounce out" but I like the subtlety here.