Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Chapter 3: suspended shapes

Here I looked at creating 'free' shapes within transparent and translucent materials.  The choice of materials could be huge given present day synthetics and plastics but I stayed initially with conventional organzas and concentrated on varying the 'suspended' motifs.
3.1 the shapes are outlined on white organza in loose free satin stitch (on right) and seed beads (on left)

In 3.2 the shape is filled in with free machining.  The scale of these motifs is shown by the ruler in cm on the right.

In 3.3 a chenille wool is couched to fill the shape.  I rather liked the back with the shadow effect (3.4)

3.4 reverse side of stitching in 3.3
Cording was couched on to organza in lines and the motifs cut out from this fabric (3.5 and negative in 3.6).  The motifs were turned and replaced to create crosshatching in the overlap (3.7)

I rather liked the effect of placing them on another corded organza in 3.8 to make more of the crosshatching.

3.9 sewn in motifs
I then used Vliesofix transfer adhesive back sheers and enable motifs to be cut accurately and to create decorated sheers from bonded threads, serged thread fragments and scraps.  Both the positive and negative shapes were layered giving interesting shadows in samples 3.10, 3,11 and 3.12.

I love the translucency you can get with waxing tissue paper so I monoprinted some white tissue paper and waxed it using melted beeswax pellets that I had used for batik once, long ago. 3.13 shows a waxed print against both a black and white background.

I cut motifs from this and placed them on the negative print sandwiched between 2 pieces of organza. 

Result - a bit messy and indistinct but it led me to continue waxing the monoprints, this time between layers of cotton voile and cotton scrim.

3.15 waxed scrim and tissue paper sandwich

3.16 waxed cotton voile and tissue paper sandwich
These layered sheets start to feel wonderfully sculptural because of the wax and allow you to cut intricate shapes from it.  

3.17 cut waxed sandwich against black background
And the shapes can also form part of a 'lace' with the added bonus of interesting marks and holes appearing in the wax where stitching is done.

3.18 waxed motifs connected with perle threads
In 3.19 motifs were cut from one of the monoprints and placed between two pieces of cotton voile then waxed.  I loved these suspended shapes in the voile ground and could see these as a useful background further stitched into.  I'm afraid the photos don't show the texture evident in the surface, particularly for the scrim.

3.20 detail from 3.19 above

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Chapter 2: Stitching in the air

This chapter looks at creating 'suspended' features or motifs using a variety of techniques and backing materials.  My samples bear design reference to the historical study in chapter 1 (reticella and punto in aria lace designs) and to my overall personal study (trees and vegetation).  Generally the samples are worked in traditional white/cream lace but occasionally I work in greens/browns as the colour reference to vegetation.

Samples began by revisiting the use of removable grounds to create lace effects.

Since I'd looked at Reticella lace in the last chapter, I initially formed a variety of geometric grids using drawn and pulled threadwork.
The gridwork in 2.1 uses a strip of cotton builder's scrim

Through the hessian 'lace' in 2.2, I've woven and stitched overlocked ribbons of sheer and muslin.
2.3 shows how 2.2 might be used coloured appropriately to represent undergrowth (with a bit more work!)

In 2.4 the gaps are larger and I've reworked into these spaces with stitching over a watersoluble backing, and rewoven some of the drawn threads made into cords.

More classical lace scroll motifs were worked on Soluweb (watersoluble vilene) in a hoop (2.5).  The motif on the left has cording couched around the shape.

Vanishing muslin was used to create the motif in 2.6 and 2.7

These motifs came from the punto in aria designs eg. in 2.8 below:

Watersoluble paper formed the backing for the motif in 2.10, modelled on a reticella lace design in 2.9.
I made a looser lacy mesh with watersoluble paper in 2.11 using stitch and some puffpaint as resist before dissolving parts and "mushing up" areas with a paintbrush for texture.
Once painted this could be a useful ground for further stitching into or weaving into.

I have frequently posted in the past about creating lacework motifs in sheers and chiffons, soldering them out then setting them within free machined lace using solvy as the removable base structure, so this time I created lace motifs on fine bridal net.

I attempted to melt out the net using a heat gun but the result was less dramatic than I expected.

2.15 close up
In 2.16 I sandwiched one of my unused lace portrait photocopies between 2 layers of net, having cut out motifs.  Several motif shapes were stitched and a couple cut out using a soldering iron this time.

I did not have a glue gun to hand as suggested, but I went for translucent liquid polymer (Sculpy) to produce a similar mesh.

This polymer once heat set takes paint well, in this case green acrylic (2.18) with further cord weavings in a sample I did previously for teaching a workshop.

The final part of this chapter suggested creating a loose 'weave' of stitch linked paper pieces.
2.19 shows a simple grid of pieces from one of my photocopy portraits with some perle cording couched on for stability.

In 2.20, I made a more haphazard arrangement using pieces of laminated lace trimming and couched yarn.
Photographed against a black background the spaces are more visible between the plastic sections.
2.20 close up