Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Exciting video

I haven't been doing much coursework over the last week as I've been concentrating on my wedding dress. On thing I have been doing though is watching videos online of other textile courses and examples of student coursework, and videos like the one above. I've also been looking at the future courses on the BA Textiles pathway. I realised that some of the ideas I've been thinking (like fibre optics combined into textiles) might fit better into future courses - so perhaps I should concentrate on 'basics' for this course and allow myself to fully explore these other things during the later courses!

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Book Thoughts - The Art of Embroidery by Fran├žoise Tellier-Loumagne

NB How much does this book match my blog!!!

What a great book! Ihad this in my book stash and again, one of those books I had never got further than just flicking through looking at the pictures. This book is extremely picture heavy which makes it a proper treasure trove of inspiration. The book is split into 'Embroidery basics' and 'Motifs and surface designs'.

The Embroidery basics runs through both industry and home sewing and has a really nice way of showing the different stitches, techniques and materials with examples from textiles or sampler style embroideries. There are a lot of stitches made on paper which is a nice way to see the different styles clearly and is an idea for sampling in the future.

The Motifs and surface designs actually does run through making up patterns and the various permutations of putting motifs together, but really explores design concepts and inspirations taken from nature. Theres a whole ream of inspiration photos and their resulting textile designs - each exploring different techniques, plus more images to gain inspiration from for yourself.

This is one of those books you get upset when you're reaching the end - bring on the art of embroidery 2, 3, 4 and 17! I wish!

Friday, 17 August 2012

Project 2, Stage 5 Sample

Since I do have time in my 2-month-per-Project scheme, I decided to do a sample with the filling stitches. I really wanted to play around with the stone circles I sketched back in June. These came from a mini roundabout in my town. I really liked how just by putting the 'stones' in wherever goes easiest in the circles that get larger and larger your eye naturally starts to see 'spokes'.

I chose green cotton fabric from curtains that I was making for a salon and decided to use old ripped holdups to dull down the green. The wool I used was variegated in a roughly mossy colour scheme. I like how the pops of brighter, less realistic colour, like pink, actually highlight the colours so it seems more vivid.

The 'stones' are in a simple satin stitch and I worked each stone before moving onto the next so that they look uniform rather than stripy. I was ridiculously pleased with the result:

I let it loosen from the frame as I had expected that the stretched hold-up fabric would cause it to pucker, but it laid perfectly smoothly - I guess the satin stitching evened out the tension.

I think what I like most about the sample, other than the colours which are very definitely 'me' with their muted vibe, is the juxtaposition between the shine of the background and the rough bulk of the wool stones. I also like how the rips of the nylon make the whole thing look more organic and give extra interest in the background. I really love it. I originally thought I'd fill in the gaps with french knots but thought the sample looked good without them. Then I had a chat to myself and thought I should at least TRY them,  since it might look even better and anyway - this is a sample not a finished piece, and I can't keep treating samples like they are a finished artwork!

In the meantime I thought I'd see what a bit of french knitting looked like weaved between the stones (though I didn't stitch it down, its good to see the effect though).

 Heres with some french knots added (in a blended navy/black cotton if you're interested). I thought I'd be putting them in more densely but as soon as I'd started in the centre I realised it wasn't doing anything for the textile. The thing I loved (the matt against the shine, and the definition of the stones) was being lost and marred by the knots. I kept going to see what a few different densities did but I know I prefer without the french knots. At least I tried though and I'm glad I did.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Leno Weave

I was looking into Chenille fabric yesterday after reading the chapter about it in The Complete Photo Guide to Textile Art by Susan Stein. In my browsing I read the wikipedia article on Chenille and noticed the link to 'leno' was in red. I'd never seen this before so found out that it was an article that Wikipedia considers should be written but hasn't yet been done. Long story short - I wrote it! I had to register and find out how to edit the articles and learn a coding language called Wiki Text!

Here is a link to the article...
Leno Weave

Friday, 3 August 2012

Project 2, Stage 5

Firstly, I did some freehand machine embroidery - lots of fun! I took some inspiration from some of project 1s exercises. Its really hard to go in straight lines so I think the best way is to embrace the sketchy nature of machine embroidery - the circles and the scribbly shading example look the best. I ended with a little test adjusting the tension but couldn't seem to find much difference in the three rows - perhaps something to look at further.

This last sample took me a few days! I started out with light  blue stranded cotton in different directions, I've then branched out to try different colours, silk, perle cotton, cotton blends, wool, sewing thread and chenille. I also introduced different directions in the satin stitch and made sure I had a diamond shape and chevrons. Towards the bottom I did a few small samples of different stitches. I made notes in my sketchbook referencing various aspects.

I always work my samples onto 6x4 inch sized rectangles, its something I decided a few years ago after becoming obsessed with Sharon Bs blog and her never-ending band sampler. I love all the random experiments being tied together with one uniform shape. But I can't help but feel my recent obsession with slate and rain has crept into this sample!