Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Merry Christmas

wishing all of my fellow bloggers and Distant Stitchers a very merry christmas and a wonderful New Year with a big thank you to all who have left encouraging comments and may Santa bring you all you wish for! See you in the new Year.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Messing around with glop

Chapter 4 'relief surfaces with starch paste'. the aim was to make a range of patterns observed in Opus Anglicanum. i had never used this method before so i decided to make some flour and water paste, ending up with a few lumps and a burnt bottom! but quite pleased with the result. i mixed the paste with a mixture of Brusho powder paint and printing ink in green, purple and turquiose. #one above (i have worked out how to add text using photoshop!) was actually one of the last i did, hence the mixture of colours. after the first layer of combed/scraped glop, i let it dry and added another layer. after they were dry metallic effects were added using a combination of materials mainly in silver, green, blues and tarnished silver colours. it was amazing how thickly the glop was needed in order to give a raised effect when dry! the pieces are all on A5 paper. #one has Markel oil stick, metallic wax crayon and glitter applied.
#two i have used silver leaf splodges, metallic gel pens and Easter egg wrapper stuck to it.
#three markel oil sticks and gel pens.
#four has metallic wax crayons, trans foils and markel oil stick.
# seven uses markel oil stick, metallic wax crayon and crayola sequin paint which i had left over from my son's bedroom!
#eight i think i am addicted to the markel oil paints! oh and glitter
#nine again more of all the above.
#eleven colouring in stripes with metallic gel pens.
#twelve my art deco piece.
#fourteen my ultra sound piece! with added swirls of markel and wax crayons.
#fifteen more markel silver.i had great fun doing these, although somewhat messy!

Monday, 14 December 2009

Leaf graffiti and plastic bags

have you ever noticed the wonderful shapes left by leaves at this time of year? the pavement has to be just the right kind of surface for an impression to be made, just like the plastic bags i am using for my 3D lights! i spent quite a while sourcing a white plastic bag for my samples, cut into approximately .5cm wide strips, knitted and then melted! did i have enough for the whole project? of course not! several plastic bags later and not the right kind! the newer 'compostable and biodegradable' kind do not work as well as ones with i think more oil in them! i have finally sourced one from 'the works' and thanks to my son who wanted an A2 drawing pad it is large. never one to do things the easy way and after 7 hours of tv watching i now have a wonderful 'heap' of cut up continuous strip and repetative strain injury in my shoulder. will i have to go back to 'The works' again? probably, so you know what i will be doing over Christmas!

Friday, 4 December 2009

An interesting addition

i have just watched this clip from Ele Carpenter and her 'Open Source' exhibition. She explains very clearly a fantastic concept.

3d monster lights (samples)

i have not been idle with my 3D samples and at last i feel i am getting somewhere,or at least I am happy, i will see what Sian says! anyway to recap, the proposal is to make a series of small/life size 'cans' that can hold LED tea lights. i have been thinking along the lines of 3 or 5, no reason for the numbers although i think 5 would make a good line up.
initially i started by getting the lid shape i wanted; the ears will slot in along the top seam.
it took quite a long time to get the shape i was happy with, firstly working out with paper and then using a foam shape for stability.
the actual lid/head will i hope be made from various layers of plastic stitched together with a metallic thread to indicate lines taken by graffiti artists. the seam was sewn with a clear nylon thread, over sewn and then the seam flattened out. the ends will have 'tags' attached to them. above on the left side the ends have been dipped in silver sealing wax.
on the other side above i have dipped the ends in paper pulp.
for the mouth and eyes i have done some samples of free machining on soluble fabric. the mouth is about 3cm wide.
for the main body my plan was to impregnate cotton organdie with a paper pulp. the pulp was made using recycled paper. my initial samples were on white organdie which i wasn't happy with. so i decided to stencil the organdie first.
first sample above i was not happy with as the pulp was too thick.
next sample i was a bit happier with as the pulp was nearer to how i wanted it. however i was still not 100% happy and the pulp had a tendency to peel off the organdie.
i then started out on a tangent! which i am really pleased with. one of the reasons i like graffiti is the lace like quality of various tags so i started experimenting with knitted and melted plastic bags.
this has given me a perfect substrate for my paper pulp and although the holes are quite structured they are random enough.
my plan is to start with a complete substrate on the first light and gradually i will remove areas based on a stencilled tag. when i dipped the plastic in the pulp and turned it over i had placed it on a plastic surface which when i pulled it off the pulp pulled upwards from the knitting. this was originally the reverse but i love the way this gives a raised surface to the pulp. i tried colouring an area but felt that i liked the white surface which will have glitter in the pulp, like a wall surface ready for spraying.
finally going back to an earlier sample of a paint streak i have applied a similar 'streak' to the sample. it curves beautifully around a can. i intend to add the paint streak to each 'can' so when they stand together it appears as one streak! i am hoping i can go ahead and make them up, my husband would like the paper pulp out of the fridge by Christmas?!

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Oh what exciting title can i give this other than Chapter 2 continued and Chapter 3 ?

When i first got Module 2, i looked at my diary and planned how long each chapter should take and where i should be by Christmas. Christmas is coming and the guinea fowl are beckoning but i am certainly behind schedule! should be on shi-sha work by now but hope to catch up! bit of frivolity above is my answer to Sian's suggestion of working on a photograph it is great fun to do and i have more ideas!
any way back to the rest of chapter 2, using machine stitch to couch down various threads. above is a thread made from a frayed metallic fabric, twisted and made into a cord with a zig zag stitch then couched down with further zig zaging.
above a cord made from stranded threads and secured with threads taken across from the stitches on either side.
strips of fabric distressed and couched down in a similar way to the thread above.
i am very pleased with this one! firstly i machined over a pale blue wire, then couched it down with a closely worked zig-zag, pulling out loops randomly.
detail of the above.the loops can be manipulated into various shapes.
here i took a fine brass wire and worked it around various shapes and then 'loosely' couched them down with a straight stitch.
above sample worked by wrapping threads around a wire form and then securing them down with straight stitches. the wire form was then removed. it looks very 50's.
finally working again with a photograph. i was sitting in the park at a table that had been painted with leaves and butterflies etc. this one was where someone had picked off the paint from the leaf leaving the wood visible. i used a combination of cut strips of gold paper and gold tissue randomly torn after stitching. this might not be true couching but it was fun to do.
Chapter 3, traditional sample of underside couching on a double layer of linen. not easy to do!
above sample worked on even weave canvas stencilled with diamonds.
top strip worked with some ancient lurex knitting yarn i have had for years, next layer a fine machine embroidery thread, then fine lurex strip (not easy to handle) and the lower one cut up strips from my vacuum packed coffee packaging. it was difficult to pull this through to the other side!
above shows the reverse.

and now for my underside couching worked on the sewing machine. top sample is my first experiment using perle crochet cotton.
changing the stitch length to form a diamond. it was difficult to judge the distance between the rows.
again changing the stitch length.
above, changing stitch type from straight to zig zag.
i then tried metallic thread in the bobbin.
trying to do a chequer board pattern but ran out of thicker thread half way through!
randomly changing stitch length.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Opus Anglicanum, its been a mighty opus but hopefully its all stitched up!

Never one to miss an opportunity to make a book, and, after much deliberation on how to present my study on Opus Anglicanum i came up with this!
A concertina of various elements found on Opus textiles. When viewed close up it reminds me of theatre scenery!
I found the study very absorbing and also somewhat frustrating as a) the V&A's new Medieval galleries are not open yet, and it is always useful to see primary sources and b) a lot of publications have very inadequate photos. Web pages too left a lot to be desired. I remembered that in my past i had intimately known at least 2 pieces of Opus Anglicanum so there was much rummaging in the attic to find photos.
Its not easy to get everything in unless you are writing a thesis, so i hope this gives a detailed enough outline.
I decided to draw most of my images as this gives an understanding of the design elements and is somewhat reminiscent of the cartoon like designs of the period.
I firstly concentrated on the design features that enclosed images such as roundels and cruciform shapes.
I included designs inside the enclosures although they didn't necessarily go together originally so i hope this isn't misleading.

I have placed the shapes fairly chronologically, as are the architectural shapes at the end.

It was interesting to see how designs were worked from extant drawings and how often the designs would appear in more than one textile, also how design features were presented on the costume of the period.

I particularly liked areas of pattern worked with the same threads but using the stitches in different directions.
I did my samples of underside couching on a double layer of linen and found it quite tricky to get the tension correct. I also found that if the needle didn't go in the same hole in both directions then the loop was virtually impossible to pull through. How on earth they did it on velvet i have no idea and probably at speed! I have included a bibliography on the reverse side of the last 'page'. I will post photographs of the underside couching in Chapter 3. Finally back to untarnished glitter, one more sample of hand couching for Chapter 2.
I cut up lengths of 'Cello foil', crinkled them with heat and applied them to a photo of spray paint details.