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.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Big Draw Animation 'Pavement Dreams'

last weekend as part of 'The Big Draw' we took part in a street art animation run by Animated Exeter, Stuart Dawson and Josh Gaunt. the new Princesshay development in Exeter was the venue. i was surprised they let them use chalk but it was well worth it. the plan was to fill in floor tiles with coloured chalks which would then come out from the wall eventually expanding and exploding.
animation is quite labour intensive but great fun and well worth the effort once finished. it was amazing how long it captured my son's imagination.
every passer by was encouraged to join in! but it was still mainly children who participated. its amazing how adults tend to avoid such things! you can see the finished video here.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Welcome November!

My birthday month!! hopefully happy.