Sunday, 25 May 2014

Fabric Origami

I have been thinking about different ways of including some 3D elements into my work and one of my ideas was to use origami techniques on my fabric and here's my first attempt. It's quite fiddly to do and one minute I would be zipping along (relatively) and then the next minute I somehow forget how to do it. Very strange. 

The dots on the piece are the fold marks I made with my air erasable pen, so hopefully they will be gone soon. I used a piece of rejected geometric landscape (below) and although I like the overall effect of the pleating, I'm not sure it will work with geometric landscapes.

I do like the effect of the more subtle colour change in the bottom right hand corner though, so I will have to give the fabric I use some more thought.

In my last past, I mentioned that I was going to try to remove some of the colour from my yellow piece using Milton and I'm pleased to say that it has worked. I went very cautiously initially but couldn't see any difference and gradually built up the strength of the Milton and the colour is now closer to what I was aiming at. The process seems more gentle than other discharge effects and  I'm sure this is a technique I'll use again. 

Monday, 19 May 2014

Geometric Landscapes

I've been progressing my simple geometric landscapes and have been building up the layers of yellow dye for the background cloth, with the aim of creating interest with textural marks whilst keeping the cloth a plain colour.  The left hand side is the back of the cloth and the right hand side is ...well...the right side of the cloth.

I think I may have made it a little too dark and am thinking about trying to remove some of the colour and although I have never tried it before I thought I try using Milton as I hear that can remove dye. I would have started it tonight, if only I'd had some. My thinking is that it should be easy to control, just gradually adding a drop at a time until you get the effect that you want..

I have also started stitching the fabric squares, mostly in red to start with and I will stitch each square a little and then gradually add more until I think they have enough and I think it would be nice to keep some areas unstitched for contrast.

As they are still work-in progress, the fabric has just been folded over so hopefully they will look better when they are stretched. My plan was to make the stitching uneven, in a bumpy field sort of way but I've found this surprisingly difficult. OK not even in a  Royal School of Needlework, sort  of way but not that as uneven as I'd planned to do. 

I have also been doing some other stitching experiments. For these 'grasses', I have used several different threads and woven them in and out of each other as I stitched and I quite like the effect.

I also stitched some tufts again with different threads, although  I would worry about them working loose if they were on a finished piece, I like the effect of mixing threads and together. Note to self: must do some more mixed thread stitching..

Since starting my geometric landscapes, Janet Edmonds has pointed my to another artist Vanessa Gardiner, who paints geometric coastal landscapes, albeit a lot more refined than mine. 

I've only done a little research into her work so far but I'm quite inspired to follow the geometric landscapes further. I've got so many ideas in my head at the moment....

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Colour Explorations - Take Two

I'm feeling a lot more positive about my yellow piece since I posted about it here. I am going to top and tail it with some dark green fabric and add some stitching to horizontal strip - I think that'll work. I have now started another piece on a similar theme, partly because I want to work in a series and partly because I think I can improve on the first one, so why not?

I have done some initial dyeing on the background cloth, just to get rid of the white but have concentrated more on creating the horizontal strip of fabric. I wanted to keep to the original colour scheme and decided after a lot of deliberation that I would use my landscape theme to suggest the shapes and patterns. 

My plan is not to use them in a run but to cut and fold then so that the patterns are broken up. This time I'm going to work the horizontal strip separately as I think it will be less risky that way and also easier to handle.

I've had family staying with us for a week, which has been very nice but not left much time for creativity, except in the kitchen! I did manage to take the girls to see the Wedding Dress Exhibition at the V&A though, which I enjoyed but not quite as much as I thought I would. I suspect that this was partly because I'm spoilt by the number of great exhibitions I get to see. The exhibitions I get most excited about seem to be those where I go more out of curiosity than expectation and the Heatherwick Exhibition and the Kwang Young Chun exhibition fall into this category - I loved them. 

The wedding dress exhibition is worth seeing and I expect I will go back and have another look at some point. My favourite dress was Kate Moss', which had some beautiful embroidery on it. Not that it was one I could ever wear. The pictures on the web don't do it justice, so you'll just have to go and see it!