Saturday, 25 July 2015

Fractured Landscape

Finally, my Fractured Landscape piece is finished! I may have spent more time on this piece than any other but that doesn't make it my favourite. I have spent so much time on it that I just had to finish it or all the time spent would have seemed like such a waste.

Another driver for me to complete this piece was that quite some time ago I entered it into the Quilter's Guild competition which will be held at the Festival of Quilts in August. The theme for this year's competition is 'Passion in Pieces' and I have incorporated two of my passions into this piece; my passion for landscapes, which is in pieces (!) and also my passion for stitching which is represented by the text I have layered and layered and reads  'I cannot count my day complete till fabric thread and needle meet'.

I used the text as a way of creating colour and texture and a way of referencing another of my passions and I knew the words would never be legible but you can see some of the letters if you look closely. Although this was a very time consuming method of colouring cloth, there are parts of the fabric that I really like which I probably couldn't have created by any other (quicker) method.

This is also the first time I have left raw edges in a piece and this is something that I would normally shy away from but I think it did emphasise the landscape 'in pieces'. 

And of course I couldn't finish the piece without the addition of some hand stitching. There was more hand stitching on the work earlier in the week but some of it got lost when I cut 2 1/2 inches off the top. Drastic? Yes. Last minute? Yes! The deadline for delivery was yesterday, which I met - just.. And although it was a shame to lose the stitching, I feel the piece looks better for it. 

Lesson learnt from this piece: Pay more attention to proportions, just because a piece of fabric is a certain size, it doesn't mean you have to use it all.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Smart Textiles

I really like the idea of being able to incorporate technology into textiles and although it is interesting to use it in a practical way, I'm more interested in, or maybe intrigued by, how it could be used in textile art, so I booked on the Smart Textile course at the V&A which was run by Sara Robertson

One of the things we did was to stitch a circuit using conductive thread which lit up small LEDs which came on and off at different intervals.

We also did printing will thermochromic paint which changes colour when heated and experimented with paints that changed colour at different temperatures and sometimes mixing them with standard acrylic paints.

In this piece I mixed the thermochromic paint with standard acrylic paint and printed with one of my old gridy thermofax screens.The heat of my hand 'removed' the thermochromatic paint revealing the yellow acrylic paint that it had been mixed with.

This was printed with liquid crystal and it was fabulous but expensive. It is hard to capture the colour changes in a photograph but you can see on the right hand edge that there is little colour but some beautiful colours have been revealed where the heat of the hand has been placed. It has been so hot this week that this fabric has been constantly colourful and what's interesting is that different colours are revealed over time. How does it do that?

The garment above was created by See the Unseen using similar paint and I love it! They're based in Somerset House and they're definitely on my list to visit. 

So the really clever thing would be combine the circuits and thermochromic paints together and this was my first attempt. I stitched a line of conductive thread and added power so that it heated up the fabric around the thread and changed the colour of  the paint.

Not exactly a work of art but it starts to show the potential of the technology. 

Whilst I was on the course the V&A design bus arrived and our tutor Sara, had an exhibit displayed. I was very glad it hadn't been me that had to park the bus between two lampposts on a busy London street!

All the exhibits used technology in innovative ways and we were treated to an informative pack about the exhibits and the artists.  

They do things well at the V&A don't they? I really enjoyed the course and it has sown (sewn?) some creative seeds but I think I'm along way off being able to use it in my work.