Developing Ideas – with Fabric Collage
I started with a picture I drew a couple of weeks ago and posted in my sketchbook. Then I played with it on Photoshop. I could have done just as much with tracing paper ( and probably quicker!!) but I wanted to keep the colours and also to practice the skills I learned in my recent Photoshop CS5 course. No point in paying the money then forgetting what we went through before getting to try it out.
The repeat to the left here has a very dimensional look and the shading on the ‘struts’ makes it seem to lean forward. It looks solid and hard without any fluidity. I can see a large brushed metal belt buckle with this design.
I wanted to soften the look and try to make it more flowing.
The fabrics I have chosen match the design colours as closely as possible. The background is a very lightweight tissue silk that I dyed green/yellow myself. Both the light grey and the striped grey are dupion silk. I wanted to keep the smooth slightly shiny look of the evolving drawings.
I went back to Project 2 Stage 4 for this next design and decided not to try to evolve this picture any further. I feel it already has enough interesting aspects to it and could be used quite successfully as either a repeat pattern or focal point in a larger piece.
I used a thick tightly woven cotton, hand dyed paynes grey, as the base. The swirl is white polyester sateen with multiple strips of overlapping black tulle applied horizontally over the surface. Perhaps the strips should have been narrower to get a more broken surface but I think I’ve retained a little of the scratchy, distorted and multilayered look. It’s lost some of the mysteriousness of the original work and I feel this one would be more effective with stitch rather than glued or bonded fabric collage.
I’ve used a stiff pelmet Vilene base and covered it with pale lilac tissue silk. I made multiple slits in the background and cut my variegated silk into strips and wove it through. Finally I cut ovals and ironed them in place. I’ve completely changed the colour scheme to give a vibrant and stimulating feel to the piece. The mood of the original drawing is quite calm (although I am reminded of alien beings) and my goal was to produce something more lively. My instinct was to cut the frayed silk strands away from the woven sections but I’ve decided they add to it. Three different weights of silk have been used and all were dyed by myself.
I dug this photo out from Project 1 Stage 3 where I painted and collaged it in a couple of different ways. I thought it would be good to look at it in a new light, in relation to creating a design and using fabric now. I love the colours and have stuck with them in general but have radically changed the appearance and layout.
The base is a velvet style furnishing fabric with a raised corded look in various browns. It is made of trevira, draylon and cotton. I have no idea what the first two components are but the stink when I ironed it was awful. It’s little wonder that people in house fires die of smouldering furniture fumes.
I then cut strips from black furnishing velvet (no smell there) in varying widths. I played around with the hessian (smells like dusty hay when ironing) pulling it into various shapes, taking threads out, leaving unwoven lengths, cutting bits off and so on. Once I was happy I went into layout mode and lying them all in the same direction seemed to feel more unified. Both the photo and the piece convey warmth and contentment to me. I wonder if that’s just the colour scheme? I think it is, along with the inactive static shapes.
This took a surprising amount of time to do because of the angles I was trying to work at and the colour changes so I could get an undulating appearance. These are commercially dyed 100% cotton (patchwork fabrics) pieces adhered to a calico base.
I think the piece looks dimensional with an interesting interaction between the two colourways, perhaps a bit of tension. These aren’t colours I would normally work in and I like the stimulating effect of the two together. Something to keep in mind for the future.
This stage of project 6 has been very interesting and I’ve enjoyed searching through my fabrics to find the pieces which suited my ideas.