How does working with fabric in this way compare to working directly with stitch?
I’ve loved trying out the different fabric techniques and in some ways it is similar to working with stitch. I have found that I can build up surfaces, create different effects by combining layers of fabrics and alter the appearance of the fabrics by manipulating them. The same things apply to stitch when using multiple threads, different thicknesses, dimensional stitch techniques and so on.
I have found that fabrics can work up quickly to create large areas of interest, as opposed to stitch which is more labour intensive – hand stitching that is. I’ve recently been exploring more free-machine stitching techniques and these can only enhance the effects of fabric manipulation and appliqué and help to build a surface suitable for hand stitched and beaded embellishments.
Are you pleased with the shapes and movements that you have created in both appliqué and fabric manipulation? What would you do differently?
Yes I am pleased with the results I’ve achieved. The pieces that particularly stand out, to my eye, are:
- Stage 2 – spider web collage. This took a lot of colour planning to achieve the effect I wanted.
- Stage 3 – brick wall sample. I had never before intentionally tightened the machine tension to achieve a puckered piece of work and wasn’t sure how it would appear and the result is better than I expected.
- Stage 4 – moulded fabric over supermarket food tray. The sharpness of the moulding is quite impressive.
- Stage 4 – final sample. This burnt tree bark picture has been a recurring theme during this course and I’m thrilled that as I progress and learn more I can continue to evolve multiple examples from the one source.
What I would do differently is to take another, closer, look at Tyvek and Lutradur (Stage 3). There are many applications they are suitable for. I chose to follow the lead of a well renowned textile artist and try her method. I feel this was a mistake and I should have done much more and experimented more freely. I have this in mind as I continue through the course.
How did the pieces work in relation to your drawings? Were the final results very different from the drawings? Did the fabric manipulation technique take over and dictate the final result?
I used a mix of drawings and photos and if they were all shaken up and had to be matched to the fabric samples I believe it would be quite easy to do. The samples are quite recognisable as to their origin.
I am a planner, I like a purpose to what I’m doing – a goal, an idea or a brief – something to work towards. So, no, the fabric manipulation didn’t take over completely. I let it evolve, within boundaries, but kept my mind roughly on the direction I wished to go. I’m not saying that the pieces I ended up with were fully expected but I didn’t plan to buy oranges and come home with potatoes……… perhaps I got mandarins!
Was it helpful to work from the drawings in the appliqué exercise? Would you have preferred to play directly with cut shapes and materials?
Seeing as I love the design aspects we have covered my answer would be an emphatic yes, it was very helpful to work from drawings and previous designs. No, I don’t wish to play directly with cut shapes and materials. Even though we are only producing samples at this stage it is much more interesting to relate them to our own source material.
How do you feel about working with stitch in general? Is it an area you would like to pursue in more depth? Do you find it limiting in any way?
I am an avid hand stitcher and am now trying more machining. Yes, I am always wanting to stitch and learn more exciting possibilities of where I can go with it. Exploring new threads, different weights, types and finishes – in both hand and machine threads – is very stimulating. It opens up all sorts of ideas to create exciting art pieces.
Do I find it limiting? Never.