Lizard Totem Design.
In the following samples I have attempted to use a variety of visual approaches for my gecko/lizard idea: curvy and minimalist, blocky and hard-edged, bright and dominant, muted and hidden, and stencilled simplification.
The whole piece has been created using Inktense pencils using techniques I learned when doing a little Orphism drawing last year.
Once the ink work had been wetted the colours came up much more vibrantly. I found that as it dried a little I was able to apply more pencil work on the surface to define some of the areas without the colours bleeding.
At this stage there is no stitch work on it but hand or machine stitching could be added as a surface embellishment.
If the gecko was made as a repeat pattern this cloth could be used for cushion covers. Perhaps an Australian range could be created which may include other simplified versions of some of our iconic flora and fauna.
My idea was to recreate the feeling of my stone pathways as shown in the photo above, but I didn’t want to distract the viewer from the focal point of the work – the goanna. So I’ve given an impression of the paths either side of him.
The ‘stones’ have been machine appliquéd in place, the goanna has three layers of padding under the outer fabric to give him some dimension and he has been hand stitched in place.
My camera work obviously suffered here as the sample is a good accurate rectangle and has been made as a front cover for my visual diary. I also see this being extended into a long narrow cloth for a table runner with the jagged appliqué extending on the outer edges, as opposed to it being cut straight, per the sample.
It could also be developed into a bed coverlet. I’m talking about one of those cloths that are about 60cm wide and drape across the foot end of beds you see in hotels. I have no idea what they are called, they seem fairly useless but look quite attractive and usually match patterned pillow case edgings or similar. Having spent some considerable time on the net looking at home furnishings during this part of the course, I believe the minimalist design and fabrics used here, along with the colour scheme is on trend currently.
This piece has been stitched using one of my designs from Stage 2. It took a while to work out the grid design for the body but once I had it I only needed to judge how many repeats to get the length proportion correct. It has been stitched on white 18ct mono canvas which I have coloured using pastel dye sticks. I feel this was a mistake and I should have left it on a white background. However, after using the dye sticks I ironed the excess away and now have another background cloth to keep in reserve for another project.
This stencilled repeat pattern isn’t finished yet. I have used R & F Oil Pigment Sticks in two shades of grey to get the shadowing effect. They take around 48 hours to cure and with the humidity in my home right now I would prefer to wait a little longer before I apply my stitching.
The stencil is the one I cut and showed in Stage 2b. My initial trial is to the right but I wasn’t happy with the coloured fabric so moved to a white cotton.
I measured and marked the edges of the fabric to get the two lizards at the same angle. There is a larger gap between the legs and body on the left hand side because there will be an outline of stitching there – soon!
And finally I went for a completely different effect. I used pelmet Vilene as a base and built up layers of sheer and organza fabrics cut into small pieces. 1 1/2 lizards were cut from a batik fabric and placed in between some of the layers. Solvy was pinned on to the top before machine stitching.
The layers were then free machined, the Solvy melted away and the piece dried.
I made some ‘sequin sandwiches’ using two different green crystal organza pieces with Vliesofix adhered and sandwiched them together trapping green , silver and turquoise sequins between the layers. I then cut them into pointed ovals as my leaves. These were hand stitched in place and raised from the surface.
Here the lizards are quite hidden and hard to see. However, in reality they are more visible. The camera reflects off the shine of the surface materials and really doesn’t show the piece at its best.
The most successful interpretation in the above samples, in my view, is the indigo blue appliquéd piece but there is still some work to do on the stencilled one and I feel it has some real scope to be developed into something worthwhile.