Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Admin details Module One

For each module I am using a different header and colour layout for the blog. Sadly the layout disappears with each new module but the headers shown above is for Module 1
As the course is taking place in my home the following three criteria have influenced the following decisions regarding storage and health and safety issues:
  • My own convenience and safety
  • The convenience and safety of my family, and friends who may visit
  • The well being of the environment in which I live – a remote rural location where we have a private water supply and septic tank.  I endeavour to recycle paper, fabrics  and am know for collecting ‘thrums’- waste threads in Scotland - from not only my own work but our monthly sewing groupies inevitable come armed with bags of their thrums for me. In trying to maintain a low carbon footprint car use is considered carefully and as craft suppliers are a sixty mile drive away I do use the internet! But again I try to look to my collection first before pressing the order button!
I maintain two work areas:
  • a wet area within the garage, where there is easy access to water
  • a dry area in an upstairs study where there is access to a computer/printer and sewing machine, threads, fabric, books and sketch pads/pencils. My ironing area is in another part of the house
As an excuse for my hoarding tendencies I need to have a variety of storage options.
 Wet Area
With grateful thanks to Mike who not only allowed me a space within ‘his domain’ the garage, but also built the bench and shelves and cut various boards and acrylic panes I have:
  • a bench,  150 x 70 x 70cms
  • stool
  • two shelves
A series of three plastic containers for paints/printing inks, fabric medium and stamp/mould making and adhesive materials allows easy, visible access.
Rollers are hung on wall, brushes are kept in containers and cutting tools are kept in original boxes.
A plastic sheet is used to cover work surface- particularly useful when Mike is having a wood working day or when I have a printing/painting day
Apron and shirt are hung for easy access

Dry Area
With great appreciation again to Mike for making me three mobile tables and a bookshelf I am able to expand and contract the area I take up relatively easily. 
Storage is in colour blocks as we use the area for living and like to keep it ‘attractive’:
  • A series of glass cookie jars hold my threads, for sewing; separate Kilner jars hold more varied weight threads; old glass sweetie jars hold fabrics.
  • A 4 ring binder sketch book to log my progress for upload onto blog with A5 rough note pads at my side for thoughts and ideas
  • A4  plastic display folders hold Distant Stitch module chapter notes and templates made and not included in sketch/log book
  • A3 plastic display folders hold papers and fabrics that have been printed for project
The key concerns that have arisen when undertaking Module One include:

Ensuring that I work in a space that is:
·         light, well aired
·         cables for any equipment are well concealed reducing any hazard when moving around the work area
·         all items to be used on the specific part of the project are close to hand
·         and, take regular breaks to help stop fatigue.

Dyes and colourings: 
My main colouring agents have been:
·         acrylic and water colour paints, pencils and
·         inks.  Concerns on using an old set of inkjet printer refills made me research the product and Appendix A gives the advice that I followed.  As the containers had sharp ‘injection needles’ empty refills were disposed of at the local Doctors Surgery where they have a ‘sharps disposal’ facility.  Any other waste was disposed of away from the water system. 
·         Dylon fabric dye has been used.  The warning that it is an irritant are heeded and gloves are warn when working with the dye.  The fact that it can be an irritant to eyes, might cause an allergic reaction and one should not breathe in the dust  makes one vigilant while and after using the dye.  As the hints include the fact that the dye may run after several washes I only use this dye on items that will not be washed thereby ensuring no contaminated water gets into the water system.  When mixing this dye I only make sufficient quantity for immediate thereby reducing storage issues or waste disposal.
As I need to replace my stocks I have looked into more user friendly items.

Cutting implements:
§         Scissors – the work has alerted me to the fact that my scissors are not particularly sharp!!  I have found a person who will sharpen them so hopefully not only will my cutting be easier but also more accurate.      
§         Knives - The main concern centred on my craft knife which was used on flat, stable surfaces with a cutting board underneath the item.  The protective cover was replace as soon as any cutting had been completed
§         Seam ripper – While seemingly innocuous this little implement is sharp and when used for cutting channels one is exerting pressure and the cutting edge can slip off line so one should be sure that they are treated with respect.
§         Sewing implements and accessories, again simple things like pins and needles are stock and trade in sewing but in the wrong position they can cause discomfort and wounds.  To minimise risk of needles and pins dropping into carpets or chairs I always have a pin/needle cushion to hand and tend to ‘count them out and count them back’ i.e I use glass topped pins and only have the needles I need to hand. 

Hot Tools
§         domestic irons, this is in a separate area and as well as using non stick baking parchment I have invested in an ironing sheet to protect my ironing board.
§         soldering irons, this is kept and worked with in the garage where  a work surface and stand are available and I am close to a source of water.

As I progress through the course I will add notes to this report that identify concerns and actions taken.

                                                                  Dry Area
                                                                                               Wet Area

                                             Sewing the resolved sample

 A daily log was kept on excel, Chapter 11 certainly exceeded all other chapters! The summary below shows the tally.

            Tasks  Admin   Chap 1-3    4-6    7    8   9   10   11   12  Total
             Hours       8             36   28.5   15  19  19  15   43    9   192.5             
             27 weeks      Average hours a week   7.13
             71 days         Average hours a day     2.71


Module 1 Supplier Cost Amount used Cost for module 1
Bondaweb Rainbow silks 10.35 half 5.15
Brusho Rainbow silks 10.50 replacement 
Stationery Double sided tape WH Smiths 3.99 third 1.83
A3 File ' 5.29 half filled 2.65
A4 Sketchbook ' 4.49 4.49
Printing paper ' 4.99 half 2.50
Silky threads Just Sew 11.60 tenth 1.60
Twin needle Butterfly 3.55 stock
Color Work, Deb Menz Amazon 12.08 stock
Printerinks Cartridge save 75.00 quarter 18.75
Sub total stock and module 141.84
Total Module 1 £36.97

BIBLIOGRAPHY and EXHIBITIONS Module One C & G Certificate Three
Bonding and Beyond, Jan Beeney and Jean Littlejohn

The art of Cutoutwork and Applique, Herta Puls

The embroiderer’s workbook, Jan Messant

Sources of Inspiration, Carolyn Genders, A & C Black London

Art and Inspiration, Michael James, C & T Publishing

Color Works, Deb Menz, Interweave

Encyclopaedia of Needlework, TH De Dillmont, DMC Library

Good Housekeeping Step by Step Encyclopaedia of Needlecraft, Judy Brittain, Ebury Press

Celtic Art the method and construction, George Bain, Constable – London

Celtic Inspirations for Machine Embroiderers, Valerie Campbell & Maggie Grey, BT Batsford Ltd

Pieceful Scenes, Angela Madden, MCQ Publications

Tapestry- Four Voices,   Peebles
Joan Baxter, John Brennan, Amanda Gizzi Elizabeth Radcliffe

Leaving your Mark, Banchory Woodend Barn
Alison King and Rosemary Campbell

Make Lace not War   Power House, Sydney, Australia – via internet
Special interest Lenka Suchanet – Behind the scene but a multitude of inspiring artists http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/lovelace/index.php/country/canada/lenka-suchanek-bobbin-lace

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Growth and disintegration iii Resolved samples

Considering a resolved piece, or as Sian encourages 'maybe make two or three to choose from', my thoughts on shapes for the final piece started. I felt that making disintegrating patterns over a piece may be portrayed by the piece itself effecting that process.  
I played with my coloured paper pieces and joined my 10cm squares in a variety of combinations. I felt that this would prove a more manageable method than attempting a larger piece and would be a comfortable building block technique.
Ref 31 a                                                                                                          Ref 31 b
Ref 31 c                                                                                                              Ref 31 d
I was soon to realise that the complexity of presenting the samples was mind boggling and threw aside two of the four shapes I was experimenting with and honed in on two, 31a and 31 b which I felt would be effective and easy to complete.
Having honed down to two shapes I used composite sheets to incorporate the themes I wanted to get across and fabric colours that I wanted to use for interpretation. Initially I had the idea of trying to incorporate perspective, as show by Kandinsky, into the designs but realised that the 3D potential of the joined templates would suffice after some abortive attempts at trying to replicate Angela Madden's achievements in 'Pieceful quilts'.  I had also taken existing samples from previous chapters and manipulated them on the computer design programme , Gimp, to see if the results could be used... while inspiring the task of interpreting seemed too daunting. Photos of rosebay willow herbs, heather burning marks on the landscape, lichen, moss and rust where included on my composite boards to provide inspiration.
Ref 32a                                                    Ref 32b 
For Sample 32 I revisited the idea of stars and crosses as a combined design theme as in Chapter 3.
                                                       Ref33 a                                          Ref 33b
Ref 33c
For Sample 33 I revisited classic cross shape and experimented with celtic designs shapes.

Then the fun started! Experimenting with paper to see how the plan would map out, honing away too many grandiose ideas and getting down to final shapes that I wanted to use and considering how I could incorporate methods that had been used over the modules.     Initially I had the idea of trying to incorporate perspective, as show by Kandinsky, into the designs but realised that the 3D potential of the joined templates would suffice after several abortive attempts at trying to replicate Angela Madden's achievements in 'Pieceful quilts'.The fact that the shapes gave me the opportunity to fill two sides of the templates was not a decision built for speed!
Ref 34 a                                                                  Ref 34 b
Ref 34 c                                                                        Ref 34 d 
There were a multitude of stages and rejects but here are the final samples.

The first one is Starburst inspired by images used in Chapter 3 and Sian's encouragement to try more layers for chenille sample. Beads and stitching are used to convey openings and new growth as much as disintegration:
                                                                                     Ref 35 a                                                        
                                                                                       Ref 35 b
                                                                                                   Ref 35 c
Ref 35d
                                                                                                         Ref 35 e
 Ref 35 f
                                                                                                       Ref 35g                                                           

The second sample is 'From Wood to Stone' inspired by the Celtic Cross and hill of crosses from my original Chapter 1.  The fact that Easter was approaching influenced me. I realised we had come from autumn, and its influences on my choice of colours at the start of the modules for Chapter 1, through winter and into an early spring. Beads and stitching are used to convey openings and new growth as much as disintegration. The green and red wooden cross 'inside' of the box was kept as a complete piece rather than cutting it into individual templates.

Ref 36 a                                      Ref 36b
Ref 36c                                                     Ref 36d
                                                                    Ref 36 e                                                          Ref 36 f
                                                                         Ref 36 g                                                             Ref 36 h
The final samples took me far longer to complete than I had anticipated and am unsure as to whether I have actually stayed within or completed the brief satisfactorily!  The fact that I have 'animated' templates is interesting but the lines between disintegration and growth are somewhat lost in the multitude of images.  It has been a lesson in teaching me that I should really try and keep ideas simple.  Interlaced insertion stitches were used on both samples to allow the templates to fold into final shapes.