Monday, 16 March 2015

Chapter 11 Making a hanging, stage 3

The A1 scale was scary and needed to get some feel of not only colours and stitches but how it could be put together before I made full scale patterns.  To get rid of tension did an A4 free machine stitched sample using the orange highlight, you will see stitching is manic but wanted to consider putting contrast threads in bobbin so pieces marked up through to the top and also put some lustre thread to have spots of light.  
Ref  6.11.14a
Ref 6.11.14 b
 The surprise was when the back of the piece came into view!! The simplicity of the 'shadow' was a bonus. I had considered that the back of the hanging needed to be as important as the front, it could then hang in a space and be seen on both sides, if required. This 'back' image offered a simple image and contrasted the 'layers' that would be on the front, it took me to an important place... how could the pieces be worked?
  • the blue and green central image a) could be worked and stitched and then the back outline b)  hand stitched onto a plain background that could be the full size of the hanging.  Note to self  - the outline of the central head shape in blue and green layers was crucial to the piece, it wobbled on image b), if it was to be seen from the back!
  • subsequent layers on the front of the piece would be stitched to each other and then invisibly attached to backcloth or perhaps use a kantha stitch line?  A concept buzzed in my head that the words of TS Eliot could be worked around the back silhouette but all things could change on this journey and where was my,' keep it simple' reminder!!
When I washed sample to dissolve the Solvy paper the following appeared.
Ref 6.11.14c
Ref 6.11.14d
Back to the task in hand of small samples.  Using Fabric-Solvy to make A4 layers copying from my original papers.  The layers were attached to self coloured chiffon rather than the calico used in earlier sample. 
Working the whole of each colours A4 sample  before cutting the shape, this is the result...
Ref 6.11.15

While all this was going on thought I would write down thoughts for what I wanted the full scale piece to reflect:

  • wanted the piece to move so kept hold of the idea of the 1,2,3 widths, although was prepared to abandon the 6 inch squares cuts
  • needed fabric to be light in its layers but considered it should be weighted
  • contrast of texture with space was important didn't want too much distraction...perhaps I should re read brief as to how this could pass muster!
  • samples not used would be interesting to display beside the finished piece if I did get an exhibition space outwith my home.
Ref  6.11.16a
Ref 6.11.16b
Wanting to get a feeling of space and sky into the image the hill outline were sketched in.  The context seemed to bring in a perspective.  While the three panels were taped together to get an idea of pattern size for each zone the three panel concept remained in my mind.
Ref 6.11.16c
Put some pattern ideas and designs into my large sketch book.

Ref 6.11.17a
Started making layers on chiffon using machine free stitching and felting on chiffon.  Chiffon had lustre and advice was not to use but the light weight appealed and the idea was to cover it so that lustre didn't overwhelm.  The samples are not the best worked but my anxiety was in testing the theory of construction.

Ref 6.11.17b
Ref 6.11.17c
Ref 6.11.17e
Ref 6.11.17d
By layer two, seen above, it was evident that each layer would need to be made separately  before attaching them to each other. This would keep the simple back image in play. No comments please about layer 3, I know, I know I've found the Yeti in Glen Nochty!!!
At least I had found out how to diffuse edges but perhaps more appropriate in small sections and the  'higher' corners sections. I had learnt that the 'wrong side when embellishing the piece is possibly the more acceptable but have showed this effect in 17e.  All five layers were worked and placed under the A4 pattern they had been free machine stitched and /or embellished.
Ref 6.11.18a
I was constantly wanting to do kantha hand stitching and to get it out of my system decided to do it on the layers 1 and 2 together and 3,4 and 5 together. Selected and tie dyed yellow for the 3rd section instead of the 'yeti' piece. The results here show the first part

Ref 6.11.18b
Ref 6.11.18c
Then disaster stalked me again, in washing out the Solvy paper I found that the yellow was not colour fast but have put it up to remind me. 

Ref 6.11.18d

It could be time to pause,  reflect on my plan for how to make up the piece... Hopefully the layering technique is acceptable as the clean central feature appeals.
Will wait for guidance as to whether I should move onto trial of full size samples? In meantime will muse and rescue 18d so at least it is made more presentable!  

Monday, 2 March 2015

Chapter 11 Making a hanging, stage 2

Ref  6.11.8a
Ref 6.11.8b
Completing my 'full size' paper template I resolved that my first decision would concern size.  In seeing the sketch I felt that there needed to be a fifth line of templates across the top of the piece.  It would allow more skyline and give the  whole piece more balance - it had a 'stocky' appearance with the previous layout. It had been invaluable to draw the piece in full scale as it helped me consider; line direction for textures, shading, how and whether to cut the colours as a whole piece, how to build up or cut back the layers and how to allow the edges to blend, fray or stand out. It was also a lesson in template making, the enlarging had not been easy - my 6 inch square was not square!! 
Ref 6.11.9a
Ref  6.11.9b
Placing the sketch on my study wall I enjoyed its movement as I went up and down the stairs beside it. Took time to watch it before making too many decisions.  It would need more attention but it could serve as a template for cutting my fabric. My thoughts were considering make coloured sections as a whole, layering them and then cutting  if I felt it would work better.  The fact that I liked its movement meant that weight of fabric used would be a key consideration.

Ref 6.11.10a
Ref 6.11.10b
The colours were too bright in the sketch but kept my previous templates close at hand! Decided to look at it in black and white and then decided to revisit the smaller sample and play with layers and colours. The result.... realised I was becoming a bit obsessed with the paper colours  but needed to satisfy myself about number of layers and tones before selecting fabrics and stitch

Ref 6.11.11a
Ref 6.11.11b
At an early stage in the sketch I had reduced the original seven layers of colour down to six but realised that the yellow, which was the combined layer, could in fact be diffused into its adjoining shades of brown and green as its scale was too domineering, see sample 8a. 
Ref 6.11.12a
Ref 6.11.12b

The area could be worked across in stitches but was beginning to feel that I didn't want the fabrics to be overworked with stitch - difficult decisions lay ahead as to how much stitching needed to be done!!!
Set out story board to hone my thoughts and build images that would bring a sense of belonging to the place. The plan is to use images that would be a foundation for stitch- and space making. While bird sketches are included my feeling leans towards a series of flight patterns and footprints as the better way to make marks on fabric and also found objects to make rubbings under the fabric.  I also carried forward some key images from chapters 5, 6 and 7 where single threads had told a story, edges that had been burnt or frayed revealed what was beneath or embellishing revealed a 'wrong' side that held promise!
Ref 6.11.13

Now X marks the spot to start considering interpretation.  Decided to work some small scale samples to consider tentative steps towards making full scale sample pieces, concern seemed numbing but the phrase, less is more would be my comfort. Needed to build up confidence as I realised my fabric sizes were limited and felt some of my most appropriate colourings were in paper samples that had been cut up! Was it time to bring out the brusho powders and experiment with fabric colouring....  I have a feeling this chapter will have many appendices....
But have had a good day clearing the decks, discarding fabrics from my pile and considering effects from previous work that could make some interesting prints for the yellow zone. This is a piece done at TSG workshop 2014 and suddenly felt the background colouring was what I was looking for ... it was sitting directly below the hanging as I went up and down the stairs but it took hours - well days actually for the eureka moment to happen!! Could I replicate this on a larger scale? Object lesson clear the decks and suddenly you could find it was there all the time!