Sunday, 19 February 2012

From Spice Fairy to Water Fall

Some progress has been made on my work for the 'Elements' exhibition work destined for the Art Through Textiles exhibition at Rufford at the end of July. I was recently given back a costume that I made for a dancer some years ago and because my aim is to revisit the various elements of my past work and somehow use my costume work in my decorative machine embroidery work the headdress of this costume seemed to be a useful structure.

This structure is made by stitching my made fabric onto wire by using zig zag on the sewing machine and then assembling the flat shapes into box forms. These are then stacked with a wired net layer between each box.

Each box was turned at right angles to the last.

Two thoughts occured to me:
I could turn the boxes in different patterns and if I just moved them slightly then I could create a spiral. This would then fit well with my previous work using shells as a design source.
I would like to work without the wire so that any collapse or distortion of the fabrics would develop the form. This would fit well with the work I have previously done using sea waves as a design source.

My work last year was concerned with drawing moving water with a sewing machine - a series called 'Water Marks'. I decided to paint and stitch artists' canvas with water marks, cut it up and reassemble it into box forms. Each box needs to be slightly smaller than the last in order for them to stack well. I used my 'signature' satin stitched edge on all the pieces to control the fraying as I cut through stitches.

Another element previously used has been net or sheer fabrics free stitched on the machine to create the wavy lines which also distorts the fabric into ripples. This will form the layer between the boxes. Being a softer fabric than the canvas it will drape over the edges and give a downward pull to the structure.

So.....three days work and I now have a stack of nine boxes and four sheer ripples (so far). The stack is now about a metre high.
Here is a sample:

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

'Watermarks' Development

Inspired by the visit to Birmingham's 'Lost in Lace' exhibition and conference last week I have started developing my work based on water. I have been painting long narrow pieces of canvas with acrylic paint. I wanted both sides of the fabric to be coloured so that I can use them to make structures. It was quite tricky to not have the paint soak through or under the canvas! Today I have started to draw on the sewing machine, using straight stitch to makes sweeping lines. The colour scheme so far is in blues and greens but this may develop as I continue to draw. Later I expect to cut these panels up and rejoin the pieces into structures inspired by my previous dance costumes and headdresses.