ATV Part 4, Project 2, Exercise 4.5

Collage-inspired yarn

I chose my blue collage from my studies in Exercise 3.4 to develop some refined yarn designs. In this exercise we are required to think about yarn constructions that are generally flat in profile.

Looking at the qualities of the paper within my collage there is not a great deal of variety. However there is a transparent tracing paper which I chose as a start for my first piece. I found this piece of loosely woven ribbon to use as a base and randomly stitched threads of varying thickness through it.

The second piece of work is a flat braid working with three tones of blue ribbon of equal width.

The third piece is also a flat braid but this time using thread and wool of different thicknesses and using the more variable fishtail technique. This has given a more random distribution of the colours with only an accent of the very dark colour. The texture is closer to the matte surface of the papers.

The fourth yarn was a loopy loose woven headband in stretchy fabric which I threaded a variegated fancy thread through. I decorated it with blue buttons whose surface made me think of the papers I had used. I used a very dark blue thread to stitch them on in a random manner to represent the random lines I used in the collage.

For my fifth yarn I used another transparent ribbon taking my inspiration from the tissue paper. I twisted two ribbons one light, one dark, wrapping the thinner one around the thicker one. Using two other pieces of ribbon I used the macramé switch knot to bind them together. I used metal fixing rings to hold this together and then stitched it to the base ribbon.

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ATV Part 4, Project 2, Exercise 4.4

Deconstructing colour as yarn

Going back to the watercolour studies of the glass still lifes I started to think about transparent materials and how I could incorporate them into my yarn concepts.

For my first piece I’ve used semi- transparent rubber tubing. I coloured the tubing with felt pens I then wiped, removed and blended areas of the colour reminiscent of the flashes of colour seen in the original glass pieces.

For my second piece I took strips of plastic bags I sandwiched thin pieces of coloured thread in between two sections and then heated them with an iron. This bonded the plastic encapsulating the thread and produced a lacy effect in the plastic. I then cut the plastic into thin strips.

My third piece used plastic wrapping I used the same method and this time used iridescent fibres to trap between the plastic. This time I folded and set the folds with heat to produce a flattened spiral effect.

My fourth piece is formed from transparent gauzy craft fabric which I punched holes in and threaded some variegated fancy thread through. The frayed threads give glimpses of colour and light.

My fifth piece was produced using the clear plastic wrap that I used previously and small coloured threads which are trapped within the layers by heating the plastic. I cut these into small pieces and threaded them using clear nylon thread.

ATV Part 4 Project 2 Exercise 4.3

Re-interpret, re-invent

Looking back at the colour work from exercise 3.2 in which I chose the Old Master painting ‘Supper at Emmaus’ by Caravaggio the mood of the painting is quite dark. The painting portrays the moment when the resurrected but incognito Jesus reveals himself to Luke and Cleopas. The painting has a lot of dark colours with glimpses of light.

My first yarn wrap is made from a number of embroidery threads. I chose colours to closely resemble those in the image. I plaited these in a fishtail technique so I could bring the colours I wanted in each section into the foreground. I didn’t need to research this technique as it is one which I have used to plait hair. This is the first time I’ve tried it with thread.

My second piece is a piece of leather which I have wrapped and knotted embroidery threads to. I also used a piece of fancy thread to the design this adds some texture to the piece but I’m not that pleased with the result I feel it’s a bit dull.

The third piece is a thick variegated wool which has been french knitted. I then knotted the piece along its length. Inside these knots I have threaded a further piece of French knitting. This one in some of the other colours from the image in embroidery threads. I am happier with this piece I think the bolder shapes better represent the richness of the surface and shadow and the glimpses of the shinier embroidery threads are like the areas of light and colour.

My fourth piece was an exploration in the art of macramé. I taught myself some of the basics from YouTube.

These are square knots and spiral knots. I quite enjoyed using this technique, however using very fine threads makes short samples. In future if I use this technique I will try to source cord more suited to this process. In order to represent the paintings range of colours I made several cords and then tied them in a web.

ATV Part 4 Project 1 Exercise 4.2

Experimental yarns and concepts

1. Colour placement and composition

Looking back at Exercise 3.1 and the colour work I developed I chose this palette and fabric design as inspiration to produce this yarn. I plaited red, orange, pale blue and white embroidery threads. At intervals I split the threads and formed circle shapes and then stitched in layered pieces of fabric to produce a light lacy type effect following on from the pattern elements within the textile. I think I successfully interpreted the colour proportions.

The second colour work I chose to work from had a more varied colour palette. There is a lot of neutral colours with accents of bold blues and greens. This time I chose a heavy, thick wool which I plaited together with another finer neutral wool and a couple of strands of embroidery thread for the accent colours. I added pieces of green ribbon to represent the large green mountain in the centre of the textile. The colour placement within the original really draws the eye and I have tried to replicate that by adding the ribbon to only one section of the yarn.

My second piece was a woven piece with fine threads. I tried to incorporate shapes from the original textile. This time I focused on the very dark blue of the mountains and placed that at the centre of my yarn. I think the first yarn represents the colour proportions fairly well but the second piece was not as successful as I had hoped. Getting more pronounced pointed shapes would have perhaps required a thicker piece of weaving, more time and perhaps better weaving skills.

My final piece for the colour placement and composition lucet woven threads in greens to represent the delicate branches in the design. I painted craft paper leaves and stitched them to yarn placing them in a way that directly relates to the original fabric.

2. Materials exploration

The bright colours in this colour study put me in mind of the bright plastic straws that children use. I cut these up in a variety of lengths to represent the sections of colour in the original. I wanted to create a wavy yarn with very varied shapes so I thought more plastic would work and I cut a strip from a bottle. I split the strip in two and threaded the pieces of straw onto it then I twisted the two threads to produce a contorted and wavy yarn.

I used the straws a second time for this piece. I have laced thread through each straw and the straws are cut at different size to give a wavy outline. If the yarn is held at either end and twisted it looks like this, (photo below) making it visually more interesting. For inclusion in the yarn collection it is laid flat.

The next piece was based on one of the neutral samples. I twisted two pieces of white lacy fabric which was cut from non-slip mat together to create a curvy pattern taking inspiration from the paisley pattern shapes in the fabric. I used a silver thread and stitched it in a random loopy style to represent the shiny highlights of the design on the fabric.

I used the same material for my second piece and cut it into circles. I added this to some white packaging material and cut around it in a bubbly shape. I then sandwiched this in between a layer of clear wrapping material and ironed it to melt it together. I then added 3 strips of ribbon to the back so you get glimpses of it through the clear fabric.

The second piece in this photo was a strip of bubble wrap and I inserted little diamanté crystals into some of the bubbles.

I took cardboard packaging and wound pieces of leather around sections. Taking inspiration from the pattern and shapes within this piece of fabric.

My second piece is a section of plaited twine wrapped with bamboo leaves. I took my inspiration from the lines in the fabric which randomly goes narrow and then thick.

3. Textures and tonal qualities

I went back to the paisley patterned neutral for these three yarns. The first is a piece of machine embroidery. I created a shaped yarn with threads. The second is a shiny tasseled piece of decorative rope which I wrapped with a craft ribbon. I think it’s probably the most successful at interpreting the texture and tones of the original piece. My third yarn is a strip of anti slip matting which I’ve wrapped with a variegated fancy yarn.

This yarn was a piece of wool that was a really good match for the original fabric and tones. To create some texture I used a variety of tying, wrapping and pleating.

ATV Part 4 Assignment 4

 

A Yarn Collection.

I presented my work in a large A4 file. There was a lot of work to present and some of it was quite bulky. Before this work is sent away I will get another folder and make it into two books this way the work will be easier to look through. I have inserted a slide show of my yarn collection below.

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ATV Assignment 4 Written reflection

On starting this part of ATV I was slightly worried that I might find this section uninspiring. During my last video tutorial Pere and I had an interesting discussion and he suggested some artists work I might enjoy looking at. Having looked at their work I came away with lots of wild ideas as to what I might be able to achieve with yarn development. However following the brief to look back at previous work meant I had to rethink a little to fit with the pieces I had chosen to work from.

I feel I made a bit of a slow start with the first pieces, although I feel I did represent the texture and patterns of the initial pictures. I used a lucet to weave the random pattern which was a new skill to me and interwove it with wire. I used a flat weaving technique in Exercise 4.2 which was a slow process and I got a bit bored with it which I think is reflected in the work it produced.

Moving on through the exercises I used a variety of techniques to produce my pieces so by the time I reached Exercise 4.3 I had used a few of the techniques suggested. I opted to try macramé as it was something I didn’t know much about and associated it with planter holders from my childhood!

There are some beautiful pieces of jewellery made with macramé and it was very interesting to try out this new skill. It is something I hope to do more of.

Exercise 4.4 was where I feel I was at my most innovative. Using the watercolour palettes from the glass still life meant I looked at a number of translucent materials in an effort to find different processes to experiment with these ideas. Deconstructing methods consisted of cutting, punching, folding and melting. Some of these produced really nice effects and I was especially pleased with the embroidery threads that I encased in layered plastic sheet that was folded and melted several times, I then cut it into tiny pieces and joined it with translucent thread.

Assessment criteria

I think I have effectively shown a demonstration of technical and visual skills during this part of the course. I have learnt some new skills such as lucet weaving and some basic macramé techniques and I believe I have worked competently to show visual awareness, design and compositional skills. My yarn collection is presented in a coherent manner and I hope reflects and communicates my thoughts and ideas clearly. I feel I have demonstrated creativity in most aspects of this part of the course and I am aware of when an idea I have is working well and of where an idea is going to produce a piece which is not so inspiring or innovative. I am becoming more aware of my work and finding it easier to reflect on opinions, I enjoy researching ideas and it is something I do all the time, however it is something I will need to become better at recording in order to follow my idea processes. I am still keeping a lot of it in my head. I found some exciting information looking at how fibre optics and textiles are being produced and it is something I hope to go back to in the future.

ATV Part 4 Project 1 Exploring lines. Exercise 4.1

Exercise 4.1 Yarns inspired by stitch and marks

Looking back at the stitch work produced in Part 2 and the drawings from Part 1 that inspired them I chose this stitched piece.

Using a variety of yarns I plaited, wove, wrapped and intertwined to produce 30cm explorations with a 1cm and 5cm repeat and a random design.

I further developed my ideas to produce this as one of my 100cm designs. I used leather to represent the brown rough texture of the coat and black shiny cord with black and gold beads to represent the colours and lines in the original drawings and I decorated the large brown buttons and wove them into the design to represent the original drawings.

Using this rose inspired iPad produced drawing I made further examples.

And this drawing inspired this 30cm random design which I produced by cutting a thin strip of white non-slip mat which I stitched with black thread. I then wound it around some thick black cord.

This 100cm yarn was created by overstitching around the edge of white hexagons which I cut from felt and joined by bar tacking. This piece is joined to another section which is a piece of black binding tape that has been twisted and sewn and then I’ve cut leaves from black anti-slip mat and sewn them on. I’ve taken inspiration from the hexagonal and floral shapes in the drawing.

ATV Part 4 Research point 1

Woolmark.com

The Woolmark website is the leading authority on all things wool. It highlights the innovations happening within the wool industry and promotes the use of wool. It has been so successful at connecting the supply chain from farm to fashion, Australian Merino wool can now be seen in the collections of some of the world’s biggest and most innovative brands. From the haute couture houses of Europe to emerging streetwear designers in Asia.

The developments section 

The Cotton Incorporated website is a informative website on the newest innovations in cotton. I found the information really interesting and it is good to know that in this world of overused synthetics that natural cotton when it is enhanced by these technologies can be engineered to be as good as top-performance synthetics at wicking moisture or being water-repellent.

I particularly liked the wicking windows technology. On the skin side of the fabric it is printed with moisture repellent chemicals to achieve areas of dry fabric against the skin. Moisture is pulled away from the skin through absorbent windows that channel it to the outside of the fabric. This creates patterns on the fabric surface as it gets wet achieving interesting styling looks.

This website also lists manufacturers of cotton with these new technologies.

Heimtextil.messefrankfurt.com

This website gives information on the yearly Heimtextil International Trade Fair for Home and Contract Textiles in Frankfurt. The website lists hundreds of exhibitors from ones who sell wool products for acoustic solutions, to weavers and dyers to companies who sell bath accessories and suppliers of contract fabrics to the Hospitality, Leisure, Healthcare and Education sectors. The website is wealth of information in finding suppliers of wholesale products but you have to follow the individual companies links to their website to find out more about the processes they use.

Ashley Martineau howtospinyarn.com

Ashley is a spinner and dyer of art yarns and processed all her own fibres for several years. She also produced fashionwear and accessories as well as fibre art. When her first child was born she stopped selling retail products and focussed her time on graphic and web design. She teaches spinning techniques through her YouTube channel and has written articles and books.