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.

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 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 5 Project 3 Experimenting and taking risks

In this project we are required to translate qualities from our drawings into material and stitch explorations and further develop the textile and yarn concepts produced in Project 2.

My drawing printed directly onto material

This worked fairly well, the printer skipped a little and the colours were slightly different from the original drawing.

Printed photo onto textile paper, fixed to jersey material and stitched.

A mixture of fabric layered and stitched to produce a 3D group of shells

Thread and material scraps that have been sandwiched between soluble stabiliser and over stitched.

Felt background, with strips of other fabrics, stitched and manipulated with heat gun

Heat manipulated fabric and then stitched.

Layered, stitched and cut fabric

Stitched spirals and then heat manipulated

Quilted shell shapes and then hand stitched detail.

Free embroidered shapes on fabric

Free embroidered lace

Wrapped and tied fabrics then steamed.

Various knotted and crocheted linear forms.

Tubular crochet forms, created with wire and stitching.

ATV Part 5 Project 2 Building a response – Textile and yarn concepts

Development of textile concepts

Using my drawings from Project 1 I developed the following textile concepts.

Development of yarn and linear concepts

Folded and crumpled paper which was then stitched

Layered papers with stitch. Torn and crumpled papers.

Layered papers and foam with paint and pen.

Layered and cut out papers

Examples of folded and layered papers

Wrapped and knotted papers

ATV Part 5 Project 2 Building a response

Identity and present your colour palette

Following my development of drawings I have chosen these colour palettes inspired by photos and drawings from the marine environment.

Be inspired by an artist or designer

Lee Alexander MacQueen

I want to hold my hand up to being guilty of not paying much attention to fashion in the past. I always felt very removed from the culture of trends and catwalk collections. Clothing for me was about practicalities and what was available although I always veered to more unusual looks if I was exposed to them. Now having the internet we are exposed to so much information it’s possible to find designers that appeal to you or watch catwalk shows of the latest or past collections and even to see some of the processes involved in creating them.

During my research of these, MacQueen’s work really stood out to me. As I have said knowing nothing about him I did research only to discover sadly he is no longer here and that we shared a birthday. I also discovered he was fascinated by his Scottish heritage and his ancestors belonged to an area of Skye where my own came from.

I think his work was particularly inspiring as he broke boundaries producing his collections. You can see the commitment to the theme he is trying to convey. His catwalk shows were more like performance art and the outfits often made from unusual materials which produced reactions of shock and awe. He was certainly a master of his craft.

I am particularly drawn to the work created for his Voss Spring/Summer 2001 collection, the colours in the green outfits, the razorshell dress and the outfits made with mussel shells. Other things were the embroidery, the asymmetric cuts and the use of unusual materials as in the red microscope slide dress.

Fig.1. Alexander McQueen Spring 2001 Ready-to-Wear Fashion Show (2001)

Fig. 2. Alexander McQueen Spring 2001 Ready-to-Wear Fashion Show (2001)

Fig. 3. Voss, Alexander McQueen (2001)

Fig. 4. Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer (2001)

Fig. 5. Exotic Pieces of Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beauty Fashion

Iris van Herpen

Iris van Herpen is a Dutch fashion designer. Since her first show in 2007 she has continued to investigate and invent new ways of combining traditional and radical materials within her garment construction producing futuristic looking forms.

Van Herpen innovative approach has included the use of 3D printing as a garment construction technique and her work is almost a form of sculpture. In terms of research for this project I was particularly drawn to her ‘Water Dress’. For this piece she collaborated with Nick Knight who captured high speed footage of model Daphne Guinness being splashed with black and clear water. She then chose her final idea from one of the many images and heated and sculpted plastic to produce the dress.

Fig. 6. Iris van Herpen Water Dress (2013)

Fig. 1. and Fig. 2. Alexander McQueen Spring 2001 Ready-to-Wear Fashion Show (2001) At: https://www.vogue.com/fashion-shows/spring-2001-ready-to-wear/alexander-mcqueen/slideshow/collection (Accessed on 30 Nov 2018)

Fig. 3. Voss, Alexander McQueen (2001) At: http://the-widows-of-culloden.tumblr.com/post/37041389700/pauvres-deactivated20140521-voss-alexander (Accessed on 30 Nov 2018)

Fig. 4. Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer (2001) At: http://bosconos.tumblr.com/post/93706683575/archivings-alexander-mcqueen-springsummer-2001 (Accessed on 30 Nov 2018)

Fig. 5. Exotic Pieces of Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beauty Fashion (2015) At: https://tommybeautypro.wordpress.com/2015/09/18/exotic-pieces-of-alexander-mcqueens-savage-beauty-fashion/amp/ (Accessed on 30 Nov 2018)

Fig. 6. Iris van Herpen Water Dress (2013) At: https://www.irisvanherpen.com/news/water-dress-shooting-with-nick-knight-and-daphne-guinness (Accessed on 30 Nov 2018)

ATV 5 Project 1 Developing visual research

I reviewed my visual research from the Introduction and Parts 1 and 2 and other ideas and sketches made during the process of the course. My strengths lie in my more detailed observational drawings and I feel my concept drawings of ideas are a weakness. I find it difficult to convey my ideas from my head to the paper, I expect I lack confidence in this as looking back these sketches tend to be very small.
I have chosen to go with Option 1 Strengthening a theme. This involves going back to look at Part 1 The Introductory Project. My choice of theme for this was ‘Nature’s Larder’.

As we are not constrained to producing just a still-life composition from household objects like we did initially I wanted to strengthen and develop this theme by thinking more about Nature’s Larder and what that meant to me. My development features a lot of investigation into the sea.

Here are some of my drawings.

Watercolour crayons drawing of lobster

Watercolour crayon and pen Bladderwrack

Intaglio print of seaweeds

Acrylics Fish skin

Mixed media Mussel shell

Pencil Honey Bee and honeycombs

ATV Part 5 Introduction

ATV Part 5

I am returning to my studies after a break. I had to take some time off to deal with some personal events and although this course has never been far from my mind. I feel the time has flown by and I need to now make more time for me to continue with my studies. Before this time out I had actually completed and submitted Part 4 of my practical work but still have to update my blog with my processes. I have decided to leave this for now and complete part 5 and will return to it again.

The ATV course guidelines ask us to consider this statement,

‘The studio is a laboratory, not a factory. An exhibition is the result of your experiments, but the process is never-ending. So an exhibition is not a conclusion.’

(Chris Ofili)

This statement makes me feel excited I relish experimenting and although for someone like me as a total beginner everything is an experiment I think Ofili’s approach is how the creative approach works. For me I have lots of ideas, then I spend quite a lot of time reflecting on them and trying to work out how I might achieve them. When I have more refined ideas I research materials and processes and then I will experiment to see how these ideas work out. So on reflection, for me not everything is experimenting there is a lot of thinking and reflection beforehand.

Thinking of an exhibition, or in our case the submission of work, as a result of the experiment rather than a conclusion makes me think it is possible that at that moment in time it is a conclusion. When you have an outcome in my mind and have achieved it that is a conclusion but I can also understand how that could be seen as a result that at some time in the future you may rework or develop into a new work. Although we are not required to present textiles in a final form I do think you can’t help visualising your work if it was developed further.

Younge, G. (2010) After the Elephant Dung: Chris Ofili https://www.garyyounge.com/article/after-the-elephant-dungchris-ofili (Accessed on 29 Nov 2018)