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.
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.
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.
Exercise 2.4 Developed and composed samples
Moving on to create two more developed and composed samples of stitching into paper. I firstly decided to take the layered tissue paper. I liked the way the creases in the layers looked like movement and I was considering the drawings of the leaves and how I could make a textural piece portraying the movement of leaves blowing in the wind.
My sketchbook work up
First I created a new base to stich into I used tracing paper as a backing then layered tissue paper I then sandwiched some rough twine and layered with more tissue paper this gave me a nice rough quality that looked like a tree swaying in the wind. I then stitched leaf shapes in various ways to make them look like they had blown from the tree. I was going to stitch lots more below the tree but this would have been too time consuming so I stitched in a piece of paper gauze making shapes to give the impression of a pile of leaves.
I was quite pleased with the way this worked out however it is a slight digression away from the brief to use our original drawings. This was more an idea that built up from the drawings through the process of the paper manipulation and onto the stitching.
My second piece was further to my previous interest in the dress detail. I wanted to create a geometric design with floral shapes intertwined. I drafted a rough design in my sketchbook and then proceeded to choose the sample of layered kitchen paper which was very lightly patterned already.
I used some of these markings to pick out and pierce through before stitching the floral shapes. I used a thin long stitch to make a hexagonal honeycomb design. I decided to keep this design black and white which brought focus to the stitch and pattern. I was fairly happy with the result however the amount of stitching detail is not quite balanced and could either do with less or more. If more of the white space was filled with a variety of florals or it was scaled back to include just one central floral shape. I think it would have been interesting to add an insect shape but I didn’t consider this at the time.
I felt more comfortable approaching this exercise than lines and edges. Looking closely at the details is perhaps more suited to my personality. My archive items had lots to choose from in terms of detail and I decided to close in on a section of the Paisley pattern on the shawl. Initially while starting on it I was captured by the botanical shapes but after quite a long time looking closely at it some of the patterns started to appear to have a more threatening appearance. Haha I’m not sure what this says about me but maybe you may agree after looking at my drawing which I started referring to as Octupussy!
I chose a button from the coat to do a detailed pencil drawing of
I had a try at some of the stitching from the mended sections of the shawl and from the reverse, but found these to be incredibly frustrating and I got bored easily
I then returned to the more beautiful detail on the cocktail dress. I chose to use tracing paper which I felt conveyed the weight of the material and used grey waterproof pen to accurately trace detail from the skirt of the dress which I copied from a photograph that I had blown up on a photocopier.
I chose a brown cardboard as the base of my collage of the coat. I felt it suggested the weight of the fabric I then chose to draw a simplified shape of the coat and then layered a paper cloth that I coloured with felt tip. As it dried it started to show the square pattern through the colour so I added another layer this time using a dried wipe which I coloured with pastels. I think this effectively portrayed the felt texture of the coat. The silk lining was a first layer of cartridge paper stained with a tea bag to give it a yellowy aged look and then an additional layer of tissue paper also coloured using tea to give the impression of the fold and creases in the coat tails. As a contrast and to portray the vividness of the embroidery against the brown coat I used tiny pieces of holographic paper that I cut into shapes. A Tunnock’s teacake wrapper rolled and moulded provided me with the ornamental buttons.
My second collage started with me layering 3 sheets of cartridge paper. I did this to portray the weight, layers and folds of the shawl. The top sheet was again coloured using tea bags to more accurately create the yellow aged characteristics of the shawl.
I then used lots of carefully cut out pieces of an old envelope and coloured tissue paper to build up some of the detail in the intricate Paisley pattern design. I used small sections of a paper doily to convey some of the teardrop shapes on the edge pattern. I used watercolour pastels to colour these sections. My placement is not entirely accurate but was more to give an impression of the design.
I found this intricate work to be quite absorbing but time consuming much to the dismay of my starving family!
This exercise aims to help develop your observational and recording skills. I used felt tip pens of different thickness to take these more simple approaches to drawing.
I tried to use quicker drawing methods to record drape and folds. The simple lines also suggest the volume of the items.
Exercise 1.3 Making Marks
The brief indicated that once you had selected three items of interest you were to observe, analyse and record the textile items through drawing and mark making. The archive room was lacking in space where I could really work to do this and anything other than a pencil wasn’t allowed into the room. I made most use of my time in the archive closely looking at the items, writing notes and taking photographs. I used these to generate a number of drawings.
In this drawing of the dress I used pencil to give an overall impression of the shape, drape and decoration.
I used pencil to portray the general pattern of the folded shawl.