ATV Part 5 building a collection-project 3 Experimenting and taking risks

Project18 (Small)Sample 1-Inspired by Carolyn Saxbys work. A piece using lots of the samples produced in project 2, hand stitched onto calico.

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There are lots of different technique samples on this piece- and a variety of hand stitch- french knots for pod shapes, straight stitch to represent netting and fishing rope, embroidery to represent seaweed. I have used DMC embroidery threads, size 8 perle thread and strands of fishing rope for stitching. There is a lot of texture and detail in this piece and my objective was to try layering up different samples and making one piece like Carolyn does in her work. Unfortunately, my sample does not seem to be cohesive, the eye is not gently led across the piece but rather jumps from one area to the next. I have not managed to achieve that flow that Carolyn does so successfully. There is too much going on, too many different samples.

Sample 2– Needle Felted base, silk cocoon, wensleydale locks, sari silk waste, lutrador, dyed gauze and hand stitch.

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The base of this sample was needle felted with various shades of wool tops, sari silk waste, sari ribbon and hand dyed gauze. I felt needle felting the base together would help to make it look like entire piece rather than a patchwork of pieces like above. I needle felted a seaweed pod on the top, added a piece of painted and heated lutrador, a silk cocoon, wensleydale locks, fishing rope and added hand stitch to represent netting. I feel this piece is more aesthetically pleasing than the previous sample and has a more organic feel to it. Using less samples and techniques has enabled me to concentrate better on the finished look of the piece, and to me, this piece is more easily recognisable for what it represents.

Sample 3– Seaweed embroidery on soluble fabric

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Another technique I tried was embroidery on soluble fabric, something I had not done before. I sketched out the seaweed pod shapes on the soluble fabric and used various madeira variegated threads and polyester threads to machine embroider the shape, making sure that each segment was fully embroidered so no part would be seperated when the soluble fabric was washed away. I added bits of fluffy wool and wensleydale locks trapped under the stitching to make it a little more 3D. It took a long time to complete this relatively small piece but I was pleased with the results once the fabric was washed away. The texture was great although it stayed a little stiff after washing away the fabric, but that has helped it keep its shape and given me an idea to use it at the next stage. The wensleydale locks and wool have worked well as depicting the fronds and strands of the seaweed. Looking at the piece now I wish I had also incorporated some lines of rope for the fishing net. Expansion ideas- a more 3D piece with this technique, the stickiness of the glue when dry might hold a 3D shape?? Add in some fishing net design.

Sample 4– Small weaving

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I wanted to use some of the yarn concepts so I decided my next sample piece would be a weaving. I used the same knotted wool techniques from the yarn samples and added some fun fluffy wool, sari ribbon and a tiny piece of silk slub thread I had lying around. I used knotting of the olive wool as it was being weaved which gave another pod like texture. The dark green knotted wool at the bottom I feel is very effective as a seaweed type fringe. I wanted to add some of the knotted olive wool at the side of the piece also as I felt these combined well. I hung the finished piece on a piece of driftwood from the beach and added a shell to pull together the theme of the piece. Expansion ideas: I want to try a bigger piece with all the colours from my colour palette and try weaving some of the found and used fishing rope into it.

Project17 (Small)

Sample 5– wet felted seaweed pods

I was beginning to have ideas to make some more pod like shapes in 3D. I liked the shape of the needle felted pod on sample 2 but thought wet felting rather than needle felting would produce better results. I chose my colour palette of wool tops and locks and made around 6 pieces in various sizes. I added the wool locks and a few glass beads on one of them. Overall I am pleased with how these turned out but to be effective as stand alone pieces they would have to be on a much bigger scale. These smaller pieces may be good to add into some of the other pieces of work. Expansion ideas- Much bigger, more like pod vessels, hollow inside, maybe wire protrusions as the smaller pods. Hanging or mounted???

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Sample 6– Paper and wire pod

Wasn’t sure how this would work so only made a small sample. I used wire and deli paper covered in mod podge to adhere it together and finished the ends with florist tape.  (image in above photo grid). Very fiddly and time consuming to make the wire pod although covering it with the deli paper was simple enough. I used ink sprays to colour it after it was made and then a coating of spray varnish to harden it a little as it was very delicate. I like the shape of the pod and could see a whole load of these together as a sculptural piece with stitch and beads added for more texture. Expansion ideas- using different types of paper or fabric. Thicker wire for larger pieces.

Sample 7– Paper pieced pod sewn with fishing net strands

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Still on the 3D pod shape idea I used the left over gelli prints to cut out oval shapes and joined them together with stitching strands of fishing rope. I like the concept of this piece, the pod woven together with fishing rope, but the pod shape is not quite right. I added too many ovals at first and had to remove some but the shape could do with a better design I feel , its a bit gappy. Again, I could see this on a larger scale, time allowing, maybe mixed with the paper and wire pods. Expansion ideas- research how to design the separate oval shapes so they tessellate together better. Coat each piece with mod podge or varnish to make it more stable and durable.

Sample 8– Lino cut printed onto calico

I wanted to re use the lino cuts I made for the earlier samplings. I printed onto calico with acrylic paint. My idea was to quilt around each printed pod to create squishy pod shapes. I layered up with wadding and cotton backing but I only stitched up one side of one pod before realising that it wasn’t going going to achieve the look I wanted and that it was a bit far removed from the other experiments and samples I had worked on. Although the quilling would have made the pods stand out the piece just wasn’t going to be up to the standard of the other pieces, in looks or experimentation. As time was running out I didn’t finish this sample, instead I chose to concentrate on ideas for the next part of the assignment. Expansion ideas: Print onto a different fabric or add more texture to the print. Quilting around the pods and maybe adding kantha stitching would maybe give the piece the extra texture it needed.

Sample 9– Turning the singular 3D printed seaweed pod into a mat

I kept swinging backward and forwards on the 3D printed samples- I love the idea of them, the relatively new concepts of 3D printed textiles, but still unsure how to incorporate them. I decided to see if I could join the pieces together to make a ‘mat’ of ‘fabric’. As I said earlier, the bed of our printer is quite small which inhibits what we can print. I played around with the singular pieces I had printed trying to work out how I could join them. Interestingly, when I started joining them they made a net like shape- so again this idea of fusion and entanglement popped up- the seaweed pods joined together to make fishing net. I had to use the Tinkercad program again to join the shapes together and then had to print on a much smaller scale than the original singular seaweed print so I could print enough to see the effect.

The above larger photo is 2 ‘mats’ side by side. Scaling down meant that the actual pods on the seaweed are not as squishy as before, a fact I liked as real seaweed pods are squishy when fresh! The seaweed has also lost a bit of the definition. What I am pleased with though is the fishing net shape. More and more as I progress through this project is the idea of this merging and entanglement of organic and inorganic materials- creating new species if you like. I have to be honest and say I have no idea really how to use these ‘mats’. Possibilities might be adding weaving to them or stitching them onto something else.


-Dont throw everything at one piece (sample 1) Learning a range of techniques for creating creating texture is great but you don’t have to use all those techniques in one piece. That’s what made sample 1 more of a jumble than a flowing piece of work. Chose what works best together , even if its only a couple of techniques.

Time is a real issue- I wanted to make bigger samples like the wire and paper pod but the small one took so long I just couldn’t spend hours on making more to see how I could create a sculpture with them. I could have drawn out a sketch in my sketchbook of what I hoped it would look like but I didn’t think about it.

More research on 3D printed textiles needed at some point to be able to take my ideas and concepts further.


ATV Part 5 Building a collection- project 2 building a response- develop yarn and linear concepts

Most of my yarn designs come from the shape of the seaweed pods and the line of the strands of fishing rope. These are the shapes that are standing out to me the most.

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  1. Glue from glue gun painted with acrylic paint- strong, rubbery, can create in any shape, flexible, can be added to stitch work, weaving20190325_162451 (Small)
  2. 2 ply dark green wool, knotted with strands tied on and knotted- easy, versatile, time consuming tying all the knots but effectively achieves the look of seaweed.
  3. Free form crochet with 2 ply dark green wool- cant crochet very well and have never tried freeform but very pleased with how this yarn turned out. I managed to create the (sort of) 3-D pod shapes with the crochet which is what I wanted and as it is free form there can be no mistakes!20190325_162504 (Small)4. Chunky 2 ply olive green wool, knotted with strands threaded through the ply, frayed and knotted. This one turned out well and represents the look of the seaweed pods. It has a softer look than the knotted dark green wool which makes me think of the fronds of kelp swaying in the sea.20190325_162456 (Small)5. French knitted dark green wool, knotted at intervals to create pods and wooden green beads inserted into some of those pods. Not overly keen on this, the idea of it in my head looked good but in reality I don’t feel I captured quite what I wanted. It does have the pods but it just doesn’t stand out for me. (Image above in grid photo)

6 and 7. Hand carded wool tops, sari silk waste and wensleydale locks, hand spun core with coils. Very time consuming but worth the effort. I core spun the batts and made coils- 2 techniques I have never done before so I am very pleased with the results. The coils make excellent pods and the randomness of them adds to the natural, organic effect I was going for. The green obviously is for the seaweed but the orange and blue represent the colours of the fishing net and ropes.20190325_110422 (Small)

8. Tyvek beads strung on strands of fishing rope. Combining the pod shape of the seaweed and using washed up fishing rope to join them together, the organic and inorganic entangled.20190325_162444 (Small)

9. 3D printed seaweed. A totally new concept for me. I recently went in with my son on buying a 3D printer, with the intention of helping him out but also I am seeing more and more 3D printed textile concepts about and it has peaked my interest – here is my Pinterest board for 3D textiles   

I am not very tech savvy so I still know very little about how it all works, but I had some crash lessons from my son over Easter and I managed to design and print 3 different types of seaweed (with help!) How they will fit in with this project, I’m not sure, but it was a very interesting, if irrelevant (for now) diversion. (More details in my sketchbook). I also printed some fish scales onto tulle- Not my design, it can be found here

by BeAMaker on thingyverse. I look forward to researching more about 3D textiles and their use and maybe incorporating some ideas into my own work.

10. Dyed gauze bandage knotted- simple but effective, tangled fishing nets.

11. Dyed gauze bandage with handspun, hand dyed wool threaded through- again, simple but effective translation of fishing net and entanglement.


I feel I came up with some good results with the yarn concepts and tried lots of different ideas. The core spun coiled wool has been brilliant for adding into lots of the pieces I have made, especially the weavings, as each bit I cut off is different from the rest. The knotted wool concepts are very simple but that should not detract from the effectiveness when it has been used in later pieces. I love the glue gun yarn, so different and versatile as a material and in this case a linear concept which can be used in different pieces. It was the glue gun yarn that made me think of 3D printing some seaweed shapes, which turned out much better than I was expecting. The heat bed on our printer is not that big so I was unable to create a long, continuous piece but the concept for it is there. When I made the piece smaller and joined them together to form a sort of mat you can get a better idea of what a yarn or a piece of material could look like. Definately fuels ideas for the future!



ATV Part 5 Building a collection- project 2 building a response- develop textile concepts

I took this part of the project to experiment with some of the techniques used by Carolyn Saxby to create texture and colour. I wanted to create circles and ovals to represent the pods of the seaweed and lines to represent netting and fishing rope.

Here are my observations and results of my textile concepts.Project1hdndn (Small)

  1. Tyvek paper, acrylic paint, heated with a heat gun.
  • Colour of paint stays true.
  • Not absorbent so easy to keep adding layers or print on top.
  • Stiff when heated and bubbled. Sewing machine needle will struggle to go through it.
  • No real control over how the tyvek bubbles or twists with the heat gun. Heating small bits at a time give a little bit more control but not much. A soldering iron would give good control over melting but wont work to bubble up the surface.

2. Lutrador 100, acrylic paint, heat gun

  • Really absorbent so paint soaks in- need quite a bit of paint to get good coverage.
  • Paint keeps its true colour.
  • Stiff but more pliable than the tyvek when heated and bubbled.
  • Shouldn’t be difficult to stitch through with machine or by hand.
  • Again, not much control over how it bubbles or melts with the heat gun. It melts through quicker than the tyvek. A soldering iron would give good control over melting but wont work to bubble up the surface.

3. Baby wipes, acrylic paint, acrylic inks, heat gun

  • Absorbent (I used the wipes that I had been using for wiping up excess paint and ink)
  • Keeps true colour
  • Stiff and crinkly in places but overall remains soft and pliable.
  • Easy to sew.
  • Some control over melting holes as it takes a lot longer than the tyvek or lutrador. It doesn’t bubble up, just melts holes through it.

4. Bubble wrap, acrylic paints and inks, embossing powders

  • Embossing powder on top of wet paint and heated worked very well, the powders formed a hard shell.
  • Embossing powders on top of multi media gloss gel didn’t work as well as the plastic bubbles started melting before the powders.
  • Paint and embossing powders flaky when dry

5. Poly satin, embossing powders, multi media gloss gel, fabric paint, lino cut

  • Embossing powders adhered well to the lino print printed with fabric paint, but once the powders heated I lost the definition of the print.
  • Thicker embossing powders adhered with the multi media gloss gel creates a thick texture with forms a barrier that stops the poly satin underneath it bubbling up with the heat. The fabric bubbles around it creating an interesting relief texture.

6. Poly satin, acrylic paints and inks, ceramic stucco, fine embossing powders, gilding wax

  • Ceramic stucco applied to the fabric through a stencil and heat gunned dry, then painted with acrylic paint and inks then embossed.
  • Fabric bubbles up around the stucco, the stucco creates a resist. Gives a bit more control as you know where the fabric is going to bubble, and it creates smaller bubbles because the gap between the stucco circles is smaller.
  • Gilding wax rubbed over the top of the stucco then heated until it melts. Defines the texture and gives a shine to it.

7. Muslin, ceramic stucco, stencil, acrylic paints and inks, multi media gloss gel, clear and copper embossing powders, gilding wax on top and heated, piece of bubble wrap adhered with multi media gloss gel and heated.

  • Muslin remains soft, circles are stiff.
  • Clear embossing powder made the circles shiny.
  • Some powders escaped from the circles onto the fabric where there was no gel, which created a beading effect which gave good texture.

8. Poly satin, fabric paint, ink sprays, multi media gloss gel, embossing powders. Printed with lino cut.

  • Lino cut print definition was lost when heating the fabric. Tried without the embossing powders as before definition was lost with the use of the powders.
  • Fabric remains soft and pliable even after heating and bubbling.
  • Has a bit of a waxy feel, not sure if thats the paints as the other piece of poly satin doesnt feel waxy.
  • Fabric paint became brighter once heat set.
  • Embossing powder worked well on the poly satin, a good texture can be achieved.



9. Chiffon type fabric, ink sprays, ceramic stucco, gilding wax, bubble wrap.

  • Ceramic stucco applied through stencil and then heated until dry. Creates a good firm circle.
  • Sprayed with ink sprays as I felt that the paints would go straight through the fine fabric and be too thick.
  • Gilding wax applied over the stucco and heated until melted, adds to the texture and gives a nice glossy finish. Be careful with heat gun, the fabric started to singe when heat was applied for too long in one area- danger of burning.
  • Piece of bubble wrap, pre treated with paints and powders, adhered with multi media gloss gel and melted onto fabric.

10. Calico, acrylic paints and inks, ceramic stucco imprinted with bubble wrap, embossing powders.

  • Ceramic stucco applied with a palette knife to the calico. Pressed bubble wrap into it to create circle texture. Heated to dry. The imprint remained but is quite faint. Maybe need to apply the stucco a bit thicker??
  • Painted with acrylics and inks. Calico is very absorbent so sucked the colour in leaving it not as bright.
  • Multi media gloss gel applied over the stucco, embossing powders added and heated. Good firm texture, feels rubbery.

11. White cotton sheeting, xpandaprint, fabric paint, luster rub ons.

  • Xpandaprint applied easily with a paint brush but when heated the brush strokes were quite apparent.
  • Applied xpandaprint through netting to create texture but when the netting was removed and the xpandaprint heated the texture was not visible.
  • Applied xpandaprint through netting, left netting in place and heated. This worked well, you could see the netting in places but the netting did start to singe a bit.
  • Used Lumiere fabric paint and luster rub ons on top of the heated xpandaprint but have to be very careful as the xpandaprint starts to come off.

12. Bubble wrap, xpandaprint, ink sprays, acrylic wax

  • Gives a great crusty, bubbly effect, very tactile.
  • Again, the xpandaprint is really delicate and trying to add paint over the top kept knocking bits off so I used ink sprays. Maybe mix the colour in with the xpandaprint before applying and heating?
  • I added acrylic wax over the top which makes the xpandaprint a bit more stable.

13. Cheesecloth type fabric, xpandaprint applied with a round sponge, acrylic paints and inks, acrylic wax.

  • I coloured some of the xpandaprint before applying and this worked well. It didn’t have any adverse effect when heated. Xpandaprint went on really well with the sponge (so no brush marks visible when heated).
  • Acrylic wax over the top to make xpandaprint more stable. Has given it a rubbery feel on the cheesecloth, which it hasn’t on the bubble wrap.
  • Looks a bit like salt crustaceans left by the sea.

14. Craft hessian, acrylic paint, xpandaprint

  • The hessian sucked up the paint so need a lot.
  • I applied the xpandaprint in lines to represent the white lines on the mussel shells
  • Worked really well, the xpandaprint didn’t seem to bubble up as much so the effect was subtle.
  • Edges of hessian started fraying as soon it was cut out.

15. Calico printed with acrylic painted bubble wrap and lino printed with fabric paint.

  • Calico dulls the paint colour quite a lot. Even the fabric paint didn’t get much brighter.
  • Easy to print onto.

16. Poly satin, lino cut, fabric paint

  • Printed really smoothly
  • Fabric paint got a lot brighter after heating

17. Tyvek, lutrador, polysatin, fantasy film, chocolate orange wrapper, fruit nets, strands of fishing rope

  • Rolled strips of the above materials, around a knitting needle in layers and heated with heat gun until melted and fused.
  • Good results- no control over how they turn out but that’s half the fun.

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Playing with all these different techniques has opened me up to a whole new range of possibilities. I had never used xpandaprint or acrylic wax before, and only ever used embossing powders on some xmas cards I once made. I have learnt how different fabrics handle heating and or melting; how they handle different mediums and how different fabrics handle the same medium- the acrylic paint for example went on beautifully on some materials but on others it absorbed too quickly soaking up and dulling the colour. The xpandaprint with acrylic wax over the top felt rubbery on some fabrics but not on others. The fabric paints mostly got brighter once heat set but on the calico there was not much difference. When the gilding wax is heated it becomes a lot glossier and has a silky feel to it.

I especially liked the effects achieved with the xpandaprint, easy to use, great bubbly texture. The thicker you apply it the more it expands. It colours well with spray inks and although delicate once heated a coating of acrylic wax seems to make it more sturdy. Colouring the xpandaprint with acrylic paint before applying it didn’t alter how it worked when heated. The ceramic stucco gives a nice firm surface when set, a nice contrast to the softness of the fabric. I used texture paste on some later samples as I ran out of the stucco but the effect was not quite as firm, it was more rubbery and bendable.

I ended up with more circles and pods than lines but I can expand upon that theme further on.

My favorite results were the bubble wrap with xpandaprint and acrylic wax because of its crustiness and tactile feel and the tyvek beads as they really merge the pod shape of the seaweed with the plastic/fishing net waste found on the beach.