Brief: Exploring lines is the first stage of yarn development. Just as you worked to translate drawn line and mark qualities from marks on a page to stitched textiles, you’ll now work to translate drawn and stitched lines into three dimensional lines in the form of yarns.
Original source- Chard leaf drawing and stitched samples
I started this exercise by looking back at the words I used to describe the chard leaf drawing.
Puckered, bumpy, curly, holes, folded, knobbly, bubbly, veins, feathery, soft, rounded, scrumpled, raised, sunk, organic, contours, crispy, gathered.
Types of lines present- curved lines, straight lines, broken lines, continuous lines, and various thickness of lines
Different shapes and hollows
I sketched out ideas for yarns in my sketchbook first, considering a wide range of different materials I could use that worked with the words above, before trying them out.
L-R top line: Green jute string with pink hemp cord using macrame to create twists. Green embroidery thread with pink embroidery thread tied in knots. Green embroidery thread knotted around curly mohair wool. Green wool twisted with curly mohair wool caught in the twist. Florist wire bent with curly mohair wool. Green jute with fun wool twisted and knotted around at intervals.
L-R bottom line: Silver net ribbon with pink embroidery thread threaded through it. Polyester satin bubbled with a heat gun. Polyester satin bubbled with heat gun and gathered with embroidery thread and running stitch. Polyester satin cut into strips and knotted at intervals.
My samples started off quite basic; embroidery threads and knotting, moving onto curly mohair wool locks twisted into thread.. The mohair and florist wire worked quite well and could be bent into any shape. If I had expanded on that sample I would have made lots of pieces and then joined them all together creating a net like effect. I used a heat gun to ‘bubble up’ some polyester satin strips. I liked the bumpy effect but that is how I made one of my stitched pieces before so I didn’t want to develop that too much as I felt that I had already used that technique.
L-R top line: Sketching out ideas using florist ribbon and netted ribbon in my sketchbook. Pink and green layered florist ribbon melted with a soldering iron. Various experiments with florist ribbon, melting it, knotting it and threading through it. Homemade cardboard loom for weaving. Red and green ‘unspun’ and coiled wool woven together. Sketch of the woven piece in my sketchbook.
I enjoyed melting the florist ribbon and fusing it together with the soldering iron. It gave a really crispy, holey effect and was very pliable and easy to work with. It appears a bit stiffer than the Tyvek paper used in the original pieces but it brings that crispness to the sample. I had never done any weaving before so I found instructions on Pinterest of how to make a small cardboard loom. The textures on the weaving were great, curly, bumpy, knobbly, soft, scrumpled, and I felt they translated the lines really well. The colours of the weaving were more true to the original chard leaf but I must admit I prefer the pop of the spring green and fushia pink of the florist ribbon. I would have liked to develop the woven piece in the next exercise but I was limited with my cardboard loom and the small piece took me 2 hours. (The ‘unspun’ wool, came from my first attempts at using a spinning wheel. My tension was all wrong and the wool I was using as the leader thread was coming untwisted or coiled up all the time.)
Developed piece 1
This piece was developed from the sample of wide green florist ribbon with smaller, narrower strips of pink florist ribbon knotted around the green and then the pink ends tied together to create ‘continuous’ lines. I liked the sample piece as the green piece created larger ‘bowls’ and the pink pieces created the mix of continuous and broken lines. To develop it I wanted to go softer. The florist ribbon is quite stiff and crunchy so I wanted to contrast that and go back to a softer feel, more like the stitched samples. I used what was left of the ‘unspun’ wool and red wool tops that I had attempted to spin (obviously my spinning needs a lot of work but it did leave me with lots of lengths of tightly coiled or un-spun scraps!) I tied pieces of the coiled and un-spun wool tops to long pieces of the green unspun wool. I then joined some of the wool tops together to create continuous lines and left some undone to represent the broken lines. The effect was a lot softer looking than the sample and it seemed more organic and natural.
Developed piece 2
The second piece was developed from one of the melted florist ribbon samples. I wanted to pay more attention to the lines and holes rather than just randomly melting like I had in the sample. I layered the pink and green florist ribbon together and then drew the lines/veins gently giving more thought to placement and depth of those lines. I then went back and made holes, in some places melting through just one layer, in other places both layers. The developed sample definitely has more structure to it. The curvy lines are more prominent and truer to the stitched pieces. I like the crispiness of it as the stitched sample using the heat bubbled polyester was quite crispy before all the stitching on it.
Developed piece 3
I chose this next sample to develop as a contrast to the crispiness of the 2nd developed piece. Although the green net ribbon is quite stiff, threading it through with the pink fun wool really softens it up, both in looks and touch. The sample was quite basic with one continuous line running through it. In the developed piece the pink wool has been threaded through with more attention paid to the lines of the original drawing.
I am happy with the samples and developed pieces for exercise one. I used a large variety of different materials and techniques to create considered pieces which I feel really represent the essence of the original work.