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.