Written Reflection for part 2 ATV: Surface and Stitch

I started this project by brainstorming a list of different types of papers, techniques and tools that I could experiment with. I then looked back at my drawings to select 6 to work from. I looked for drawings where I had captured interesting lines, marks and textures and chose ones that I felt would give the best scope for further development. For each of the works I chose, I wrote lists of descriptive words to help me translate the qualities into paper samples. I wrote notes on papers and techniques I could employ to create effective paper samples, experimenting and logging the results and evaluating the successes and failures.

I took on board what I had learnt in 2.3 to develop my larger considered pieces for 2.4. I now had a better idea of the properties of different papers and how they might react. Using a viewfinder was very beneficial in selecting interesting areas of work- a part instead of a whole can give a whole new perspective on a piece of work and it’s something I will definitely use again. I feel I chose works which allowed for the criteria of scale, repetition and placement.

I feel I have gained new knowledge on how different materials will react to manipulation. Also using stitching in new and different ways and combining the materials and stitch to create a ‘feeling’ or tactile representation of a drawing has given me new ways to work which I may not have considered before. I feel I have opened up a bit more in this project, trying not to worry so much about whether something is right or wrong and experimenting and not worrying if something doesn’t turn out right- if it doesn’t work I have still learnt something and these failures often lead on to something that does work. I have made comprehensive notes detailing all the experiments which will be useful to look back on and have researched different artists, created Pinterest boards for inspiration and looked at several books on manipulating materials and going from drawing to stitch.

I need to still learn to push the boundaries a bit more and not be afraid to experiment and developing skills to enable me to move a piece of work forward, taking it in a new direction with different materials but still having it embody the essence of the original piece.

Research point one p.71 of ATV

Susan Lenz Research point 1- Analyse how they select, apply and alter their chosen materials

“Generally my work is conceptually driven and meant to articulate the accumulated memory inherent in discarded things. I seek a partnership with my materials, their purposes, values, and familiar associations. Memory, universal mortality, and personal legacy are central themes.”

-Susan Lenz from an interview on www.textileartist.org/susan-lenz-interview/

“Vintage and recycled materials are combined with meticulous handwork and self-guided, free motion machine embroidery. I am drawn to textiles for their tactile qualities and often make work that is meant to be touched.”

-Susan Lenz from www.Susanlenz.com/Artist%20statement.shtml  

I chose Susan Lenz for this research point as her work spoke to me on a deep level, her graveyard rubbings have a poignancy that I really connected with. Preserving memories is important to me so maybe that is why I connected so strongly. So although Susan’s work is not about mending or repairing, she does use found and discarded textiles but in a way that tries to recapture and immortalise precious memories. Her work asks us to look at our family heritage and preserve it for future generations to look back on.

Her Grave rubbing quilt series can be found here www.graverubbingquilts.blogspot.uk

For this series, Susan uses a crayon to take rubbings from gravestones. She does the rubbings directly onto fabric and sometimes on actual vintage clothes and textiles.She visits graveyards wherever she goes and takes rubbings. She looks for interesting motifs, quotes, symbols and words but rarely takes rubbings of people’s names, preferring for the final pieces to remain anonymous, maybe adding to the poignancy as you will never know whose graves these rubbings came from, or who they were, their memories lost.  She gathers vintage items such as child’s nightdresses, ladies gloves, tablecloths, hankies, doilies and she adds these to the bases of her quilts. She cuts out the rubbings and applies them to her quilts and art pieces with applique and she likens this to ‘graffiti’ that surrounds the vintage items. She adds hand stitching, free motion machine stitching, vintage buttons and trims to complete the pieces.


Image from       https://www.textileartist.org/susan-lenz-my-true-calling/

Susan visits antique stores to find her materials for her work. Sometimes people give her items if they know what she does so that although they don’t know what to do with family items/heirlooms, they will be used and remembered in Susan’s work. She also does a few commissions for people using their family’s vintage textiles and memories.

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/lunaiow/oca-susan-lenz/     – my Pinterest board

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqE7n_0GK6U        – Making plans for your precious possessions | Susan Lenz |


Exercise 2.4 Developed and composed stitch

Brief: Develop two more considered and larger pieces that take on board what you have learnt at the sampling stage.

For my first piece I chose to work from the college of the lace veil from the previous assignment.Project16 (Small)

The paper base: I used a view finder to find a part of the collage I found most interesting and then I photocopied the original collage, cut out the part I had chosen and then messed around with the scale by photocopying it at different percentages. This gave me a range of samples to choose from. I went for the 200% bigger and then used a viewfinder again to choose which part I wanted.

In my sketch book I wrote notes and ideas on how I was going to put the piece together and also experimented with small samples to ensure my ideas would work.  The image I had chosen had 3 parts to it which I could have done as 3 separate pieces as each was segment was interesting in its own right but I decided to stick with it as one complete piece as I liked the contrasts between the patterns and textures.

The top part of the image reminded me a bit of blown ink but after I sampled that I decided it wasn’t ‘crisp’ enough so I settled on making a cut stencil from black card which I felt worked much better and gave a cleaner, crisper look. For the middle section I used crumpled white recycled packaging paper and then I lightly coloured over the texture with a black chalk pastel. I sprayed the piece with hairspray to prevent the pastel from smudging. The bottom section comprised of two parts, one on top of the other. For the base part I used the same white recycled packaging paper crumpled up. For the black swirl I used black card and then I used bleach to leach the colour away in circular patches.

Project17 (Small)


Stitches: I attached the cut out stencil piece to a sheet of white card and I hand embroidered small straight stitches around every line of the stencil. I wanted to stay with the crisp/clean lines and this stitch worked well to achieve that.

The middle section was attached to the white card base and then I used free motion machine stitching to sew lots of overlapping circles in a sort of ‘scribble’ effect. This created a dense effect of texture and tone. The next part was the crumpled white paper on which the black swirl would sit. This part to me, looked like scribbly writing. I knew I had seen stitching that looked like writing while looking at artists in part one so I went back to my research and found it was a piece called ‘Enigma’ by Hilary Ellis. Inspired by this idea I used thin sewing machine thread , double threaded, to create my own style of scribbly stitches. This was actually a lot harder than it looked-trying to be random and leaving longer stitches pulled out and securing them in place-  sort of controlled random scribbles!

Lastly I attached the black swirl with glue and used brown embroidery thread to do little ‘seed’ stitches on each bleached patch.

Evaluation: I like the overall contrasts of this piece, the bold and the straight lines with the crumpled, mixed with the scribbly stitches and straight uniformed stitches. There are different textures in the papers used and the stitches add to this texture. I particularly liked the loose ‘scribbly’ stitches. It was a technique I had not tried before but I feel it is a very effective way of translating the marks from that section of the collage into stitch.project18-small.jpg

For piece two I chose to work from the pencil drawing of the waistcoat from part one.project1-small.jpg

As above, I chose an interesting piece of the drawing, photocopied it and played around with scale and size until I found the optimum section to work from. I gathered different papers such as corrugated card, recycled corrugated card, handmade silk paper, brown parcel paper and glassine paper.

The paper base: I had chosen a section of the drawing that had interesting angles and lines in so I needed to create my paper base using the varied papers I had chosen. The glassine paper had similar qualities to the silk lining of the waistcoat, it was a little brittle and very shiny, the handmade silk paper was like the wafer thin ribbon ties on the original waistcoat and the corrugated card translated well into the lines of the watered silk. So, even though I was working from the pencil drawing it was still good to think back to those textures of the original waistcoat to complete the overall feel of the paper piece. I used the brown parcel paper as a base and then cut out the other papers and attached them with glue. I folded the crease lines from the drawing into the glassine paper before attaching it.Project2 (Small)

Stitches: I looked again at the paper samples I had created in exercise 2.3 using the corrugated card and black wool. I wanted to keep the colours more neutral and consistent with the original colours of the waistcoat if possible so I had to sample a few different yarns to use in the ‘chanels’ of the corrugated card. I made some small samples for my sketchbook and the yarn I felt had the most potential for this piece was jute garden string. On the sample I had attached the string to every channel but that made the string sort of blend into the card so I decided to leave some channels in between. This worked better as it made the string more visible. Each piece of string was couched on with a smokey invisible thread. I then used vintage mending thread in a dark brown to ‘oversew’ the string representing the shadowy lines on the drawing and then I oversewed the string again in a pattern to represent the watermark lines. The dark brown thread contrasted nicely with the jute string really making the pattern stand out. On the glassine paper I used vintage mending thread and I hand stitched running stitch along some of the more prominent crease lines. I then used some chunky wool to hand stitch some bigger stitches at the join between the glassine paper and corrugated card. I used running stitch again on the handmade silk paper to interpret the crease lines.

Evaluation: I like that this piece is not square, I have purposely left it angled as I feel this gives it more dimension and depth. The corrugated card part is quite firm but the glassine and handmade paper is quite floppy and soft reminiscent of the original fabric. The neutral colour palette works well and helps to give it an aged look. The oversewn jute is most effective in depicting the pattern of the watermarked silk. If more time could be spent on it I think maybe it would have worked filling every channel with the jute as it wouldn’t matter if it blended in as the darker embroidery lifts it up again.Project3 (Small)


Exercise 2.3 drawing with stitch-reflection

My research for this part of the project included the following:


  •  Mark making in textile art- Helen Parrott (Batsford)
  • Drawn to stitch-Gwen Hedley (Batsford)
  • Embroidery stitches-Lucinda Ganderton (DK)

My Pinterest boards:


  • Alice Fox
  • Lyne Girard


  • I made 13 stitch samples
  • Threads used– Black cotton thread, variegated cotton/silk finish sewing threads,Wendy Shimmer 100% polyester ‘fringed’ wool, Senses lace wool by Stylecraft 80% acrylic 20% mohair,Vintage mending thread by Sedamo, Jute garden string, embroidery threads in various plys, Tuscan chunky wool by James C. Brett 56% acrylic 20% cotton 24% wool, Flutterby wool by James C. Brett 100% polyester,Black wool 100% acrylic, white paper string, dyed wool tops, Wendy cosmic fun fashion wool
  • Methods used- Hand Stitch-chain stitch, straight stitch, back stitch and free motion machine stitching. Although only 4 types of stitch used I achieved variation across the pieces by using the same stitches in different ways.
  • Different textures of thread- Thick-wool, chunky-wool, fine-machine sewing thread, feathery– cosmic fun fashion wool, soft-velvety wool and wool tops, Rough-Jute garden string, delicate– vintage mending thread
  • Different texture of stitches- Thick and thin stitches-the french knots on sample 1 moth damage and machine stitching and hand stitching on various pieces, Fine flowing stitches-free motion machine stitching on various pieces, Bold-the chain stitch in wool on the IOW lace 1 sample 1, Delicate-free motion machine stitch on sample 3 chard leaf, Curly– wool tops sample 2 chard leaf, Graphic– Hand Stitch sample 1 frayed hole, Fine and rough together-sample 3 frayed hole
  • Qualities of line- Repetition-french knots sample 1 moth damage and sample 1 watermark silk, Layering-sample 3 frayed hole cross hatched stitches and some of the free motion stitching, different thicknesses of yarn– on sample 1 IOW lace 1 and sample 3 frayed hole, Length of stitch-sample 1 frayed hole, sample 1 watermark silk, Direction of stitch-herringbone effect on sample 4 frayed hole and sample 3 frayed hole the cross hatch stitches.
  • Other possibilities and translations- I used Bondaweb on some of the samples to stabilize them as they were very delicate and would have ripped or torn when sewn on. It was helpful on some pieces to pre punch holes with a needle then stitch into them. This helped when using thicker yarns so when pulling through it didn’t tear the hole open and when sewing on thick card.
  • Other observations– I used stitches that integrated well with the samples and others that stood out from the surface. The french knots stand out and layering stitches makes them project more from the surface. Machine stitching on the Tyvek flattens the paper. Stitching around the texture paste ‘bumps’ really emphasised the texture. On a few of the pieces the backs are just as interesting as the front, I especially like the back of the hand stitched piece on the texture paste sample as I feel it still represents the drawing but without the texture. I like how the stitches overlap on the back. On the free motion machine stitched pieces the backs are basically the same as the front unless a different colour is used in the bobbin and then you can see the bobbin loop which adds a bit more texture. I actually found that doing the free motion stitching on my sewing machine was much more relaxing and meditative than hand sewing. I sort of go off into a trance while machine stitching, moving my hands to the flow and steady hum of the machine- it’s very therapeutic! I found I had more control over my stitching with the free motion stitching, although not much variation, than with hand sewing. I feel this is because I am more confident on my machine than I am with hand stitching. I need to concentrate more when hand stitching-where im putting the next stitch, making sure the thread isn’t tangling behind. The sewing machine machine gives me more speed- like loose flowing quick sketches/drawings while hand stitching is akin to very fine, detailed drawing.

Exercise 2.3 Drawing with stitch onto paper

I started with the Tyvek paper samples inspired by the chard leaf drawing. I made a few notes on the lines to help me interpret them into stitch.

Feathery veins,bobbly,thick and thin,straight and curved, broken and continuous, puckered.

Project13 (Small)

Sample 1: Wedy cosmic fun fashion wool 100% polyester couched onto sample using pink embroidery thread. I liked how the feathery bits of the wool spread out across the surface like the veins in the original drawing. The variation in colour works well in relation to the original colour of the leaf. Couching the wool on meant I could lay the wool where I wanted, around the bumps and dips of the surface, in a flowing fashion instead of trying to sew curved lines. I think I would have lost a lot of the feathery effect if I had sewn using the wool.

Sample 2: Dyed curly wool tops couched on with pink embroidery thread. I chose the wool tops as they were curly and soft. Again, couching gave me more flexibility, the pieces of wool tops were to short to sew with anyway. It allowed me to follow the lines of the bumps and dips again and the wool gave me thick and thin lines. I like the texture and contrast of the soft wool tops against the crispy Tyvek paper. The original leaf was bumpy but soft but also stiff enough to hold itself up on the stalk.

Sample 3: For the last sample on the Tyvek I used variegated cotton sewing thread and I used free motion machine stitching on my sewing machine. I went round all the bumps and dips and filled in the inbetween with lots and lots of small repeating circles, layering over in some places to create ‘bubble clusters’. I also stitched some vein like lines using the sewing machine. This is my favorite sample of the three. It looks and feels very organic and a good texture has been created with the stitching. The only downside is that having the paper under the sewing machine foot has flattened some of the bumps. I also like the reverse of this one as you can see the bobbin thread which adds another dimension to the texture.

Project14 (Small)

I chose to use the black tissue paper sample with the white hole reinforcement stickers on inspired by the 1st IOW lace drawing . I used black cotton sewing thread and chunky black wool.

Raised, thick,stiff, delicate, overlapping, repeating, honeycomb, layered

The tissue paper sample was very thin and delicate and I knew it would tear if I tried to stitch on it so I ironed some Bondaweb on the reverse to make it a little more stable. I used my sewing machine to free motion stitch around each reinforcement sticker. I did quite an erratic pattern, overlapping in places. I then used the wool and chain stitch to create the raised pattern. I like how the wool raises the image up from the surface and the contrast of thick and thin yarns/threads. The black free motion stitching looks good on the back, more circular-on the front where the stitching slips off the white onto the black where you can’t see it as well, it makes the circles look quite distorted.

Project10 (Small) (2)

The next sample was based on the collage of the moth damage on the blue velvet dress. I used chunky wool, embroidery thread in different plys, ‘flutterby’ velvet soft wool (100% polyester) and cotton sewing machine thread.

Soft, creased,ripples,splodges/circles/spores,different textures, flowing, gentle, wavy.

My favorite part of the sample is the actual moth damage part. It reminds me of spores or cells and I like the texture it represents.

I started with the chunky brown wool and did large french knots on the handmade paper ‘moth damaged’ part of the paper sample. I then used 6 ply and 3 ply embroidery thread to make medium and small french knots. The french knots stand out from the surface giving the ‘splodges’ more depth. Next I used free motion machine stitching in blue and white to ‘draw’ ripples and wavy lines. At the top of the sample I used free motion stitching in diagonal lines, building up denser in some areas by layering the stitches over one another. I used some velvety soft wool to create the lines and creases over the blue crepe paper. I couched this on with embroidery thread which gave me the freedom to place the lines where I wanted. I really like this piece, the contrasts of hand and machine stitch, the different textures all on piece. There is lots more room for development of this piece as well- I could free motion machine stitch over layers of the blue velvety wool which would give great texture and depth and build up more layers of the straight machine stitch for even denser areas.

Project15 (Small)

I moved onto the corrugated cardboard sample inspired by the lines of the watermarked silk on the waistcoat.. I did 2 different samples on the one piece. I used acrylic black chunky wool, grey mohair wool and white paper string.

Straight, wavy, blurry,smooth,different size lines, light and dark, staggered.

Sample 1: I used the chunky black wool to sew lines over the ‘waves’- the remaining top layers of card. I started at the bottom by using different size stitches, some close together, some further apart. The result looked quite untidy so as I moved up to the next ‘wave’ I used evenly spaced stitches, in various sizes. For the top wave I tried to keep to evenly spaced stitches of similar size.

Sample 2: I used white paper string and stitched down each channel, one long stitch per channel. I then used the grey mohair wool, thinner and a bit ‘fuzzier’ than the black wool. I started by just stitching over the grey wool without going through the cardboard but this just pulled the paper string together so then I sewed over the grey wool going through the cardboard each time over the top layer of paper ‘waves’ same as before. I changed the direction of the stitches so they are running in a different direction to the channel.  I like the contrast of light and dark with this 2nd sample and the overlapping threads.

Project11 (Small)

I had lots of paper samples inspired by the frayed hole on the blue velvet dress drawing, as there were lots of different elements on the drawing. I used, black embroidery thread,jute garden string, vintage mending thread, black cotton sewing thread.

Straight, diagonal,folded,geometric, knobbly, frayed, loose,rough, uneven, loose, hanging.

Sample 1: Handmade paper with texture paste. I wanted to outline the raised bumpy bits on this piece. I used 3 ply embroidery thread to stitch round each ‘bump’ using a mix of straight stitch and back stitch. In some places, when I put the needle in to start the next stitch, i put in through the base stitch, ‘splitting’ and dividing the line of stitch, which gave a really good ‘3D’ effect to the finished piece. It also makes the line look like rough pencil sketching where you go over the line a few times. I really like how this one turned out. The handmade paper is fragile but the texture paste gives it weight, the split lines of stitch give it a geometric, 3D look and it’s really tactile to hold. The reverse side also looks really good and resembles drawn lines.

Sample 2: As I liked the effect of the first sample I used another piece of the same paper sample but this time I used free motion machine stitching to draw around every bump. I like the end result, its very organic looking but I prefer the depth I managed to create on the 1st sample. The reverse is nearly the same as the front in this case.

Sample 3: Was the handmade silk paper with the scored brown parcel paper behind a frayed hole. I used some Bondaweb on the back to stabilise the sample as the paper was quite delicate. I used jute garden string separated from 3 ply to 1ply. I overstitched around the edge of the hole. I created some loops of stitching which I then cut to become single strands of frayed thread. The effect was good, rough and frayed. I then used some vintage mending thread to fill in the centre of the hole with straight stitch in a herringbone pattern. I wanted to try and create the ‘bumps’ that surrounded the hole. I was going to use satin stitch with the jute string but it was too thick and kept fraying even though I ran it through some beeswax first. It also kept tearing the paper when I pulled it through with the needle. I switched to some more vintage mending thread and tried again. The thread was too fine to create a good satin stitch so i ended up doing straight diagonal lines in one direction then going back over it in the other direction so I had a sort of cross hatch pattern. I enjoyed doing this sample and I like the different textures of the threads. The string worked really well for the frayed hole and the contrast between the rough thick string and the smooth vintage mending thread compliments this piece. The back looks like a simplified version of the front.

Sample 4: I liked the stitching I did to create the herringbone pattern at the centre of the hole in sample 3 but you couldn’t see it that well as it wasnt to scale so I only managed to sew a few lines. I decided to further experiment using the brown parcel paper sample that had been folded and scored. I used the vintage mending thread and followed the diagonal score lines for each straight stitch. It created the herringbone look again but you could see it much clearer on this bigger sample. I thought it might have given it a bit of a 3D look but it didn’t really. I was still pleased I had experimented further though as I liked the end result, its quite crisp and clean.

Project12 (Small)

The last of the samples were those inspired by the IOW lace 2 pencil drawing. I used black cotton sewing thread, grey variegated sewing thread, mohair wool and Wendy shimmer wool (Fringed wool). For 2 of the samples i used stitch to create the delicate flowery background and the other one to represent the bold, dark creases.

Thick, thin, bold, delicate, repeating, continuous, random.

Sample 1: Free motion machine stitching over deli paper and black tissue. I used black cotton sewing thread to free motion stitch a random flower pattern. I like the contrast of black and white on this piece, it marries well with the theme of shadows and light i used for the paper sample.

Sample 2: I used a grey variegated silk finish cotton thread to stitch random marks onto the silk handmade paper. I used backstitch and straight stitch. I don’t think this sample pops like the first one, it looks a bit flat and blah.

Sample 3: I really liked this paper sample, simple but effective. I stabilized it with Bondaweb to start with and then i used free motion stitching to stitch vertical lines, layering them, but this puckered up the sample and the lines were not thick enough. I added some grey mohair wool in single long straight stitches up and down the sample but again, too thin. I then added some of the ‘shimmer’ wool (fringed look), again in single long stitches. I was not pleased at all with this sample. The stitches and yarn types are all wrong and it just isn’t pleasing to the eye.





Continuing 2.2- paper manipulation

I spent some time looking back over the samples I had done and the drawings I had chosen. I decided I wasn’t happy with some of the samples and I felt this was because of the drawings I had chosen. The creases in the velvet (drawing) I felt didn’t give me enough scope for making samples- once I had crumpled, folded and sanded I felt I couldn’t take it any further and I couldn’t see how I would move it onto the stitching part. Same with the waistcoat creases. As I used the paper to make the creases I didn’t know what stitches I would put onto it. I liked the technique and the look of the burnt holes for the moth damage, but again, I felt there was not enough texture in the drawing to take this piece any further.

So, back to looking at my folio of work and this time I used a viewfinder window to really ‘see’ the different lines and marks in the drawings. I replaced the 3 drawings with the collage of the moth damage as this had more texture and marks to play about with. I wanted to keep the moth damage as I felt it was one of the more interesting pieces but just not from the ink drawing I had done.

I chose the pencil drawing of the lace veil as this had lots of lines and marks to continue forward and I picked the detailed drawing of the frayed hole on the blue dress as this gave a good range of textures to experiment with.

20180119_141600 (Small)

I kept the chard leaf, the watered silk and the lace veil drawing as I was pleased with the samples I had created for these.

Project6 (Small)

So, I started with samples for the frayed hole. The centre of the hole was a herringbone pattern so I focused on this first. I used white copy paper and scored lines at regular intervals then scored alternating lines using my scoring board, creating a herringbone effect. I also tried this with brown parcel paper and both resulted in a good strong pattern. The material around the hole had a bumpy look I used a textured ‘dotted’ piece of cardstock. I cut a hole in it with scissors and then used a Tim Holtz distresser tool and a nail file to rough up and distress the edges. I cut into the edge of the hole and sanded those pieces, creating the frayed threads.

I was beginning to get a bit despondent with the samples. I felt like I was getting nowhere fast. I realised I was trying to re-create the drawings which I felt wasnt the direction I was supposed to be going in. Back to my learning log and I photocopied the drawings I had chosen, used the veiw finder to find an interesting part of each drawing then cut that out from the photo copy and stuck it in my learning log. I then  looked at each image and wrote words which described each piece.

Project8 (Small)

With these words in mind I went back to the frayed hole and made some more samples. I used a piece of textured watercolour paper and pleated it into a strip and then foled it into squares. When opened out it gave me a sort of square pattern like the bumpy squares of the drawing. I then got a piece of rough handmade paper and spread an orange net over it and then applied texture paste before removing the net. The result was bumpy diamond shapes, irregular and textured. In some places the net had pulled away a layer of paper when it was removed but this just added to the irregularity of the piece. This is one of my favorite peices so far. It is quite heavy but still fragile, bumpy, irregular and rough.

I then cut strips of kitchen towel and tore them into irregular rectangle shapes. I covered a piece of white card with PVA and began layering up the pieces. I kept going untill I had about 5 or 6 layers of towel. The towel is soft and bumpy but the glue and the backing card have made it quite stiff all over. It looks a little raised and padded.

Feeling happier and bit more freer in my approach I moved onto the pencil drawing of the lace. Project10 (Small)

For the first piece (top and bottom right photo) I folded pleats into a piece of white deli paper and then I covered those pleats with black tissue paper, above and below the pleats so you could still lift the pleat up. Looking again at the drawing I was reminded of the handmade paper that has the flowers and petals trapped in it so off I went to the craft store. They only had a silky type of handmade paper with bits of bark in it but I liked the look of it. I crumpled it up several times, making it really soft to the touch. I then cut thin strips of black tissue and glued them over the top. I was still liking the idea of petals or flowers trapped in paper but as its January and I have no petals available I looked at the picture again, tring to see it as just marks rather than the flower pattern I had drawn. This helped with making the next piece. I folded a strip of black tissue paper into pleats and then cut very fine strips off of it. I scattered these over a piece of crumpled white tissue and then I sprayed another piece of crumpled tissue with some glue and placed it over the top trapping the black inbetween. This looks like squiggly drawn lines. I am pleased with this sample, simple but effective.Project9 (Small)

For the collage picture with the moth damage I first stuck crumpled and creased tissue paper to white card. I wasnt too happy with this as I felt it just looked like the collage. I then found some blue copy paper which I crumpled up repeatedly untill i had a nice texture. I then used blue crepe paper for the centre as it has a sort of lined ridge texture to it. I then used cut out pieces of the handmade bark paper and stuck them on. I am happier with this piece as it has more texture and potenial for the next stage.

I thought I would have another go at the chard leaf sample as I liked the fact that the previous sample had colour. I used green and red copy paper (the colour of the original leaf) and I crumpled them both up and then layered them on top of each other. I cut away sections of the green to reveal the red underneath in lines and I also made a few holes through both layers. Not really happy with this piece as it looks like a piece of rubbish ready for the bin! I also tried the frayed hole again using a piece of the scored brown parcel paper and a piece of silky handmade paper. I made a hole in the handmade paper and roughed up the edges with a nail file. I then pleated it and folded it into squares before opening it out and gluing the scored paper behind the hole. This piece is quite simple but I like it.

So, I am ready to move onto the next stage. I have enjoyed exploring different methods of manipulating paper to create surfaces. I have learnt some new skills on how to look at the original piece of work and see how it can progress into the next stage. Some ideas in my head didn’t translate well onto paper and others like the heated tyvek paper came out really well. This is what it’s all about, experimenting, finding out what works and constantly re-evaluating what you are doing by going back to the original piece and seeing how you can move it forward.

Exercise 2.2 Paper manipulation library

I chose to make samples based on the lace veil drawing first. The first sample was white copy paper, a 4 hole punch and a Crop-a-dile punch (a crafters hole punch). Neither of these tools would let me get very far into the paper so I had to fold it into pleats and punch it that way. It didn’t come out very even. I could have used squared paper if I had any to maybe line the holes up better but I actually quite like the unevenness of it. I also tried using a crafters circle punch but the holes were really big and again I couldn’t get to the middle of the paper with it, only round the edges. I then took some black card and tried using a burning joss stick to make holes. This worked quite well but very tedious as it took a while for the joss stick to burn through the thick card. I then decided to try using a soldering iron. This worked much better and quicker than the joss stick although the holes were still quite uneven. I then twisted black tissue paper into strips and glued them over the holes to create the stitch pattern shown on the drawing. I then glued black tissue paper all over some black card creating creases and swirls basing this piece on another of the lace drawings but I was not happy with that sample at all, it looked awful and did not inspire me to take it any further.

While searching my craft room for different papers I came across some sheets of reinforcement rings, the sort you used to use around the holes of your A4 lined paper before putting them in a folder. I cut a sheet of black tissue paper and began sticking on the rings. In the drawing the rings slightly overlap in places so I randomly overlapped some of the rings. This changes the shape between the rings and the spacing which I liked as it took away some of the ‘uniformness’ of the piece. I liked the white on black, it reminded me of 60’s fashion prints.Very Mary Quant and ‘Mod’ like. (The image below is from Pinterest, and had no other link). 60s print - Google Search

I also found an old hand punching tool I had- this was the solution to being able to punch holes anywhere on the paper! It didn’t work that well on thick paper so I tried it on some deli paper and that was much better. In places I didn’t hit the hammer hard enough for the punch to cut all the way through but i quite like that some of the circles are hanging on. I then decided to use the punch to put some holes in the tissue and reinforcement ring piece. This worked really well as the punch was the exact same size as the circle in the middle of each ring. I only did a few as by this point the constant hammering was giving me a headache, but I may go back and put some more in. I also like that piece from behind with the light shining through it- it hides the white but still gives you the circles.

Project3 (Small)

I moved onto the chard leaf drawing. First I experimented with crumpling up white copy paper over and over again. This softened the paper and gave it texture but I felt that the texture was too small. I then used a piece of Tyvek paper and ironed it. This gave me some texture but not as much as I had hoped for so I got another sheet of tyvek and used my heat gun on it with much better results. This really shrivelled the paper up creating large ‘bubbles’ and ‘wells’ and smaller clusters of bubbles and holes. I am very excited by this piece and the texture is so good!


Moving on to the watered silk drawing. I used vintage ledger paper that had lines printed on it. This gave the paper an aged feel from the start. First attempt was scoring lines using a Martha Stewart scoring board. I went right through the paper in some places as it was fragile. The idea was to score the lines in the opposite way to the printed lines and then pleat the paper in the direction of the printed lines. I ended up scoring too close together, going right through the paper in lots of places and then not leaving enough room to pleat folds. I started again, scoring  lines gently and then with a sharp craft knife, in the opposite direction to the printed lines, cutting short lines close together. This worked well but they didn’t really stand out so I took some time to bend and fold the cut lines in different directions creating a sort of 3D effect which I was really pleased with.20180112_123643 (Small)

Next I pleated some lining paper and used torn strips of black tissue paper to create the darker lines. I wasnt that pleased with this sample as it looked a bit messy. Then I used some corrugated cardboard. I drew the designs of the wavy lines on the card and then cut and peeled away the layers between the lines. I really enjoyed this so I made another bigger one. The result was really pleasing with the contrast between the corrugated part and the smooth part.

Project4 (Small)

I liked the shape of the moth damage holes in the ink drawing so this was the part I wanted to work with. I started by burning holes into deli paper with a lit joss stick. This worked well. The paper burnt easily and it was easy to control so that I got the shapes I wanted. I used the same technique on some of the same magazine paper I had used as the moth damage on my collaged piece. It was a little harder to burn through the glossy paper but I still had the same amount of control.

Project7 (Small)

For the drawing of the waistcoat crease I used a sheet of Tim Holtz’s Glassine paper. It has a waxy sort of feel and a nice shine to it. I managed to crease the paper to get some soft creases and some sharper more defined bigger creases. Where the paper creased it made the paper much softer.

My daughter had a parcel arrive and the packaging material was 2 long ‘sleeves’ of brown paper with a seam up each side which had puckered creases emanating from it. I felt this was perfect for the waistcoat drawing and I just reworked some of the creases to give them a bit more definition.

Project5 (Small)

For the creases in the velvet drawing I used Core-dinations cardstock. It has a coloured core, different to the outside. The first piece I crumpled up in my hands several times and then I used a nail file and sandpaper to sand the creases exposing the coloured core. This gave a really good defined texture of light and shadow and the crumpling had made the cardstock really soft. For the 2nd piece I folded lines into the card at different angles and then sanded the folds. Again this gave really defined creases.

I want to work on a few more pieces as I have had some more ideas before I commit to the final samples.

Part two: Surface and stitch Project one, creating surfaces, exercise 2.1 Selecting

“In projects one and two, you’ll carry out some exploratory work that will give you a sense of the skills, methods and scope of sampling that you need to move towards textile creation. These exploratory samples will in turn direct the creation of textile samples in assignment 2. All of the work you generate will be based on responses to your folio of drawing through a hands on exploration of a combination of surface and stitch.”

These are the six drawings I have chosen to work from for project one. I chose images that I felt had the most potential for creating surfaces and mark making with stitch. I was excited by the chard leaf  drawing especially as it contained lots of marks and texture that I felt would translate well in this project. Also the watered silk drawing had an interesting combination of marks. I am already starting to formulate plans in my mind for how I can create surfaces for these two pieces.

Project1 (Small)