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)