What feels ages ago I made the drawings for Picking and Portraying. I had great fun making big bold paintings using Procion Dye and Brusho, I mixed in some gesso and acrylic paint when the fancy took me. Over a couple of weeks the flowers slowly faded, either becoming frail or hard as they decayed. The sunflower heads became very firm and worked well as stamps to make big textured prints.
I always particularly liked this print, with its dabs, ragged lines and circles. It reminds me of the ragged material on the frayed edges of the linen dust coat that was one of the earlier source objects for this project. I wasn’t particularly happy with the colours so thought it would be nice to experiment with this when I did the stitch on paper samples.
This sample was lovely to do, it was tricky when the bark paper became fragile, I had bashed the life out of it with the embelisher and the hand grinding tool when I was doing the paper manipulation exercises.
Although the bark paper is quite plain in colour the original print is quite colourful, I decided I wanted to make a bright base for this sample but in a material full of texture and thickness. In the hope that the stitching with combine and sink into the surface like they had on the stitching on paper sample.
In a box in my workroom I found some prefelt that I had made with my friend Tori when I had been in a ‘felting’ stage! Sewn and felted together and with more wool fibres added I was able to get a nice coloured base to stitch onto.
I had a chose then; cut up the felt and use a mosaic techique to inlay contrasting pieces together to get the sharper lines of the print or stitch in the lines. I decided the felt was too firm and nice as it was to mosaic so I used machine stitch to ‘draw’ in the sunflower. This also met with my aim to use stitch to replicate my drawn/painted lines and marks.
The reverse is looking rather lovely too. I did concider using more experimental machine stitch on thee fron of the piece but felt it would just be a case of throwing too much at the design if I did.
As I reviewed the piece I thought I needed to bring in another element from the linen smocks in addition to the darning stitch so armed with a very sharp pair of scissors I cut some slashes into the felt to bring through the colours from beneath.
Using water and soap I roughed up and felted down the edges of the slashes and the piece was finished.