The first few samples I did for this part of MMT involved hand stitch and for this next exploration I decided to have a play with the sewing machine and invisible thread. I was wondering how ‘hidden’ I could make the join.
On the bubble wrap it was visible but looked more like a glued edge.
On the kitchen towel the stitching was hidden but the walking foot on the sewing machine left a repeated indentation. I actually quite liked that and it might actually be useful one day; I love the kitchen towel that I often have left over after a dyeing or painting session. The fabric is really tough these days but still absorbs the dye/ink/Brusho etc without dulling down the original colour.
On the felt I was again left with the marks around the stitches, if not the stitches showing. The join looks almost like a scar running down the centre of the piece. It’s pleasing to look at and adds just a very subtle piece of detail to the base fabric.
This sample using hand made paper with daffodil flowers included in the mix had the best hidden join but that’s probably more to do with the texture in the base paper. It almost felt pointless; I could just have punctured a few holes across the centre of the piece to get the same effect but this did prove that I could stitch easily into this kind of paper and in future I could try with a coloured thread. Or maybe join lots of little pieces together, in a cut, join, repeat manner until there’s not really any conceivable way to cut and join again.
So that was what I did. This piece of paper has little bits of marigold in it which didn’t stop me being able to make smooth cuts.
At this stage the cuts are nice and clean and most of the paper has survived being stitched and sliced a good few times.
I had set out to keep cutting the paper as many times as my nerves would allow. As I continued to slice and sew the paper lost its 3D quality and it started to get more supple, more fabric like. Small scraps of paper broke away and it was impossible to reattach them so there are now some nice organic chinks to add to the distruption of the slashes and holes.
This time I really like the back, it now looks almost ceramic. It’s difficult to tell of the holes and lines haven’t simply been pressed into a soft material. This surface could be made into a stamp for printing or small areas selected and then replicated onto clay.
I went back to when the cut and sewn piece had got a 3D quality to it. I made a second item and twisted it into different shapes.
What a delight! This looks like a little bird, I wonder if I will ever be skilled enough to make more of these in different bird shapes?
The shape can be twisted, turned and manipulated into more abstract compositions and photographed in different lighting to change the areas of light and dark.