I don’t think that I’ve worked as hard as I should have at recording outcomes, I’ve used this project to look at critiquing but I haven’t yet worked through the article that I like so much to start applying the criteria laid out there. I didn’t want to delay submitting Part 2 so I could do that and though I’m sure to get plenty of further opportunities.
I also didn’t do any sorting to select what I should send for marking, I like to send everything but I am going to reflect in this blog and do a brief overview of the ideas and samples that, given time I would have experimented with further.
Stitching feathers together on the sewing machine worked really well, the delicate structure of the feathers was hardly effected and it would be interesting to see how many you could stitch together and just how easy it would be to attach them together using the fibres not the stems. Could I use dissolvable fabric as a stabiliser. Then could the resulting pieces be added to wrapped bundles or moulded with plaster of Paris for Part 3.
Balloons have featured a couple of times in both the wrapping and joining projects. The solid matt but vibrant colour contrasts well against natural surfaces. The clash of the man made against the nature has potential. It’s a subject often covered by artists so there’s probably not a lot of new ideas or views to be discovered but it doesn’t stop me telling my own story.
The elasticity and the fact that the rubber doesn’t fray offers plenty to experiment with in terms of seeing how far the material can be stretched, pulled, twisted etc.
What I do struggle with is thinking of ways I could use this way of joining as it stands. It could be an embellishment on an embroidered piece but then my ideas dry up.
Back to feathers, I think it’s the colours and the delicate finish of flighty feathers and woolly background that I like so much about this sample. The composition is simple but the elements are beautiful in their own right. This opens up lots of questions about materials. Is is cheating to use already beautiful items?can you become too reliant on their attractiveness and general appeal?
It was at this point that I could really see some value in making samples for no reason other than testing a technical method. Here it was joining pieces of paper or fabric together, aligned without a gap or an overlap.
The idea of making a piece and them cutting it up and repiecing it is quite common when quilting and wet felting and it’s a technique with huge potential for creating interesting and complicated patterns from simple beginnings.
The added advantage of repeatedly cutting and then sewing back together is that you create something with lots of flexibility, which means you can keep remodelling it to make even more interesting shapes. It’s a little bit like origami but the sewn joints are far more flexible and stand up to be refilled again and again.
The potential of this technique is huge, I can see big old quilts made into towering 3D structures. It could be used to make prototypes for sculptures made in tough leather or even porcelain.
I’ve chosen this sample because although it’s made in the same way as the previous sample I see the potential of the materials in this example. How’d have thought Jaycloths could be so attractive. If I was ever to do a project based on rock formations I would include this method and the same or very similar materials. Every time I look at it I see granite and the striations in different kinds of rocks, especially those in Widemouth Bay in Cornwall.
I couldn’t not include this sample, everything I make from this piece of tapestry that I bought from a charity shop works, it’s like it contains some magic that allows it to easily transform when handled and changed.
I would love to make a series of these 3D sculptures from different charity shop finds, the question then is, would you add more decoration? Or surround them with other items? I think if I did I would have to be very considered in my approach so as not to create something overly cluttered.
This sample almost answers the question I asked above, I’ve added a small extra element and that doesn’t over power the result and the gaps create breaks in the flow of the curved lines which could be filled by other elements or just as a viewing window through to interesting items place behind or inside the 3D structure.
I’d like to work on the scale of this sample. I think the layout and composition works really well, there’s a harmony between the lines that suggests light pouring through a window or clear rays passing down across windows in a building or through the branches of a tree. I think it could be at least A3 and could be made up of different items sewn together to replicate the tapestry and then cut, placed and sewn in the same way.
I’ve included this one not because I liked it but because I don’t. At the time I decided not to use the manipulated silk paper as the items to be joined by the feather stabbed straws because I thought it was being lazy, it was being too reliant on the instantly attractiveness of the papers and the painted feathers. I went for the more challenging option and it’s boring. Sooooo verrry boring!! I apologise for that.
This sample worked on so many levels; the process of cutting, twisting and joining was very tactile and satisfying, the materials complemented and fell together well (that’s the advantage of using something that someone else has already put a lot of thought into) and there’s potential in replicating the technique and design with lots of different materials (leather, metal, wood etc).
Playing with size and materials comes straight to mind for me when I look at this sample. This method of balancing items and holding them together with strong wooden pegs makes the Joining an integral and visible part of the piece not just something to be hidden like stitches when English Paper Piecing.
There’s something strong and forceful about the wooden piercings, they hold together a delicate and elaborate structure that would simply tumble apart if not held together so confidently.
I’ve included this sample because it presents lots of potential at the different stages along its creation. I included lots of different elements as I went along and without photographs it would be very difficult to know what was hidden inside the package. My feelings about this intrigue me; am I ashamed that all the insides are hidden? Do I need to justify why all the best bits, the jewels in the seed heads are not visible? How would I display and explain this in an exhibition. This sample has potential not just because of its design but also because of my responses.
It’s the twisted newspaper that I’d like to take forward from this sample, it’s an intriguing yarn and I’d like to experiment with it further. Maybe unwrapping some of it, or adding it into my moulding samples. Will it make interesting solid lumps in papier-mâché?
In the past my driver for sorting and selecting would have been what I liked and what I didn’t. I’d have used my feelings and instincts and picked what I thought was attractive. This exercise has made me question that method and has made me slow down and start to look at my samples with a colder more practical eye. I’ve cast a couple away already because all I could say about them was I loved the way they looked. That’s just not enough and possibly not even that important.
Now this sample has a bit of both, it’s interesting and nice to look at and it could be further developed and taken forward pretty much as it is. It could be used to create a series based on a daily or weekly walk with treasures collected on the walk. It has potential as a journaling/recording tool.
This is another design/technique which would work well for journaling, and I would, if I had time use is as a platform for documenting my responses to subjects in the world that worry me, political issues like pollution, human slavery and less dramatically historical events and memories.
This little hand grenade of ripped cloth and human hair could very quickly have an interesting back story.
And this one’s here because it’s pretty and it makes me happy. Sorry, I’ve learnt nothing !!!