15 Jan 2018

Chapter 14 - continued

On the line
I tried to draw and link the faces to make connections between the commuters.


That way I made a  long strip (13 cm x 230 cm).  It gives an idea of time and space.
Then I tried to visualize what it would be like to colour the lines.
I had to consider what materials I could use. Solufleece and coloured metallic threads or/and
organdie and coloured metallic threads and cutwork ?

Add some other metallic surfaces ? some parts could be more stitched. Use stronger wires on top ?
Once the solufleece is dissolved could I apply some faces on a fabric and put closer some faces allowing some of the threads to flow ?
Informal sketchbook - Page 109

I finally decided to use Cotton organdie because I could stitch on this transparent fabric without a loop if I stretched it with my hands. It gave me more freedom. 
I machine stitched the lines with metallic threads
I used metallic threads Mettler: blue 4101 - red 1723 - copper 1134 - variegated gold 9924 - gold 0490
I also had to decide how to display this long strip.
Could it stand upright like in #11, maybe with some wire on the top and on the bottom? Or could it simply be hanged on the wall ? People would have to walk to read the strip.
I could also make a flutter book. In that case I would have to consider what would the cover look like. Maybe an embossed metallic surface ?
Informal sketchbook - Pages 110/111
I tried to stitch a metallic wire on the edge of a piece of organdie and I found out it gave just the right stiffness I was looking for to make the strip stand upright.
I added some metallic surfaces to enhance the faces. Some shapes made copper foil 0.001 were appliquéed. I felt it gave some rhythm to the long strip.
I chose to emphasize the red line with zigzag stitch
The strip stands upright thanks to the metallic copper wire I zigzag stitched on the top and the bottom

From time to time I allowed the red metallic thread to float over the surface

The transparent fabric allows to see the faces from both sides
I can give this strip any shape but I like this meandering shape
I did wonder if I could couch more wires but when I tried to I was not satisfied with the result.

26 Nov 2017

Chapter 15 - Study of Artists

ALICE KETTLE is a textile artist  who uses faces and figures within her work. She had a fine art training and then turned to textiles at Goldsmiths' College. She is currently Professor of Textile Arts, Manchester Metropolitan University. 
She belongs to a tradition of thread narrative as she draws reference from the history of figurative textiles and monumental narrative tapestry. She is inspired by books, poems, people, places, thoughts, fears, connections, stories. If she is doing a commission it is always connected to the site. She says that her work is in some fundamental way 'all about portraiture', not of herself but of 'the other me' - the rigorous thinker, the outsider, the myth-reader, the maker of symbolic figures with their endless stories of the same bewildering situations. (cf. Alice Kettle - Threads & More Threads, published by Candida Stevens Gallery).

Among her work, I have selected several portraits. She keeps on revisiting the theme of heads. Stitch is used to draw and to bind pieces together. Colours are strong and the lines show energy.
Coeus, 2007 (80 x 60 cm) Thread, felt and fabric
Coeus, one of a series of heads, was made by re-cycling the offcuts from Looking Forwards to The Past (16 m long). To Alice Kettle, stitching the fragments together was a way to reconstruct herself as a new being.
Coeus and Stitch Head are portraits not as representations but as a remembering of a feeling of encounter.
Stitch Head, 2008 (80 x 60 cm) Thread on canvas

Incubus, 2011 (90 x 96 cm) Thread on canvas and felt
The incubus is a mythological figure who seduces women in their sleep.
Head, 2016

Queen Henrietta Maria, 2013 (129 x 104 cm) Thread and print on canvas
Lady, 2016 (90 x 70 cm) Thread on canvas
This work is a self-portrait. Dense waves of gold thread are said to be typical of her work pre 2010.

BERYL DEAN (1911 - 2001) was an exceptional ecclesiastical embroiderer. She was trained at the Royal School of Needlework and was awarded an MBE for services to embroidery. She designed and made copes, vestments, chasubles as she carried out many commissions.
Gold thread was a characteristic of her work. She used metallic materials such as aluminium threads, synthetic gold braid, silver kid, Jap gold, gold metallic fabric, lurex fabric over padding. She was highly skilled and innovative.
Madonna, 1938 (Cover of the book)
Madonna is an example of experimental work using a variety of metal threads. The panel was worked entirely in different kinds of metal threads, including gold, copper and other colours. The background is covered completely with the embroidery.
Images of her work can be seen at 
Head of Christ is on display at the V&A.

Knitting and Stitching Show 2011, exhibition to the memory of Beryl Dean
Piece made in collaboration with Alice Kettle

Chasuble, 1982
Enthronement Cope, Canterbury Cathedral, 1980
(designed by Beryl Dean) made by Elizabeth Elvin and Beryl Dean

22 Nov 2017

Chapter 14 - Developing design ideas

At the end of this module I want to develop my belt idea to make an item for my first Diploma assessment piece.
The words 'enforced restrain', 'parallel straight lines' from Siân's feedback made me realise that I would like to work much more freely and try to look further than straight lines placed within bands of parallel lines. Therefore I tried to explore some other possibilities.
Some pages of my informal sketchbook about the project:
Informal sketchbook - Page 96
Informal sketchbook - Page 106

Informal sketchbook - Page 100
Informal sketchbook - Page 105

Informal sketchbook - Page 101
Informal sketchbook - Page 102

I could make a strip of connected faces (the commuters I keep on drawing) stitched with metallic threads. The faces would not be inserted within parallel lines. I would enjoy to use some of my previous drawings in a textile piece. It would make sense of the research done in module 1.
Informal sketchbook - Page 104
Some surfaces could even be coloured and intensely stitched like I did in my resolved sample. 
Informal sketchbook - Faces
Informal sketchbook - Faces

A possible option to simplify the biro drawings of faces

Informal sketchbook - Page 104

# 1 - Some mark makings evoked by rails on a meandering strip

# 2 - the same strip but doubled and entertwined and faces
# 3 - Beginning of the mock-up for a metallic belt (would have more sections)

The metallic belt could be a very long one, with several different sections. I am not so sure about making a functionnal belt, I'd rather think about a decorative long item evoking a trip, a metallic item that would have the shape of a belt.

Colour scheme explored in Module 1
Informal sketchbook - Page 98

# 4 -Sample
Informal sketchbook - Pages 107/108
# 5 - Samples with two contrasting colours

Organdie backed with old linen - lutradur painted with acrylic iridescent rich copper
Transfoils - tarnished mica fragments - copper foil - strings wrapped with wire - zip
Running stitch with lurex - zigzag stitching with metallic threads - automatic cross-stitching - couching
Informal sketchbook - Pages 106/107

Surfaces could be coloured and intensely stitched with metallic threads like I did in my resolved sample in Chapter 13. The white wax line could be left without any stitching at all. I could also add some metallic surfaces of copper foil or some 'crosses' made of metallic materials.
# 6 - Sample with metallic threads, viscose chainette, string wrapped  with copper wire

# 7 - Sample with a thick metallic thread on a dyed silk background
The work is done from the back as this metallic thread is very thick.  
#7.1 - Sample with some more metallic surfaces of copper foil
I am considering to  mix together Samples 5 and 6.