10 Jul 2017

Chapter 12 - Head and face designs

Klee - Differently shaped heads, round, long, no outlines, rectangular
Giacometti - differently shaped heads, flattened, oval, rectangular, narrow, thin

Picasso - Differently shaped heads, long oval, deconstructed
Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson - simplified, incomplete
Modigliani - very long, oval, high chickbones

1 - Silhouette of the head
I took a photograph of my daughter's face and used this silhouette to make a template out of thin card. I chose some decorated papers from the Opus Anglicanum study.








24 Jun 2017

Chapter 10 - Contemporary stitched samples to translate areas of decorated papers

Selected area of a decorated paper from the Opus Anglicanum study
Informal sketchbook - Page 69
Sample 1 - A5
I chose a black velvet for the background.  First I painted it with Pearly Gold (Izink). Then I hand stitched strips of black polyester felt and further embellished them with some embossing powder and used the heat gun. Then with the sewing machine I applied these strips on the velvet using a metallic gold thread and an orange thread in the bobbin. Finally I highlighted some areas of the background with some more dense stitching.
Decorated paper from Opus Anglicanum study
Informal sketchbook - Page 71

Sample 2 - A5

At first I worked mainly from the back adding purple silk fabric, red metallic paper, orange metallic organza, purple organza. Working from the front I further embellished the piece with red velvet and red/copper metallic purls. 
Machine stitching: zigzag stitching and cable stitch.
Decorated paper from Opus Anglicanum study
Informal sketchbook - Page 72/74
Sample 3 - A5
I worked on a grey/green velvet fabric for this sample. I added some blue areas of iridescent acrylic paint applied with the edge of a card. To get some diagonal lines I folded a large surface of copper metal, poured the green patina into the folds and let it dry for one night. I attached the metal surfaces in a checkerboard design with hand stitching and zigzag machine stitching. I further embellished with some gold foil and rows of metallic beads.
Decorated paper from Opus Anglicanum study
Informal sketchbook - Page 75
Sample 4 - A5
I painted some white organdie with acrylic inks using a pipette. I applied the copper metal surfaces (heated and punched) using cotton threads, metallic threads systematically cut by the metal surface. I used cable stitching, varying the thickness of the threads. I think that the initial colour of the background was not rich and red enough.
Sample 5
This time I used cable stitching with metallic threads, more metal surfaces and some embossing powder on a red dyed cotton/linen fabric. I think it would be interesting to pleat the background to get more texture. I really had some difficulty to interpret this decorated paper and I am not at all convinced with samples 4 and 5.
Decorated paper from Opus Anglicanum study
Informal sketchbook - Page 77
Sample 6 - A5

Scanning metallic surfaces is really tricky and colours are oddly altered on the samples.

I found out that drawing some lines with coloured pencils helped me to take decisions, to simplify and get a clearer idea of how to begin to interpret a coloured paper.

I have reworked sample 4 after Sîan's feedback.
With a red dye
Combining acrylic paint with dye is a very useful tip in this sample. The dye does not hide the paint marks and thus it adds more depth and more 'red'.

11 Jun 2017

Chapter 9 - Alchemy !

How to turn plain fabrics into metallic surfaces

Colour changes using a metallic thread combined with a coloured thread in machine stitched areas

. Different metallic threads and one warm colour thread
Back of the fabric showing the choosen warm colour

Orange cotton thread (Gütermann col. 1576), squares of 3 x 3 cm
1st row:
- Mettler metallic col. 9924 as top thread
- Au Chinois Metal pink col. 292 as top thread
- Gütermann col. 9495 as top thread
2nd row:
- Gütermann Sulky variegated col. 7020 as top thread
- Victor Thread as top thread
- DMC Metallic embroidery in the bobbin (thick thread)
3rd row:
- Wkreinik metallic in the bobbin
- Mettler metallic col. 2108 in the bobbin
- Isacord metallic green in the bobbin
4th row:
- Au Chinois Metal dark blue col. 2654 as top thread
- Gütermann Sulky silver as top thread (tends to break easily, but can be used in the bobbin)
- Couture Loisirs (Moline) as top thread

I noticed that when using some of the above metallic threads as top threads, it is best for me to stitch at a medium speed. That way the thread does not break.
I cannot say I have a favorite metallic thread. All of them can be used one way or another (in the bobbin).

The same metallic threads at the same place and one cold colour thread
Back of the fabric showing the choosen cold colour

Dark green (Isacord), squares of 3 x 3 cm
It certainly enlarges the possibility of a metallic thread to combine it with different threads: other tints or tones or values can be created.

One metallic thread and a range of different coloured threads
I choose to work with a collection of colours based on the research study colour scheme of module 1.
I stitched squares of each colour changing directions (3 x 3 cm).  I like the subtle colours it creates.
Metallic thread in the bobbin: Mettler Metallic col. 2108 gold
Back showing the colours based on my research study colour shceme
I worked this stitching on simple calico. I was curious to see what would it be like to working on a black background.  
Black velvet background
The peel of the velvet adds a texture. The back of the fabric shows the colour of the stitching better.

Use of paints and inks
I worked with iridescent paints and inks from Liquitex

1 - With the edge of a card and corrugated cardboard
2 - With the edge of a card, corrugated cardboard and a pipette
3 - Prints
4 - With stencils made with freezer paper, and prints
5 - With a stencil, a pipette, a stamp
Use of Markal Oil Stitcks
Informal sketchbook - pages 58/59

6 - With torn papers, rubbings
7 - Rubbings
8 - Rubbings
9 - Rubbings and use of a stencil
Use of PVA and embossing powder
Informal sketchbook - Pages 61/64
10 - Embossing powder over stitching
11 - Stitching, embossing powder and black polyester felt, heat gun
12 - Couching, embossing powder, copper foil

Use of transfoils and metallic papers
13 - Bonded sweet papers on velvet - pleated, smooth effect, slightly crunched
14 - Metallic foil on linen, Markal painsticks, positive and negative shapes
15 - Metallic foil, textile paint, Markal painstitcks, positive and negative shapes, pinking scissors
What I have learned using metallic foils: 
- Be very careful with silver metallic foil, wrong side can be mistaken for the right side
- Do not use transfoil over areas that were glued with PVA and embossing powder. The 2nd layer hides the first one in unwanted areas.
Informal sketchbook - Silver transfoil over PVA + embossing powder
How to modify real metal surfaces
16 - Metal surfaces
On this sample, the colours appear to be much darker than in reality. I experimented with copper foils with two thicknesses 0.025 mm and 0.09 mm. I had experimented earlier with a tomato puree tube and tried to oxidize it but it did not work.
Processes from top to bottom:
- Use of sewing machine without thread and heat gun
- Pleating and heat gun to change the color
- More use of heat gun and punching - Folding, cutting snips with scissors, use of heat gun, glue in the center
- Use of heat gun and scrunching
- Use of heat gun and embossing with a screwdriver
- Use of heat gun (I have obtained colours like orange, red, violet and blue/grey but the scan does not show them)
- Making holes with a needle, polishing with the back of a teaspoon, folding
- Scrunching - Scrunching and use of heat gun

17 - Metal surfaces
Processes from top to bottom:
- Patinating with white vinegar and sawdust (1 day), then more sawdust on top (3 hours) --> blue patina obtained
- Free machine stitching,  use of heat gun, striking the copper in some areas with an abrasive pad, use of Patina Green (from Modern Options) --> green patina obtained
- Use of heat gun, holes with a needle, folding
- Folding, Patina Green applied in the folds, punching --> green patina obtained
- Use of heat gun, embossing with a screwdriver, machine stitching over the lines
- Use of yoghurt --> I was not convinced by the result, a problem of acidity ?
- Pleating and use of a candle 
- Holes with a needle and use of Patina Green
- Patinating with a solution of white vinegar and salt --> blue patina obtained
18 - Embossed thin metal surfaces
I was reluctant at first to use my sewing machine but I soon realized that it was possible without damaging the machine. Concerning the use of chemicals, I only used Patina Green because I had some left in my cupboard from an earlier experiment on clay. I aim to make further experiments with ammonia. I will also do another attempt with yoghurt. 
My preference goes to the use of white vinegar and sawdust.