17 Feb 2017

Evaluation and Records


When choosing my research theme 'Networks and Connections'  I had no real idea of where it would lead me. I was really enthusiastic when elaborating the mind map. Then I concentrated on 'commuting' But at some occasions along the chapters, I thought I had made a wrong choice because I could not find straightaway the link with the required exercises of the module.

My working process for the beginning of the module has been rather slow. I needed time to explore my surroundings. I spent a lot of time sketching with a biro in the metro and loved the experience. I also needed  time to make thorough historical research on internet, which lead me to the Petite Ceinture. As a little girl I was intrigued by this deserted railway. So I decided to explore this wasteland and I met on this occasion people who were passionate about the Petite Ceinture.
Finally I  worked at a steadier pace from Chapter 4 because I had a clearer idea of my topic. 

Making my own informal sketchbook was a real help. I was not afraid of using it and it helped me in the creative process. Page after page I just told to myself 'keep going' and 'stay on track'. I still cannot draw directly in my informal sketchbook but I glue small sketches, bits of fabrics, trials and write without restrictions my thoughts. 

I always have great pleasure using paints and oil pastels. Here again I could spend endless time on designs. I have noted that I have to be more careful when translating my designs into embroidery samples (a lighter value than that of design for the background fabric in Chapter 10). 

I hope that my design ideas are not too simple for the required embroidered item. I have not made any proposal for other items. I felt that to choose to make a belt was a nod to the 'Little Belt'.
I was lucky to see two exhibitions of the Artists that I choose to study. I had not planned for it, it was obvious to me that it just echoed my own topic.


Student Name : Evelyne Ouillon
Date : 16 february 2017
Module 1
The coursework that Evelyne Ouillon is submitting for this Module is her own unaided work.
Signed : Armelle Lefbvre    lefebvrearmelle@gmail.com


Timing for design work and the finished embroidered item : not completed yet

On average it took me two working weeks (with 2 hours a day) to complete a chapter (except for chapters 1 and 2). 
Time spent thinking about ideas and time spent updating the blog are not recorded.


I have opened a material cost sheet  for future request.

Design work in progress
     Pinned to my pin board
Completed embroidery
     Wrapped in acid free tissue paper, in cardboard boxes with name of module
Completed design work
     Kept flat, wrapped in acid free tissue, with name of module
Papers for design work
     Kept flat, away from sun
Inks and paints for design work
     Upright, lids secure, stored in transparent boxes (name on it) in the closet
Other items like glue, bleach, sprays
     Upright, lids secure, on a upper shelf in the closet
Embroidery work in progress
     In a dedicated basket, near my sewing machine furniture, protected by tissue paper
     Stored in the cupboard, in fiber order, labelled with name of supplier and price
      Away from sun, in the dedicated drawers next to my sewing machine furniture, in colour and type order
Beads, metal threads, etc.
     Wrapped in acid free tissue paper, in colour order for the beads
Dyes, paints, plaster,etc.
     Dyes in plastic boxes with lids secure, paints on a shelf in the closet   
Sewing machine, embellisher, pleater
      In working position, normal room temperature and humidity   
Other electrical equipment like hot gun, iron, glue gun
     In the closet, flex lightly wound                                                                       


From notes in my informal sketchbook,  special precautions during working progress when

. Fixing charcoal and pastels on paper
I use outdoor a CFC free colourless fixative, stored in normal room temperature (it is highly flammable)
. Using the glue gun
I store it only when cold. I work on a teflon set and am careful of secure working position. I pay attention to the flexible
. Using  brusho powders
I manipulate powders with gloves, and wear a mak when mixing powders into solutions. I work away from draughts.
. Using the sewing machine and the embellisher
I am careful of my working position.
. Using x-acto
I protect the blade with a cork and use a self-healing mat.
. Using carving tools
I am careful of the position of my hands.
. Working with fiber reactive dyes
I protect everything near the sink as I am working in my kitchen, I wear gloves, a mask and a blouse.
. Working with rusty items to make marks
I am careful of cutting edges of the items and I wear gloves.

. Working with bleach
I work in a well-ventilated room or wherever possible outdoor. I wear gloves.




15 Feb 2017

Chapter 12 - Towards an embroidered item

I choose this design option to develop further. I like these meandering lines (quite a change after all the straight lines of rails).

I took a woolen fabric as a base and painted some bondaweb to put on it. Then I layered scraps and strips of cotton scrim, polyester chiffon, plastic net, metallic organza  and dyed habotai. I covered it with another layer of bondaweb to straighten the whole piece and finally added some metallic scraps on top to create depth.
After hand and machine stitching
Hand stitching : running stitch and cross stitch
Machine stitching : #142 
I like the resulting effect but is the stitching dense enough to 'cover' the surface ?

I made another background in a variation of my colour scheme to be able to achieve more colour contrast.
I took a woolen fabric as a base and covered it with some strips of tissue paper. Then I bonded large strips of a nonwoven blue fabric.

After machine stitching
Machine stitching : #123 and free machining
Drawn lines on the back of the blue stitched surface
I aimed to use the positive and negative strips and mix both backgrounds.
Some words came to me before taking the next step of cutting the shapes : rather simple, symmetrical, monotonous, uniform, dull, routine, boring... but after all, how else could be described the daily journey of a commuter ? How could I make unexpected encounters ? I have already moved slightly the second line and maybe I could try to cut sections.
I made some photocopies to work more freely first.
I think that small details of stitches and scraps of fabric have added some interest. 

Pages 54 - 55 of sketchbook
Pages 56 - 53 of sketchbook
Pages 61- 57 of sketchbook
Page 59 of sketchbook 'tangled'
Finally I found that small details of stitches and scraps of fabric added some interest to the shapes. Looking at small details during the journey makes all the difference. So I machine stitched the lines (cable stitch) and cut the shapes.
12.1 - Two strips intertwined (negative and positive shapes)
12.2 - Two positive strips of contrasting colours overlayed (two rows)
12.3 - Strips attached to get 3D, it makes me think of a spine
12.4 - Once stitched, these strips could be hanged
On a larger piece, I would be very careful on the distribution of colours to avoid symmetry
12.5 - A contrasting strip could be stitched on top
12.6 - Pinned to make a wheel
12.7 - Two shapes further stitched on the edge (#46)
12.8 - Weaved, I like this irregular pattern

12.9 - Hanging version of 12.8

It would need to be worked on front and reverse sides.
12.10 - Stitched flower like on a silk fabric

Maybe I could introduce some green beads or rusted washers on the connecting points. 

Different design ideas from my shapes
Having done some research on the Little Belt, I think it would be fun to chose to make a belt for my functional 3 dimensional piece.
12.11 - Two meandering intertwined lines and one straight line weaved together to make a belt

12.12 - Slightly stretched and opened
The shapes are bending (more 3D) and the voids could let appear a coloured background or a garment underneath
12.13 - A more restricted palette, with washers to embellish, threads could be weaved in the voids
12.14 - With another layer on top, the design looks to me a little confused
12.15 - A little too large perhaps and massive, it would be convenient for a large waisted belt
12.16 - The coloured strip is enclosed between the meandering ones
I prefer this one (as opposed to 12.14). A touch of mystery in it perhaps, a glimpse of something else...
12.17 - A possible extension to the belt
I could perhaps think of making a utility belt with some cargo pockets (embellished with the cut shapes).
12.18 - Using the single shapes to form the belt
Or perhaps the shape for the flap of a pocket ? I could combine it with 12.13 for a refined look
12.19 - With an extension to hang a pocket
12.20 - A double row of the strip
 The legs of the shape are slightly brought together. I like the added dimension
12.21 - I tried to introduce another coloured shape
12.22 - With some straight strips

I like this one for the variety of its shapes (the two curved strips and the crosses drawn by the straight narrow strips). It has a dominant colour with a little contrast. 

A proposal for a resolved embroidered item
Pages 65 - 66 of sketchbook
Page 68 of sketchbook
Pages 69 - 70 of sketchbook
Pages 71 - 72 of sketchbook
Pages 73 - 74 of sketchbook
Which patterns I could use for the belt and the pocket. How can I place them ? There are endless possibilities of combinations.
Proposal A
Proposal B
Proposal C
Proposal D

I would define the design for Proposal A as refine but I am afraid it could look too simple for a resolved embroidered item. I specially like the buckle though. The combination does work but it does not show all the work I have done so far. Nevertheless that is not the point.

Proposal B would look too busy, overly ornate I think. The answer could be in Proposal D. The pattern of the belt is simplified and I would draw the attention to the pocket. I specially like the idea of the asymetrical shape for the flap.
I have a special feeling for Proposal C. Maybe I could add to the pocket some fringes or thin stripes. The question being is it too much ?

What are the words I had selected ? Iron rust, time, copper, connection, crosses, long lines -straight / meandering- tracks, small details on the way. I think the next step would be to make a board to help me to organize my ideas,