Sunday, 22 February 2015

Samples 2015: Week 6, Drones

Yellow and green net over white felt, free cross stitch.

Source picture
From this article in the Saturday Guardian 07/02/15:
“Battle of the drones: the little guys taking on the tech giants. As Amazon and Google race to control the commercial drone market, will these enthusiasts beat them at their own game?”

Illustration: Matt Murphy for the Guardian
Sample design
Resist the butterflies! A striking image, but my least favourite colours.
My sample isn't a literal section from the picture, but represents a similar swarm of drones spiralling up into the sky.    

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Samples 2015: Week 5, Gap in the Clouds

Silver transfer foil ironed onto felt with Bondaweb. Surrounded by swirls of grey and black wool tops applied using the embellisher.

Source picture

“‘Drowned in a sea of salt’ Blake Morrison on the literature of the east coast. Writers from Crabbe to Sebald have been drawn to the fragile beauty of the east coast of Britain – and have immortalised it in words”.

Shingle Street in Suffolk
Sample design
My first thought was a vertical section, bands of greys with silver and gold. So, just to be awkward, I rejected that and focussed instead on a fleeting gap in the clouds where the sun peeped through.   

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Samples 2015: Week 4, Manchester

Background of blue felt embellished with wool fibres to introduce subtle colour variations. Orange wool fibres and yellow felt applied with embellisher. Free machined lines. Buttonhole stitch and French knots.

Source picture

“The new city centres: the alternative establishment that wants to wrest power from the capital. Britain’s locally elected leaders only control around 6% of their cities’ tax base – but in New York, it’s 50%. Now Britain’s 11 biggest cities outside London are teaming up to lobby for a major new wave of devolution.”

Manchester city centre at night.
Sample design
Section of photo abstracted and simplified, trying to avoid being too literal. Felting techniques lend themselves to this as it’s hard to reproduce fine detail!    

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Samples 2015: Week 3, Surface of Mars

Hand stitched texture, painted over with acrylic. Buttonhole stitch, eyelets, whip stitched ridges, French knots.

Source picture

Beagle 2 spacecraft found intact on surface of Mars after 11 years. British Beagle 2 probe had not been seen or heard from since December 2003 and had been presumed destroyed.” 
The Beagle 2 probe spotted on Mars.
Sample design
Based on the craters, ridges and rocks of the red planet’s surface.   

Friday, 6 February 2015

Samples 2015: Week 2, Mondrian

White felt applied to black using embellisher. French knots in hand dyed red perle thread.

Source picture

“Abstract art: from the radical to the everyday. Mondrian’s bold grids, Malevich’s Black Square, Jenny Holzer’s top secret redacted government documents ... a new exhibition celebrates the point and edge of 100 years of abstraction.”

Piet Mondrian’s Composition with Yellow, Blue and Red (1937).

Sample design
Again I had to think twice and not attempt to imitate the source picture! So I took a small section at an angle, and made it fuzzy and textural.  

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Samples 2015: Week 1, Arches

Free machined over hand dyed threads and organza ribbon on sticky soluble fabric.

Remember (I have to tell myself) this is only a sample, a quick response to a found image. 

Source picture

Architects’ vision of London takes inspiration from 19th-century Paris. Quinlan and Francis Terry are spearheading a fight against the wave of skyscraper construction in London, beginning with a classically inspired design for the site of Hyde Park barracks.”
Sample design

OK so it’ll be black and white, and how can I get the brickwork pattern right…


Had to squash my initial reaction down and think more creatively. 

Decided to just do a simple row of arches, forget the detail and the actual colours. 

I arranged a hand dyed red-pink-purple perle cotton thread on sticky soluble, over a band of purple organza ribbon. Covered with Gulietta soluble then free machined a zigzag pattern (using straight stitch) to join the threads together.  

I used the white fabric kind of sticky soluble, it’s all I can get these days. But I’ve found before that I can’t get rid of the residue. At the Knitting & Stitching Show I asked Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn about this, and they said it works for them, I’m just not leaving it to soak long enough.  

So I thought I’d give it another chance with this little sample. No luck. The packet says to rinse away in room temperature water but it still doesn’t work for me, even with hot water and hours of soaking. 

Anyway I picked it all off the back eventually. Remind me not to use it again. Such a shame, the old clear plastic-like sticky soluble was wonderful!