Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Samples 2015: Week 38, Tridoku

Coloured felt squares applied to white felt using the embellisher. Each colour then hand stitched with a slightly darker shade of stranded cotton.

Source picture
From this article in the Saturday Guardian 19/09/15:
“Nested fish and golden triangles: adult colouring and the beauty of maths. These mathematical patterns, by Alex Bellos and illustrator Edmund Harriss, are intended to engage the brain as well as provide a moment of stress-free satisfaction.”
Alex Bellos and Edmund Harriss
Sample design
This week I really fancied some simple colourful hand stitching so I pinched a small section of this image. Felt is so lovely to stitch on! 

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Samples 2015: Week 37, Ai Weiwei

Machine embroidery using a Flower Stitcher attachment. Black and grey threads on hand dyed cotton bonded to heavy weight stabiliser.

Source picture
From this article in the Saturday Guardian 12/09/15:
“Ai Weiwei – from criminal to art-world superstar. The Chinese artist talks about how his incarceration helped his career, and why he’s embarrassed about his early work – ahead of his first major UK exhibition.”
Ai Weiwei: ‘I don’t go to church. I work seven days a week, I’m always the first one in the office.’ Photograph: Andy Wong/AP Photo
Sample design
I was drawn to the offset circles, so I decided to just doodle with those.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Samples 2015: Week 36, Stalactites

Free machine embroidery on dissolvable fabric, using a subtly shaded green-cream-pink rayon thread. Two strips of stalactites overlaid. No background fabric, I photographed it against black but the camera (sorry, I – I shouldn’t blame my tools) struggled to bring out the colours.
Source picture
“Going underground: the Jeita Grotto, Qornet El Hamra, Lebanon. Artists Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige lose all sense of time and space, marvelling at the shapes and formations in this cavernous underground world.”
The Jeita Grotto, Lebanon, is a a huge concentration of extraordinary shapes. Photograph: Tim Barker/Getty Images/Lonely Planet Image
Sample design
What appealed here was the idea of fringes of stalactites, I didn’t copy any actual section of the photo. I enjoyed this, and it might have some potential.   

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Samples 2015: Week 35, Harebells

Quick hand stitch, on pale green bandage scrim over felt. The flowers are teased tufts of crewel wool.

Source picture
From this article in the Saturday Guardian 29/08/15:
"Harebells at Bosley Cloud, Cheshire. As folklore has it, witches used juices squeezed from the flowers to turn themselves into hares; the Victorians believed fairies slept in the bells.”

Hare bells (Campanula rotundifolia): frail flowers flickering on wire-thin stems. Photograph: Gareth McCormack
Sample design
Flowers are an easy option, so I felt obliged not to be too realistic. And I wanted a bit of hand stitch to take on holiday, which cut down the options (though unexpectedly summery weather meant I didn’t actually touch it while away!).

So I chose to ignore the delicacy of the bells and went for quick and messy splashes of blue wool.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Samples 2015: Week 34, Cacti

Automatic embroidery pattern, chosen to look spiky. Plus French knots in stranded cotton. The fabric is calico over pelmet Vilene.

Source picture
From this article in the Saturday Guardian 22/08/15:
Lanzarote’s beautiful cactus garden. At the Jardín de Cactus, designed by César Manrique, over 1,100 species of cacti fill a disused quarry amid the island’s otherworldly, volcanic landscape.”
Jardín de Cactus, Lanzarote. Photograph: Frank Lukasseck/Corbis
Sample design
As always, my first thought is how to make it look just like the real thing! Colour, texture, everything.
Then, if I’m being good, I catch myself and consider how to make it different.
So I took a section with parts of four cacti and focused on the spiny ribs, with a ring of (dead?) flowers on one of them for contrast.