Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Samples 2015: Week 20, Fibre-optic

Frayed sheer synthetic fabrics (those cheap scarves from Bombay Stores!), hand stitched to a base of felt. Very tiny sequins added – I had to photograph at an angle for these to show up, but then the frays went dull... never mind, you get the idea.
Source picture
Ofcom plans to force BT to open up fibre-optic network. BT likely to resist communications watchdog’s move aimed at cutting costs for households and businesses.”
A bundle of fibre optics used to send data. Photograph: Rafe Swan/Cultura RF/Getty Images
Sample design
I had some lovely ideas for this one… I especially fancied massed, layered hand stitches. But they were far too labour intensive for a busy week. So I went with the idea of fibres, and the finest to hand came from fraying bright sheer fabrics. With the teeniest silver sequins (I didn’t have any white and I make do with what I’ve got for this exercise) to represent the cable ends.  

Monday, 25 May 2015

Saltaire Arts Trail

This is an amazing event, in a fascinating historic setting. There’s a makers’ fair, exhibitions, open houses, workshops and demos. Heaven!

A few of my highlights, with links for you to explore further:
Hannah Lamb, Linear Mapping. "An installation of 'threads' or strands suspended from the ceiling. Each of the threads is a record of a walk, a linear map, a record of time and place. Textile, porcelain, found materials, stitch, natural dye, construction, cyanotype." 
Valerie Wartelle - subtle, sophisticated felt wall pieces.

Stitching for the Soul, Beverley Holmes-Wright. Machine embroidery/applique pictures, with nice use of automatic embroidery patterns.
Georgina Parker, dissected maps. Incredibly intricate, delicate paper cutting, e.g. removing everything except the roads and rivers.
And Alice Fox's "Tide Marks","Gifts from the Pavement" etc. - fabric and paper marked and coloured by exposure to the environment or found objects, with the addition of hand stitching. 
And Lizzie Farey's willow sculptures, vessels and wall sculptures. Always a favourite of mine.
 And, and, and... too much to mention! An uplifting, inspiring day.   

Friday, 15 May 2015

Samples 2015: Week 19, Carnation ‘Blackjack’

Dark red velvet, 6cm square, embroidered with narrow free zigzag stitch in a shaded pink rayon 30 thread. I always find velvet... uncooperative! To put it politely. So this was a bit of a challenge for me. But as usual, it’s solubles to the rescue - I used Aquasol to carry the design and control the velvet pile, stretched in a hoop.
The unevenness of the stitching is on purpose, honest – I deliberately didn’t keep turning the hoop to keep the satin stitch straight along the lines, raggedy seemed more appropriate.
Source picture
“Gardens: what to do this week. Try growing summer veg in raised beds made of straw, sow kale, and plant a modern carnation.”
Carnation ‘Blackjack’: ‘It’s clove-like scent makes it great for the cutting garden
Sample design
OK, so it’s a bad week when I have to resort to a photo from the gardening page. But I couldn’t stomach even opening a lot of the newspaper the day after the election results.

And then the obvious way forward for me with these flowers would’ve been layers of white-edged petals, so not that… I decided to pick out the pale outlines only, on a dark red velvet.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Samples 2015: Week 18, The Sun

Yellow scrims embellished onto orange wool-viscose felt from the back.
Source picture
“England faces major rise in record hot years due to climate change say scientists. Increased effects of climate change enable scientists to predict localised changes in weather, such as at least a 13-fold increase in record hot years in England.”
Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA
Sample design
I wanted a more interesting sun! Thinking of swirling heat, coronal mass ejections, led to the idea of fine loops of thread emerging from a disc shape.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Samples 2015: Week 17, Human Body

Bright Kunin felt cut out and applied to black base using the embellisher.
Black FME outline and detailing.

Source picture
From this article in the Saturday Guardian 25/04/15:
“Adventures in medicine: ‘I journey through the body every day’. From the eyeball to the umbilical cord, from a messy corpse to the value of ECT – doctor Gavin Francis recounts his adventures in medicine and explores the wonders of the human form."
Illustration by Edward Carvalho-Monaghan
Sample design
Nothing too off piste here. I just chose three of the little square designs and then changed the colours so they’d work together in a strip.