Assignment Two (Option 2): Exercise 2.2: Focus on embellishment and risk taking in experimentation. Overstitched Voile

Overstitched Voile

I wanted to create something that was see through, to create a flexible surface, which could be left as it was or have something placed behind it, to give colour / pattern etc.  I used my bonded surfaces which I had already stitched into (see the images to the left in the picture below):



Using both the close up drawings and some of my earlier sketches, I made a few samples on the voile.  I intend to play with these further (see physical work) but I also wanted to show what they were like up to the light.  You can see how background can add something, as well as the infiltration of light.

Thinking of the artist Stewart Kelly who I researched earlier and the idea of layers, I tried photographing the embroidered drawings folded together and merged:


You will see how I have now put these together.  I like looking through to more black stitches.  It gives the work body and a depth.

This work was partly inspired by a visit to the biscuit factory and some stretched drawings on voile.  I have mentioned them previously and listed them below.  But it is the idea of really drawing with stitch, and this being the main focus.

What do I think about this work?

I do find it interesting to try, but I don’t think It is something I wish to peruse at this stage any further.  I can however see its uses.  I could scan this into the computer and play with other items behind it, such as a coloured background?  Making a print of this?

I may try this, however some of my work has to be streamlined, as I can only take so much forward.  However I have scanned a few into the PC….and to my surprise (and annoyance actually as I feel like the more I trial, the more material I am coming up with and it seems like it is spiralling out of control!)  The desire to look beyond the surface and try to see around the next corner has overridden me.  Curiosity drives me on…

Jo Beatie (as seen at The Biscuit Factory)

I mentioned above an artist I had seen at this gallery who reminded me about voile techniques.  She cleverly uses this technique along with cutting and a soldering iron, to not only machine embroider the pieces but also cut around them to create standalone shapes…..



Above on the last page is an understanding of the technique and her practice.  What I like about her work, Is the slight and subtle use of colour to define certain areas such as clothing.


A few of my trials, which have mixed potential.  I can see me playing with some digitally during the next project:

I began my trials by scanning in my voile stitched drawings separately:

I know that I will be able to alter the contrast and definition and add filters to make these look different. However I was also curious as to what would happen if I layered them, as I had stitched a few similar ones….


What is nice, is that the cheek area doesn’t overbear the piece, as it is masked with the layer of voile.

I wondered too, what would happen if I added a coloured background then layered one or two voile drawings on top?

What to use?

I thought of my previous successful attempt at bonded surfaces with the facial detail on top.  I printed a few of these out and began to layer and scan into the PC:

3333333In order to mix it up and give it an edge, I placed the voile layer not quite on top of the background, so that a double emphasis of lines can be observed.  Both the ones I have pasted here have worked really well, they add a dimension to the bonded surfaces which I had never thought of until I had trailed both techniques separately.

I would like to shelf these scans for now and maybe work on them later in the next project.

What do I think about this technique?

At first when stitching, I felt I was doing it just for the sake of it.  I love drawing with my sewing machine, but it just felt too bland.  However after mulling over the possibilities, I see so much potential.  Before ever editing it on my PC, it could be:

–          Left in one strip with lots of embroideries on the same piece

–          Cut into parts and one laid over the other

–          Laid onto a background surface – possibilities endless.

I hope to use adobe Photoshop later on in the assignment, to edit and play with the ideas I have mentioned above.  I can also use the free transform tool on the program, to straighten images which have scanned at an angle (see below).


My main issue here, is that I am having to be very decisive not with the amount of techniques I try, but rather the amount of time I spend on each one.  I realised that I could not take each one further, but have endeavoured to play enough to showcase to myself what their potential is.  Thus I can reflect back on this body of work and especially my sketchbooks, so that I can take dormant ideas further at a later date.



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