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

Exercise 2.2:  Fabric Collage mixed with paper:

When I felt I had created enough initial drawings, I began to develop my ideas into fabric, using the same techniques:

This was an example of how I have created a stitched drawing in the past….


So carrying on with this method, I produced this piece, roughly a foot square:

See how a mix of hand and machine embroidery, to trap layers and also drawing work, has combined here.


I have created a few pieces like the above, all different, which I will look at again within the next exercise.

I also wanted to investigate a different scale….

I chose to work upon watercolour paper; yet crossing the Fine Art / Textiles barrier, by stitching into the paper.  Having had experience working with watercolour paper as a stitch medium in the past; I know that it has strong durable properties, which hold stitch lines well without giving out or ripping easily.

I again looked at the image of my mother and tried to get a sense of it; the time it was taken, her feelings at the time and the objects she wore.  I wanted to tell a story in my stitches.

I left the background blank, which can be edited at a later date.  I will now go through my processes:

  1. A non-waterproof pen was used to create lines; in a non-stylised way.
  2. Gentle puddles of colour, using watercolours were built up in places where they mattered, to give a background tone.
  3. Study of the photograph and drawing here were merged, to define areas in collaged materials which meant something; i.e. my mother’s love of Liberty Print fabric and her weakness of a blush.
  4. Hand stitched areas were added.
  5. Machine stitch lines were then added to mess up the piece and give it a “finished, unfinished” look.

What will I do with this piece?

I will leave it at that, thread lines dangling, which is my trademark. I would like to try editing it digitally, yet this seems difficult, as it is so large.  How can I get it onto my PC?  I have tried to photograph it, but it does not give it its true light.

I emailed the printing studio I often use Northern Print.  They have an A3 scanner which I could possibly use for some pieces, but this is too large.  They suggested another studio I could try.

I will have to leave this for now and try editing it when I can get to a printers.  Here are a few pictures of it:

What do I think?

I love the style.  I feel that I am sustaining a style of work now.  This is not to say that I won’t develop and change.  Yet I have had such an avid interest in all art forms and it is nice to feel I have found a niche; a way to give of myself; to showcase who I am.

As mentioned, this one will have to be left without digitally editing for now.  However please pay attention to the links here; the floral pattern see on the right in these photos, is inspired by the Liberty Print fabric on my mums dress.

What I love about this stitched drawing, is the way the dangled threads organically flow around and actually accentuate the sketch lines, particularly around the blouse parks, to really exadurate the kinks and crinkles.

Please see out of this Log Book, to observe the real piece, along with the build up inspiration.

 Having had personal success using old cloth; I wanted to try a few more trials using this technique.  On my visit to the Knitting show recently, I found a few which I felt would work well with my method.

Here’s the first one:


This was a table cloth from 1906.  It has been hand embroidered with ribbon embroidery.  I worked sympathetically with the cloth, adding slight age, to the already aged piece.  This created a charecterful background for me to work upon.  Working again from my theme, I began my method of stitching mum onto the cloth.  You can see how I have stopped in certain places to let the original embroidery take place.  Once again threads are left and each piece has been cut to size.

I am beginning to hone my methods now.  For example on this piece, to avoid fraying, I used Bondaweb to “back” each piece of fabric.  This works well for several reasons.  One, it stops major fraying.  Two, It holds fabrics flat to the receiving fabric when ironed, as it glues it down.

See how this method works in its process:

Taking stock…………

Summing up my progress within this area:

I really feel happy with the experimentation so far.  I feel that I would like to develop this body of work, surrounding my mother.  I have printed a few variations out and have presented some on boards, so that my development stages can be observed.

How have the materials I have chosen to use worked?

I love the vintage cloth.  Especially when using the finished off pieces, as you see within this exercise, it creates an already framed piece, plus the obvious helping of character and age.

Printing methods verses drawing and stitch….

I love both methods, especially the method of Dry point printing.  It has the advantage of repeat prints, thus I could make a lot of the same thing.  This is something I will do again, yet I also love the idea of “one off”, a unique piece.  Which of course, can still be repeated by scanning it in to the computer and printing it onto fabric; which I will be doing more of through this course.





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