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

Exercise 2.2 – Soft Edges

I wanted to do something a little more unusual with this technique.  The basic understanding of it is seen detailed within my techniques folder.  It is quite an open subject, thus I can really tailor it to the theme of my work at this stage.  I once again used my previous drawing work to inspire me.  Obviously fabric is generally used in stitch.  However, what about other mediums, such as paper?  What about a handmade paper base?  Handmade paper makes a strong fabric like structure in some cases, thus I can see this working.  It can also be torn to suit the shape of the project.

I could combine this method with other fabric parts, thus creating a mixed media piece…..

I used my sewing machine, along with a dark drew thread to stitch the parts on.  See how no edge binding is seen, so neatening.  The parts have been stitched to secure and give shape.

Above.  Once I had secured the pieces on my machine I wondered if I could finish it, add something extra?  The handmade paper has a light texture and petals trapped inside.  But it is more or less one colour.  I used my Koh-I-Noor dyes to colour facial detail, add shadows etc.

What do I think?

–          This is obviously just one attempt at a varied technique.  However this one experiment has worked well.  I think the personalisation of the piece makes it personal, yet still experimental.  The shaping of the paper to make it look like a face, along with the painting of the paper, both merge well together…..

I scanned it into the computer to show a flattened version of it.  I really like the neck area with the painted parts.  They give shadow by using a blue and lilac colour dabbed in with the facial tones.

Given the chance this is a technique that I can imagine developing.  The materials chosen to applique with a soft edge are all quite personal.  The cheek is a shirt of my own, while the eye area is a brown paper bag from the shop “Lush”.

The actual handmade paper gives a lovely crepe feel, like skin?  It’s not perfect, the paper has character like a real human face.  Imagine this distressed, folded, manipulated?

One artist who I feel relates to this section….

Rhiannon Williams

A young graduate, Rhiannon Williams’s work has the process of hand stitching at the heart of her powerful and distinctive practice. Her latest work pays homage to her Welsh roots and “homesickness for a place to which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was…”.

I saw her work in Julia Triston’s book Contemporary applique.  It was the links with applique and collage which interested me. 

Within her MA work, she experimented with embroidery and print on clothing.  See this jacket above.  Could the idea of print and embellishment on clothing be something I look into in the future?

In the piece third in above, hard and soft edges are seen.  The skull with hard and the bird on top has the frayed edge which comes with soft edges.

What can I take from this artist? 

 As she has not been a practicing artist long, her style changes and is experimented with.  Look at the hexagonal printed piece above.  A very clever idea.  Will I play with text in my own work?  If I did, I think the main things I would focus on, are the self-penned poems, as these connect with my textile work and are often a point of inspiration.



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