Tuesday, 27 March 2012

More angst about my Banksia project

I've struggled all weekend about my Banksia project.  I've read my project proposal, and evaluated the work I did on Friday regarding laser cutting into acrylic.  I loathe laser cut acrylic.  For the following reasons.  It is hard, sharp-edged, plasticky, unnatural, and unmalleable.  I have thought long and hard about how to incorporate it into my project and have concluded that I don't want to waste my life working with materials that I intensely dislike.  Decision made!

So what to do instead?  I have decided to continue working in pattern, in positive and negative, but to focus wholly on printing onto fabric.  My work is hand made.  I do not want to be a computer operator, or a computerised-machine operator.  I've debated more about how to link my homesickness for England with the banksia motif, and how to incorporate my specifically English textile skills with what I have learned in Aus.  After much thought, I've realised I want to use my embroidery skills in stitch.  I am working with a very long evolved Australian plant, and I want to match this with a long evolved English embroidery technique - maybe blackwork, pulled thread work or simple line stitches such as stem chain stitch. 

I've been working up some textile designs, which are laborious to produce, but I love creating them manually.  I think hand techniques are my forte.  Soft materials are also my forte.  I can see them made up in silk velvet and polycotton (for devore print), and on pure cotton and linen (for simple colour prints).  I would love to be able to dye into the silk velvet as well. I can also see experimentation with foil combined with devore.  Quite a few will be embellished with hand stitch.  I think some of my feelings of homesickness will be assuaged if I can sit and stitch for a while.
Banksia repeat border design

Interestingly, while a few of us were in the textile studio, talking to Jessie, our technician, some of the management team came into the studio.  They did not notice Jess talking to us, and they were quite obviously discussing the removal of the two large print tables with the repeat printer.  The Textile Major is being phased out, with remaining students finishing their textile specific modules as electives.  From the behaviour of these managers, it is obvious that the textile tables will be removed soon.  I will be really upset if the 8m print tables are removed before the end of semester.  The managers were quite surprised when Jess turned around and asked how she could help them.  It really looked as if they had sneaked in to plan their intentions for the textile studio, without keeping the current staff informed of planned changes to teaching facilities.

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