Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Textile Class is starting to show some possibilities

I had been feeling a little lost with the group project for Cloth & Habitable Space.  We were working with foam rubber (yuk) to alter the architectural feel for an interior.  We ended up playing with adding and subtracting shapes to change the effect, but really it never felt quite right.  Now the project is complete, I'm really glad it is over.

We are looking at machine embroidery (does not appeal to me), laser cutting (has some potential) and tufting (never done this before).  Last week's machine embroidery session left me completely cold, but this week's laser cutting induction was quite interesting and showed some dramatically different ways of applying cut shapes to hard and soft materials. 

By next class, I need to produce a 5 minute presentation on my project proposal.  I've decided to continue my theme of working with Australian plants, this time working with Banksia leaves.  I want to explore how pattern evolves, dependent upon the materiality of application.  I'm interested in laser cutting into perspex, contrasting lines and shapes.  If I cut completely around a shape in perspex, the shape falls out, but if I leave the line around the shape unjoined at some point, it will remain in place, because of the rigidity of the material.  If you do the same exercise with fabric, you either create a lacy (ie holey) fabric or you create shaped flaps - which might be quite interesting. And combining the two might be quite intriguing.  So I want to explore the materiality of perspex, felt and silk with laser cutting, and polycotton with devore.  I'm thinking about presence and absence - what happens when you cut patterned holes into perspex, felt and silk, thereby absenting areas; what happens when you cut lines in the same pattern, so that the areas are defined but still present.  What happens when the fabric is soft so the shape falls forward/backward so both the presence and absence are apparent?  What type of patterns work best with presence, absence or both?  And I have to explain all of this in 5 minutes in my presentation.  Time to master the skill of being precise and concise!

Over the next couple of weeks, I have to master the computer programme.  We have been advised to use Illustrator, but apparently Corel Draw is the best of all, and is available in the machine room.  First I need to create my pattern.  Or rather patterns.  I can visualise several different applications, and have some good design exercises I want to work through.  Given the number of options in my head, I need to manage my time in order to get all the work done. 

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