Sunday, 1 April 2012

Refining my thoughts about my textile project

I've had a successful morning working on my Aboriginal Art homework, and now have time to reflect on the Banksia project for my textile module.

I'm glad I've made the decision to focus on print and stitch.  I'm looking forward to working hand stitch into the prints.  I can visualise different types of stitch worked into banksia motifs.  Themes to experiment with are how to place the stitched motifs - into a voided area, or across several prints.  What scale to stitch - same size or larger.  Also I wondered about whether to work the stitching after an object had been made up.  I would not want to cut across hand stitched areas so if the fabric were to be used for curtaining or clothing, it would be best to stitch after construction to enable optimum placement of time consuming hand stitch. 

Also it might be worth experimenting with some manual machine embroidery.  With the advent of fully computerised machine embroidery, I am not sure how to explain concisely that I am competent at machine embroidery, done by my own fair hand.  This could also be done within the printed motifs, or layered across several. 

Perhaps if I am focussing on my work being "simpler" it might be worth restricting myself to stitching within a motif at first, before making it more complex.  Even within one motif, I can work with different colour and density.  And there is plenty of scope for experimention with a variety of fabrics and print media.  Just from basic workshop stores, I have sourced silk organza, cotton muslin, felt, calico, linen, cotton/silk and silk velvet.  I can work into these with translucent binder, and devore on the last two.  I will also buy some simple polycotton and use devore on this too.

I am working up several different patterns to explore presence/absence to work out how to move the focal point.  If I have 6 different fabrics, and 6 different patterns, with a variety of colours and print techniques, it will make a considerable print portfolio.  If I then add in different ways of embellishing with stitch I could end up with 100 samples! Then I will choose the best to make a 6-8m repeat print.  Really in my heart of hearts, I'd like to do a long repeat print using devore silk velvet, but I'd need to be really confident of the pattern to put the resources into the fabric and print paste.  But if you don't have a vision, you don't aim for the stars.

I've also formed the view that I want to work mostly with natural fibres.  I am moderately green in my environmental stance and want to make a low impact carbon footprint.  If I use man-made fabrics, they do not degrade.  If I use natural fibres for household objects, they naturally degrade, and when spent, can be put on the compost heap to rot, then be incorporated into the earth.  Dyestuffs are not carbon free but unless I want to work with uncoloured materials, need to be used in limited quantities.  I definitely challenge the western materialistic culture, although I like nice things.  I think I focus on having fewer beautiful things that I really value, rather than lots of cheap, replaceable, high carbon footprint, tatt.  And I want to incorporate this philosophy in my work.  I'm going back to the slow art principle. 

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