Sunday, 30 May 2010

more Chapter 10

A computer generated paper for the fish shape. Translating the horizontal lines, the shadowy feel and variable light and texture.

Top translation: going for the shadowy light with trapping 'bits' under a strongly coloured sheer - needed a few more darker additions really, but still a nice fish.

Middle: used a cheap nylon curtaining with sheer panels for the light and shade and it had strong horizontal lines, changed the colour as I need more in the red orange range.

Bottom: tried some free machining in a dark thread with a contrasting head and a flirty tail.  used markal on top to make it more colourful but its not either a great fish or a good translation.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Chapter 10 - even fishier

Absolute final decision now for the piece!  I am going with the lively stuffed net attached to a long view of the ship mono print, with Sian's blessing. Really pleased with this as it looks to be a lot of fun.

Making the fish for the net now and trying to translate the paper textures in a few different ways.  Here are some of my efforts:-

1. The paper fish is cut from paper with a mono print which was then over printed.

Top translation: corded pin tucks with the cord showing on a soft turquoise silk - I think it is delicious!

middle: diamond quilted - tipping the crossing lines the other way - not so fond of this one - a bit bland and ended up with not so much texture when it was made up and stuffed.

bottom: lots of gathers for the horizontal lines and then stitched with wavy lines for the vertical lines - this is much more successful and has lots of texture and interest.

2. The paper fish was cut from paper which  first had lines drawn with neocolour crayons softened with water and allowed to dry then painted with runny acrylic  and salt added.

Top translation: serpentine stitch freely worked and crossing to make the bubbly line.

middle: the material itself had the vertical lines - a nylon sheer sold as curtaining - over a red metallic synthetic. Stitched with long stitches to gather the material slightly.  It's a bit of a free interpretation - but a lovely fish!

bottom: the material was a commercial print with corded pin tucks. I originally intended the back to show - but it actually looked better with just the relief as the material was such a good translation.  They all have their merits, but I like this one best.

3. The paper fish is dyed kitchen towel tucked on to cartridge paper.

Top translation:  corded pin tucks on both sides so sometimes the cord shows and sometimes the corded relief line.

Middle: seam pressed open and frayed together with lines of zig - zag couched cords - the least successful, I think.

Bottom:  the most successful translation - dyed silk with soft pin tucks pressed so they lie unevenly.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Chapter 10 - a bit fishy

The fish lines from the top:-

Top - I gathered some dyed sheeting and pulled the gathers variably and stitched to a firm heavy cotton stay to get the fish shapes. The middle fish was then machined on top of the gathers.  This didn't make enough difference to mark it out clearly from the adjoining fish so I stroked markal on top. I like the effect, but would make individual fish and join them, I think to get the variety.

Middle - I joined three different materials to see if this was better and used quilting and cutting around the tail areas.  The orange fish is pretty horrendous, but the definition is good.

Bottom - I took a length of dyed cotton and made corded pintucks with a 4mm needle, changing sides to get the different effects.  Then I pintucked across in the same way. I used different free maching to make the fish look different - but again I think making individual fish and joining would be better.

As the pattern of the fish lines is so pronounced I think there is a case to be made for using all the methods to produce the fish.


Thinking about the diamond shapes - I have tried dyed scrunched tissue, it is shown in the previous post where I cut out the diamonds and pushed the tissue in the gaps - this is the back of the big paper design. I tried one background colour, several background colours and the fish prints.  I forgot to take photos of the single and several coloured backgrounds as I rejected them so quickly! 

I am favouring scrumpling the fish prints to appear in the diamond gaps. I think as there can be several reddy orange diamonds I can avoid having a large fish in the contrast colour - little flashes are more effective. They will be sewn to the background material which will be quilted over wadding around the diamond shapes and the the fish lines applied on top, topped off with the net- sampling machine cords, twisted cords for this and the long lines to the monoprint.

I crumpled the monoprint until it was soft and floppy and then quilted to a firm background with polyester wadding.  The scarred and unscarred sea bed areas were free machined using fancy stitches to get small shapes effect without heavy stitching to avoid tearing the paper.  The sediment plume was hand stitched.  Detail has been lost - but maybe because it will be a 'long view' it is not so important.  Think I still prefer the cloth version.

This was printed on fine cotton poplin.  I machined the unscarred sea bed and the sediment plume areas first so they would not be flattened when quilting.  A firm heavy linen backing with thin polyester wadding was then quilted with duller threads in the scarred sea bed areas and the ship areas outlined with black and dark metallic whip stitch.  The areas of sea bed left unscarred were joyfully whip-stitched in appropriate colours with a variegated metallic thread in the bobbin

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Chapter 10 The final design and samples

Following on Jenn's comment, have had a go at amending design - does the process ever stop?!! - Now the mono print has a place as a long view of the ships and scarred sea bed and connected to the net with cords. The extras can be concentrated at  the top of the net.  Thanks Jenn.

Having chosen the large net as my final design I thought about the constraints of the project.  The smaller design is lively and colourful but the development needs to have pattern, the opportunity for fabric manipulation, machine stitching, one main colour group and still retain the liveliness and colour that would go with a net full of trawled sea bottom.

I experimented with tessellations and drew one that gave two stylised fish shapes. These will be for the background of the piece and I will sample for ways of giving texture and high relief to the shapes.

 The big fish shapes were cut from the different decorated papers. Tone is darker at the bottom of the net where the crush would be heaviest and lightens towards the top.

Questions about the larger fish shapes:

All different as in the papers?

Each line different?  My original thought was to have a connected line of the same colour and texture placed diagonally so when the slips are on top the edges show at different parts of the net. Gathering tighter and looser would produce the tessellated shape. Differences in the fish could be made with machining on top of the gathers.

I will sample to answer the questions about the diamond fish shapes:

one background colour?

low relief?

high relief?


Need to blend with the solutions for the bigger fish shapes.

As I intend to have more fish slips on the top of the background, I am thinking to make sure the shapes on the outside edges have plenty of   relief and texture. 

Sampling also for the net cords, hanging cords, and word ribbons.

The regularity of the tessellated shapes will be broken up by the slips made to go on top - these will be coral shapes, different fish shapes in different sizes and seaweed shapes - some poking out from the net along with the word ribbons and draining sea water. I hope this will answer both the demands for displaying techniques and an evocative design.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Chapter 10 bigger designs

Design A - I think this is my favourite now.  It is very 3D.  The back net shape was one of the A3 decorated papers, though it doesn't show - I was thinking to translate with a heavily machined and gathered base. The 'filling' is from my scrap bag (one of!) and I could have great fun making the 'catch'  in the decorated papers and translating by using lots of the free machining techniques for different textures.  The 'net' I'm thinking machined cords? twisted cords? net made on soluble fabrics?  The word ribbons like sea pouring out of the net could be backed up with more very thin torn fabric, threads and cords also pouring out.

Design B - I had the idea of a manta ray with this design.  It has a lot of the elements of the powerful research pictures.  The big design to be translated into fabric manipulations and the smaller to be printed and lightly quilted around the main areas - the 'tail' experiments with free machining the words on ripped ribbons, or pleated and machined on top. 

Design C - I like the drama of this design together with the fun of making things to put in the net.  The big dramatic boat shapes I wanted to be overpowering - thinking heavily pleated material to make them with machined lines on top and a bit darker than the photo shows.  I'm not sure about the amalgamation with the computer design - though I like the design in the middle instead of sea colours.  I've tried a few different variations but not entirely happy with any.  From the top - 1,2 3,and 4.

1. not enough tonal variation - the ship pieces are darker than photographed but thin they still needed to be darker

2. a bit plain and blocky

3. The best of the four I think, but has lost the mood of the small design where the black shapes are as overpowering as the ship is in reality.

4. Ship pieces again need more thinking, but could showcase the middle more - top edge needs more thought too for its finished middle edge.

Chapter 9 decorated papers

Some of the papers I have decorated for my bigger designs. They include swirls of gel and texture paste, sponging, spraying, allowing paint to run in several directions, salting, monoprinting and over printing.  Some were produced on the computer using the designs from earlier chapters.  Tissue has been crumpled on to cartridge paper with dilute PVA in the paint, as well as crumpled and painted on their own. I did get a bit carried away as it was sunny and I had a table outside, but you can't have too much decorated paper!

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

chapter 8 Starting to design hanging.

The small black design samples.  1a to e were made using words from the given list and 2a to e using words from my own research list.

These are the small reworkings in colour of some of the black and white samples.  I have added some preliminary thoughts about how they can be translated with fabric and thread.  Number 3 is computer generated using 1b as the starting off point with the ideas of the sediment plume, the double track of twin nets and the scarring of the sea-bed.

Not keen on no. 6

No. 5 has the idea of escape/flight from the horror - but I think it needs more thought.

No.4 is not as elegant as the black and white version - less middle I think.

No. 3 I like very much - but think it might be much clumsier translated

No. 2 is a regular pattern based on the before and after trawling sea bed - could be much more interesting in fabric with related but different before diamonds.

No. 1  I think this is my favourite for mood -  but think I would eliminate the sky area and have the bold shapes defining the top edge. Could have great fun with the contents of the net!

Chapter 8 researching conservation theme

Fishing is often a hazardous occupation and it is made more so by man's greed.   Often a big catch is more important than taking notice of bad weather or fishermen are forced to take risks to avoid losing a job or a livelihood.

Over-fishing is depleting the oceans of fish at an ever-increasing rate despite laws, fishing rights and the efforts of organizations like Greenpeace.

The most iniquitous over-fishing method is bottom-trawling as companies try to increase their catch of marketable fish.  I have chosen bottom-trawling as my theme as there are strong images attached to it.

Chapter 7 Soluble lace work and translating drawn marks

Playing with soluble lace samples.

Not quite complete - still have to do translating drawn marks in soluble lace stitching when my machine comes back.  

Machine back - hurrah - have inserted the translations at top.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Chapter 6 revisited

Hoping to have learned a bit more I had another go at layering my free machining. i am happier with these samples.

First another go at getting the light behind - a bit more successful - better tones and a sense of looking through - perhaps the background could have had a bit more stitching.

Going for ripples with a pale background of two layers of tissue which was used for mopping up with snippets of dyed kitchen cloth and blue organza covered with pale green organza and smoothly stitched. Topped with a cable of dyed cord on a darker dyed cotton cut back round the ripples and frayed. Melted back the organza in places with the point of a soldering iron to show the tissue.  I think there is good depth with a real sea-bed feel.

The stitched piece is much more complex than the paper design but keeps the same elements, there's good tonal variation and its quite a sparkly piece with lots of interest.  I like it a lot.

The base is quite brightly dyed blue cotton -  topped with blue green and white threads and a pale green organza stitched with a pale variegated thread then topped with a crushed silk stitched with white, all topped off with  bluey green organza and stitched with darker thread.  I cut away the top organza from part of the silk and melted back the organzas to show the background in places.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Chapter 6 - design translations

A mixed bag of efforts in translating the designs from chapter 2.  It was more difficult than I thought it would be to keep the feel and subtlety of the paper designs.  I think I'll have to have another go after, hopefully,  learning from my mistakes,

a. Bubble wrap was used as the base layer over fabric and thread snippets.  This looked great but it was a pity that it all got covered up as the sample went from bad to worse with hardly any of the delicious bubbly background showing.

My backgrounds were too busy with shapes that interfered with the rhythm of the main repeating shape and the tonal variation was lacking - ho hum

b. Embellished felt as the background and machined silk on top - quite a nice, flirty look, but the paler ripples needed more interest.

c. Three layers contrasting straight and curvy shapes with a trapped fish feel about it. The machined top shapes are rather clumsy looking - perhaps the sample should have been bigger for better shapes and the fishy shapes - which were really foamy water shapes originally - as the second layer, not the top.

d. Tried to get the light behind with sparkly thread and lightly dyed background fabric but it looks a bit bland; not exciting enough to peep through and intrigue. Tone values wrong again - the top two layers should have been much darker.

e. This reminds me of the beach at Whitesands when the tide comes in fast from different directions and makes complicated wave patterns. I used two layers of stitched tissue for the soft background, the horizontals in stitched dyed cotton and the fine stripes in threads woven through.  I did try the fine stripes in cloth but it was really clumsy-looking.