Cari suggested that I make a repeat design and a simpler design by focusing on selected elements of the original.
The top circle on the original piece featured a layer with seeds on it and a damaged, blackened layer above, which had holes in it revealing the layer below.
For the first drawing, I decided to make a simpler, all white paper manipulation concentrating on repeating those elements, and to make three sample ‘repairs’, which were shown in the second circle of the original piece.
The top layer of paper was crumpled and torn. The underneath layer had holes pierced to represent the ‘seeds’ in the original piece (piercing from the front gave a clean, smooth hole; piercing from the reverse gave each hole a raised, ragged edge, which I preferred for its tactile quality). The three samples were made using Swedish pattern paper strips:
1 A rectangle of holes was punched and a darning/woven pattern used. Ends were taped to the reverse.
2 A ring of holes was punched and a random repair stitch, with knots on the surface, was used.
3 No holes were punched, paper strips were sewn through needle holes in a star pattern; knots on the reverse. The paper strip became more cord-like as it was pulled through the narrow openings.
I preferred option 3 of the sample areas. The smaller holes and more rounded profile of the paper ‘thread’ made it feel more like traditional sewing. I felt that overall, the drawing made a simple statement about ‘damage and repair’ that could be about the environment; or an analogy for the human condition: ‘hurt and healing’, or ‘wounding words/actions and forgiveness’, ‘war and reconcilliation’.
The second area of Piece 2 that I found interesting and ripe for further investigation, was in the third circle where I had needle punched white wool yarn through the background fabric, using different densities and different lengths of stitch. I used white ink, pastel and coloured pencil for the following drawing.
I thought of three methods/variations of representing the design:-
1 Needle-punched yarn: sparsely punched yarn centre, with red, wiry inserts (either tied stitches or wired beads); densely punched and longer, uncut loops surrounding the centre, getting longer the further away the stitches are from the centre.
2 Similar to 1, but with cut loops and no red additions.
3 This I imagined being hooked from fabric strips: sparsely in the centre, tightly in the surrounding area, then prodded, long strips in all other areas.
I liked the potential of the third option. The areas could also be reversed, so that the centres were the long, prodded areas and the surrounding areas were the sparsely hooked ones. In fact that would probably work just as well, and would be faster to make. I may return to this idea in future.
There were quite a lot of variations that I could imagine arising from this piece. The first I considered was a repeat design, with the stitch repeated in small areas over the surface (rather than as just three areas in the original).
The drawing on the left above is a multi-media drawing, based on the original colours. I thought that the areas could be separate and randomly spaced and positioned, or overlapping (drawing 2 above), or could be precisely spaced and grid-like. They could also be any shape…
This drawing looks at using ‘island’ or organic shapes with a more naturalistic colour scheme. The centres have different marks to represent the concrete/barren areas, and the same for the surrounding borders, with a mixture of paints and felt pens for the ‘wild’ areas. I liked the idea of random shapes and this idea could be stitched or hooked/needle punched. Again, the textured areas could be reversed.
Next, I considered a very simplified version that would consist entirely of stitch on something like a grey linen textile. I used some lovely Khadi paper with white gel pen and ink.
I liked the small organic patches of marks, that reminded my of lichen or bacteria growing on a petri dish, but was not happy with the ‘wild area’, bolder marks. The heart shapes were meant to represent two leaves and the whole effect is too cartoony compared with the more delicate areas. Probably simpler, bolder straight lines or crossed lines or twisting, root-like lines, perhaps over a wash of white paint, would have been more in keeping. The background could be prepared first then have the small, delicate areas cut out and glued over the top, or cut and inserted in the case of a textile piece.
Having been reading up on textile history lately in the following books:- (Dupont-Auberville, Harris, and Auberville, 1989) and (Harris, 1993) and on knitted textiles in (Tellier-Loumagne, Black, and Black, 2005), and fabrics by Rubelli in Issue 73 of Selvedge, I have seen many inspiring textures created in luxurious textiles past and present. A small sample below.
This fed into the idea of a repeated textile pattern inspired by the Pieces I had made for Assignment 2. There are, of course, endless variations of shape colour, design, fibres used, which areas are raised/translucent/flat/shiny etc etc. I imagined the drawing below turned into a fabric with sheer golden-beige background with raised velvet areas with differing heights of pile for the different areas of the shapes and dots. Or perhaps as a knitted textile with raised areas, all in one colour (see examples above, bottom right).
This revision and extension of my work for Assignment 2 has been useful in eliciting some new ideas, and has opened up possible areas for future work. It seems a very useful approach for assessing existing work and developing new work. I will try to form the habit of drawing and sample making for new work.
Regarding the drawings above: I felt that the drawing for further hooked/prodded pieces was interesting. I also like the simplified, pure white stitch on a grey textile idea, and the use of a more naturalistic colour scheme with organic shapes.
Dupont-Auberville, M., Harris, J. and Auberville, M.. (1989) Classic textile designs: Fifty plates, in gold, silver and colours comprising upwards of 1, 000 various styles of ancient, mediæval and modern designs of textile fabrics with explanatory descriptions and a general introduction. London: Bracken Books.
Harris, J. (1993) Five Thousand years of textiles. Edited by Jennifer Harris. 2nd edn. London: British Museum Press in association with the Whitworth Art Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Tellier-Loumagne, F., Black, S. and Black, Y. (2005) The art of knitting: Inspirational stitches, textures and surfaces. London: Thames & Hudson.
Mann, P. (2016) ‘Reflected Glory: The Shimmering Fabrics of Rubelli’, Selvedge (November) Issue 73, pp. 56–61.
http://www.rubelli.com/INTERnet/sito_v5/en Accessed 11/11/16