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Welcome to my OCA learning log:

This is the learning log for Susan Lacey 516733 for the unit ‘A Textiles Vocabulary’.

PART ONE:

Photos of all my works are included in the blog. The drop down heading Coursework/Part One will display all the coursework for this section, but each exercise is also individually categorised with its number in a list down the side of all posts. Research can be viewed by highlighting the Research and Reflection tab, but is also categorised into books and exhibitions, and internet. For Assignment One the Assignment tab contains only an overview and reflection.

PART TWO:

Again the drop down menu Coursework/Part Two should display all the work for this section but each individual exercise is also categorised by number. The Assignment Two tab contains all work pertaining to the final three textile works for this. Reflection on Part Two will be found in the Research and Reflection drop down menu.

PART THREE:

Exercises are again categorised by their number and the dropdown menu Coursework/Part Three should include all the work. The dropdown menu item Assignment Three contains a documentation of the Colour Communication book once assembled. Work that didn’t make the cut into the book is documented as part of each exercise in coursework. Research and Reflections are under the drop down menu item and the reflection on Assignment Three can also be found under the Assignment Three tab.

Yarns inspired by stitch and marks (4.1) The long threads

Next I need to move on to three longer threads. I’m going to try and combine techniques or extend the most successful elements of the short threads to create new more complex threads in 1 m lengths.

For this thread I plan to try and incorporate the embossed and red square elements. I’m looking at using the polar fleece and laying that under some water soluble paper and then stitching the red squares by machine over that. Or I might use some cotton batting actually because that would hold the thread better and also be in keeping with the natural background colour. I want to used enough batting around the stitching this time to give the full effect of embossing into batting. I could make all the squares first I guess and then link together by machine again or I could kept the whole thread a bit wide.

I wasn’t very happy with the results for the ink drawing. I’d like to get the viscous, drippy, layered and slightly shiny feel of the drawing.

Ideas are to spin thick and thin black wool yarn and then use that as a core for a shinier surface thread. Maybe an embroidery thread. I’m not sure. I think the wool does give a dense look but I want to avoid fluffy hairy bits. Another option would be to coat in a glue or paint to give the shine. Black printing ink might work in that it would retain some flexibility. I might be able to make a wool thread and then work the printing ink inside and outside to some extent.

These threads were fun and successful. With one exception they were achieved by machining on watersoluble vilene. I would like to have a yarn that showed the parallels of different colour in the drawing but also the fuzzy and irregular appearances also in the drawing. Thinking of distinct parallel threads machine couched down to a couple of layers of stiff net like tulle. This time I’ll likely couch the threads separately so I don’t see so much of the joining machine thread. Or I could use invisible thread to couch. I have my new free motion couching feet for the sweet sixteen so I’ll probably use them. That will guarantee some irregularity to the thread too 😀

The cling wrap yarn was not fun to work with and not overly successful. It’s too shiny and doesn’t have the shadows of texture that the paper yarn does. I’d like to try again with the paper yarn and make a longer segment and work it for longer to see if I can get real softness into it. I will need to get some more fibre paper from somewhere and I’m thinking of incorporating a long fibre thread through the middle to stabilise it and allow me to work it harder. So much fun but I wish I had more time.

I’ll come back and add the yarns to this post once they are done.

Yarns inspired by stitch and marks (4.1) Four more

From left to right:

Hand made felt cut into squares and linked together by white machine stitch. Inspired by the red square embossed image.

Knotted hand dyed silk – looking for something with shine to reference the black ink drawing but the knots poke out too much for the drips really.

Sari silk and Perle cotton thread couched together on the machine. This was another attempt at a yarn with parallel lines. Would have been better if I hadn’t used red to machine it together but I was being lazy. Might try a hand stitched version with “invisible” thread.

And one final 30 cm segment:

I was quite pleased with this one which was silk thread stitched through a thin strip of tulle and then the tulle was trimmed close to the thread.

I was going for a central core with hairiness around the outside that had a degree of stiffness to it. A pleasing irregularity also developed fortuitously that added to the connection with the drawing but also suggested further uses for this net sewn thread. I could pull a core together much more tightly with machine stitch and possibly use multiple layers of tulle. Maybe machine couch a core.

Yarns inspired by stitch and marks (4.1) First yarns

APC_2398

These are my first attempts at short segments of yarn.

From left to right:

Paper yarn – used a Joomchi paper felting process but just with a strip of yarn. Delicate at first but with increased manipulation becomes stronger and softer. This idea was sourced from the Joomchi paper work where a small bit had come off the edge and was gently  twisting suggesting yarn.

Machine couched perle cotton type thread using machine poly cotton thread and couched on to water soluble vilene which was subsequently washed away. This one was trying to reference the image with parallel linear marks of different colours.

Needle and wet felted wool fibre and sheer silk. Thinking of the linear drips of ink on the black source image and trying to suggest this with thicker and thinner areas. The fuzz halo doesn’t fit with this though.

Machine stitched square pattern and thread on to watersoluble vilene again. Thinking of the woven red square appearance in the embossed work.

Strip of hand dyed tulle and machine thread with multiple cuts and repairs to create a spiky fuzz as is the linear work.

Strip of polar fleece and heavy machine stitching. Experimenting with ways of creating an embossed look yarn.

Finally spun cling wrap then heated over the stove top to set twist – again thinking of the Joomchi source image and its crinkly texture. It is stiff and not that attractive. The paper version is definitely more successful.

Definitely having fun playing with making yarn. One thing I am getting out of this course is learning how to create inspiration. We are still working with imagery that came out of original textile drawings from last year and I love how it’s easy to think of a variety of possible yarns just by looking at those images. Much easier than simply plucking something out of your imagination.

Yarns inspired by stitch and marks. (4.1) Source materials

This exercise involves starting to create lengths of yarn using the stitched samples from Part Two and the drawings that inspired these.

I’ve been dying to use this drawing but it wasn’t included in the final part two stitched works so I’m going to use it now. The things that I’m drawn to are the thick dimensional drips of ink and the shaded and textured appearance behind.

This is one of the stitched samples that took some inspiration from the above drawing. Here the dimension is represented by the layers of paper. That bit that hangs off the side is also interesting in the context of yarn creation.

Words that might be useful in translating these two into yarns:

Thick, layered, viscous, stiff, rough, gloss, reflective, smooth, lumpy

This drawing is from the detail section of Part One. It didn’t get used even for the stitched samples but it clearly lends itself to yarn creation with a few challenges so I am going to include it.

Words about this drawing:

Hairy, wiggly, parallel lines, holey, irregular, broken

Finally I love this so I want to use it yet again.

Words for this:

Recessed, embossed, woven, contrast, red, moulded, holes, square.

So the plan is to look at these works and the words and come up with a variety of lengths of yarn. I’m excited by this because I have flirted with the idea of constructing my own yarn in the past from unusual materials but never actually got motivated to do it. And putting together unusual yarns in weaving or knitting plays into my love for the unexpected or unimagined too.

Ebb and Flow quilt

Finally finished my quilt to the point where I could submit the entry form for the Tasmanian art quilt prize. I wasn’t happy with the quality of the photos I submitted. I think I took them in too low light. And then I had to resubmit my artist statement because it had too many typos. I was rushing because I didn’t finish it until this afternoon. My own fault but it annoyed me that it was such a shambles at the last minute.

Learnt a lot in the process of making this. It is 150 cm wide and extremely heavily stitched. I broke my embellisher in the process. I was reminded of last years workshop at the last minute and used two threads in the sweet sixteen to speed up coverage and alter the colour in the green sections. I’m excited about using more self dyed sheers. They take the colour well and produce interesting effects and colours in overlay. I’ve ordered some silk gauze but thinking now that the most translucent is organza or even tulle. Several layers of tulle could be really interesting and the non sparkly tulle is also quite cheap. Only issue is that it is rough and crunchy. Not my idea of a cuddly artwork. Still I’m excited to try it out more. Think I’ll do another small quilt for the Desert Threads exhibition. I have lots of desert dyed fabric left over. All in all it was a good experience making this quilt and it gels with some of the things I gravitate towards in art, like serendipity – needle felting and crazy stitching creates some effects that I cant predict. It resonates back to something I also considered years ago – like 15 years ago- and that is creating a painting from fabric heavily sewn down with stitch. I’ve been thinking about that for a long time. Now to see if I’m brave enough to apply stitch and fabric to my upcoming drawing and painting units. I’m going to try. Only need to pass now to complete the BFA.

Research Point one

I’ve been a bit caught up with other stuff – Ukulele workshop and creating an Ebb and Flow quilt for the quilt show but I need to get back to OCA work. This is the first research point exploring yarn.

lurex.com Viewed 29 Jan 2018

I used to shy away from sparkly fabrics because I didn’t like the idea of metal in the yarn. Not sure if that is actually the case but interestingly on the Lurex web site I could not find out the composition. Trade secret I guess. Anyway I’ve had to come to grips with shine a bit in my ebb and flow quilt which called for sheers. Not lurex as such but I used sparkly nylon organza and tulle which dyed very well in the nylon with Landscape dyes and allowed me to overlap colours in an attempt to make a third colour. It was very stiff and scratchy though, especially after it had been heavily stitched, so I’ll be exploring tissue silk next. I have ordered a 3 mm silk gauze which I hope will be see through enough after dyeing.

Anyway that is a side thought. I didn’t learn that much from the Lurex site other than they have been around for quite a while and that the old video of the models shows the models looking much healthier and happier than the contemporary photos. They did talk about GIMP yarns which are yarns that have Lurex wound around a central core. This is what I’m effectively doing as I’m spinning fibre with a central thread. They did talk about having the core partially showing to change the effect. I have yarn like that with a cotton core and a thin polyester outer thread. It creates an interesting yarn with bobbles of cotton colour showing through the thin black thread. One thing I noted when knitting up with this sort of yarn is that it obscures the knit stitches and creates its own interesting texture. So no good if you are doing a fancy pattern to introduce texture, but good if you like the texture it creates itself.

Wikipedia tries to help with the composition of Lurex but says different things. It could be a core with metal fumed on, or it could be a metal filament with a coating.

http://www.lurex.com/Inspiration Viewed 29 Jan 2018

Pretty weird cut and paste image but I like the way the light on the fabric is forming its own pattern.

Caroline Sharkey Workshop

This weekend I attended a workshop run by Caroline Sharkey, who is an Australian textile artist. It was under the banner of the Tasmanian Quilting Guild but she does not consider herself a quilter but rather a Textile artist.

A small quilt of hers entered in the SAQA trunk show 2014. http://www.saqa.com/media/image/TrunkShow-2014/Trunk%20D/CarolineSharkey.JPG Viewed 8 Jan 2018

This workshop was concerned with a technique she has developed for making a new fabric to work with.

Fragments of fabric are applied to a stiffened background and then covered with a water soluble vilene and heavily sew down to keep the fragments in place. The water soluble is then washed out and the resultant fabric has new colour and texture.

The butterflies and sequins are included to play to a quilting audience I believe.

This fabric was then combined with other fabrics to create a final 2 D work

This is my work in progress at the end of the workshop. I have left the background carpet in the photo because it goes quite well. 🙂 Here I am using this technique as part of a background to try and showcase my hand and rust dyed fabrics.