Lisa Solomon

I came across this artist on textileartist.org which is a great site for all sorts of interviews and information on textile artists. I was looking for knitting and crochet artists because I’d like to think about using knit or crochet as a substrate for some of my work. I’m often thought of also using weave but I need to get past my block that I have in regard to weaving. It’s just the set up and the more complicated equipment used. I balk out even getting my loom out, in contrast to the ultimate simplicity of knitting and crochet – a circular needle or a crochet hook and yarn and I’m ready to create. 



 Images from  http://www.lisasolomon.com/index.html.   Viewed 28 Oct 2017

This example is not actually knitting or crochet but embroidery, but turned out to be my favourite. Her crochet was mostly doilies and not what I was thinking of. I’m looking for a way of crocheting or knitting an organic substrate to further work on. 

Knit Weave Stitch


Tried out this idea in the sample above. First I knitted an open weave and then I wove the same yarn through in two directions. It’s a bit messy but it did give stability to the knit which reduced stretch and lying flat. Pretty much what I was after in terms of thinking of knit as a substrate for further textile work. 

The smaller sample is an example of linen stitch with a couple of variations through it. Linen stitchis what I came up with when I researched for knit stitch that looked like weave. This is a great stitch that produces a fabric that is more flat on the surface and doesn’t curl. It’s a bit time consuming and could be stiffer than us sometimes useful. 


Here is an example of linen stitch with self striping yarn and using a needle size ranging from 4 mm/5mm/7mm/8mm. Couldn’t find any sixes😕.

The resultant fabric is flat and soft. It becomes more open weave as it gets larger but would still be useable. 

Part Two Reflection on the course so far and my evaluation of my works against the assessment criteria. 


I’m really enjoying the course so far and the graded entry into textile work has been good for me. Closely observing my textiles has resulted in many ideas for my own textile work as well as simply seeing interesting lines and detail that had previously gone unnoticed to me. 

I gained a lot from the paper manipulation section of this unit. The ease of manipulating paper made me push harder to entertain ideas about what could be done with textile beyond my cut and paste quilting background.

Similarly attempting to draw with stitch rather than embroidery gave me a new perspective on stitch and freed me from the constraints of regular embroidery stitches. Although I did use some traditional stitches to achieve the effects I wanted, I also realised that I could stitch freely and loosely, simply applying lines and texture with thread rather than thinking of it as embroidery. I tried to relax and to some extent let the stitches fall where they may as the lines do in expressive drawing, rather than keeping rigid control of the stitching. 

I was a bit less happy with my final textile works, than I was doing the paper manipulation and stitching on paper. This often happens to me when I try to work on a single large work that is intended to be a more resolved work. I seem to freeze and am less adventurous in my approach compared to when I am working on “testers”. I am fearless when it comes to experimentation in the lead up to attempting more resolved works, but final works tend to be more contained and often less interesting.  One way I try to get around this is by prolific making of smaller units. Following this I can make choices about inclusive or not of these smaller units directly into the larger work. I have always been drawn to textiles as they allow for this way of working more easily than paper. It would be good for me to try and allow the same freedom and experimentation to come through in my larger individual works.

Evaluation of my works against assessment criteria:

Demonstration of technical and visual skills – Materials at my disposal here have been somewhat limited, but I did plan ahead and bring materials I thought I could use, and as such I believe I was able to make good use of locally sourced and my own materials. I think I have quite good technical skills with wide ranging experimentation and lots of technical ideas. My observational skills and visual awareness have been developing over the course of this unit, but probably more generally over the last few years in the context of my other tertiary visual art study. I have found that I am quite amazed how ideas based on observation are now generally too many rather than too few, and I’m in danger from leaping to one to another without fully resolving anything. As far as design and compositional skills go I am pretty two dimensional in my ideas and often forget to consider depth and interaction between design elements fully. I am not as accomplished with composition and design as I would like to be and tend to think in terms of rule of thirds from photography and containing  geometric design within a frame as in traditional quilting. I have tried to push beyond this a bit with my current works but it is an area I find more difficult. 

Quality of outcome – Here I am pretty dubious. I was not very happy with my final works, although I did manage to improve them to some extent as I went. If I am ruthless I could describe my works as a messy jumble of rag, a kindergarten wall hanging and a tatty scarf.  The series holds together in terms of colour, and has resulted from an application of techniques and ideas previously developed through the course, but I can’t really see much communication of ideas in this work and as such it leaves me a bit cold. Possibly I have overanalysed the inclusion of ideas from the drawings to the point where they do reference the drawings but don’t go further at all to be expressive or meaningful works. 

Demonstration of creativity – I love to experiment and invent new techniques or adapt old ones. This is the area where I feel confident and relaxed, and the area that is most pleasurable to engage in. I’m not sure that these works show much development of a personal voice. They are not expressive, complex, serendipitous organic works which is what I gravitate towards, but I like to think of this as just a start, the tip of the possible iceberg. 

Context – Another area in which I struggle. I often find I want to be making, not researching, and yet when I research I do find that it opens up unimagined possibilities to forward my work. I haven’t done enough research in Part Two, but I hope to get that back on track. I think I can manage critical thinking but at times I also find that I spend too much work time in my head and perhaps I could spend more time thinking on the page, or the fabric. 

Part Two/Research point one – Mending artists

Looking for how they select, apply and alter their chosen materials. 
Lee Mingwei – The Mending Project 2009-2012

http://www.leemingwei.com/projects.php# Viewed 24 Oct 2017

A interactive installation project whereby the artist mends textile articles brought to him by members of the public. Whilst he does this he chats with the owner of the textile and at the end the textile remains connected to its reel of thread on the wall.

The repair is designed to be celebrated and visible and is seen as a gift. The intimate act of mending something that is often seen as an extension of self. Something to be displayed as evidence of a caring gift. 

This artist does not select his textiles for this project but allows self selection by the public participants. He then uses thread that is chosen by the participant to repair the articles, often in a very visible and decorative way. His art is about the gift of mending but also about the connections made during the mending process. 

https://www.mca.com.au/events/mending-project/  Viewed 24 Oct 2017

https://www.mca.com.au/news/2012/09/06/mending-project-update/    Viewed 24 Oct 2017

Kintsugi: 

Ancient Japanese tradition of repairing broken ceramics with gold. 


Image from 

https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/kintsugi-japanese-art-ceramic-repair     Viewed 7 Nov 2017

Charlotte Bailey:

This artist has adapted Kintsugi to repair fabric covered ceramic pieces with gold embroidery thread.  The idea of highlighting and celebrating the repair really appeals to me. The artistic form is defined by the serendipitous nature of the break or tear as is the artistic repair. It’s a lovely way of allowing chance to reveal unimagined beauty, and one that could readily be applied to textiles. 

I love to incorporate chance in my work because of the unexpected and unimaginable (ie I couldn’t make it up) and the unique work that results. The combination of chance and considered choices results in the most complex and beautiful art in my eyes. 

Vase by Charlotte Bailey below

http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2016/04/embroidery-kintsugi-charlotte-bailey/    Viewed 7 Nov 2017

Assignment Two: Stitching placed and spaced


This is my first textile work and it was heavily worked in layers, partly because I kept not being happy with what I had done and wanting to add more to improve it. This is in part how I work and it’s not all bad because sometimes it can result in more complex works and with unexpected results. And you know how I like unexpected results. I am excited every day to see how works turn out and if I knew that all in advance it would lose the thrill for me. 

The idea here was to take the graphic qualities of the T shape evident in the red collage and interpret this in cloth melded together with stitch and manipulation into a single work. I tried to use Joomchi principles to meld the red cloth together and then on to the backing cloth but it really is of limited success in cloth. Even using silk fibre between the layers didn’t help much and I finally resorted to needle felting the fibre through to help bind the layer together. Once I had this done I then stitched in fairly regimented lines of T shape stitch. It all looked a bit sterile and flat so I added contrast in shape and colour by draping a piece of scrap of a random shape on top. I thought the shape looked a bit like another organic T so I went with that and moulded it a bit more to reference this. Then some red stitching on top to have some clear stitching to appreciate amongst the jumble of stitching on this work. In my red collage I get the sense of the T shape falling or tumbling randomly and I have tried to translate this into the red stitching on the surface of this work. 


This second work went through a number of translations before it ended up like this. My idea was to highlight embossing in the preparation of this textile for stitch. I tried to do this by using padding (a disposable towel from work) and cutting in to this and then stitching in the depression.  Originally all three motifs here where still part of the one layered towel but I wasn’t happy with the look or configuration so I choose to cut out the partial stitched motifs and re arrange them on a red background. Now I had the chance to highlight the raised nature of the individual sections by stitching along the background and then up on to the white sections. 

I have also tried to reference embossing with the raised couched stitching enclosing ribbon or thick thread under stitch. 

Each individual little stitch work references things in my drawings. The red net appearance of the top layer of the red collage, the woven appearance set into the embossing and the small red squares themselves in the red square embossed drawing.

The disposable towel I used is a bit thick and tough and not exactly as malleable as I would need to highlight embossing.  I was quite pleased with the raised couched ribbon and the running stitch but again I could have spent more time working the thing into more of a unified whole. 


My final textile work is my favourite. There is a more minimal approach to stitch and more focus on the luscious fabric. It is a piece of hand dyed silk organza that has not been manipulated other than to be dyed in my now signature red for this series. 😀. I am happy with the linear marks bound at the top and free at the bottom reminiscent of my partial joomchi stitched paper work. I intended this work to be hung as shown to highlight the drape and fall of both the fabric and the line. 

The silk thread stitching has been worked twice in reference to the twice drawn line in a kimono drawing and its translation in to stitch on paper. I was pleased with the way you can see both the front and back of the stitch through the thin organza giving the line a more continuous quality. 

I think this is the strongest of the three in highlighting drape and interesting line quality.  Plus I’ll be able to repurpose it as a scarf later. 

Threadwork: silks, stitches, beads and cords Effie Mitrofanis

 I realised as I was sewing one of the final textile works for Assignment two, that I was being inspired by Effie Mitrofanis book Threadwork: silks, stitches, beads and cords. I have this book at home but unfortunately not with me here in the outback. The book is written in the context of embroidery but it highlights lush colour and texture with the use of stitch and inclusions. 

I know it was in the back of my mind as I couched nylon ribbon on to my work.