Thinking ahead 

Considering the need for some base textile to work on. I am living remote at present and only have undyed textiles that I brought with me, and some dye.

So before I think about manipulating the textile, I first have to consider what colours I would like to use in my base textiles. At this stage I’m not sure where I will be going with my textile works, but I can’t ignore my surroundings. I am draw to the distinctive colours of the outback, the red of the earth, the green of the plant growth and the blue of the sky.  

It’s going to be pretty hard to choose textile for my base because I don’t have much available  and I understand that I am making links always back to my drawings or my stitch works so possibly I should be using my cream/ white fabrics undyed as paper is undyed.  Actually reading the brief again I see that I should only be referencing colour in a limited way and relating it to the colours in my drawings.

Still I’m going to have some fun dyeing some fabric to use at some stage anyway in the colours of the outback.  I want to extend my work ultimately and apply what I’ve learnt to a body of work relating to my time here. 

Here I am trying to match the colour of the sky with dye on paper

Developed and composed samples (2.4) Sketchbook entry

I have chosen embossing and Joomchi as the more successful of my paper manipulations and couching and visible running stitch  and loose thread as more successful of the stitch techniques. 

These compositions are pretty literal translations of my drawing but I did consider composition in the original drawings.

I want to use repetitive directional line to show the movement evident in the original yellow drawing and develop that drawing with the added dimension of texture and paper manipulation to make it a more complex drawing with greater depth. 

With the patch drawing I want to represent the mending quality of the central square and I plan to start with continuous line through couching and then go to running stitch with the same thread and even some loose thread to emphasis the mending quality.

Drawing with stitch onto paper Part Two (2.3)

Here I have used the paper I deemed as soft and stitched with soft fluffy yarn in an attempt to create an irregular soft outline as in the plant negative space drawing. The irregular outline comes from the diffusion of watercolour through the paper and I have attempted to recreate this look with yarn arranged in knots rather than a linear arrangement. If I had more time this would have benefited from knots all over the background leaving only an outlined negative spaced drawing of the plant as in the watercolour drawing.


This stitch drawing is meant to reference the flowing overlapping lines of the kimono drawing. To this end I have doubled the thread and left the ends free. 

For this stitch drawing I have added fine lines of very lightweight machine thread in red to overlay the embedded collage and reference the random wispy lines of the red collage.

Here I am using the slits cut in the paper as a guide for my stitching. They were not originally cut for this purpose but the in exact way I have cut them makes for pleasing irregularity. 

The curly line of my grass drawing are shown here in curly yarn on raffia embedded paper. I have couched the yarn down only loosely to allow it to have some level of free rein to it’s curl. This yard has been knitted dyed and unpicked, hence the curl. 


Here I have used the embossing as a guide to fill in a geometric square but repeatedly using the same holes in different directions to build up a solid woven surface.

Similarly here I have used weaving but for this one I actually wove the stitches rather than just overlaying layers as above. 

In this paper I was thinking of the line that forms at the joining edge of two patches of watercolour. 

I used this to guide me in putting stitches up to a line and along a line. 

Various weights of thread highlight the contours in this work, attempting to give a sense of depth and movement towards the middle. 

This one comes from the same source drawing and this time I am using the direction of line to suggest depth towards the centre.

The solid wide yarn which ripples on the surface relates to the thick layers of dark ink in my source drawing. 

And finally little repetitive red marks in various scales and placements that are determined by the underlying structure of the surface. By not making any marks on the white collaged lines, I am hoping to suggest a space behind these in which the ‘T’ s exist.

Paper Manipulation Library Part Two (2.2)

With this image I was looking at the soft flowy nature of the watercolour and the way the edges of the watercolour form lines where they meet. 

Here are some of the papers that I have manipulated inspired by this image.

These two papers have been manipulated to emulate softness and absorbency. 

In the first I have textured the paper using the multiple wire points on my fleece blending board.

In the second I have pricked through the paper all over with a needle felting needle. This second one was tedious and the holes still tend to present in rows rather than giving an all over soft appearance. 

but the hand of both of these is definitely softer than the original paper. 

This is a third attempt at creating a soft looking paper. I have used two layers of paper and sewn them together in parallel lines. I then cut through one layer along the lines. This is similar to how I have read about making a chenille like fabric. 

It didn’t look at all soft after this process so I then wet it and massaged it a bit to create this holey and soft paper. 

With this paper I am looking at the way the watercolour forms an irregular line where it meets its neighbouring patch of watercolour. I have used Joomchi to meld strips of paper lightly together after I have burnt there edges to give a darker irregular line. 

It hasn’t worked perfectly because the burning paper was difficult to control and disappeared quickly, but I was impressed by the resulting dark edges and this would be one of my favourite paper manipulations. 

Here I am looking closely at the repeating motif and the various irregularities within the same motif.

I have taken a stiff piece of watercolour paper and cut out the motif all over. It has resulted in the loss of the central square segment of the motif. 

Another in interesting way of presenting this may have been to cut out the four little squares that are formed within the motif. 

With this segment from one of my collages, I am taking inspiration from both the T shaped kimono motif, and the ethereal red overlay, with its spidery interplay of threads. 

I have not had a great deal of success in referencing the fine random layout of threads, but my results are below. 

These first three are experiments with embossing the paper. I have used the geometric kimono shape and various combinations of my body weight, a towel, the septic metal cover, heavy paper cutouts and a Perspex paperweight, to try and create a geometric embossing into soaked printmaking paper.

The most successful was the septic tank cover as I was able to walk on the paper and apply my full body weight in one go.
The paper cut outs one was more subtle because I couldn’t create the full print experience here using only a metal pipe and a towel.


This paper manipulation involves further exploration of the T kimono shape by using cutouts (the same ones that were used to emboss above) and embedding them in paper pulp.

I wasn’t so keen on this one as it looks a bit too close to the original collage with its paper cutouts glued to a surface. 


The next two views are of the same paper. I have used joomchi to embed a geometric shape in the paper. It’s only really evident and effective with the light behind it. 

Here I am referencing the gauzy lines of the red non woven fabric overlay, by folding random straight lines multiple times and from both sides. I had hoped to create the sense of looking into another landscape that I get from the red fabric, but this looks pretty flat. 

This is a different attempt using cut paper glued to a backing. Also too chunky and coarse. 
 And this one is some red threads held between two pieces of paper laminated with Joomchi.
I’m hoping that some of these may nonetheless provide an OK starting point for the next phase of the exercise.

This grass drawing is the inspiration for the next papers. I am focussed on the tangle of fine lines

My attempts with using raffia were too chunky. I struggled to embed fine threads of raffia but they tend to sit on the surface and look too coarse. I tried with different finer threads but they were lost or clumped in the pulp. 

This one was slightly better because I have tried to separate the strands more with holes but still very gross representation of the characteristics of the original drawing.  Would need to use much finer pulp and laid threads to resonant better with the drawing but I wasn’t able to achieve that this time. 

For me this drawing suggests opening and down a tunnel with it’s contour lines. 

I have tried to take this idea and manipulate the paper to also suggest these features for the next few papers.

Here I have crumpled heavy brown paper more around the outside and less in the middle to try and suggest depth. I also puddled water in the centre to further relax the paper and smooth the central area. Burnishing didn’t work to do this. 

I would have liked a more gradual transition but not sure how to achieve that at this stage. 

This paper is created by folding and then cutting concentric ovals. I had to be careful that I didn’t cut all the way around otherwise the centre would have fallen out! This one is ok and does reference the characteristics of the drawing a bit better I think. 

 I used toilet roll centres to cut these ovals and then glued them on to a backing. 

I’m quite interested in the optical illusion in the photo that makes it look like the paper is alternately bulging and recessed. 

Here I am simply looking at the outer shape of the drawing of the open bag above, and repeating that across the page. 

I love the falling lines depicting drape in this drawing and I have tried to translate that into the paper below. 

The torn pieces of paper are melded together at the top with joomchi and allowed to fall freely at the bottom. 

I think this is quite successful in giving a sense of falling line and drape in paper.

The thick overlapping ink of this drawing is the feature I would like to reference in this final paper manipulation.

I have several layers of paper here massaged together using the Joomchi technique in an attempt to create areas of variable thickness and subtle variation in tone. I didn’t think that it was overly successful but seeing it placed below the photo I am thinking it’s actually not too bad at suggesting this characteristic of the drawing. 

This is some rusted paper that fell apart, salvaged by using Joomchi. I’m including this in my paper manipulation library and considering that it arises out of attempting to meld paper into layers of different thicknesses as in the different thickness of ink in the above drawing.