Thursday, 14 February 2013

Resolved Samples - revisited

The review of all the Modules done to date was a stimulating exercise helping to focus my mind on the prospect of three resolved samples! Certain aspects that needed more work had stayed in my mind and helped form my choice of three patterns; curves, scrolls and paisley. While using pin boards to collect reference points for each Module the method encouraged a wide and diverse storyboard and I felt the need for more specific thoughts of design ideas. Working boards/sheets became an important tool, before powering ahead with sewing samples and hoping for the best.  Drawing is not my best point, so the cut and paste montage of key pictures and words took the panic out of the exercise.  It will also give me practice of a composite sheet required for Chapter 11
Resolved sample 1 Curves

when doing the Fibonnacci sequence in Module 2 Sian encouraged considering  'cut in curves', rather than the straight lines used to produce the egg, shown on right:

Using a yellow felt with a red textured overlay a mixture of fabrics were chosen  and interwoven to give a variety of  sheen/dull, textured/flat character. A variety of stitches were applied to hold the pieces in place and give movement to the piece.  Dyed squash seeds were used to balance the design. 
 An oval shape made from felt framed the final piece.  Sian encouraged me to revisit the framing.  The frame seemed to overwhelm the piece, after a play decided to turn piece upside down and just put a background of the topsurface behind it - a white board seemed to be too much of a contrast.
Resolved sample 2 Scrolls
The scrolls on the door of Lichfield Cathedral and corrugated cardboard scrolls that encouraged Gimp play on the computer are the basis for this sample:
A hand dyed lightweight silk was bonded to felt, with the heat giving a slightly textured look to the silk. Remnants of machined stitched hand made papers from Module 1's resolved sample were bonded on top and the scrolling began with hand made and machine stitched cords.  A variety of hand counching and other embroidery stitches, scroll, bullion knots were used to embellish the design.  Spiral wire, hand beaten wire coils and beads were added. Work in progress

The final sample was cord edged and mounted on felt.  Encouraged by Sian to add some of my thicker cords this is the result.  As I did not want to hide previous detail decided to spiral out and present a third dimension.

Resolved sample 3 Paisley
The association of wings and stitches in Module 2, and the paisley image in earlier chapters of this module gave this shape priority for further development.
Chiffon was bonded to hand dyed muslin for the background - it was a disadvantage when taking photos as the  chiffon had a shimmer that distorted the colours, but ideas of cutting this back once the sample had been stitched were considered a possible solution if the final sample was still dominated by the shimmer. 

 The final sample was mounted in a cardboard frame covered with hand dyed felt.  Some of the chiffon was cut back, however, feel the flimpsy cut shape at bottom right edge should be tucked behind the frame  - it looks rather weak and doesn't add to the piece! It was becoming an exercise at knowing where to stop and the phrase, less is more, kept coming to mind!
  With Sian's comments on the framing having resonance with my own concerns this piece was also revisited.  The results show a less formal piece.  The piece on the right seems to be gaining my vote.  It uses a lighter weight of cotton than in sample and seems to hold the eye for longer.

The lessons learnt in revisiting will be ones I won't forget.  Making the frames had been awkward not least making an oval shape, but found a wonderful tip on how to draw an eclipse with two pins, a piece of thread and a pencil.  In making the oblong frame I thought I was home and dry, the card was pre cut, but decided to dye the felt as the colour was not 'right'.  No need to let you guess, the felt shrunk and had to keep trimming the frame...something should have told my brain to rethink at that point!!


  1. What beautiful samples Judith. I love how you approach designing, and it is so clear to see the process with how you set it out in your blog.

  2. Busy girl! Just love your resolved sample using scrolls & paisley designs. Interesting to see all your cords being used - my task for this afternoon!