Sunday, 22 December 2013

Approaching the finishing post?

Having homed in on a few ideas hopefully this submission will produce a sample that gets across the idea.  I always find it difficult to decide which of the techniques in the twelve chapters of the  module will feature in the final piece.  Too many techniques could swamp the piece but there is a  need to show key aspects.  I particularly like some of the features of chapters 5 and 6 but these do not feature in the sample below, should I content myself with the samples done specifically in those chapters, eg Ref 4.6.3,4,5 ,and see this piece as a separate entity?
Here goes...
Ref 4.11.3a
Ref 4.11.3b
With decisions left unresolved  from the previous posting the key was to ensure that the hinge pleats were in keeping with overall size of piece. Rather than doing one inch pleats that were edge stitched on each fold I decided to go for half inch pleats that were only edge stitched on the internal fold.
Ref 4.11.3c
Ref 4.11.3d
To replicate the atmosphere of the seabed I chose a shibori silk ,that had been dyed for an earlier chapter to be used as the hinge fabric. The fabric, once bonded to vilene would be machine stitched on the internal pleat edge and then the external fabric would be hand stitched so that the hinge could be drawn in if so desired.  

The decision to make the flags out of fabric again bonded to vilene came after I had devised a method of writing onto the fabric, basically print the sayings onto paper, rubbing the reverse of the paper with oil pastels and then tracing over the letters with rounded stiletto thereby transferring the oil pastel onto the cloth.  This proved a bit messy, - a caution when using oil pastels, really clean the surface you work on after use as little pieces of crayon seem to attach themselves to everything! The first attempt of using cream oil pastel had a lovely elusive effect but thought I would need something that could be seen in a photo! 
Ref 4.11.3f

The saying 'If we assume we have arrived we stop searching' seemed particularly appropriate.
Ref 4.11.3e

Ref 4.11.3g
Ref 4.11.3h
Having completed the hinge, by making three twisted cords from linen hand dyed thread for earlier chapters, a running stitch was pulled through each pleat.

Ref 4.11.3.i(b)
Ref 4.11.3i(a)
Ref 4.11.3j inside
Ref 4.11.3j outside
The next stage was to attach the shells to the hinge. As green shell was  a little bit crumbly decided to glue a fabric muslin with the title of the piece on the 'front' shell to give it more strength and possibly a diffused edge. The fabric muslin was wrapped round a stiff cardboard oblong that was sewn in place onto the vilene hinge.  As this proved effective decided to cut and glue  an arc of muslin in the 'back' shell and attach in same way to hinge.  

A picture I had seen when looking at design ideas encouraged me to fringe the fabric

Ref 4.11.k side
Ref 4.11.k bottom

The razor shells were filled with double sided foam mounts as although I had sewn the cardboard to take the strain I didn't want the razor shells to split with too much pressure when pulling in the hinge ties. The result...

Ref 4.11.k closed hinge
Ref 4.11.k open hinge

                                                                                    Ref 4.11.k closed hinge, top view

Ref 4.11.3 k top view  Ref 4.11.3 k bottom view

Ref 4.11.3k open
When completing resolved samples a thought pattern seems to prevent you from being happy with what you have done - early ideas that you rejected seem so much more appealing!   My critique of this piece is that it  appears a little too contained and perhaps an earlier idea which involved a series of pages that could be tied and closed as in the origami sequence or opened out as a wall hanging would have given me more freedom to explore and have incorporated more techniques. That maybe something for another day and possible use  poems rather than sayings!  However I will close this post on one of the sayings included as a 'pearl', it is by James Thurber...
It is better to know some of the questions
 than all of the answers….


  1. What a lovely extra Christmas present to see your latest work. Such exciting ideas and such a beautiful outcome. I love it!

    1. Glad you enjoyed opening it Catherine. We are enjoying Christmas at Douneside, so not too far to go home on Saturday! Have an enjoyable New Year with good health, good walking and good stitching

  2. I have not peeped at your blog recently so have not seen your beautiful shell book. What a lovely idea! I was also interested in your comment about being uncertain if you have taken the right path for your resolved piece. Yes, you are right they are ideas for another day!