With three key words kept coming to mind; texture, layer and contrast the selection began amongst my papers, fabrics and threads.
Concerned not to over process the piece kept in mind the words in the manual ' to limit selection to a maximum of four methods'. Texture could be produced, by stitches and fabric finish. Levels could be achieved by padding and cutting through, allowing sections to show their layers with possibly the highest point being seen outlined in pink with slope being shown in orange. Contrast by colour selection and the thickness of fabric or thread.
So now to sit down and play with fabric and shapes. Wanted to get key shapes and sequences of fabric layers into my head to muse on. If I was too take my digital image literally I could fall into a trap of too much detail and too many small pieces that would be difficult and fiddly to work on
First faltering steps on layering :
top layer: machine stitched thrums on soluble fabric
second layer: yellow velvet 'knocked back' with black FuseX
third layer : rust felt
Lots of fidgeting and then machine stitched, in long zig zag stitch. Then attached in machine running to stitch to fourth layer of black felt. Note to self - I would pull out some of these running stitches later. The next decision was to add a fifth double layer of bronze silk which would be revealed with cut through channels and fraying.
Three hours later and that concept was abandoned. Its all thanks to a power cut! I had been stitching away and was getting frustrated and started cutting up and re stitching , see ref 5.12.9 and POW off went the power for 4 hours courtesy of hurricane Bertha. I decided it was all getting overly complicated and that reverse applique could be more effective stitching into more layers of fabrics I had already used see ref 5.12.10.
As work progressed, realised a groove was appearing needed the needle to be moved off the record a little more frequently! Was I falling into a trap of stitching too much and getting involved in too much detail? The idea of a relationship of texture, layer and contrast across the piece has produced a very tactile piece that is great to run your hands over but whether it is as attractive to the eye is questionable either way up! My mantra that , 'less is more' seems to have been proved by producing the opposite - the explanation, indulgence!
The decision for the final look: to give more stuffing to the shaped pieces on the right hand side and to mount on a black felt stretched over a canvas board allowing a 2 inch border!