Adding Texture

This morning I had a chat with Maggie, who looked through all of the samples I’ve done so far and gave me some suggestions of other things to try:

  • Alternative gathering techniques, other than ruffling
  • Try painting onto fabric as another way of getting the colour on there
  • Consider digital printing for bags etc?

I really like the idea of fabric painting – this could be a nice way of getting my stitching looking a bit more like my drawing. I had considered doing something like this previously but only watercolours, and Maggie instead suggested using actual fabric paints.

In terms of digital printing, I won’t rule this idea out, however I am keen to keep with my hand made techniques in order for the pieces to be sold as one offs rather than as a commercial product.

I had a go at gathering some organza, as Maggie suggested, by stitching a zig-zag rather than a straight line down the middle. This created a much more organic ruffle, which is quite seaweed-like.

I then moved on to making a ‘slashing’ sample. Maggie’s comment about experimenting more with texture really got me thinking about different ways of doing this, and this technique was something I did quite a bit of during my A Levels, but not since. It is time consuming to prepare, but I am always pleasantly surprised with the outcome. I used a base of calico, then layered up small pieces of a variety of fabrics, such as organza, felt and poly cotton, plus some bits of green wools. I then layered a piece of white organza on top and stitched some wavy lines into it with a deep green thread. Then I used a scalpel to cut and scrape away at the layers to create some lovely textures and colours. I think if I did this again I would leave out the pale green felt, as I think this isn’t very cohesive against the rest of the palette, but overall I was happy with the outcome. I then added some applique free embroidered barnacles (of course) to tie the sample into the rest of the collection and to get my signature black illustrations included.

When scraping off the top layer of this sample, I was left with a pile of ‘fluff’ made up of the remnants, and had the idea of needle punching with them. This was a technique which I wanted to explore further anyway so got stuck in, combining this pile with some strips of brown organza and some green felt fibres. I again added in some barnacles and I love the outcome.

I feel like I’ve finally got my mojo back and am happy with what I produced today. Tomorrow I am planning on having a day on the computer, making a start on the digital side of things for my portfolio.

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