Tuesday, 8 August 2017

M4 Chapters 9 & 10 Stitching Into Papers and Making Book Structures

I decided to combine these chapters and stitch into the structures I was making. I started by colouring several large sheets of paper to use alongside some of my hand made paper - I had plenty made.

I started by making a simple pamphlet book. I decided to decorate the covers so the books were nice to use and also to give me some ideas for my assessment piece. I used Cover to Cover by Shereen Plantz as a reference alongside the course notes. I also wanted to try to incorporate some of the techniques and ideas I had gained from Summer School.

I decorated the cover by machine stitching thick silk threads, using a zig zag stitch and then hand stitched blanket stitch along two sides. For decoration I used a sample of drawn thread work and stitched into this and then built up a small area with fabric scraps.

I used cartridge paper for the inside pages, held together with pamphlet stitch.
The book held together well and is usable.

Next I decided to use some of the paper I had coloured to make a folded book. This is quite easy to make and gives a double side to use. I decorated the edges with a simple machine hem stitch. I went on to more pattern making with letters using the word 'script' again.




I lay the book flat again to work on the reverse side and wrote my word across the whole page using acrylic inks and droppers. This made some interesting marks when the book was refolded.


I moved on to making a concertina book. I decorated the edges with hand stitch. I found machine stitching a long straight stitch first helped to make small holes for the hand stitching. I used a narrow inside folded paper rather than the same size as the cover. This worked well on a small scale but I'm not sure if it would work as well on a larger piece.

I made patterns with my word again using acrylic inks and a twig pen.
Again I could work on both sides of the folded paper.


For the next book I made 3 pamphlets books but used cut down skewers to hold them together. I then used pamphlet stitch to attach them to the cover. For this cover I used hand stitch to hold trim/ribbon on two sides and hand stitched the other sides. I used paper inlaid with scrim and attached a piece of drawn thread work which had been dipped in pulp, some bark paper (bought) and a cord.



On the back cover I wove some threads through the embedded scrim.


For the pamphlets I used a variety of papers which I had, including old maps, paper bags, off cuts of paper and so on. This has made the book very usable as a sketch book.

I wanted to form a more unusual book structure and decided to build layers of paper vertically. I started by decorating some small, irregular torn papers. I used a decorative machine stitch and hand stitched loops. I then wrapped some scraps of materials with string and attached them. I added some quotes about art for a message type script.




I wanted to hold the pieces in layers or 'build up' and used paper covered wire. As the papers were irregular sizes and shapes I was unable to wire them at the corners. Eventually, after much deliberation, I worked from the top down using three wires and a template to transfer placings to the back of each piece.


I was pleased with the result. It would need to be more robust on a larger piece as the sample is quite delicate. The beads helped hold the wires, along with knots. One difficulty would be holding the papers in place on the wire without knots and a stronger wire would be more difficult to manipulate.



This chapter has been a good opportunity to try out different structures and look at a range of ways to form them. Making smaller structures gives some usable books using scraps and leftover pieces of fabric and papers.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Summer School 2017

Another lovely Summer School this year with everyone at Hillscourt Conference Centre at Rednal.  I worked with Gwen Hedley alongside other distant stitch students. The title was Build Up, Dig Down. The whole weekend really invigorated me this year and it was also nice to meet Julia Triston. Both tutors and Sian generously shared their work and experience with us. 
We also had plenty of time to work with each other and there was lots of exchanging of ideas.
We started by choosing large pebbles and making lines and marks in our sketchbooks. We made marks directly onto fabrics with a variety of tools.

 We moved on to making reverse applique samples based on our designs.
We worked on free patching and piecing.

A little trickier was piecing and folding alongside applique.

We also looked at wrapping and making parcels.

I particularly enjoyed the free piecing and building, followed by cutting down. The idea was to extend the piece and keep a rhythm. It worked well with fabric and paper.
I liked how some of the students had worked with fabric and paper and will definitely explore this further.
I gained a great deal from summer school this year. Gwen was kind enough to see each of her students individually and offer suggestions and advice as to how we could each move forward. And of course we had lots of laughs.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

M4 Chapter 8 Apply Paper Pulp to Woven Fabric Grid

I collected together various fabric grids and wrapped frames for this chapter.

8.1 This sample was entirely covered in paper and this was probably because the 'grid' was not large enough. I then rubbed the sample and some of the paper came off which left a nice effect.
8.2 I like the effect of scooping the pulp onto the fabric. It was placed on a piece of fresh paper and pushed together before drying.
8.3 Fabric dipped in pulp and rubbed once dried.
8.4 Scrim strips placed and pressed onto sheet of paper. Pulp added in stripes and pushed down with mold.

8.5 The fabric was pressed into a fresh sheet of paper and left to dry.
8.6 A wire frame was wrapped with yarn and dipped into pulp. Cut from the frame when dry.

8.7 A plastic grid was stretched over a frame and dipped into the pulp.

8.8 The same as 8.7. The grid holes were probably too small to achieve a good effect.

8.9 An accidental - the wire mesh was used to emboss a sheet of paper. Left to dry it made an interesting texture which could be used in a number of ways including 3D work.

M4 Chapter 7 Wrapped Frames to Make Grids

This was another enjoyable chapter. I made a wire frame from a coat hanger. This meant I had to cut the fabric from the frame but I like the effect of this on the edges.

I used both hand and machine stitch and weaving to make these sample. The final sample (bottom right) forms the letter 'L'. This was good practice to form other shapes and designs on wrapped frames in the future.

M4 Chapter 6 Drawn Thread Work Stitchery

I was struggling with the stitchery using the fine linen scrim but found it easier when I changed the fabric. I used a variety of threads, yarns and ribbons which I had in my stash.

6.1 These took quite some time. I enjoyed the weaving more than the stitch, although I think with practice I will become more proficient at the stitch.

6.2 I enjoyed these sample far more. I found the diagonal stitch more enjoyable and tried to make a sample using different stitches and threads (top). Using machine zig zag stitch made a firmer bas to work into and using the withdrawn threads to weave and knot gave a good effect (bottom left). I enjoyed making the tucks, although a larger width between would have given a larger piece (bottom right)

6.3 I also enjoyed the machine stitch in both directions. I tried to achieve some colour change using different colour threads and bobbins (top). Developing these ideas I had quite a nice piece to reuse. I used a variety of techniques, threads and hand and machine stitch. I will revisit this to develop some more ideas.

M4 - Chapter 5 Drawn Thread Work

First Exercise

I had some samples from my original colour choices. I decided to bleach the dye out and re-dye with onion skins.

5.1 I used soft linen scrim and this was very fine, making it difficult to withdraw threads. These first samples became more disintegrated following bleaching and re-dyeing but I felt they were worth rectifying.

Second Exercise

5.2 For these samples I used Cotton Rossglen Loomstate which I found easier to work with.
 The fabric was dyed with woad and then steamed with rust and leaves. There was little colour difference so I then painted some of the fabric with ink. the top sample is much stronger than the bottom sample.
5.3 I could have left a wider border to withdraw threads from as this would have given me longer threads to weave back into the samples or knot.