After completing the research project, I took a set of new ideas and drawings to inspire me as I worked through each of the exercises.
Stage 2 developed ideas - I selected drawings with potential for development.
These drawings had to have an expressive quality and a rhythm - and not be too complicated.
By selecting and narrowing down my choices, I had lots of fresh ideas, I had notes to work from in the forthcoming exercises.
I have always worked on selecting drawings that I felt had potential - without considering, or at least writing down the reasons why I rejected the other images.
By writing down my ideas and my reasons - I felt the selection process was made simpler, I hadn't just picked a piece that I liked, I had reasoned why it was the correct choice.
Stage 3 worked with applied fabric techniques - the suggested time limit for both stage 3 and stage 4 is just four hours for each stage. This, for me, was an underestimation - but, I think this may be due to the fact that I enjoyed working with the techniques listed, and I felt the need to sample them all! There has got to be a happy medium, and I will try to use the time guidelines to keep my enthusiasm in check.
Stage three was a design led piece using traditional applique, cut back applique, bonding and trapping techniques.
I was pleased with my final sample, I used a monochromatic colour scheme, and several different types of applique in the construction of the piece.
It closely represented the design work that I had completed.
|Final sample Stage 3|
Stage four dealt with raised and structured surface textures.
Having enjoyed 'sampling' the different techniques: gathering, folding and pleating, tucking, tearing/fraying/slashing, quilting, raised shapes and moulding; I was interested to see how I might use these to complete a sample based on one of my designs.
Having finally chosen an image, I really had to plan the different ways that some of the techniques might be used.
I am really pleased with the result - again completely time consuming, but one that worked well from design to completion of sample.
|Final sample Stage 4|
Did I prefer working with fabric in this way to working directly with stitch?
I found working with fabric in this way an interesting challenge.
Usually you can choose stitches, colours of thread, that will enhance a design, this time it was all about the techniques you could use with fabric.
I liked the techniques that were sampled, and I enjoyed translating the designs into a finished piece.
What I found strange was isolating the stitch from the fabric, and solely concentrating on the fabric techniques.
But, I think that this process has enabled me to consider the design process even more closely, to examine each element of a design by the different processes and techniques that are available
Did I feel pleased with the shapes and movements that I created in both applique and fabric manipulation?
I felt very pleased with the shapes and movements that I created in both stage 3 and stage 4, the applique and fabric manipulation techniques.
Looking again at the final samples (in the images above), I can see that I created a sense of depth and texture in both finished pieces.
In the applique piece I kept to a simple colour scheme, but used a variety of textures in the applique fabrics. I also used a variety of applique techniques which created 'layering' of the applied leaves, some receded and some 'came forward' in the finished sample. The negative spaces between the leaves were as integral to the design as the positive images of the leaves.
In the fabric manipulation piece I kept to an even simpler colour scheme, cream.
The different fabric manipulation techniques created layers, textures and shadows which complemented the shapes that appeared in the finished sample.
If I was to try anything new with either of these samples it would be to use one of the fabric manipulation techniques on the background fabric of the applique sample.
I like the sample as it is, but it would be interesting to see if the sample would be improved visually by using texture on the background.
How did the pieces work in relation to my drawings, and were the final results very different to the drawings?
For the applique piece, I kept my fabric sample very close to the design that I had drawn up.
I developed the image from a photograph and felt the shapes of the leaves and their placement on the background worked too well to change it.
For the fabric manipulation sample I kept close to the drawing, but this time used the drawing more as a guide.
I developed the original image before I started the sample, and then once I was working on fabric, the design began to develop further.
You can still see a direct link between the two in the finished piece.
The fabric manipulation technique assisted rather than 'took over' the final result.
Was it helpful to work from the drawings in the applique exercise?
Yes it was helpful to work from drawings in the applique exercise.
I think that you can create some interesting samples by 'playing' with cut shapes and materials, like the collages that we were asked to create in Stage 2, but I felt safer when dealing directly with a design that I had worked on.
How do I feel about working with stitch in general and would I like to pursue this in more depth?
I like working with stitch, it compliments the fabric techniques.
I would like to pursue the effects of both fabric techniques and stitch together - it has got to be the next stage in design development.
Only by sampling and trying out new stitches and techniques will my ability to design become better
The only limiting factor with working in stitch is that my hands don't work well.
After creating the sample using the Italian applique my index finger became numb - it takes several days for any feeling to return.
I need to limit the periods of time when I hand stitch - that way I don't need to restrict the designs that I would like to create.