As instructed, the course work was carefully reviewed to identify ideas or techniques found particularly stimulating
Assignment 1 – Folding & Crumpling
Wax resist & black acrylic
Why? The visual texture created by black acrylic settling into the gaps in the wax crayon marks. The loose, quick marks are energetic, complementary colours of orange and blue, with the addition of yellow are bold and the traces of white from original paper colour add to the visual texture.
Charcoal and graphite on textured paper
Why? The achromatic colour scheme, visual texture and slight metallic sheen of the graphite. The softness and fluidity of charcoal and graphite to draw with.
Drawing by scraping into wet acrylic paint
Why? The smooth, soft path of the tool drawing into the wet paint is freeing and expressive.
Looking into the centre of linear crumpled tissue
Why? Actual and visual texture and the shadows in the centre draw the eye in.
Cutting holes and adding a light source, static or moving to create shadows
Why? The soft patterns differing in value, created in light and shadow and the ability to manipulate them by moving the light source.
Assignment 2 – Joining & Wrapping
Natural wrapped pieces in the style of Tim Johnson
Why? The simple palette, the natural texture and matt finish, curves and line of the collected matter, the tactility of the various tying materials, linen, silk noil, cotton, jute thread, dry grasses and plant stuff. The peaceful feeling working with natural materials causes.
Why? The contrasting texture of the wrapping material and the shiny ceramic of the jug together with the shapes created by the placement and line of the thread.
Assignment 2 – Joining & Wrapping
Why? Tactile texture, quirky, characterful shapes, rhythmic, slow stitch making, palette of burgundy, rust and white, re-use of materials. Once I had grasped the method in each case, these pots were a delight to make and hold, small, tactile, the stitch and materials an enjoyable experience.
Needle felting open weave fabrics
Why? Texture, the tiny burgundy loops in the above sample, the soft melding of fabrics achievable with needle felting.
Loose handstitch in joining
Why? Characterful, textural, pleasure to stitch, lovely contrast of black linen thread against wool.
Why? Produces beautiful translucent quality of fine paper, enhances marks. Waxed linen scrim, emphasises texture, captures frayed edges, gives 3d potential to fabrics.
Using soluble fabric/film to enable free-machining of dried hydrangea petals
Why? Pleasure of working with natural materials, fragility of dried petals, beautiful veins especially when photographed against the light.
Assignment 3 – Molding & Casting
Creating texture with molding paste, colouring with sprayed ink and Sennelier oil pastels
Why? Fine texture captured with paste, lustrous colour. Sennelier oil pastels, deliciously soft and creamy glide over the surface and blend with fingertips. Speckled ink adding to visual texture.
Casting paper pulp
Why? home-made paper, warm, tactile to the touch. Captured subtle undulating curves of cotton scrim fibres and folds well, slight lustre from graphite.
Casting from Paperclay
Why? So versatile, clay easy to use and warm and light to the touch when green (unfired) but potential maximised with firing, only possible with kiln. Using paper clay slip, beautifully delicate, fragile casting and even monoprinting possible.
Alginate & plaster of paris
Why? Amazed by quality of texture captured. Alginate easy to use with quick results. The pleasure was from achieving such pleasing results from unfamiliar materials, rather than using the materials.
Casting in plaster from stitched bags and soluble film
Why? I’m finding it difficult to interpret my feelings, they are complex and need unravelling. It was very satisfying to control the casting material with interesting results, offering potential for further development, but I was more excited by the stitching element and soluble fabrics than the casting materials. The pleasure was the satisfaction of using stitch and being innovative, the samples laid out to entice me into further development are less exciting. Is this something I need to try again to determine how I feel?
My inclination is that the methods adopted have the potential to produce exciting work, but can I engage myself in the process?
The artex plaster and linen scrim produced great texture, the gathered stitch in the linen scrim bag added interest. Using the bag with the seams on the outside produced a neater sample.
The orange net sewn to the soluble film created a fabulous texture as the film dissolved, leaving the white machine stitch on the surface and ‘gathers’ in the plaster.
The cast from the stitched plastic envelope was so cushion like, it was immensely satisfying. An added bonus was the delicate scalloped edge to the ‘stitched’ holes.
Assignment 4 – Mono and collatype printing
Mark making into the ink on the print plate
Why? Loosely drawn marks are so appealing, soft or sharp, fine or chunky, energetic or relaxing, such a fluid way of working by scraping into the wet ink and printed by hand or enriched by the use of a press.
Why? The quality of the line is gorgeous, fuzzy, textural, characterful.
Printing with finish dishwasher liquid as a discharge agent onto corduroy
DIFFICULTY – product appears to have been discontinued – experiment with Finish Liquid gel to see if similar results can be obtained.
Why do I like this? The marks are delicately textured and ghostly, enhanced by the addition of tiny stitches in a soft palette.
Monoprinting with masks (1)
Why? The use of the blue and orange complementary colour is effective, the gradation of the darker orange to to a lighter shade as it travels up the page, the texture of the orange created with the roller. The speckles created with brush thinners, the slightly offset printing of the vase creating the white outline. The central positioning and cropping of the image.
Monoprinting with masks (2)
Why? The palette, the subtle nature of the marks on the tissue paper print on the right and the speckles created by white spirit allowing the background colour through the black on the left.
Why? Fabulous detail achieved with good quality ink, paper and press, vibrant, deep colours, some embossing, 3d effect.
Layers and blocks of colour – mono and collatype hand print, roller counterprinting
Why? Energetic mark making, lots of visual texture, effective layering, complementary orange and blue with addition of yellow, striking use of colour. White negative space of paper offsetting print well, giving an airy, ‘less is more’ impression.
Printing from stitched materials
Why? huge potential for mark making with hand and machine stitch on numerous materials. Loose, energetic marks, variety of values, the thread from the back of the hand stitch adds to the character of the marks. Bottom left blue/black grey moody atmospheric palette. Added dimension when printed onto different cloth, bottom left loose weave cotton.
Stitch & print with thermogauze
Why? Leaving a little of the Thermogauze stabilizer behind creates additional loose weave texture. Simple palette, green, black & white, striking effect.
Careful, detached reflection has identified some common preferences and stimulating techniques.
- working with a limited palette – subtle or complementary
- loose expressive mark making
- delicate lightweight papers, detailed visual texture
- working with natural materials is peaceful
- print – both mono & collatype, by hand or press with inexpensive or high quality ink
- stitch – for print, to enhance print, pot coiling
However, the detailed review has also identified many different techniques which could easily distract, so it is important to be discerning. What is really interesting and how could it be developed to demonstrate good technical and visual skills, creativity, taking risks with imaginative and successful outcomes?
1. Cast, stitched bags & soluble materials could be exciting, exploring how different approaches to stitched solubles will react with different casting materials.
2. Printing with stitch – ideas are flooding into my mind, printing onto fine papers, colour washing the paper first, waxing it after. Layering papers. Printing from hand stitch, couching, machine stitch, natural threads vs synthetics, stitch on paper, card, silk, netting. I feel driven and excited and can’t stop stitching little samples and printing them, taking rubbings, collaging …..
I have felt torn here, I can see potential in the outcome of casting from stitched bags, but the inclination to explore is slight, I would have to make myself whereas I can’t stop myself printing and stitching. So, I am going with my gut reaction to develop printing with stitch, endeavouring to be imaginative and take risks.