Friday, 27 October 2017

Creating a New Textiles Piece: Start to Finish

Having finished my coffee house piece, but with no particular plan in mind of what to do next, I have decided to go back to pure experimentation. This is always especially exciting, as it pulls on pure creativity, but it's also really quite challenging too. Where to start?

As it happened, I had a bit of a play around with tea and dye-splotting during my recent residency and produced a few pieces of background cotton, which I put aside for an occasion just like this. I started by pinning a couple of different colours of organza on, to break up the space and start a more interesting composition, then chose some initial thread colours:

I then played. I like the way blanket stitch can create interesting curves. I am also very into stitched crosses. The blocks of running-stitch were brought across from my coffee-house piece. I got inspiration for the large sweeping marks from one of the mark-making pieces I created ages ago. I still keep the pile of squares by my desk. They have been so useful, if ever I'm stuck.

I built it up, adding more sections of colour, to create more layers and give it depth, expanding the stitch-colours, trying new marks on top of what I'd already done. It was looking really interesting, but I felt it lacked something. It needed more powerful contrast, a bit of 'oomph'.

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been gradually going through rag-boxes that a couple of people gave me when I first started getting into textiles. I've been ironing what I want to keep, and sorting the bits and bobs into warm and cool colours, patterned and plain, so I can find things more easily. At the bottom of one box I found a tiny tangle of wonderfully lumpy wool. I was about to store it away. Then I placed it on the piece.

I have 'couched' in some wool before, on the first map piece I created, and was really pleased with the textural contrast it provided. This seemed like it was well worth trying...

I didn't overdo the couching, as I didn't want to flatten the wool's lumpiness, so I stitched just enough to keep it in place and to add a subtle glimmer of mustard thread, to tone down the white and help it 'belong'.

One final bit of work I felt it needed was a few stitching additions to the mustard stripes top left. I softened them into the piece by stitching across with some pale blue, which really did the trick and echoed the couching of the wool.

I am pretty sure it's done now. I'll live with it for a bit.

I am really pleased with the overall effect, but also with the way sections of it work, when you focus in on details. It's so hard to photograph this work - you can't really appreciate the layering and detailed stitching when you take a picture of the whole thing, especially with the larger pieces.

Hope you like it! Now... Tea-bags and wax...


Sharon said...

I feel a connection to your art making process as an artist who works in various mediums. I have discovered that working with collage, paint and textiles feeds into all my pieces. I enjoy seeing how you integrate your ideas and excellerate the creative process. If you ever come to Texas, we must meet up!! ~ Sharon aka ArtL8dy

Lynne the Pencil said...

That's brilliant Sharon. Yes, I am trying to release time to do more collage and mark-making drawing etc myself, to feed into my textiles further. It doesn't often happen at the moment though! And thank you for the invitation. You never know where life will lead you :-)