My Final Piece for Field

As I said in a previous blog post, I decided to do another wall hanging, similar to the small one I had already made. However it needed to be more organised and finished better.

Here is a photo of my finished piece:

I am pleased with the outcome of my piece, as the beach part is definitely more planned than on my last piece. However, the vertical lines where the seams are makes it disjointed. This is because I only had small pieces of fabric to work with so this was the only way I could make them the size I wanted; in hindsight I should have been more organised to buy some fabric that was more suited to what I was making. Additionally, the bottom half still needs more planning, as it still looks quite random. But a beach is not perfectly arranged so it shouldn’t be too neat. I also think that I shouldn’t have used quite so many colours when sewing the french knots.

The top half of the hanging is quite similar to the one on my other smaller piece, the only major difference being that I used two different denim types for the final piece. I prefer the piece where there is only one denim, as the denim waves are more subtle on it. I should have experimented by creating samples of this before I started making the final piece. I really like all the other aspects of the ‘Sea’ part of the wall hanging, especially the three-way cording. It adds a splash of colour to the otherwise quite neutral colour palette. One other thing I would do using a different technique would be the white in the middle (the tide) where the two parts of the hanging join, because it was quite difficult to complete. I started off with the white cord on the bobbin, but the machine kept jamming because it was a fluffy cord and I was trying to sew along the seam. I ended up hand sewing it, which made it less fluffy.

If I were to make the wall hanging again, I would definitely plan it out more carefully and make more samples ahead of producing the final piece, because it gives me a chance to decide what works best. I also now think that it may look better as two separate wall hangings which would hang next to each other, this is because the colours of the two halves are quite different and it looks quite abrupt where they come together.

 Below are close-ups of the two parts of my hanging.

I enjoyed using lots of different stitch techniques on this half, to create wave shapes.

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Using this glittery thread on the bobbin was my favourite part of making this half.

 

Foils, Flock and Puff

After screen printing with normal pigment, I learnt how to use foils, flock and puff binder. All three include heat at some point in the process, the foils and flock using the heat press and the puff using steam from an iron.

Copper Foil

 Foil is my favourite of these three techniques, because it is so simple yet it creates such a beautiful effect. I think choosing the copper foil was perfect for my design, as crabs have quite a coppery hue. Also, I think the foil works well with simple, thin lines.

Blue Flock

  This didn’t work so well, compared to the foil but it was useful to learn the technique. I think it would work better with thicker lines, because in places the flock is very thin and sparse. It could however just need more time in the heat press. I think it also looks a bit strange because of the colour, if I had the chance to flock this design again then I would try another colour, or possibly multiple colours.

Orange Puff Binder

 The puff binder is fascinating, watching how it rises with the steam is so intriguing. On some of my puff samples, I mixed two colours across the screen when I printed it, which gave a beautiful finish to the prints, as they were not just one solid block of colour.

Screen Printing

Recently in the Print/Dye room I have learnt how to screen print. This includes exposing the image I want to print onto the screen. I have screen printed before but not exposed the screen so I was excited to learn how it is done. I chose to draw a crab surrounded by shells and seaweed, to keep to my sea theme.

My Exposed Screen

After exposing the screen, I printed with normal pigment onto some plain material:

I really like how I used two different colours, because they gently blend into each other and are make the print more interesting than just one colour.

This print is done in the same style as the one above, but I prefer the colours of this. I am very happy with the design, but I think that the lines may have needed to be a little bit thicker, as in some places it didn’t print properly.

Continuing with denim and the sea

 After doing a few samples on denim I decided that I wanted to make a small wall hanging using stitch, inspired by a beach.

Sea

I wanted the hanging to have two parts to it: some sea imagery and some beach imagery. Using my previous samples to inform me, I used the stitches and techniques that represented both parts the best. I used denim from an old pair of jeans that I no longer wear.

Beach

I am pleased with my wall hanging but there are definitely ways it can be improved. For example, the beach part is quite unorganised and needed a little more planning. However, I really like the top half, which represents the sea. I think each stitch represents waves well and the colours I chose match really well.

 
For my final piece I will do another wall hanging, quite similar to this one but improved and slightly bigger, as well as most likely one piece, rather than two joined together. It will also be finished properly with a backing. I will use a branch to hang it again, because I think it adds to the up-cycling theme.

Some samples…

Having decided on a theme of the sea after being inspired by the “Living Seas” seminar at the Future Generations Conference, I created a few samples based on this theme in the stitch room, after learning more techniques in our workshops:

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“Under the Sea”

 This sample was made on one of the electronic machines, using the text function to write the phrase, and a selected stitch to do the border. I love this machine, as it can do so much so easily.

Frayed Layers of Stitch

 This sample was inspired by a piece the group was shown at the start of the module, which was a skirt with layers of denim, frayed on each edge. I tested various stitches and then stitched all the pieces together to create a small sample.

Field Collaboration 

We spent two weeks in collaboration with other Level 4 students across CSAD, where we made a small piece based on the brief we were given.

Our group was split into smaller groups of 5 or 6, and each was given an “Invisible City” from Italo Calvino’s novel to base our piece on. The city that we were given was “Andria”, a very organised, clockwork city that looked up to the constellations at night.

Here is an image of our finished piece:

 On the day all the groups put up their pieces, displayed in the Graphics Studio, we linked each city with wool according to their economic, social, environmental and cultural similarities. It ended up being a bit of a maze!
 I am glad we did this collaboration, as I got to meet students from other courses. However, I think slightly longer would have made it better as it felt very rushed. I’m looking forward to collaborating again with other students in field next year.

Up-Cycling Denim

For the first two weeks of our field module, we were given a brief within our subject to up cycle a pair of jeans. I had no problem finding a pair as I own so many, with lots that I don’t even wear anymore! At first I struggled to find something to do and created this: 
I enjoyed making this but later realised that it didn’t really have any direction and I couldn’t think how I would move on from this.

After talking to my tutor, a theme of seas came about; inspired by the ‘Living Seas’ seminar I attended during the ‘Future Generations’ conference. I did a few samples using some of the stitch techniques I have learnt at university so far.

 I spoke to my tutor again, who gave me some advice on where to go with the remaining denim I had, as I still wasn’t completely sure. I am now in the process of making a wall hanging, with ocean and beach imagery.