Friday, 25 March 2011

Making my final project pieces...

I figured out how to make my cushions how I wanted them and so the last week I have been focussing completely on the making of the pieces ready for the final show. To make sure the cushions are the right size I printed out life size pictures of the area that I wanted to put on a cushion so that I could trace the right sized design onto my cross stitch fabric...

Once I had done this I had to copy the pattern onto the cross stitch fabric and start sewing. Because of where i took the pictures from it means that the pattern on the cushion only lines up with the background when you view it from one angle. I think this is a nice quality because it means that when isolated from the background the images because less recognisable as the background picture and become more intriguing shapes and lines.

I haven't completely finished the stitching part of the cushions yet but here is how far I have got...

Now I just need to completely finish the cushion and fill it with the foam. Because it has taken such a long time I have ordered some larger rug fabric which has bigger squares, this will make it quicker to make the next one up, and because the next one is just block colours it doesn't need to be small squares because there isn't enough detail for it to make a difference. However I am worried that the big squared design next to the small squared design will not look as good and they wont look cohesive as a pair. To make them seem more cohesive I will use the same shade of cream which hopefully when they are isolated from the background they will seem like they belong together.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Problems with my project ...

I've been having a lot of problems with my project this weekend, I decided to use the idea of interacting cushions with the background behind them. Although its proving a lot more tricky to line it up than I first thought. Initially I wanted to use a tapestry method to create the pattern on the front of my cushions because this is the way that women in particular made handicraft cushions. I decided this would be a good choice because it was a custom cushion for a corporate and mass produced environment.

I made a mock up of a corner cushion using some foam and making a cover. Some of the problems that I encountered are:

- I don't know how to attach the cushion in the right place, or whether to attach it at all, I have considered doing a cushion that comes straight up from the floor and supports the whole back and not just the area touching the wall.

- I can't seem to find a way to get the pattern on the cushion exactly life size to match up with the background.

- I'm uncertain of how to make the pattern for the tapestry design.

I'm considering for my final piece to just simplify the cushions and just to square shapes, using the basic principals but not making it exactly life size just doing prototype cushions.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

John Stezaker the Whitechapel Gallery ...

I've been meaning to go to the John Stezaker show at the Whitechapel Gallery since it opened, and I finally got round to going to see it. The show was so good I've been a fan of his collages for quite a while and they seem to have been influencing my work quite a lot lately.

What I found really interesting and important was his use of isolating small sections of images and bringing them to our attention , in this way you see things in a way that you wouldn't have been before. This really struck a chord with me and I've been isolating parts of my own images to bring to attention textures. I'm going to work with this idea of taking something out of it's surroundings using cushions as my medium I will draw attention to the places we normally use cushions by letting them take on the background, the creases of sofas and the hard lines of wooden chairs.I also really liked some of his portraits using a combination of postcards and film stills such as Mask IV. You can see some of his collages from the Whitechapel website.

Using some of his principals I applied similar techniques to my own work to draw attention to the texture of fabrics and fibres and creases you wouldn't usually see when looking at an entire image...

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Stitching metal onto fabric...

Once I'd started stitching fabric into 3D things I thought about reversing this and stitching what is traditionally thought of as a 3D material such as metal or wood onto fabric. In doing this I was aiming to restrict the drape of the fabric and change the way it will naturally fall. I did some initial trials with some thin metal which I drilled and sewed on at each corner.

From doing this I found that triangles on the thinner fabric were a lot more successful because there was more drape the felt had little to know drape so you couldn't really see what effect the metal was having on the movement of the fabric. Also the closer together triangles were a lot better than the ones that were far apart. because it meant the fabric could only bend down one thin line, whereas when they were far apart there was a whole section of fabric that could bend. 

This idea has been working quite well so I think I will try and develop it a little bit more.The shapes reminded me of the fractal work that I had done in a previous project and so I did a bit of research into this area because it would maybe link in well and give me an idea for my final piece.

I thought using the different tones of blue to make the rug look 3D in the last picture was a nice idea. I really liked the idea of optical illusion, maybe of making something 3D look like textiles and vice versa. I think this is a strong concept to base my project on so I think I will probably carry on this idea through the project as it will give me a nice focus.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Stitch experimentation ...

The next avenue for me to discover is stitch. I've decided to look into stitching into 3D object and physically combining them instead of just applying techniques to them. I've looked into the work of Hella Jongerius and decided to try out my own version of stitching into metal objects and wood.

I really enjoyed using stitch and 3D objects. I think aesthetically it is very appealing and is a nice combination of textures. I also really like the Kit element of le pot aux roses by Industreal. I would like to carry this element of customisation/ personalisation with my because I think the interactive element is interesting. However I'm not sure there is that much more that I can explore with stitch and 3D things and I'm not really certain of how i could develop this.

More experimenting with textiles...

After I had tried out folding some fabrics I decided to focus more on the construction of the textiles. I started off by looking at knitting because it's quite an interesting how one continuous line when knotted or interlinked they can build up a 3D shape.

After doing a bit of research into artists and designers who use knitting to create 3D shapes and structures I came across people like Freddie Robbins and Annette Bugansky. Taking inspiration from Annette's work I tried printing into clay with knitting and other fabric samples.

Using a rolling pin worked well to press them into the clay and even amount and give a good imprint, it worked a lot better than I thought it would, and a lot of detail could be seen , lace patterns also worked well.

Folded Fabrics...

My Final Project for my foundation diploma is about how textiles and 3D objects interact and influence each other. My initial idea was to observe how fabrics naturally make 3D shapes through draping and folding. I did a few initial sketches looking at folded and draped fabrics.

From these initial thoughts I decided it would be interesting to look at fabrics that are purposely folded to create 3D shapes. Taking inspiration from using sheet materials and folding into origami I decided to try this out with my fabric, using traditional origami shapes and instructions to apply to my fabric.

Using origami wasn't all that successful, folding the fabric worked much in the same way as folding the paper, I purposely chose a relatively stiff fabric which was starched shirt material. However to keep the folds in you had to iron the fabric. Each time I wanted to make a new fold I accidentally ironed the other folds out. Not too bad for initial research but I don't think I will be carrying this idea forward.