Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Learning by experience

It has been a week since I last posted, I am not keeping up to my self-imposed goal.
I have been reasonably good with my doodle a day goal though - I have missed a couple of days but am remembering most days. However, I have let the lino-cut-a-day lapse, I was ending up with a whole lot of pieces that I have not used and have no plans to use.
But ...

I have enrolled to do another year of Machine Embroidery as an Art Form, through SWTAFE.  Once again, it is by correspondence, as was first year.
We are sent notes for each assignment, with instructions for experimentation in different areas of machine embroidery.
The first assignment gelled very nicely with things I had been playing around with recently.
We were asked to do some lino cuts, make our own stamps and stencils and try to make a repeat design. As we are not doing lengths of fabric, it doesn't have to be a very good repeat, just a suggestion of one. So I thought I would have a reasonable handle on this assignment. We can also do a single stand-alone design.
We were asked to choose a particular design or art movement and I chose Art Nouveau. I have had an interest in Charles Rennie Mackintosh's designs for a few years now (as I mentioned recently), so I thought I would focus on his work.

I have drawn up a couple of designs based on elements of his work. I have made some stamps and stencils. I have printed them.

Then came the sewing.  I looked at the notes and tried a few of the options. A couple of techniques seemed to suit my designs quite well. So off I went, trying them out.
We have been asked to hand in six samples of at least 30cm x 30cm. Remembering to leave some space for joining fabric together (otherwise known as seams), I allowed what I thought was a reasonable amount around my 30cm. I cut the fabric 42cm square (it was easy to measure accurately on my cutting mat at that size, no other reason for exactly that measurement).

Then I did my stamping. I was getting those pesky lines around the design that come with lino cutting. So I tried masking the lino. That worked ok but I think I won't bother when I do my next sample as the extra lines and texture add interest.

I did my little bit of stencilling - I used a sponge with a handle. I cannot find them anywhere in the shops and have no idea where I got this one. If you know where to get them in Melbourne, please let me know!

Then I did the sewing, using twin needles and a foot for the machine that I have never used before - which is pretty much all of them. It did the job I had envisaged, of giving a clear flowing line, beautifully. But it also pulled the fabric in - much further than I had anticipated. The design was only 26cm wide. I was very glad I had been generous with the extra fabric. It just manages to be 30cm x 30cm - and that is after I added another row of stamps to make it wide enough.

Here is sample one - not a complete work of art but I have had fun playing around with getting various techniques to work for me.


Glennis said...

Hi Mary, I love the design you did. I also like Rennie Mackintosh designs and saw them in Glasgow.tprise 1370

Mary said...

Thanks Glennis, I am having my usual trouble of trying to think what on earth I could do with this sort of fabric, it is quite textured, so no good at a placemat or similar. I'll have to let go of this need to make something practical and continue to experiment.