Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Fabric paint and stencils

As part of my machine embroidery course at SWTAFE, we had to use fabric paint, stamps and stencils to come up with a design.
I took a while to come up with some designs.  As I have already said, I played with fabric paint and stamps.  Then I tried to match the stamping with embroidery.  I found this quite hard.  I had trouble envisaging how embroidery would complement the designs that I had come up with.
I think I was influenced by the screen printing I had done as part of my Diploma of Studio Textiles and Design. We learnt how to design repeat prints, how to screen print. But now I was being asked to combine that with embroidery and I had trouble visualising the two together.
Here is my attempt to come up with a design, inspired by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. It has elements of his grids and his floral designs. I was inspired by the gorgeous book, Charles Rennie Mackintosh Textile Designs, by Roger Billcliffe.  It has many images of Charles Rennie Mackintosh's designs as well as those of his wife, Margaret and her sister Frances Macdonald. As the title suggests, the focus is on textile design rather than architecture, for which Mackintosh is also famous.

 The stencil was cut using very old Contact (the stuff we used to use for covering books) left over from my teaching years.  Contact was suggested in our class notes and I found it useful for larger than A4 sized pieces.  (Our works were required to be 30cm x 30cm or more.)
 The ovals were done using a stamp I had cut.  The grids were done using a lino cut I had made, visible in the above image, through the stencil.

 Here you can see a different stencil that was cut out of plastic. I had printed a similar image using the same stamp.  Then I had to use the cut out bits of the stencil and place them over the printed parts.  I masked the ovals with paper.
I then rolled green paint over the image (hoping the masks would work!).
Now I had a printed piece.  It had taken ages, waiting for each part of the printing process to dry before trying the next step.
This is as far as I have got with this one, I don't have a clear idea of how to incorporate machine embroidery yet.


Misha said...

This looks like really fascinating stuff. I look forward to the print making subject in the Tapestry Diploma!

Mary said...

Yes, Misha, it is interesting. I have really missed being in an actual, physical class. I find it hard to do it in isolation but I am getting there.