Friday, July 5, 2013

Thread Vase Thingy

The next assignment for my Machine Embroidery as an Art Form course is asking us to use 3D techniques.
I have been playing around with some ideas in this category already so am very happy to be trying more techniques.

We were given notes about a way to make a template from an existing object that I tried.  I chose a vase that I like as the template.  The vase has a narrower top than middle, so it was good to play around with, it is not one that you could mould the fabric onto and then slide the vase out.

I covered the vase with masking tape, each layer perpendicular to the previous.  I think I did about 5 layers. Then I got out some sharp embroidery scissors and cut through the tape.  I was a bit worried about scratching the vase, so I used a seam ripper to cut through the tape.

It wasn't a very exact template as I just ripped it away.  I am sure I could do a more symmetrical one if I concentrated.  But perfection isn't my goal, so the one I ended up with is fine.

Then I took an old paper bag that I had saved and used it to stick the template onto - it was a good size, bigger than the normal paper size, and sturdy.

I then laid out the soluble fabric on top and traced the template.  I used a permanent marker but it didn't all wash out properly, so I will try a different marker next time.  I think I may have had this problem previously but my most recent 3D works were in black, white and grey and it didn't show up.

Then I free motion sewed over the arms of the template, and the circular bottom.  I tried to make them all similar density as that can affect the shrinkage rate.  I wasn't entirely successful with this, some bits are shorter than others after washing out and drying.

I laid it out over the vase to dry, in hopes of getting a flat bottom.  As it had shrunk, it wouldn't fit on the vase very well.

When it dried, the bottom seemed much softer than the rest.  I'm not sure if I didn't sew it as thickly or if I had used a different fibre for the lighter pink that went up the sides.  Or I might have rinsed it out unevenly.

I hand sewed the arms together.  At first I used the embroidery thread but, after a very frustrating time, I changed to cotton that doesn't just slip straight out again!!!!  And it would't stand up at all.

The next morning I could see that there were little bits that the soluble fabric had left and they were looking shiny and annoying.  So I ran it under the water again and found a flat container that I could dry it on.  Lo and behold, it stands up now!  And doesn't have the annoying shiny bits.

I'm not sure what I will do with it, it is an experiment at this stage - really, a sample for the course.  It is suggesting a floral theme to me, maybe a bell-shaped flower.  I might follow that up, I might not.


parlance said...

I think it would look good with one of those little led flickering candles in it. Battery powered and don't give off heat.

Mary said...

Thanks Parlance, I certainly wouldn't want to use a real flame, it think it would go up in smoke!