Friday, April 3, 2015


We are having a bit of a break in our design classes, mainly due to the Easter break. I have taken advantage of this and am trying to come up with a series of small machine embroidered pieces.

I have been diligently taking photos from the top of the cliff nearby, it looks towards the city.  I have quite a lot of photos now.
One of MANY photos from this vantage point.
I have been debating how to use these and have even thought of doing a tapestry based on one or two of the photos.  Our tapestry group met last week and I took along some printouts of some of my photos.  I haven't started the tapestry as I am not sure I actually want to do this design.  One of the ladies present suggested that I not do the actual scene, that I leave out the city and just concentrate on some of the skies.  I think she has touched on what has been holding me back - the reproduction of photos, of doing realistic scenes, is not quite what I want to do.  This could partially be because I don't think I will do a good job, especially in the proportions I am thinking or working in. But I also have this thought that if I can reproduce a photo, what is the point really?  I already have the photo.

So it was suggested that I take parts of the skies that interest me and just do those bits. I like this idea, I just have to think more about it.

In the meantime, while I have been thinking about it, I have decided to play around with the images in another medium.

I have done some fabric collage and have come up with some small pieces.  I decided to return to the Olga Walters type or work I enjoyed so much previously.

I started with one of my sunset images. (See above.)

I laid out my background fabric, ironed on the Vliesofix, tore fabric into strips and ironed it on. Then I put on the wadding and backing fabric and started to do some free motion sewing.

This turned the image into a much more abstract piece, I had no hope of reproducing the colours, the actual clouds, etc. I think I like this way of working, I just make it up as I go along. Very freeing.
I am also only using fabrics that I already have, no new purchases. This is not particularly hard as it I only need small strips of fabric.

I had drawn up a cityscape earlier, not quite to scale and not particularly accurate but based on the view in my photos.  I transferred it onto Vliesofix and ironed it onto some dark fabric.

I have been rearranging my studio and have recently sorted all my threads.  Therefore, they were in my recent memory and I decided to use some.  The piece has ended up much more textured than I had envisaged but I am happy with that.  I am realising that it is texture that I like and I have been thinking about the earlier tapestries I did in my textiles degree, I used to put in texture in various ways, including using textured yarns. Now this is part of my sewing repertoire too.

The buildings have turned out to be much smaller and less important than I had planned but I don't mind, the focus is on the sky now and the cityscape just gives it context. 


mycamerandme365 said...

I love the way that you are working with this Mary. The cityscape is really interesting, but I can see why you are concentrating on the sky, beautiful!

Mary said...

Thank you, I enjoyed the freedom of the designing and am reasonably happy with the outcome. My photos often have even more sky in them, it is strange how you think you have concentrated on one aspect and then realise that it is really only a time part of the image.