Monday, May 1, 2017

Inspired by ... Degas

This month we are supposed to be inspired by Degas.
Some of the comments about our works, at the meeting of the machine embroidery group, at the EGV, have been that we are being a bit too literal with our images.

Therefore, I decided to try something different. I noticed that Degas did quite a few sketches of ballerinas, some of them life drawings.
I remembered that we had done a life drawing semester in our Textile and Design course. After some rummaging, I found my folder (the benefit of never throwing anything out!).

As the piece is to be A5 and my drawings were A1, I took photos of a few that I thought might do.
Then I printed them out as A5 images and left them sitting, so I could let it sink into my subconscious and let it do the deciding for me - of which one to work on.

As one of them was blue, and as I thought that was the one I was going to do, I have been thinking about using my blue fabrics for a couple of weeks.

I got out my blue scraps, some of them very small. Perfect for an A5 piece, I thought. (I was right!)

I traced my drawing onto the fabric, using a water soluble (blue) pen. It turned out that I didn't use the blue one after all. I can't remember actually thinking much about it, I just started on another one. I think the lines were easier to see, rather than the blocks of colour in the blue drawing.

Then I laid out tiny pieces of blue fabric. I didn't cut much, just used the pieces that were there.

After that, I put the image beside the sewing machine and tried to draw over the areas I had intimated with my colour choices.
One of the things about Kathryn's class - she doesn't use any products along the lines of adhesives, you just pin your fabrics and then attach them with a meandering stitch, so as not to preempt the finished design.

It isn't fabulous (but maybe the original image isn't fabulous, that could influence the outcome) but it is done and I have tried a new(ish) method. And it is rather small.
I rinsed it to get the water soluble pen off. I rather like the fraying edges, think I will leave it like that. 

I tried the Kathryn Harmer Fox workshop method, that I did recently. I had a piece of the cotton and linen fabric, backed by interfacing, left over from the workshop. It was pretty close to the size I wanted, so I didn't even have to prepare that.

The idea is to trace the image straight onto the fabric, cover it with little bits of fabric and then sew over the top. Because it is quite a firm base, you don't need to use a hoop.

Once you use the small bits of fabric, it is hard, if not impossible, to see the drawing, so I had to rely on the printout of the image. Hence the loose interpretation of the original.

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