Here are my final samples I have created for the field module of The City – The Hidden City, inspired by my themes of graffiti and street art and the shapes, forms and patterns found in architecture.
This first sample is mostly inspired by graffiti. It is a heat transfer which I painted after seeing a piece of graffiti in Swindon. I loved the vibrant colours and strong 80’s vibe of the street art. The abstract shapes which occurred unintentionally reminds me of a map and could also lend itself to the forms created by buildings and other pieces of architecture. To the basic heat transfer, I added stitching with a twin needle and single needle and also added cording. All in lively neons to accentuate the bright colours in the piece.
This sample was created on Photoshop of layered images I took whilst out in the city of Cardiff and then printed onto fabric. It is a combination of Cardiff Castle and several images of street art and graffiti. I like the randomness of this piece. I feel that the layers symbolise those of the city – the old and new combined. I also like the fact that you can’t really make out what the images are.
This sample is another piece I created on Photoshop. I used a thinner and lighter fabric for this piece – I feel that the colours of the piece work better with this fabric than if I had used a heavier fabric. The images are more clear than the other Photoshop piece, the majority of the photos I used were taken in St. Fagans.
The next four samples are all inspired by a part I have selected to focus on from the Llandaff Cathedral, Cardiff. It is a doorway which is abundant with patterns, forms, shapes.. I have become quite attached to this little door way. Here is a piece which I created using Photoshop, I combined the image of the Cathedral doorway, the New Theatre in Cardiff city centre and also created a repeat of a piece of graffiti I photographed. I like that the doorway has created an almost embossed look upon the theatre and the graffiti has added interesting vibrant colours. I added free hand machine stitch in bright threads to bring out the colours of the graffiti.
This piece was created using a felting needle. I then added free hand machine embroidery on top to create more shape and definition to the piece. This particular piece focusses solely on the shape and patterns in the Llandaff Cathedral doorway. I did not want to use much colour in this piece, instead I focussed on texture.
(excuse the crease)
This sample, though being the most simplistic of them all, is actually my favourite. I have combined the themes of colour from graffiti and shape from my adored door way to create a piece that is simplistic yet intriguing. I felt that adding anything else to this piece would ruin it. It was created by painting onto bonda-web and ironing onto a background piece of fabric. The painted colours remind me of the fashionable trend of galaxy print.
This final sample was a bit of a risky experiment to say the least! I painted this after being inspired by the ‘oh so famous doorway’, I decided to create a more abstract piece by changing the colours – I wanted to use the vibrant 80s themed colours I used in my heat transfer. Once I had completed the painting, I decided I wanted to transfer it onto fabric. I choose to do some research into other forms of transferring onto fabric. I found something on Pinterest about printing fabric with a normal inkjet printer. I was terrified I was going to jam or even break my shiny newly bought HP printer but I decided to give it a go.. and it worked! I added stitch to embellish the piece.
Here’s a link to the Pinterest post I used..(I found out that you can also use Vilene or Bonda-web instead of spray-mount! I used Bonda-web) http://www.pinterest.com/pin/400750066812001283/
Today we had a lecture by Dr. Keirene Canavan about different types of constructed textiles. I will discuss each technique.
Barkcloth – Barkcloth is the oldest known type of textiles and began being created in Baganda Kingdom in Uganda. It is a prehistoric technique and seem to have the resemblance of leather. Barkcloth is created when bark from the Moraceae tree is harvested during the wet season, it is then beaten with wooden instruments which makes the bark more pliable. This fabric is worn during occasions such as births, deaths and weddings but is also used for interiors. For royalty, the fabric is dyed black or white and worn differently to show their importance.
Sprang – Sprang is an ancient method which gives an appearance like knitted fabric, however it is more elasticated, it is created solely from warp threads. It dates back to the 14th century. Keirene told us about a book by Peter Collingswood which goes into more detail about this technique.
Knitting – This is a technique which I found interesting to learn about as I have previously learnt how to knit and how started experimenting with it again. The first ever piece of knitting was found in Egypt in the 1st millennium. Keirene explained that the fleece from sheep is especially good for knitting wool as it is a combination of loads of hairs (staples) which cup together. We also looked at fair isle knitting, which is the technique of creating a pattern using different coloured yarns in the same row. We were shown images of contemporary knit artists including Susie Freeman and Freddie Robbins.
Intarsia – Intarsia is a type of knitting where any number of colours can be combined on the same row however it is different to fair isle as the colours are not carried across and therefore the fabric is not thick and chunky. Kaffe Fassett is an artist who uses this technique, designers such as Missoni and Alexander McQueen also use this in their designs. This technique seemed very tricky however when we watched a video on YouTube it began to make more sense and is something I would deffinetly like to experiment with.
Crochet – Crochet like knitting consists of pulling loops through other loops. It is a technique I have not tried before but something I have always wanted to. Keirene showed us an artist called Marsha Richards who creates pieces of crochet using recycled materials such as plastic bags and film from cassette tapes.
Weaving – We looked at the difference between traditional and modern techniques of weaving. Modern weaving techniques is all mechanised now however the more traditional ways are done by hand using a back and breast beam. Weaving looms have been used for over 4000 years and during the industrial revolution hundreds of mechanised jacquard looms were burnt as a revolt because they were replacing hand weavers. Woven fabrics are the most commonly used fabrics for fashion and interiors.
Ikat – Ikat is a type of dyed patterned weave which is very complex. It is not known where Ikat originated but it was known to be produced in pre-Columbian central and south American countries. They are very hard to come by as the textiles pieces are made one per life, the piece is with the individual throughout their life from birth, during marriage, a first haircut etc and burnt with the person when they die. I love the idea of something that is so cherished and solely for one person to have throughout their life.
Bedouin Al Sadu Weaving:Muteira – This is a technique I have touched on previously after a lecture from Keirene, it combines a simple loom and patterns which creates beautiful designs and colours in a textile piece.
Though the textile course does not include constructed textiles, all of these techniques are extremely interesting to me and I may incorporate them at some point in my course.
I’m taking some time to reflect on my experiences in my print and dye workshops. Over the four weeks, I learnt a variety of new skills and also revisited some techniques I had looked at previously in college and sixth form. I feel that though I knew a few of the techniques, I found it beneficial to revisit them as I learnt the techniques in different ways or more in depth.
For example, I first did screen printing in my foundation year in art and design at Swindon College, however I did not know how to coat the screen and clean the screen of my design before. I feel this new knowledge has made me more independent. I had also only ever used pigment on a screen, however during my workshops we experimented with techniques from flocking to using mylar foil with our designs. I found all the techniques exciting and feel I would like to pursue them in the future with different designs.
I also found it interesting to learn how to properly dye fabric. I had never really experimented with chemical dyes before, in my foundation year I often felt annoyed as I did not have the facilities to create dyes and often just had to use fabric paint to colour fabric – most of the time this obviously did not give the effect I desired. I feel excited about the idea of creating my own coloured fabrics to work with.
Steve’s interesting introduction to the workshop by making us ask him a ‘stupid question’ whilst doing the register, broke the ideology that there is such thing as a ‘stupid’ question. This created a more relaxed atmosphere where we could ask Steve anything if we were unsure.
I enjoyed the workshop and am looking forward to using the techniques and equipment again.