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string making with India Flint

at the "Second Skin" workshop with India Flint (held at Beautiful Silks in November), we learned how to make string from strips of fabric. then we used these as measuring tape measures for our body measurements. it was so relaxing to twist and turn the fabric into string, even though part of mine did unravel a bit when I lost concentration and must have twisted or flipped in the wrong direction - serves me right for trying to speed up.

these are the strings from everyone in the workshop - mine's at the bottom left - I put it down too quickly at the end, so it's not in a perfect circle like some of the others, though I like the colours, and since the photo I've fixed the unraveling and added red stitching to keep that section in place.

string-making-with-IndiaFlint

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Coded Cloth - reSkin Wearable Technology Lab

reSkin Wearable Technology Lab & Coded Cloth was a lab + exhibition showing wearable technology projects in 2007/8. It was curated by Melinda Rackham.

http://www.anat.org.au/reskin

http://www.subtle.net/pdf/MRLEON.pdf (PDF) describes the background of the events and has examples of the work.

"In summer 2007, in order to facilitate such interdisciplinary experimentation in Australia,
Australian Network for Art and Technology (ANAT) initiated the reSkin Wearable Technol-
ogy Lab in collaboration with Craft Australia and the Australian National University School of
Art. Twenty-one media and sound artists; programmers; jewelers; and object, textile and fash-
ion designers immersed themselves into an intensive three-week research and development
environment with six facilitators ."

Stitching off the Page (fancy edgings) class

last saturday (31st jan) I went along to Alex Falkiner's "Stitching off the Page (fancy edgings)" class in marrickville. it was a lovely afternoon learning new stitches and techniques for the edges of fabric. I really wanted to learn her "netting" stitch and just block out a few hours to spend stitching. great to speak to others too

some photos of the "in progress" parts of the stitches for future reference. I felt I was having a bad day stitching - extra slow and making lots of mistakes (which given my state that week after the recent surgery/recovery wasn't too surprising), but I'll try these again when feeling better.

the netting stitch is like blanket stitch but you stitch into the air / where the loops join instead of into the fabric

solace - sunlight falls, my wings open wide

"Solace" project: India Flint is doing a residency in South Australia in June this year, and has invited people to make flags to hang.

"Make a triangular flag or pennon [meaning a personal ensign, derived from the Latin penna meaning a wing or a feather] preferably using a piece of pre-loved cloth. Stitch on it a word or a phrase or a sentence that might act as a wish for peace or an acknowledgement of beauty, imply a sense of stillness or simply something that gives you solace. It can be as brief or as long as you like. A haiku, a snatch of song, a word that takes you where you want to be. Attach ties to the tethering end of your flag"

& then post it to the address on the page. she'll dye them, and photos will go into a book/online.

http://prophet-of-bloom.blogspot.com.au/2014/09/an-invitation.html has the details.

I made one tonight using a song snippet:

"sunlight falls, my wings open wide" from orpheus by david sylvian, on the secrets of the beehive album, because it always gives me solace when i play it.
japanese cotton with wool thread

 

some others in the Sketchbooks and Experiments for Textiles facebook group are going to make one too

playing with tyvek

for assignment 3 they suggest we try working with tyvek. I tried one experiment a couple of weeks ago, based on a tutorial I saw on December 2014's workshop on the web issue. it said to iron the tyvek then paint it with acrylics afterwards. well, I tried it and didn't like how the painted version turned out. at all. I really liked the plain, white ironed tyvek - the shapes are amazing. very organic. like pebbles in a stream, or cells in the body. I like the ridges on the reverse side also. but I must have painted too thickly with the acrylic paint so I think I ruined them. then last night Hanna posted her watercolour painted versions on the textiles facebook page and they looked amazing. she'd made them look so fluid. she said she painted with really watery watercolour, then used a heat gun to shape the tyvek. so I tried again last night using watercolour, ink, charcoal, brusho, coloured pencils, pastels - this time painting them first, then ironing to get the shapes. much better! I like these attempts much better than the initial ones. Barbara mentioned you can use silk dyes too (setasilk) and stitch them before heating too. that makes more sense as the tyvek I have is soft like paper originally but once heated becomes like hard plastic, so I'm not sure how stitching it afterwards would work.

Fujimoto's twists - shadowfolds

making some geometric fabric folds on cotton since my copy of "Shadowfolds" book by Jeffrey Rutzky and Chris K Palmer arrived. this one is called "Fujimoto's twists" — it's a mixture of stitched squares, triangles and lines, and is a bit like smocking. I need to iron the front side flatter, but happy with how it turned out. I'd drawn the pattern shapes freehand instead of tracing the pattern as the book suggested, so the shapes are slightly uneven compared to the examples in the book, but I'm OK with that. makes it a bit more organic.

they don't take too long to make either — I made this sample over a couple of hours whilst watching tv.

front side:

back side: (actually I like this also as a front side — might do another)

Shadowfolds book:

finding a line

I sat down again to my stitch noodling frame today to relax and play and tried some thinner cotton. this time double stranded sewing thread. tried some button hole stitch — still my favourite ever since discovering Junko Oki's work — especially her circles, last year. the first row is a row of straight edged button hole stitch. for the second row, I noticed the thread was settling into the fabric in a more organic way, not wanting to stick to the straight line. so I let it go, and it made this really nice organic, jagged line which I really like. it's a bit closer to an open (loose) cretan stitch, but also looks more like a heartbeat, or simple audio waveform. sometimes it's worth letting go of your plans to find the better line.

velvet folds

I'm trying techniques for the fabric manipulation part of assignment 3 and came across this note called gorgeous fabric manipulation (velvet) so I tried it. I only used very small fabric samples to make initial tests, and I should have used a heavier weight fusing/interfacing as the velvet is heavier fabric than the light fusing I tried. apparently this works well for silk too

Use a cooling rack that has both horizontal and vertical grids. place velvet upside down and with a pencil push little bunches of fabric through. Take a fusible interfacing and then place on top of tufted velvet (wrong side) and iron. The grid should have little feet on sides so that the velvet is not crushed.

at first I couldn't understand what she meant by using the pencil — I thought she meant to put holes in the velvet, so I only tried this on a very small piece, in case it didn't work out. which it didn't. but I did like the grid indentations in the velvet, so the experiment wasn't all lost. I was going to try a metal collander also but the holes were too small for the velvet — perhaps silk would be better for this as it's lighter fabric, though it would also be a hard surface to iron.

drawing with thread workshop

today I went to a workshop called "drawing with thread" at the Art Gallery of NSW where we played and tinkered with stitches and coloured threads. it was taught by Alex Falkiner and was lots of fun. Alex showed us how to use different stitches to recreate drawing marks, different lines and block colour techniques, and to ask ourselves "what would happen if ...", and to find the whimsy, playfulness and randomness in making. there were a mix of fluoro colours which I hadn't used before, so it was fun to try. very relaxing. Alex also spoke of making things that don't *have* to be functional. this is something I need to practice - previously I've don't mostly functional craft making over the years

it was great to see fellow OCA textiles classmates Judy and Eva at the workshop too — Judy wrote a post about the day at https://fibresofbeing.wordpress.com/2014/11/21/t1e1p1-workshop-alex-falk...

lots of great discussions also, and names of other artists to check out - recommended by Alex plus others in the workshop.

cloth memory - initial thoughts

folding. like origami paper folds memory
memory of clothes and sheets and other home linen as you grow up with it
the article about newborn baby cloth wrapping
memories of clothes, the feel of fabric. comfort. protection

expand later. initial notes

created http://www.haptichuman.com to collect info about these ideas

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square wave smocking

making squares and rectangles using contemporary smocking from square wave patterns. it's based on the lozenge pattern. getting the hang of it. I drew the square waves by hand so they're not perfectly even, so the squares sometimes don't line up perfectly. but I like the 3D shapes they make. I need to iron/press these too to see the effect. I like the puffy (un-ironed) version also

 

I saw this cool photo of waveforms placed next to nature waveform patterns, so I wonder if an audio waveform pattern could be used as a smocking guide also. worth a try to see what happens

 

next I might try some shapes like Matija Čop used in these 3D architectural based garments. there's so many fabric manipulations on pinterest too. I've pinned some on my textiles page to remind me to try them also

craft versus art musings

textiles

- make a mind map & taxonomy of craft vs art (fine art?) & map textiles into this
-- applied function, purpose
-- containers, coverings, adornment, tools (hand), machines

- plato's forms

- machines - sadie plant article

- craft objects found all around the world from archaeological digs. in the future will they find all of our landfill, rubbish and think it was our art/ craft? how much will dissolve/break down?

- early. biomimicry by humans let us survive and evolve. look at bee flower petal nest

craft as biomimicry
art as self

http://www.textilecentermn.org/art-speaks-art-vs-craft/
http://australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/contemporary-te...

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making a dragonscale sample - reverse smocking

I've been making dragonscale (reverse smocking) using Michele Carragher's instructions (she is the game of thrones' embroiderer). I finally got it to work, after unpicking the first few attempts (& realising I've done it on wrong side of the fabric - right side for regular smocking). I'm using this as part of the fabric manipulation topic in assignment 3 work. I'll use this page to add more details and summarise it (with other samples) on the assignment page later.

notes for the pattern:

first attempt - I had only drawn the dots, not the triangles and became a bit lost, so these two didn't work out. I unpicked them and started again.

next time, I drew the triangles as a template onto the fabric also. this helped a lot, and I managed to make it correctly this time

the right side of the fabric - this shows the smocking pattern, but the "dragonscale" uses the other side, so I actually made the whole piece on the wrong side of the fabric. oh well. know for next time.

the wrong side of the fabric - showing the dragonscale. I need to iron/press it to flatten it, though I like the puffy pattern also.

some more progress

understanding contemporary art class

http://www.ooed.org/learn/understanding-contemporary-art-fall-2014 started this week. very interesting so far - speeding through modern art. use chrome if using ipad, safari is broken

i'm making notes in my workbook. might post photos here. I've read you take more in/remember more when handwriting notes than typing. but if i get time i'll try type them up too so i can search later.

week1:

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