Ice Dye on the Highway

Today I experimented with ice dying in an attempt to recreate one of my photographs from around the city, into a fabric sample. I was super excited because I thought for sure this was going to be amazing and work amazingly and just be all amazing. And to be fair it did give me an idea on how to maybe do it better, but I wasn’t happy with the overall result. I was trying to recreate this photo


I wanted the fabric to be dyed in pinks, red and browns to show the colour gradient in the brick, and then I planned to gather get mesh/net fabric for the mesh pattern in the brick, or experiment with some embroidery and dissolvable (I’m still actually planning to do both of these). What I ended up with was this,

which actually looks much better in the photos than real life. I think the colours are really good, I like that soft red/pink colour and I like the darker reds and browns, I just think the actual arrangement or placement of the colours is wrong. However, I know have a plan to have a more controlled result with ice dying (does that make me sound crazy?). I’m planning to dye the fabric an overall colour, most likely that pink, then one by one, add different layers of colour through ice dying, so I still get the natural dispersed effect, just in a hopefully much more controlled manner. I have faith that this will work, and that once its coated in waterproof spray and meshy stuff it will look boss! Which means one fabric design will be done and dusted, and I’ll be able to move on to bigger and scarier things.


Wake Me Up Before You Digital-Stitch

Today was another day in the stitch room. I created two samples using free-machine embroidery, but I disliked the second so much I decided that at least for this afternoon, I wanted to experiment with digital stitch instead.

My free-machining on Friday was boss, like it was really great, I looked like I was done digital (not really that much, but it was really good) and then today, I just wasn’t good. My font wasn’t well formed and it was gappy, and it just made my soul hurt really. So instead of carrying on making samples that wouldn’t have as much heart in them, I ran away to the digital stitch room and started to draw out a font that was (almost) perfectly and beautifully formed. I drew out a circle onto the digital stitch programme, and used this to shape the rest of my letters, and oh man did it look good. I was excited, and this was another technique that I could experiment with and compare the effects of.

I wanted to create my samples by hand, using only analogue methods in keeping with the inspiration I have been taking from the 80s, but then I was thinking, digital was around in the 80s, so I could have a mix. I would stay mostly using hand made techniques, but adding a little digital now and again might just give my collection that edge it needs.

Plus I figured that by painstakingly drawing then editing every single letter I drew, I made up for not having hadn’t stitched them as well.

I really loved how my letters stitched out. They were so well formed that I’m actually surprised that I drew them, like damn, as young people would say these days, those letters are ‘on fleek’. But seriously, I’m very proud of how the letters came out, they were all in proportion and, where curved, where almost perfectly circular. I also chose a really bright blue to stitch out my words in, which was actually surprisingly easy to pick out. I didn’t have any trouble with colours today, in fact, the choice for this samples was between a vibrant blue and a hot pink. It seems that the further I get into this project the easier I’m finding it to use colour, so I don’t know if it was just because I wasn’t used to using colours that I found it so difficult to begin with, but at least i’m getting better at it now.

I Want To Know What Print Is

Today I didn’t really have any clue what I was going to do. I thought about it all weekend but I just couldn’t seem to wrap my mind around what it was it wanted to be doing today.  I took all my samples that I created on Friday and brought them, and loads of artist research I had done, into the studio. I think I was hoping that the studio might be able to inspire me someway, or maybe just help to give my through/ideas direction, but as I turned out, it was a fellow student who gave me an idea, over a conversation about skrim nontheless.

I spend my day in N-block making collagraph plates and printing them. I made a few quick plates to see wether I liked this idea and wether I want to explore it further.

What I really liked was one sample I created, where I had stitched a few letters into the fabric before securing It to the plate and shellac-ing. The fabric printed a really lovely textural background to the stitching which was had a very D-I-Y feel.

I think I do want to further explore looking into collagraph; I plan to spend tomorrow afternoon making plates to print on Wednesday afternoon. While on Friday I plan to go into the print studio to create more samples before going into stitch and experimenting with hand and machine stitch.



Am I a printer or a stitcher?

The first thing I need to do before starting this module is decide whether I am a printer or a stitcher, which is a particularly easy thing for me to decided. I’m a printer. I have always been drawn to the different styles of printing, mainly hand printing techniques such as etching and linocut; I adore detailed and rustic look of handprinted pieces, as well as the small inflections that make the print so much more than just the face design. 
I love the processes involved in printing, not just the end results. I love the time I takes to create a designs and then either cut it out of wood/lino, or the coasting and exposing process of preparing a screen. Every part of the printing process makes the end result that much more worthwhile.

That being said, I would say that I am a PRINTER/STITCHER. I love printing but I wouldn’t want to limit myself to just these techniques. I really feel that hand- and machine-embroidery can bring a lot into a printed work, adding a layer of texture and just something different which can help to highlight the printed work.

Minerals Samples

I think it’s fair to say that that my passion lies with printing; any form or type, on paper or on fabric, anything, I love it. I don’t think that’s about to change any time soon, but what I’ve noticed recently is that I’ve been concentrating more and more on my printing, and not creating samples from stitch, which is an equally big part of my course. So, in light of this, I decided to try out some free machine embroidery.

I’ve looked through many images of mineral over the past two months and their main trait is that they are quite abstract. While this will be a good trait for printing, I’m not so sure that it’s a good trait to try and translate into stitch. I was having quite a difficult time, looking through these mineral images and trying to think of how I could translate them into stitch. Agate are made up of banded lines which would be really great to use with the cording foot, but because i have already done something with agate quite recently for this project, I didn’t want to go back to the same minerals so fast, considering how many minerals there are in the world. I then created a ‘Mineral Database’ of a few of the main kind of minerals that I have looked into, and from this I found dendrites.

  Mainly found in sandstone, as well as Chinese Picture stones, dendrites are black fissures in the stone which, when magnified, have the shape of delicate trees. I thought that this would be the perfect thing to start my stitch samples with.

I then started to think how I could apply these stitches into my final designs. I plan for my prints to be quite abstract, and was wondering how I would be able to add maybe these dendrite stitches, or stitch effects that will compliment the designs I’m working on.

Making Connection; ADZ5777 Week One

Second year has started, time to prepare myself for mass amounts of work.

This week was my first week back in university back to study my second year of textiles at Cardiff Met and let me tell you, i’m so happy its finally back! after such a long summer break i’m so ready to come back and get some textiles going.

On Tuesday I had my introduction onto Level 5 textiles, and all the opportunities and possibilities that lay ahead. Having had the brief and timetable emailed in advance of our first day, I started to read through what I could expect of this year and boy does it sound great, scary and a bit daunting, but great. This year is all about Making Connections. Working from companies on commissions, finding actual work placements with real companies in the textiles business, and creating work that is based on trend and upcoming styles, so that its relevant. The most important thing is to find out what sort of designer I want to be, what sector of textiles I want to focus on, what media and techniques I prefer to work with, what style. All these things are essential tools for the creation of great work.

Trying to help myself a bit, I started to do some company/designer research the week leading up to Level 5. Having read the brief I knew how sort a time I’d have to fins so many different designers and companies across the three different areas of textiles; interior, fashion and stationery. I’m trying to organize my time so I don’t start getting behind on work, I want everything to be done in time to move onto the next stage of work, which means, that I needed to start doing my research ASAP. I’m enjoying it so far, I’ve been able to find designers and companies that are completely different from each other, had a change to look through their work, read what they have written about their creation, and have also been able to contact a few and ask then about their inspiration and the driving force behind what they are putting forward.

Knowing how much work I have to do and what is expected of me, I’m amazed at the students who are now in third year, last year I looked through their work and was inspiring to see how professional and put together their portfolios and moodboards etc. were.

On Thursday I has my first digital stich workshop of the year, starting with a quick refresher of some of the techniques that we learn last year. I was able to start getting back into the swing of using different sewing techniques as well as being able to use load of different thread and materials. After the quick refresh we moved on to learning the basics of use the digital programs which are required for the digital stitch machines. Learning the different buttons and the different tools available, the different type of stitches and different fill types (weave, satin etc.) as well as learning how to rotate the actual design or just the stitch direction. I t was all really useful knowledge, which will help me to narrow down the types of techniques and processes I will want to use during this project.