Module 6 – Chapter 6

Before starting Chapter 6 I did some more thread dyeing to add to those done in Chapter 4.  I had ordered some dyes and white threads online which took weeks to arrive and so have added them in here.

image Image 6.1 – threads dampened and dipped in Procion dyes and left in a plastic bag overnight.

image Image 6.2 – threads dampened and sprinkled with Procion dye powder and left in a plastic bag overnight.

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Image 6.3 – the final threads.  Those which had the dye powder sprinkled on them produced a more variegated, and in my opinion, attractive effect.

 

Cutwork

For Chapter 6 we were asked to select some of our designs from Chapter 2 and interpret them using cutwork i.e. using layers of fabric, adding stitched areas of textured machine stitchery, and cutting back or melting  back to reveal the surface below.

Sample 1

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Image 6.4 – design from Chapter 2

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Image 6.5 – layers 1 and 2.  Base layer of cotton with stitch on top.  Second layer of cotton lawn, stitched and cut away.

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Image 6.6 – Third layer added – cotton muslin, stitched and cut away.

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Image 6.7 – the final piece compared to Chapter 2 design.  I think the directional stitching worked quite well on this piece to represent the flow of the shapes in the paper sample.  However,  in retrospect, I see it needed more white pieces as a top layer to give the disjointed appearance of the paper sample.

Sample 2

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  Image 6.8 – digital design from chapter 2

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Image 6.9 – base of dyed muslin painted with white gesso and machine stitched in circles.

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Image 6.10 – layer of Shibori dyed cotton added, stitched in circles and cut away

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Image 6.11 – layer of synthetic Organza added, stitched in circles with cotton (non-melting) thread.

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Image 6.12 – top layer melted with a heat gun

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Image 6.13 – the heat gun had a transformative effect on the sample.  Not only did it melt the top layer, but it also caused the acrylic gesso on the base layer to pucker, creating a wonderfully irregular surface.  When viewed in image 6.13 I think it gives a strong impression of a stormy sea with frothy waves.

image  Image 6.14 – the final piece compared to Chapter 2 design.  I was very pleased with this sample.  the various colours in the fabric layers represented the blues in the digital sample well, and the molten fabric and stitch created strong circular shapes.  The bumpy texture added to the effect by creating areas of light and shade.

Sample 3

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Image 6.15 – digital sample from Chapter2

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Image 6.16 – Calico base stitched with zigzag pattern.

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Image 6.17 – layer of cotton – cut away; then a layer of synthetic fabric cut and melted at the edges.  I really disliked this sample at this stage and was thinking of abandoning it!

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Image 6.18 – two layers of synthetic organza stitched and melted away.  The top two layers rescued this sample in my opinion.  They softened the harsh edges of the shapes underneath and created a fluidity to the piece.

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Image 6.19 – the final piece compared to Chapter 2 design.  I was pleased with the shapes, colours and textures in this piece.  I think the finger-like shapes in the design are clear and the range of background colours and shapes has worked well.  The molten top layers have given height to the piece where they curled up around the stitched curves. I think this piece also has a strong ocean-like appearance; like the froth of the tide on a beach.

Sample 4

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Image 6.20 – paper sample from Chapter 2

image Image 6.21 – Shibori cotton base (reverse side used) with dyed and printed muslin stitched on top in a grid.

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Image 6.22 – muslin layer cut away

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Image 6.23 – top layer of white linen cut, frayed and stitched in swirling lines using blue machine thread.

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Image 6.24 – the final piece compared to Chapter 2 design.  I think the variety of colours are well represented in this sample, and the frayed threads work well as the printed white lines on the paper version.

Sample 5

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Image 6.25 – digital sample from Chapter 2

image Image 6.26- Base of dark cotton with pale blue linen.  I wanted a flat, graphic appearance on this piece and so added lines of stitching to form a grid.  I cut the linen away in irregular shapes.

image Image 6.27 – top layer of cotton lawn added.  Stitched in a larger grid and cut away in geometric shapes.

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Image 6.28 – further vertical and horizontal stitch lines added to accentuate the shapes.

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Image 6.29 – the final piece compared to Chapter 2 design. I am very pleased with the way that this sample has worked to represent the shades of the blue colours and the white geometric shapes on top.

Sample 6

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Image 6.30 – digital sample from Chapter 2

image Image 6.31 – base layer of dyed and printed fine linen.  Layer of dyed muslin stitched on top and cut away.

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Image 6.32 – layer of linen printed with gesso added, stitched and cut away.

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Image 6.33 – cotton lawn stitched with lines of zigzag, cut away.

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Image 6.34 – layer of silk added and cut away.

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Image 6.35 – final sample compared to Chapter 2 design.  I think the size and variety of colours works quite well in this piece and the top layer of blue stripes (see image 6.30 above)  represent the digital design quite well.  A greater contrast in the shades of blue would have improved this sample.

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Module 6 – Chapter 5

Free machine stitchery to interpret drawings

I chose a selection of my drawings from earlier chapters and tried different machine stitch techniques and materials to interpret the drawings.

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Image 5.1 – marks made in pencil, ink and pastel

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Image 5.2 – backing of calico; lines of stitch using a programmed design of wavy lines; waves of lines created using satin stitch size zigzags with bobbin thread very loose – this created the black dotted lines; couched sandy coloured yarn for the pastel marks.

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Image 5.3 – frottage using oil pastel over mesh image

Image 5.4 – calico background; neutral top thread and navy bobbin thread very loose to create whip stitch dots.  I fiddled about with the tension quite a bit to get the effect of the bobbin thread showing as small circles to represent the dots.

imageImage 5.5 – inks and oil pastels image

Image 5.6 – Felt background with wool fibres needle felted onto it.  Cable stitch with blue top thread and perle in the bobbin; then couched thicker orange cord on top; then machine stitched French knots by winding thread around the needle (see image 5.7 below).image

Image 5.7 – machine French knots

image Image 5.8 – wax resist and inks.  It took me a few attempts to represent this image as shown below.

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Image 5.9 – printed scrim over dyed fabric base; heavy machine stitching with sections left unstitched.  There wasn’t enough contrast between the stitched and unstitched sections to represent the white parts of the painting.

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Image 5.10 – Silk tops on calico base.  I attempted to machine stitch sections but gave up quickly as the silk disintegrated and kept catching on any rough bits on my hands.  It was extremely unpleasant to work with. 

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Image 5.11 – this attempt was more successful.  Base of dyed linen; whip stitch with white thread; bits of grey yarn trapped at edges of the white sections; whip stitch with grey top thread and navy bobbin thread to give mottled effect which represents the wax resist quite well.

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Image 5.12 – oil pastels and inks image Image 5.13 – cotton lawn base coloured with acrylic ink on Bondaweb.  White layers built up from transparent fabric (see 5.14) edged with whip stitch using white top thread and blue bobbin to give speckled edge;  bottom tension loosened more and whip stitch in dark blue for dark patches.

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Image 5.14

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Image 5.15 –  inks and paintsimage Image 5.16 – cotton muslin dyed with Procion dye then printed with fabric paints; long zigzag with loose bottom thread in three colour combinations:  blue top and bottom; white top and blue bottom; blue top and white bottom.  Knotted thread couched on top; bits of thread woven through the stitched lines and tied off.

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Image 5.17 – acrylic paints image

Image 5.18 – linen with Procion dye blobs; zag zag cable stitch using various thick threads in the bobbin.

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Image 5.19 – oil pastel and inks image Image 5.20 – Cotton muslin dyed with Procion dye then printed with white gesso.  Cotton rings made by drawing threads from linen and zigzagging over them (images 5.21 and 5.22); trapped pieces of dyed organza; straight stitch on top with yellow, orange and pink threads.

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Image 5.21 – drawn threads

imageImage 5.22 – drawn thread circles

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Image 5.23 – acrylic paints and oil pastels image

Image 5.24 – organza printed with painted bondaweb; cable stitch using perle thread in bottom bobbin, some in straight stitch and some in zigzag.

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Image 5.25 – verification photograph of me working on Module 6 taken by Sian Martin at Ammerdown, May 2018.

I was pleased with most of these samples.  Whip stitch proved to be a very useful technique for creating quite painterly marks with mottled surfaces or broken edges.  I became quite adept at working with different tensions in both the top and bottom threads during this chapter.

Module 6 – Chapter 4

Dyeing and colouring fabrics

I coloured a batch of fabrics ready for use in the next few chapters in my chosen colour scheme of shades of blue and white.

image 4.1 – strips of sari silk which dampened with water and dipped one or both ends into a pot of Procion dye and allowed the dye to travel up the fabric.  I left the fabrics in the dye for about four hours before rinsing.

image Image 4.2 – fine linen handkerchief  firstly dyed with a weak solution of Procion dye to make it a pale blue colour, and then stencilled using fabrics paints.

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Image 4.3 – cotton muslin which I printed using a monoprint with acrylic paint onto Bondaweb.  I then did a second monoprint on top of white circles but these don’t show on the photograph.

image Image 4.4 –  ready patterned piece of cotton fabric monoprinted using a Gelli plate and fabric paint

image Image 4.5 – cotton lawn fabric, acrylic inks drawn onto wet surface of Bondaweb.

april 18 982 Image 4.6 – synthetic organza fabric – acrylic inks drawn onto wet surface of Bondaweb

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Image 4.7 – cotton muslin, dyed with Procion dye and then stencilled using fabric paints

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Image 4.8 – cotton lawn, acrylic inks drawn onto wet surface of Bondaweb

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Image 4.9 – cotton muslin, dyed with Procion dye and then monoprinted using acrylic paint on Bondaweb

image Image 4.10 – top left- cotton muslin dyed with Procion dye, stencilled with Gesso; top right – linen dyed with Procion dye, stencilled with Gesso; bottom – synthetic organza – stencilled with fabric paint and gesso.

imageImage 4.11 – top left – shop-bought Shibori dyed cotton; top right – silk mesh dyed with Procion dye; bottom – cotton muslin dyed with Procion dye.

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Image 4.12 – top – cotton lawn, dyed by folding and dipping into Procion dye; bottom left – cotton muslin dyed by folding and dipping into Procion dye; right – linen – Procion dye painted on in spots.

 

Dyeing threads

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Image 4.13 I wrapped some damp cotton thread around pieces of foam board, prior to painting them with acrylic inks (image 4.14). image Image 4.14

image Image 4.15 shows the dyed threads which are quite pale as a lot of the ink washed out.  I had read that acrylic inks could be used successfully to dye threads without a setting agent; maybe they needed to be left in the inks longer for a stronger colour.

 image Image 4.16 shows thread dyed using Procion dyes.  Again, I wrapped the thread on to cards and then painted on the dye.  I left it for about four hours before rinsing.

Module 6 – Chapter 3

 

In this chapter I experimented with free machine embroidery to produce samplers showing different textural effects.  In all of the samples I used a medium weight Calico background and a size 100 needle.  Each patch was about 3cm square.  In samples 3.2 – 3.5 I used the same designs in each position on the grids so that I could see what difference the different techniques and threads made to the effect.  Image 3.1 shows an example of one design dome in four different ways.  The technique using straight whip stitch (top right) produced a much looser interpretation than the others.  This could have been enhanced further with a darker thread in the bobbin.

imageImage 3.1 – comparison of one design in four techniques/threads

image Image 3.2 – Straight stitch – equal tension top and bottom.  These samples produced quite clear shapes; they are drawing with stitch.

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3.3 Straight whip stitch i.e. tight top tension, loose bottom tension.  This technique produced much looser interpretations of the designs giving a more organic appearance.

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3.4 Zig-zag whip stitch.  This technique produced a more dense covering of stitch and a pleasing irregularity to the lines in the designs.

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3.5 Straight and zig-zag cable stitch.  This sampler was all done with the same perle thread hand wound on to the bobbin.  It produced slightly looser versions of the design than the straight stitch samples in 3.2.

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3.6 – The samples of cable stitch were made using different thicknesses and types of thread.  It was surprising how long this sampler took to make; I had numerous abortive attempts at using different threads in the bobbin.  I tried using different tensions but many of the thicker threads, chenille and tubular threads simply wouldn’t work on my machine.  Those that did work in 3.6 produced some interesting textures that sit on top of the fabric creating a very tactile surface.

Module 6 – Chapter 1 – extra bits

 

Below are a few images that I somehow failed to post in my Chapter 1 section.

My interpretations of some of the Masters!

I used various materials to represent some of the colours and shapes in the sky and water in some of the famous paintings I gathered as source material

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6.1.1 – Original – Van Gogh.  My version – Oil pastel, water and acrylic ink

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6.1.2 – Original John Piper.  My version – Oil pastel, water and acrylic ink

  image 6.1.3 – Original John Piper.  My version – Oil pastel, water and acrylic ink

 

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6.1.4 -Original Monet.  My version – Oil pastel, spray dye and acrylic ink

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6.1.5 – Original – Van Gogh.  My version – Acrylic paint and oil pastel

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6.1.6 – Original – Botticelli.  My version – Acrylic paint and oil pastel

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6.1.7 – Original – Monet.  My version – Acrylic paint and emulsion paint

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6.1.8 – Original – internet photo of cloud formation.  My version – water, acrylic ink, oil pastel and emulsion paint

It was great fun creating these interpretations of the colours  and shapes of parts of these famous paintings.  Studying the photos in detail in order to try to create my own versions caused me to analyse the shapes and colours used more than I would otherwise have done.

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6.1.9 – Various plastic materials used to fuse together – bags, wrapping film, vegetable net, fishing line, nylon tulle, synthetic organza

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6.1.10 – wrapping film and vegetable net melted together. 

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6.1.11 – fishing line and bits of sea weed that were stuck to it melted onto plastic bag

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6.1.12 – and 6.1.13 (below) various plastic materials fused together, cut into pieces and fused again,

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I think I could get quite addicted to the process of melting and fusing synthetic materials together.  There is something very pleasing about seeing the materials shrink and distort under the layer of baking parchment and then peeling it back to reveal the fused surface.  I was particularly pleased with the way the green vegetable netting melted and became black; adding the appearance of something discoloured and disintegrated as if it has been on the seabed for many years maybe.  The white plastic also melted in an interesting way to produce a holey, lacy texture.

Module 6 – Chapter 2

A bit of art history…

After posting Chapter 1, I read an interesting article about the colour, Prussian Blue.  It was the first synthetically produced paint colour, in the early 1700s, and caused great excitement amongst artists at the time.  What really caught my eye in the article that I read, was that two of the paintings I used as source photos in Chapter 1 were cited.  These were The Great Wave of Kanagawa by Hokusai, and Van Gogh’s Starry Night.  When collecting my source materials I had been drawn to the Prussian blue colours (a longstanding favourite) but also to the elegant wave shapes.  I hadn’t however realised that Van Gogh’s Starry Night is so heavily influenced by Hokusai’s wave, both in colour and shape.  In letters to his brother, Van Gogh professed the Japanese master had left a deep emotional impact on him.

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Designing with shapes and layers

I started by making a collection of papers using the blue and white and colour scheme from my source photos.  Once I had a selection of papers I identified simple shapes from my source photos and then tore pieces of paper to make simple designs based on the shapes.  See images 2.1 – 2.3 below. image

Image 2.1 image Image 2.2.  This one wasn’t every successful as the papers didn’t contrast enough to accentuate the different parts of the design.

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Next, I created some more simple designs (see images 2.4 and 2.5) from my decorated papers

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Image 2.4

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Image 2.5

I then cut further versions of the same design shape from these samples and combined them to make a further design – see below.imageImage 2.6 

I repeated the process with a different basic design shown in 2.7.

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Image 2.7

This design was cut again into further versions of the same shape and reassembled as seen in image 2.8

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Image 2.8

Next I moved on to designs using a paint program on the computer to create digital designs.  In images 2.9 – 2.11 below, I selected basic design shapes and then created multi-layered designs. I digitally cut shapes out and rotated and replaced them to develop the designs.

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Image 2.9

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Image 2.10

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Image 2.11

Next I printed out some sheets of the designs I’d created above, and used them as decorative papers for some further handmade designs.  Images 2.12 – 2.13 below show the development of my designs.  I used the digitally produced decorative papers and and repeated the techniques from earlier in the chapter i.e. cutting a basic shape, sticking it on to a backing paper, then cutting and repositioning it several times.  This approach combined both the handmade designs and the digital ones.

image Image 2.12

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Image 2.13.

Combining these two processes created some really interesting designs that showed interesting depths due to the many layers.  I can imagine that this technique done in fabrics of different tones and textures could be very effective.

Module 6 – Chapter 1

The starting point for this module was to gather some source material relating to water and air.  I started by looking at how sea an sky are represented by various artists.

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1.1 – Turner and Constable – very dramatic skies – strong brush marks

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1.2 John Piper – loose, daubed brushwork, moody;  Botticelli – serene

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1.3 Monet and Van Gogh – strong colours and shapes to build up skies – individual shapes still very visible

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1.4 Undulatus Esperatus cloud formations – natural formation that looks very unnatural!

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1.5 Sea;  wave by Hokusai

Images 1.1 – 1.5 above show the start of my research into skies and water in art and from photographs and images found online.  These will no doubt be added to as I work on the module.

Image 1.6 below shows some marks that I made using a variety of implements to portray some of the shapes within my source material.

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1.6 Mark making

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1.7 – layering various marks using different implements

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1.8 – mark making using sgraffito and frottage over bubble wrap, an oil painting, sequinned fabric and collaged paper circles.

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1.9 – Mark making – Top row and bottom row – frottage over metal mesh; .  The top left rubbing produced a very pleasing pattern; this was created by moving the paper several times on the metal mesh and taking rubbings.  The images on the middle row were also quite effective.  I used a textured paste and applied it to paper through a stencil; once dry I took some rubbings.

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1.10 – crayons and inks.  This technique produced well-defined marks.  The way that the ink ‘balled up’ on top of the wax softened the effect.

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1.11 – overlapped lino print.  I created this effect using a lino block that I created a while ago (see image 1.12) and printing ink.  By overlapping the prints I created a rippled effect.

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1.12 – lino print

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1.13 – Bleach on ink using a range of implements – side of card, cocktail stick, cotton bud, dip pen

In images 1.14 and 1.15 below I chose two of my source photographs and tried a range of mark-making techniques to represent the source material.

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1.14

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1.15

The images below show various explorations with transparent materials.

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1.16 – strips of rubber gripper mat melted between sheets of clear plastic

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1.17 – wool rovings trapped between sheets of clear plastic.  Looks  a bit like frothy waves

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1.18 – emulsion paint sandwiched between sheets of clear plastic

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1.19– sequins trapped between sheets of clear plastic. 

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1.20 – samples in 1.16 and 1.17 cut into strips and melted between sheets of plastic – see 1.21 below

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1.21

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1.22 – white plastic carrier bag cut into swirly strips and melted between clear plastic sheets

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1.23 – sample in 1.22 with bubble wrap strips added

image1.24 – sections of previous samples cut up again and melted between plastic sheets again

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1.25- base layer of clear plastic bag, strips of white plastic  and painted bubble wrap melted under a top layer of clear plastic.

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1.26 – strips of rubber gripper mat melted between clear plastic, then cut into strips, repositioned and sandwiched again. Painted bubble wrap added and melted again.

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1.27 – strips of gripper mat sandwiched and melted; wool rovings and sequins sandwiched and melted.  Both pieces sliced up, reassembled and sandwiched and melted again in clear plastic.

image 1.28 image 1.29 – white carrier bag melted – I like the way that this is reminiscent of the wave shape in Hokusai’s painting.