Looking back to the beginning of the exercise I am struck by how pointless my early samples seem, yet without this exploration I would not have reached the conclusions I did. I used a series of hand embroidery stitches to join two pieces of watercolour paper:
I included all these samples in this post to illustrate my tendency to get too involved in an idea without ever moving forward. If I intend to use my tutors advice to stop duplicating information in my blog and sketchbook in order to save precious time, maybe I should also think about the quantity of samples I produce?
Having said that, however, sampling feels too important to cut short. Not every possibility can be explored but it was one of the above samples that sparked a series of Bourgeois’ inspired drawings. How did I know which sample was going to hold the potential? To unlock the next level, so to speak?
Whereas I enjoyed the work above, I felt quite disconnected from the next samples:
These feel contrived after the honesty of my drawings, like ‘ticking a box’ rather than something that actually interests me. I did notice how when held up to the window I could see how the washi tape was mimicking the passage of a stitch. This inspired me to join some translucent organza:
What I like about these samples is that the entirety of the thread can be seen, creating some really fluid curves and coils. I intend to use these shapes at a later stage, possibly to inform a Meredith Woolnough inspired join that bridges a gap between two materials. Again I am struck that without the samples that didn’t engage me, I might not have come up with this idea.
I had serious reservations about joining with staples, ( ….and cable ties and safety pins). It has been done before, in my opinion ‘over-done’ before but I felt happy to be proved wrong!
Stapling loosely provided a gap that allowed me to recreate one of the hand embroidery samples from the beginning of the exercise. It struck me that actually each staple is like a stitch and each one that follows is a perfect replica of it- funnily enough that appealed to me!
Now even I can see the potential of this but even still it begs the question: Why?
Why seemed like a question not far from my lips throughout the exercise. Why am I joining flush edges? Why am I disguising the join with stitch? Why can’t I overlap? Why can’t I create a proper seam? And unfortunately (considering this is a Mixed Media course) Why am I using these bizarre materials?!
Asking these questions of myself led me to the Fashion World…. where the rules exist only to be broken… I will discuss this in my next post.