Possibly because I have been heavily reliant on using stitch as a joining method, overlapping seemed to hold more scope than ever. I am aware that I struggle with layering and to combine different materials in my work, so I made my first task into an investigation into joining two different materials.
I found that I actually quite like the samples that I made where rough, unfinished edges were joined together. I have always had a bit of an adversion to raw edge appliqué but forcing the seams upright so that the frayed edges overlap almost like grasses appealed to me. They add a sense of movement and break up an otherwise flat surface.
I like that the edges reveal something about the construction of the fabric. I noticed that there seems to be a relationship between construction and deconstruction, which I know from my research is something that also fascinates Karen Margolis. For example her paperworks are created by removing disc shapes of paper with a soldering iron (deconstruction), the papers are then stacked in layers (construction). The wire sculptures are constructed by joining elements (construction) yet the weight of these intended column shapes, fights with gravity and partial collapse occurs (deconstruction).
I included drawings alongside the samples I stuck in my sketchbook. As I reflected on this exercise, I began to consider my use of the sketchbook once more. I have moved this reflection to a separate post.
In Exercise 1.2, I was very attracted to the way stitches sit in felt. I next looked at the way felt responds to an overlapped join. I like the way the stitching draws the layers together tightly creating channels. Enclosed areas puff up like in quilting; stitching next to an edge forces it to stand upright. These discoveries could be used to add more relief to a surface which will effect the way light and shadow performs, creating a more tonal piece.
I tried using this overlapping to recreate part of one of my earlier drawings:
The sample isn’t totally successful and the photograph actually makes it look worse, the colours are much more vibrant in real life. I still don’t think I combine materials well, the leather I selected to represent the hoops are a good size but perhaps should have been thicker? The textures of the felt and leather are very similar and don’t make much of a statement. I wondered about knocking the felt background back by adding a layer of random seed stitching perhaps in either a chocolate brown or a cream thread? This would disguise the insipid nature of the base colour. It would also add more texture.
What I do find works is the rhythm of the shapes. I was reminded of my enthusiasm for surface pattern and decided that is what I would I would like to develop. This will be discussed further in my next post.