Sunday, December 4, 2011

Week 10 - Blackwork and Finished Line Book

This is the image chosen for the Brickworks Christmas Card/web message. I had the brainwave of covering the cut-out with greaseproof paper to filter the light and so photographed it with candles behind to give a nice glow.

At college this week we concluded our work on colours by mixing and printing tints (i.e by adding white) and shades (i.e. by adding black) of the primary and secondary colours. We used found objects, such as bottle tops and electrical blocks to do the printing and got quite messy doing this!
Then we went on to create a grey-scale collage out of newsprint, the idea being to choose pieces of different tonal values. I went for a stylised flower bell shape and drew the stems in afterwards.

We then chose an interesting portion of our collage with the intention of stitching it in machine pattern blackwork.

Blackwork is a very old form of embroidery where different patterns, usually fairly geometric, are hand-stitched in black thread on white fabric.
First we tried different stitches out on a sample using a twin-needle in our sewing machines. This required 2 reels of thread, a special double needle and a single bobbin. Unfortunately, although my machine would do straight stitching it just wouldn't do any of the patterns with the twin needle - I just got a loopy mess on the back and then it would jam. I had a go on a college machine and the patterns are wonderful.

Our homework was to create a formal blackwork sampler of different stitches using machine patterns to create different densities of black. I completed mine with a normal single needle, however I still had problems with my machine as it appears to not feed evenly so that some of the patterns don't line up e.g. bottom middle square.

Some interesting patterns did emerge from the unpromising set of patterns that my machine can do. The most surprising ones were the 3rd row middle and bottom row right hand squares.

I edged the squares in bands of black satin stitch - not particularly elegant but solved the problem of how to secure all the loose ends created when you had to keep starting a new row in the pattern. This took ages so I haven't attempted to use the patterns to sew a portion of my collage above.

I have had fun this weekend creating some Christmas cards using paper and machine stitching. It took quite a while to come up with the designs, choose the different papers and then test the techniques with the sewing machine.

This robin features a real twig and the following are variations on a tree design, the last one using some security printing patterns from the inside of envelopes.

Finally, I have finished my Line Book as it has to be handed in tomorrow. In the end I decided to secure it with this striking ribbon.

Here are photos of the whole book in the order in which they appear. I hope my tutor likes it.
Fat and thin lines

Angular lines

Curvilinear lines

Lines evoking a mood


Overlaid lines

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