Monday, March 19, 2012

Week 21 - Designing first final piece

 At college this week we started to design our final hand-stitch piece. It had to be based on something that we referenced or created in our zig-zag line book last November. From what I had done my choices were something based on my pylon page, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at Cerne or something based on Angie Lewin's Birches print. I think that the pylon is more suited to machine stitching and I couldn't find any good quality images for the LHC when I was putting the book together so I opted for the Angie Lewin influence. She is a print maker who creates pictures of the natural world in a very stylised way with 50's era colours. I like the way with her work that you can still tell what the plants are as she is good at capturing their habit.

I started by selecting some common wasteland plants and sketching them out of identification books to understand their habit.
I chose Plantain, Knapweed, Goatsbeard, Goosegrass, Cow Parsley and Shepherd's Purse. They all have different habits and distinctive characteristics. They are also all ones that Angie Lewin has captured in her prints.
Then I created a composition to put them all together. This in an A3 pad and I have ruled 2 wide margins either side to make the central panel tall and thin. In the background I have put silver birch trunks on the right and the foot of a pylon on the left. I went walking with my Dad to take a photo of the foot of a pylon growing in a field to see what this looked like!
Next I had to create a full colour mock-up of the piece to demonstrate to my tutor which colours I was going to use. I painted pieces of lining paper with Brusho and then collaged the whole piece. The silver birch trunks are created by rubbing a candle across the paper before applying the wash of black Brusho to resist it and create the stripes.

This is as far as I have got and it has taken me ages. I am not sure that I have got the background colour quite right and I am also not sure whether I will include the pylon in the finished piece as I think there is a danger if it all being too busy.

The embroidery is shown in black pen - some stems and patterns of stitches on the flowers and leaves. Angie Lewin's treatment of flower heads reminds me of free-form Blackwork embroidery so this is what I am aiming at.

I am pleased with the way I have captured the plants - you can still identify what they are.

The next stage is to choose some fabric and threads and work out how I am going to construct this piece.
I have completed my stitch challenge. This was a free-form piece of hand-stitch depicting Bokhara Couching - irregular - diagonal. It was quick to do and I enjoyed doing it. It measures about 14cm square.
I have also constructed by Shape Book. It makes a 3D shape when unfolded and so is impossible to photograph! To see the individual pages look at my blog post for Week 20.

Finally, the 2 Mother's Day cards I have made. For this one I printed anemone type flowers in orange on a paler circle of orange and then printed a black centre, all using Brusho. I ripped them out and mounted them on circles of brown sweet wrapper along side a strip of printed paper. The whole lot is mounted on a tall thin yellow card blank and finished with lengths of co-ordinating wool and threads on the spine.
The second one was again printed using the method described in last week's blog. I used blue and purple acrylics to print a kind of bouquet and cut this out smaller than the card. I finished the centre of each flower with silver and white gel pens and edged the whole square in silver. It is mounted onto a white square card blank that I painted with deep purple all around the edge first.
My Mom loved it!

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