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woven eyes

testing some woven eyes for my bees. these have a matte black circular warp threaded into cut fabric (calico in the first test), and shiny black stranded thread for the circular weft, travelling across and around the eye. I used the shiny thread to simulate the shinyness of a bee's eyes, and woven circles to remind of the multiple cells / lenses of the bees' eyes.

I learnt this technique from jude hill on her wonderful "considering weave" class / project

the first one didn't work out as i'd threaded both ways instead of one way only.

but the next sample worked out as I had hoped (seen in my mind) so i was happy about this.

sketching and seeing

i think I've been improving with some of my sketching.. or rather seeing. I think i'm starting to see things differently - the shapes and lines rather than only the overall shape and outline. still a lot of practice to do, and there's still plenty of fails, but when i concentrate more on looking and seeing and not the drawing, I end up being happier with the drawings. something to remember going forwards..

update 22/11/2014: see this later post on draw what you see and not what you know

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weaving in cloth

first attempt at weaving in cloth. there's quite a few 'mistakes' where I flip flopped (let's call it "flipped a bit" in engineering terms) but it adds to the charm and makes it unique (& if it were a gene, then now there's a new mutation?)

I like the looser weave when I first started too - I almost kept it like that but decided to finish it to see what it'd look like. I did manage to pull the fabric and create a hole in the corner though. I tried to get variable spaced warps but then this slowed the weaving down a lot as I made more mistakes and had to work out where I was more often. I used different thickness & colour threads to create some more variation.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/aliak_com/sets/72157645331553742 has more pics

I'm going to have to try more of these - it was great fun. this is inspired by jude hill's "considering weave" class

 




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mind map beginnings

inspired by jude's opening post, I started a mind map to begin my "considering weave" class workbook.

I've been working on my fabric loom tonight - the invisible basting is done, next up loading the warp & weft. I looked up one of jude's videos from the hearts class to remind me how to do it - a great resource!

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watercolour transfers - Carla Sonheim class

this weekend I've been trying to catch up on my printing for assignment 2 ACA. but was "distracted" by doing some online classes of Carla Sonheim's. one was a gelli plate printing class, so I'm waiting for my gelli plate to arrive. will try similar on other makeshift plates during the week (am home with my materials for a couple of weeks). the other one was a watercolour transfer class. these are some of the watercolour painted tshirt transfer papers so far. the work is still in progress...waiting for it to dry properly then add some other media, then do/test the prints onto paper & fabric. the watercolours react nicely to the coating on the paper. I hadn't tried this before. Carla does some amazing work - I've been really inspired and hope that one will turn out as nice as hers (one day). I've signed up for her 'imaginary creatures' class that's running this week also and have started reading her books (the kindle ones). the book speaks about footpath/cracks animals. I took some photos of water splotches on the footpath near home and I can really see some imaginary animals in them so hoping I can turn them into little prints for my niece & cousins kids. maybe a little zine of them. not sure yet. (I've taken pics like this in the path, often of the outline that a stray hair makes on the bathroom floor - my hair is long and straight but tends to make curvy shapes as it falls out).

tracings in brushes

I read about the "brushes" ipad app so I've been trying it out this weekend. it allows you to draw in layers. so far I've been roughly tracing photos from my photos collection to practice and get a feel for drawing lines and objects & people. I know we should do more freehand drawing, but i get quite disheartened that mine don't look like the original, that I don't feel like doing any more. with the tracings, i can see the image coming through and it's teaching me to see the shapes better, and to select which lines and shapes and shadings to include and which to leave out. i think this is half the battle of drawing - deciding what to include and what to discard that still gets your message across. I'm using my finger to draw with and still getting the hang of the app's brushes too, so even though I'm tracing, it's still not looking exactly like the original. but hopefully it's training my hand eye co-ordination a bit (more than not drawing at all). here's the first attempts.

summer (winter) drawing project

some students are trying the "summer drawing project" from the distant stitch group on the OCA textile group page. I'll try some of it too to see how it goes — even though it's winter here for me :) (which usually means more fibre projects as it's nicer to knit in the colder months)

week1 — exploring "What type of mark do you make most naturally?"

repeating geometric shapes seems to be my most natural mark making. the first page was done using conte pencils and the remainder using a fine (0,3) ink pen. we had to fill the page with marks. so I tried repeating the shapes to see the effect. I could definitely turn these pages into stitches. though I think lace would be suited for the circles—I might have to learn how to make lace next ;)

a spoonful of threads

I made a knitted spoon for the upcoming "Spoons!" exhibition at The Slow Club. It’s called "A Spoonful of Threads" (original name was "nice and slow"). I was thinking of a slow / handmade theme – slow baking, stitching, knitting. I was going to do stitching but ended up knitting. it's using three stitches — knit, purl and knit-from-behind, in random order to give the holes some texture. the wooden spoon is made of birch wood and I used red embroidery thread. it was a short callout—so I made it over the weekend. the exhibition runs from May 12-24th.

The Slowclub has since changed names to The Snug.

here’s the flyer for the Spoons! exhibition (when still called The Slowclub)

here is the call for submissions & here is the event page.

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green beanie

green beanie. greanie.

 

this is a Jo Sharp beanie:

 


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red velvet stitched circuit — blinking led

red velvet stitched circuit — blinking led

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtxsERq2JpI

testing the conductive thread. it's conductive, hurrah

I left the hoop on to stabilise it a bit whilst I had it connected to the computer. it's the tutorial on adafruit site, though I modified their circuit pattern into the circles & didn't have the clips to test it. checked it with my multimetre instead after stitching. one thing to remember is once the usb cable's connected it tends to flip the fabric. I need to play more & see if it really is now 'programmed' (I think so) ie will it run without the computer if I power it by battery/something else. but yeah, no soldering, only stitching. have to think of something else besides leds now - they seem to be the "hello world" of wearable tech

 

it's an adafruit flora processor + neo pixel v2 led & conductive thread. I bought some other things like a light/colour detector & flexible solar panel & more leds. will think of something to try them out

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International Art English - around the web

I recall earlier this year there was a large discussion about "International Art English" (IAE) on some of the mail lists - on empyre-l, nettime-l, and articles on triple canopy and hyperallergic & the guardian newspaper site.

there was a conference held this year on the topic also — "Critical Language — A forum on International Art English". I've posted the blurb below for reference. I've asked them if there was a recording of the sessions to listen to. will add links if they reply.

some other articles about it:

users guide to international art english — on the Guardian website

When Artspeak Masks Oppression — on hyperallergic

International Art English — on triple canopy

Grayson Perry talks about it in the 2013 Reith Lectures

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Critical Language
A forum on International Art English
155 Freeman Street, Brooklyn, NY
Saturday, April 6, 2013, 4:00–6:00 p.m.
$5 suggested donation
http://canopycanopycanopy.com/programs/84

Grayson Perry - The Reith Lectures 2013

I had a listen to the first lecture of Grayson Perry - The Reith Lectures 2013 a couple of weeks ago. I loved his comments and disregard (?) of the artworld and his analysis of International Art English language.

since coming across this, I heard also that Grayson Perry and Brian Eno are working together. I can't wait to see/hear what comes of this collaboration!

the BBC blurb:
"The award-winning artist Grayson Perry presents the 2013 BBC Reith Lectures, titled Playing to the Gallery. Across four programmes he discusses what makes him an artist, the limits of contemporary art, how to gauge the quality of new artworks and the future of the avant-garde."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/reith - podcasts of the lectures & related material

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03969vt - Democracy Has Bad Taste: Grayson Perry: Playing to the Gallery: 2013 Episode 1 of 4

I see that the first lecture is also available on youtube

Grayson Perry- Reith Lecture No.1: Democracy Has Bad Taste http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtehJ3O3vMk

 

Subversive Stitch Revisited: The Politics of Cloth conference

this weekend in the UK the "Subversive Stitch Revisited: The Politics of Cloth" conference was (is being) held. as it's a bit far to go from Australia, I missed out on attending the lectures. their twitter feed mentions the sessions will be uploaded as podcasts soon, so I shall try to take a listen to them. I have a copy of the original book, "The Subversive Stitch: embroidery and the making of the feminine (1984)" by Rozsika Parker, though I have only browsed through it. I hope to read more over the Christmas break (along with Colour book).

here's an image of the flyer:

event details, from the ticket site:

Keynote Speakers include: Professor Griselda Pollock, University of Leeds

The Subversive Stitch Revisited: The Politics of Cloth will explore the legacy of Rozsika Parker’s groundbreaking book, The Subversive Stitch: embroidery and the making of the feminine (1984) and two landmark exhibitions from 1988 that developed Parker’s ideas. It will consist of a two day event held at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and an online resource that will include documentation of the event. The Subversive Stitch Revisited will be dedicated to the memory of Rozsika Parker, who died in 2010.

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circle stitching

well, I was trying a knit-a-year project but since I don't have much yarn here (on overseas trips) and have been more interested in stitching and embroidery lately, I've decided to shift to a stitch-a-day project instead. I might use my other blog for another project so will relocate the articles here (or add to the previous post).

my first attempt - I've been totally inspired by the work of Junko Oki and since attempting to stitch circles in a modified blanket stitch, I can see more clearly just how fine and free her beautiful stitching is. mine feels large and clumsy in comparison, so I will need to practice more to create smaller stitches. also, I need to bring more fabric to use as a background as on this trip I only have some calico, and a couple of coloured threads.

there's lots of circles & other textures in the hotel room. the carpet has concentric circles - a bit like the Maori koru shape. I like the red crushed velvet lounge chair in the room too - it has some nice lines and shapes in the shadows

 

06/10 update:
I stitched some more circles and other shapes this weekend

Junko Oki - stitching circles

tonight I've been taking a look at embroidery by Junko Oki - she has some beautiful pieces. I love her use of circles and lines.

I emailed her to order a copy of her new book, "Culte a la Carte" (I think her first book has sold out), and mentioned I was doing a textiles course and had been enjoying embroidery. I asked if hers was all stitched by hand or mixed with machine embroidery too. she responded,

"I'm glad to you interested in my work.
My work is stitched by hand all.
I do not have that you have to study about embroidery .
I have the feeling produced in like writing a picture."

the circles are intricate rows of fine blanket stitch, with lines in running stitch and some feather stitch. lots of "sun" themes. I'm really loving it. the imperfections and textures created by the stitching mixed with the choice of textures and colours of the fabrics as the backgrounds. I'm looking forward to the book arriving so I can see more of her work.

I love some of the backside stitches, ie via February 2012:

 

from Dee's Hall from October 2012 - a lovely portrait of a woman's profile.

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