How does working with fabric in this way compare with working directly with stitch?
Working with fabric to create shapes and three-dimensional forms offers so many more possibilities and the variety of techniques available and products such as Tyvec and Bondaweb opens up so many avenues for exploration. Stitching can be used in conjunction with these techniques e.g for embellishment but also is crucial in techniques such as the Shibori stitching. Personally, I love hand-stitching and have really enjoyed using stitch to create interesting shapes and structures.
Are you pleased with the shapes and movements that you have created in both appliqué and fabric manipulation? What would you do differently?
I am pleased with the shapes and movements created but feel that I only touched the surface and would love to experiment much more. As this is all a new learning experience, I feel that at this stage it is all experimentation and so wouldn’t change anything. There are many techniques in Wolff’s ‘The Art of Manipulating Fabric’ that I would like to try in the future. I tended to work quickly and there was so much I wanted to do, so perhaps taking more care over the quality of the work is something I would like to work on. Having said that, I tend to work spontaneously and slowing down may hinder my creativity!
How did the pieces work in relation to your drawings? Were the final results very different from the drawings? Did the fabric manipulation technique take over and dictate the final result?
I felt that the pieces worked well in relation to my photos/drawings and I was able to develop some of the original photos/drawings in stages. With the variety of techniques available, I had so many ideas for developing the pieces. I think using photos was important for me – as I originally took the photos because I could envisage the scene in textile.
Was it helpful to work from the drawings in the appliqué exercise? Would you have preferred to play directly with cut shapes and materials?
I was very happy to work from photos for the appliqué exercise as they gave me lots of inspiration in terms of colour, shape, line and texture. They helped guide me in my choice of fabrics as well as composition. It would be interesting to also do an exercise, playing directly with random cut shapes and materials as the work would be more intuitive and creative. Something for the future but when practising new techniques it is useful to have a starting point!
How do you feel about working with stitch in general? Is it an area you would like to pursue in more depth? Do you find it limiting in any way?
I am limited by my knowledge of different stitches but I do love working with stitch. I do prefer hand-stitching as I love the feel of the fabric in my hands and find it an almost meditative process. It is definitively something I would like to pursue in more depth. I would also like to extend my research into the history of stitching in different cultures, particularly in Japan. I have been to a number of very exhibitions which I intend to write up in my journal. This research is giving me lots of scope for my theme book.