Wednesday, July 4, 2012


The completed embroidered assessment piece for Module Five is a face or mask based on the design topic of ‘Touching Textures’, which is inspired by wooden African masks and modern works of art in painting and sculpture.
Do you feel satisfied with the results?

Yes, I am pleased with it.

If yes, which parts in particular?

The sharp contrast of shapes and colours which I think is in keeping with my inspiration sources.

Is it fit for its purpose?

It has no purpose in itself, since it is a decorative piece. I like the possibility of keeping it flat or hanging it on a wall or against a window.
If you were asked to make it again, what changes would you make?

1) To the way you designed it:

I would try to make it even more abstract, perhaps by changing the position of parts to one another so as to get a less figurative composition and a more fractured look.
2) To the way you made it:

I would like a rougher and less ‘pretty’ look. I would use materials in a freer way.
Two 2 mm acrylic sheets: 8 Euros

Fabrics: old and recycled fabrics (3 Euros)

Bits and pieces: in stock, overall value of fleece, beads, leather scraps 1 Euro

Threads: 6 Euros

Glue: 3 Euros
Design work was scattered on a couple of months, from March to May 2012.

Embroidery work was started on 10th of June and completed in one week.

Total hours working on design: 10 hours plus thinking time.

Total hours working on embroidery: 6 hours


Item : My storage place

Design work in progress: plastic folder

Completed work in progress: flat in big plastic box with lid

Papers for design work: flat in card box

Pencils and felt pens for design work: on my working table
Other items like glue, liners, scissors, cutter: on my working table in my workroom

Embroidery work in progress: plastic bags in a plastic box

Fabrics: plastic containers arranged in like colours, behind a curtain that keeps light out

Threads: drawers, arranged in like colours, beside the sewing machine

Beads, metal threads etc.: small air-tight boxes, drawers, bags

Sewing machine: on small table beside a window in my workroom, in working position

Other electrical equipments:
iron upright on a top shelf, small electrical appliances in their original boxes


Items and working processes that have been used in Module Five:

- pencils and felt pens, cartridge, tissue, tracing papers 
- natural and synthetic fabrics, pelmet vilene interfacing, wadding and padding materials 
- hand and machine threads   
- soldering iron and stand
- cutter and self-healing mat
- laundry iron
- PVA glue, fabric adhesive spray, jewellery glue 
Which working processes need special care and attention to protect yourself, your environment and your own work?

- Always lay the soldering iron on its stand and beware to not touch the tip
- Always work in a well ventilated room when using sprays and glues 
- Keep electrical flexes out of your way, not loose on the floor
- Always use your cutter on a self-healing mat and keep moving the blade away from you


For this module we are asked to study three artists who make an interesting use of texture in their works, Jennie Rayment,  Michael Brennand-Wood and a third one whom we find particularly inspiring. My choice is Mary Button Durell.

Jennie Rayment

jennieRayment photo
I did not know her and she was such a joyful surprise. She is the British queen of calico that she is able to manipulate in an infinite number of original ways to be used in patchwork, fashion, home furnishings and any form of needlework and embroidery.

She is a popular tutor and writer of seven books on easy and quick though highly imaginative fabric manipulation techniques.

Jennie Rayment has a website: and the following photos are just a taste of what you can find there.

Jennie Rayment 3 Jennie Rayment 1 Jennie Rayment 2
  Photo credits:

Michael Brennand Wood

Web site:

MBW 15 MBW 2

Michael Brennand Wood defines himself a wood visual artist, curator, lecturer and arts consultant. As an artist he makes very intricate and richly delightful sculptural pieces in which he uses textiles and wood as his primary materials with the addition of glass, collage, acrylic paint and whatever he feels fit.


He has a very direct and passionate relationship with his materials and keeps inventing new ways of combining them together. As he says in an interview by Diana Woolf (, for him “making is the thinking process” and adds "I’m also very interested in the nature of materials and the meanings they convey”.

But materials are not an end in itself: “my work was always about ideas and not just technique” he says and adds: “I’m interested in abstraction and enjoy seeing what you can do optically with rhythm and colour, but the abstraction still has a meaning and is not just playing with pattern”.


Works by this artist are a beautiful feast for the eye and very inspiring in their free and imaginative use of ideas and materials.

Mary Button Durell

button portrait

Mary Button Durrell is a Californian paper artist and a sculptor. She works with the simplest of means, tracing paper and wheat paste, with touches of acrylic paint and foil, and with these straightforward materials makes layered, biomorphic pieces – huge and small ones, three-dimensional or flat. I discovered her through another blog – I am so sorry I do not remember which one – and keep looking at her incredible art.

She has been featured on many blogs and websites. All photos are credited to  which includes a very interesting interview with her and many more beautiful pictures taken in her studio in San Francisco.

mary button durell

button 2 

 button 3

button 4 

Monday, July 2, 2012

My face at last! Just in time for Summer School …

My face/mask is finally there! It is rather difficult to take photos from it and I have tried my best.

The final mask is slightly different from my paper mock-up – it includes four levels instead of three – but all in all I have followed this mock-up rather faithfully. The mask is made up of 7 parts showing 4 different fabric textures.

The background is a 2 mm acrylic sheet cut to measure. I chose acrylic since I wanted to see the different parts of the mask floating. Overall size, including the empty areas, is approximately 30 x 45 cms.

Final mask areas
Parts 5, 6 and 7 are on the background level and glued directly onto the acrylic sheet.

Level one is 2 cm high (part 1), level two is 3 cm high (part 4) and level three is 4 cm high (parts 2 and 3).

On the back of the acrylic sheet I glued square acrylic feet to create a distance between the face and its supporting surface which may be a wall, a table or a window pane for example.

In this first photo I placed my mask on a marble floor.

Mask fondo chiaro 3

In this picture the face was fixed to a frosty window pane which allows the passing of light from behind.

Mask trasp chiara 4

This is the mask seen from the back.

Mask back

Here follow pictures from details, the first shown on a dark wooden surface, the other three against a window.

Mask detail 1

Mask detail 5

Mask detail 7

Mask detail 8

Tomorrow the technical information, evaluation and records.