Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Module SIX – Chapter 11 – Trial layers for my wall-hanging

First attempts at my wall-hanging. To get a general idea of how several layers could work together, I coloured and prepared a good number of pieces of cocoon stripping, soya bean and horticultural fleece ‘fabrics’. They are without any further decoration or embellishment except for the samples I stitched in the last few days which I added to see how they look.

I formed three layers and let them hang down freely from a broom stick, letting them flow in the air at some distance from each other – around an inch. The inner layer is dark green to get a feeling of depth, the external ones are in mixed colours in imitation of the changing shades of the water.

Stage 1 dueStage 1 treStage 1

Sorry for the bad quality of my pictures, it's already too dark inside.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


As usual Sian gave me a wealth of subtle hints and ideas to consider, perhaps the most important to me being to remember that less is more and the suggestion to find a strong focus and to take decisions based on it. So  I reread the sentences the underlie my early drawings and looked again at my photos as Sian said, to find my true colours and elements in response to the river as seen in winter.

… world below, enveloped, restful, gentle
imprisoned among branches, fragile cases
do not think too much, use what you can
delicacy of things half forgotten
softly remembering in the shade of your heart, in the warm pleats of your soul
strong roots, trust your strong roots
And I started to make samples in this spirit.

Thinking of water and looking at my paper mock-up my main idea is to prepare several layers which are light, soft and semi-transparent. They could be connected in certain areas and fluctuate separately in others, creating perhaps waves with their movements or otherwise they could fluctuate on top of each eacher, simply hanging from the top.

I like the idea that the wall hanging can be seen from both sides, front and back, and that the internal layers may be viewed partially beyond the external ones. I do think that these decisions can be taken only in the making …. do not think too much, use what you can is my mantra.
Apart from fabrics and threads  that I already have,  I have put together some carded cocoon strippings – rather drab to look at (on the left) – and some honey coloured soya bean filaments which are cheap and wonderfully lustrous (on the right). I also thought of using the horticultural fleece which I bought in the UK with Meg Brien a couple of years ago during a visit to a garden centre.

I laid several layers of cocoon strippings, sprayed them with three different blends of very diluted acrylic inks and ironed them flat. The natural glue in the strippings combined with the heat to form a very open lacy fabric that can be handled without problems and which is in fact rather strong.

Here is an image of them lying side by side and below of the same ones on top of each other. The photos suggest two different ways of using these layers.

Silk strippingsLayered silk strippings

I rather like them without any further embellishment but here is a sample of the a light green fabric with some stitched decoration, and the addition of some fibers and threads.

An option could be to have some parts very airy and undecorated and others more or less enriched.

Sample silk strippings embroidered

The sample below is made with soya bean filaments, again sprayed with acrylic inks. The sample is rather fragile and unstable but it could be used in combination with stronger layers like in the image on the right. This combined fabric could of course be further embellished and I am going to try this later.

Soya beansSoya beans and silk strippings

Here is a further sample:

Sample 1 back before
The fabric on the left is made in a totally different way.

I have cut two layers of white horticultural fleece of the same size and I have coloured them with an acrylic spray of the type used on cars – these cans can be bought very cheaply in every hardware store.
Once completely dry I have machine stitched them together and added fibers, fabrics snippets, plastic bits.

When ready I have used a hot gun to create a lacy fabric as seen below. The heat has made the colours somewhat darker and I like this effect.  

Sample 1 back after

This is the same sample view from the other side before and after the heat treatment.

Sample 1 front before

Sample 1 front after

The photos below show different arrangements of the samples, with suggestions of how they could be used on top of each other.

Prova sovrapp 1Prova sovrapp 2Prova sovrapp 3

Tomorrow new trials ….