Finished!

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The work is completed on my very last day in Vancouver, before moving back to Europe. I used some light fabric paint to fill out the sea and sky, giving depth to the background and providing a contrast for the detail to jump out from.

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This project has run from the first day of the year to the final moments of my time in Canada…for now. The theraputic qualities of the work have astounded me. The calm that pervades from it, the focus on the texture and vibrancy of colour has provided my overworked brain with an escape. An opportunity to step out of the everyday and put my attention into something beautiful.

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Having started this project with little idea of what would result, I couldn’t be more pleased with the piece, and the style of embroidery that I am beginning to develop. I can’t wait to start my next project.

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Complete Crafted Crags

The rocks round into reality, swelling

and folding over themselves.

 

Crack and crease creep

along the rock face,

fault lines furring with lichen and lime,

a smooth pelt, fed and washed by the sea foam.

 

Sleeping seals

elephantine sculptures surf-hewn from stone.

 

A Threaded Tale

So it turns out that I’m good at keeping up with my project, and not so much with the blog bit. Ho hum.

So below is a catch up with how the piece is progressing so far.

I love to see the colours flicker,

 and come alight

to spread over the canvas

in organic waves.

.

The colour bleeding slowly

across the fabric,

bringing life to the plane.

.

I’ve found the process so far incredibly therapeutic. It is immensely satisfying to watch the textures and shapes

come together as the needle works. I often find myself working on it on lazy Sunday mornings and always

feel happy that I have made time in my week to work on it and progress the picture some more.

        

Without any design or clear intention the piece has become largely embroidery based,

with the other materials – wool, felt, suede – providing background colour or texture;  playing along

with the thread but only to provide a base or little flutter or curve here and there.

        

A Roving Fancy

As with the embroidery the roving has been roaming, wending its way along one path

and then turning, as my mind twists also, to forge a new way forward.

Striating itself.  Merging and overlapping, once again taking form, where before was empty canvas.

The density and dimension of the roving adds a new layer, only hinted at with the embroidery thread.

The yarn brings depth of colour and a saturated heaviness, sodden with dark red wine and moss.

There is weight and texture which  intensifies with contrast to the light and line of the thread.

          

             

Hanging by a Thread

So here we have my first attempts to create shades, textures, and shapes mainly with embroidery threads but with a little felt, fabric, and beading thrown in for good measure.

It is surprisingly difficult to take materials you are used to working with in a straight-forward manner, and look at them differently. To try and break the neatness that has been so long practiced and to pull and tear at the fabric, rather then treating it carefully.

There is something magical about being unsure of exactly what you’re trying to achieve, and just starting to sew and seeing what direction the needle and thread takes you. Reacting to the weave of the fabric and the shape and tone of the picture that is forming on the material in front of you.

             

                                     

First Sketch

I’ve chosen to work on a natural unbleached cotton background, which is a light enough weave to sew and embroider easily but that also has a little stiffness and hold in its form. I made an initial sketch, just to lay out the main aspects of the picture, although once it’s finished the background fabric won’t be in view. Apologies for the stripes showing through – its my new table cloth. So the next step is to play around with some different ways of using the materials to create different effects – can’t wait.

 

The Great Fabric Haul

So, here we go.  Stage one.  The great fabric haul.

I raided all of my craft stocks and picked out anything with the right colour tones and interesting textures. I had no idea I had quite so many materials to choose from, but I’m absolutely chuffed that I’m able to use re-purposed, recycled and re-gifted for the whole project.

By the nature of the crafts I make I have a glut of felt and embroidery threads and fair deal of yarn, so this will inevitably effect the style of the piece. I’m hoping though, that I’ll be able to play around with the different media and open my way of seeing the materials and consequently project as a whole.

Well…here’s hoping!

                                      

Lighthouse Park

Lighthouse Park

Yesterday was the first day of 2013, and I spent it in the best place possible, Lighthouse Park in Vancouver. Sitting on the rocks looking out to sea I began to notice the texture and colours and lines of the eponymous edifice sat atop the rocks. And so I have chosen it as the subject of my first attempt at textile art. I am traditionally a crafter and typically stick to practical makes. But for a long time I have felt inspired by nature to depart from the everyday and break out into a different approach to textiles. So over the following months (note the carefully unspecified duration) I will document my progress here, and hopefully receive some feedback as to how all you lovely folk think I’m getting on.