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Thursday, May 31, 2007


This was an interesting exercise we did in class over the past couple of weeks.
1) We studied the Hundertwasser picture The Houses are Hanging Underneath the Meadows and analysed it in terms of design - colour, balance, repetition, motifs, etc. We were also asked to think about in terms of maps (an obsession of our current teacher, but a worthy one for this exercise).
2) We were told to produce a series of coloured papers using inks and oil pastels in various ways (there was a list of about six or eight ideas of what to do with them - including painting ink of wet paper, doing pastel rubbings and then inking over, etc.
3) We were each given a photocopied portion of a Melbourne street map and told to design something based on our study of the Hundertwasser piece, using all or a portion of the map to create the design.
4) Then we used the papers we had created to produce a collage based on our design. We were allowed to add small bits of extra drawing on top - I drew grass with green oil pastel on top of the centre section of mine, and then outlined it with black texta to make it show up better. (This was when I discovered that fine line pen, which is my favorite, doesn't work on top of oil pastel - derr!!)
5) The next week we had to produce coloured cloths to recreate (approximately) the paper collage, using fabric paints, fabric crayons and transfer dyes and crayons. I have never had much luck with transfer dyes (I know others who swear by them, though) and got rather frustrated trying to get the right magenta for the right hand section of my piece, giving up in the end and settling for the more red-pink which was all I could mix with the available fabric dyes. I still liked the ultimate effect.
6) Then it was just a case of vliesofixing the relevant bits of fabric down and doing some stitching. The funny thing is, in class I was saying that I was going to do hand stitching only, and resist my usual urge to put beads on everything, and how I had sworn off machine embroidery - and look what I did, machine stitch and beads!!
Ultimately I am pleased with this piece. It may not be great art but it was an excellent example of structuring a series of classes (which is what we are actually studying at the moment, Strategies for the Artist/Teacher, doing a textile piece was just a bonus way of demonstrating the process to us!) and I enjoyed the process.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Repetitions of Nature

We haven't done much actual textile work this year, so it is a relief to be able to blog about a pice at long last!

This was created from using leaves to make prints, then embroidered on top of (with the addition of some tiny sequins and a bigger one), and finally some more leaf prints on top. There is also a tiny bit of gold paint spatter on various bits of it, but it's very subtle and doesn't show up well.

It's stitched onto a piece of handmade paper (not made by my hands!) - rather wonkily, I realise looking at the photo!

There's another textile piece to show off when I scan it, and another work about 70% finished. That's it for the semester - not NEARLY enough textile work for a supposed Textile Art course, but of course they insist that everything else we are studying is worthwhile too.
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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I Haven't Done a Meme for Ages

Thanks to Yarnivorous I found this "I Never" Meme.

Instructions for this meme are: Edit the list, bold for stuff you've done, italics for stuff you plan to do one day, and normal for stuff you're not planning on doing. So here goes!

Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting (modular knitting)
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting (???)
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Graffiti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street)
Continental knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book
Teaching a child to knit
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)
Knitting to make money
Button holes
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Dying with plant colors
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cozies…)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars
Olympic knitting
Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn
Knitting with DPNs
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dyeing yarn
Knitting art
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Kitchener BO
Knitting with beads
Long Tail CO
Knitting and purling backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with self-patterning/self-striping/variegating yarn
Stuffed toys
Baby items
Knitting with cashmere
Darning (does this mean mending, in which case NO, or Swiss Darning, in which case yes).
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mitts/arm warmers
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Knitting in public

Well, I;ve done a lot of them, and as you can see there are quite a few I still want to do, but there's a number of things there I am really not interested in and won't be doing. Still, an interesting meme - go on, take it, you know you want to!

Edited to answer comment: Fair Isle and Intarsia are quite different. In fair isle you strand wool and carry at least two strands across each row. Intarsia is blocks of colour done by twisting yarns together at the joins of the blocks. Of course you can use a mixture together - I often have! Steeking is a possibly Scandinavian technique (I may be wrong there!) where you knit a whole jumper/jacket in the round and then cut it apart where you want the sleeve holes and/or front opening to be - having reinforced the relevant areas and prayed to the knitting gods first!