Saturday 20 April 2019

EDAM Term 2: Drawing with manipulated paper and stitch

Most of the  drawing  projects  of  EDAM  course  so far have really pushed me out of my comfort zone, trying  new techniques, media and approaches.  But  part of the benefit of  that is that I've not been afraid  to try things out, to experiment , to be prepared to fail.  So I was really looking forward  to the  2 sessions with Ruth Brison  on drawing with manipulated paper and stitch  as textiles are my favourite medium.  In  many ways though it was the most difficult so far , knowing so much  about the subject , it was really  hard to try and put aside my experience and knowledge and look at the techniques with fresh eyes and try something new. 
Ruth has explored using paper and stitch a lot   in  fine art drawing  with links to sculpture and textiles," developing the idea of using the fluidity of paper as structure and seeing stitch as a link or a line  to draw, divine. mould, trace or forge a commentary or idea about something" 

 Many of the artists she mentioned  I was familiar with : Alice Fox; Gwen Hedley; Ian McKeever.  Ones new to me included Noami Kobayashi; Heather Tribe ; Mia Pearlman Kate Ward . Work by Ines Siedel I found particularly exciting.    
 The first morning was about exploring the process , choosing methods  to make  several paper structures  and practicing ways to use sewing machine and/or hand stitch. Resources included a variety of papers, acetate , string  etc and   lots of ideas for paper manipulation ,layering with collage , stitching and linking  with pins, staples, tapes. 
 I mainly concentrated on  sewing  tubes of paper and scrunching them  around  cardboard  tubes  in a similar method to  the what I use for indigo shibori)   and  tearing paper  where it was perforated from stitching.  I also  stitched layers of  pages from 'Time Out'   and cut through them in 'faux chenille' effect  ( much quicker than using fabric! )   
 The sewing machines provided were sturdy mechanical  Bernina's and although  not exactly the same as my machines, I was familiar with the threading etc so  was able to assist several people when they  were having problems with tension etc. Other peoples work where they were new to the techniques seemed much more exciting than my efforts .  I rescued  a piece of  stitched drawing that Asli had thrown in the bin  as the  loops  on the underside   where the tension had  gone wrong  produced wonderful marks! As a novice she had persevered in stitching whereas I would have realised there was a problem straight away and corrected it  (  she abandoned using the machine and produced some lovely work using hand stitch ) 

 Back of Asli's drawing with looped stitches

At home , I took photos of some the pieces I produced against the background of Asli's  'failed' drawing:   stitching on acetate ( above) has possibilities ( I had tension issues too!) ;  crumpled 'shibori' paper (below) 

 In the afternoon of the  first session  we were encouraged to  choose a direction  developed in the morning leading to a sculptural drawing, hanging  or mobile  choosing  2-3 key areas of interest , creating a mind map .
 Following up the idea of vessels  from my tutorial with Ute , I used  some of the  stitched papers from the morning to construct some 3D structures.

 Then at home  in the evening   for my daily drawing in sketchbook,  to record my day I explored layering with torn stitched paper, rubbings on colour catchers and tracing paper ( below)

The second session  the following week was devoted to developing  a single theme or idea  from drawings , sketchbook work , photographic information or found materials.  Given my usual  problem of having too many ideas, I decided to return to the subject material of limpet shells  which I've used  several times before  ( eg in Large Scale Sketchbook)  but so far not satisfactorily.  Plus I had some new ones in my collection thanks to my visit to Birchington -on- Sea

 I used my time on the train profitably  in recording the   paper structures I'd made the week before ( above)   and in making a 'mind map'  of what methods I might  explore ( below) .  

And here are some of the results: 

Pleated and gathered photocopy of thread monoprint  ( from session on bookmaking

  Cone  of  textured khadi paper  wrapped with linen thread 
 Disc of grey watercolour paper, ink lines, wrapped  with variegated crochet thread 

 In my daily drawing sketchbook I repeated  some of these ideas, drawing on a disc of paper, gluing it on sketchbook page and cutting out hole  then stitching and wrapping linen thread  around it. Interesting from the back too, with glimpses of the page  below ( lessons from Large Scale Sketchbook   if on an A6 scale ! ) 
With a plan, concentrating on  exploring just one idea and the beginnings of understanding mind maps  , it was a far more relaxed , productive session  with time to have a long  discussion with Ruth  and talk with others  about their ideas for the project next term on the theme of 'meanwhile'. 

Thursday 18 April 2019

Sketchbook Project V 14: Thread Trails (combining pages )

 This is my final sketchbook 'Thread Trails' before posting back  to Brooklyn Art Library - I just had time before the deadline to put it back in it's original cover and show it to  fellow EDAMers  and friends Hazel and Teddy but neglected to take a photo !  Just have to wait until its digitised. 

I'm constantly  amazed how different  the individual pages look in juxtaposition with others ( but then  did spend ages playing with different combinations) . Keen to explore further possibilities of drawing and stitch.   

Wednesday 17 April 2019

Sketchbook Project V14 : Thread Trails ( making pages)

 I've participated  several times with  the Sketchbook Project of Brooklyn Art Library ) most recently in the 'tiny Sketchbook project' )   and despite good intentions and ordering my sketchbook well in advance , I always seem to need a looming deadline to motivate me.
For volume 14 , I chose the theme 'stitch and story'  and after several  false starts , was inspired to use some of the monoprints  I'd done on fabric having reacquainted myself with them on EDAM book-making classes. When stitching , I'm always intrigued by  how different the  stitching can be on the backs , ' the unconscious  side'  so assembled several 'pages'  with different monoprints/ sheets of cotton organdie  glued together with bondaweb. I then had a fun time with them stitching on the train  ( above) and even at home (below) !   

These are the final 6 pages , front and back that made the  cut ( I did a few more that didn't  quite work ) . In the next post  I'll show how they work together   in the final  book format