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)
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'.