Nina's Textile Trail

My OCA Textile Tales

Part 3 Creating Shapes and Three-dimensional Forms – Stage 4 Raised and structured surface textures – FINAL SAMPLE

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To produce the drawing used for this piece, I enlarged my photograph of some bark, increased the contrast and printed it in black and white. I then tore it into strips, stuck some to a piece of paper and extended the picture, drawing with a conte pencil and inktense pencils.

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Before enlarging a section for the final sample, I tried moulding.  Using a 30cm square of calico, torn pieces of card were laid on the fabric and enclosed in gathers.

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The cloth was sprayed with water and left to dry and the cardboard removed.

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The moulding was quite successful but they weren’t well planned and once a few patterned tucks were added, it seemed chaotic and didn’t quite capture the essence of the original drawing.

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Taking an enlarged section of the original drawing, using a 30cm square piece of calico, I hand sewed some tucks, referring to the sectioned off area in the middle of the picture.  Once the main lines were represented with a variety of tucks, the background was worked to produce soft folds and shadows to mimic the original drawing.

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I am pleased with the outcome.  Initially I found it difficult to motivate myself to work with a plain piece of fabric and really wanted to use colour, but once I had enlarged the image to a point where I had a manageable goal, I enjoyed the hand stitching and allowing the background to evolve by manipulating the fabric as I went was satisfying.

I can see the merits of drawing on a wealth of traditional techniques to manipulate fabric and I am happy with a needle in my hand but there was definitely something missing for me without the colour and texture of fabric and thread to work with.

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