Monday, 6 April 2015

Delicate Three-Dimensional Embroidered Flower

I created this fragile flower by free machine embroidering on to heavy weight water soluble film. In order to add complexity to this outcome I embroidered with three different coloured threads which has created a vibrant transition from the yellow centre to the red outer petals. Unfortunately, as shown in these photographs, the structure unravelled where my stitches did not overlap securely and this has made the flower particularly delicate in places.

Photograph of complete flower indicating where the structure unravelled

Detail of the centre of the flower

Side view of the flower emphasizing the fragility of this structure

Below I have shown a selection of photographs that I took of this flower on a wire spiral with an LED in the centre. The structure of the wire is based upon the Golden Spiral which is a prominent form in nature and this reinforces the centrality of flora in the composition . In addition, I have manipulated the lighting to produce an intricate shadow of the embroidery which has added to the complexity of the photograph.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Three-Dimensional Embroidered Flower

I created this delicate flower using heavy duty water soluble film, felt and free machine embroidery. For the vibrant flower I placed a thin layer of handmade felt over the film and then free machine embroidered a web of stitches over this. (It was important that the stitches overlapped one another frequently because this prevented the structure from falling apart when the backing fabric was dissolved.) After that I partially dissolved the water soluble film, leaving residue that stiffened the structure as it dried in a three-dimensional form. I added the leaves afterwards which were made deliberately fragile from a mixture of hand felted bamboo and wool roving.

Photograph showing yellow free machine embroidery that I added to accentuate
 the vibrant centre of this flower 

Detail of this embroidered structure from the outside, emphasising the
vibrant tones of colour in the petals

Detail of the highly fragile and lace-like structure of the flower petals

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Hand-made Rose Pin Cushion

I created this rose-shaped pin cushion after I was inspired by a duck egg knitted waistband that was going to go to waste. I shaped the long length of knitted yarn into a flower and hand stitched it together then added beading to create tone and texture. This pin cushion can also be placed on a sewing machine to make it easily accessible when machine or hand sewing nearby.

Photograph of the complete pin cushion on a sewing machine

Example of how easily accessible
the pin cushion is when placed on
the upper part of a sewing machine

Detail of beading in the centre of the flower

Friday, 27 February 2015

Hand Woven Fabric Sample

I have recently learnt how to hand spin yarn using a spindle and to weave fabric on a four way table loom. I was taught how to weave a plain and twill weave as well as how to produce tapestry (to hide all the warp threads) and weave with alternating yarns to create a striped pattern.

The sample that I wove is shown in the photographs below. It is 9.5cm wide by 25.5cm long and took me approximately 4 hours to produce (half of this time was spent warping the loom which involved using a warping frame to create a warp, mounting the warp threads and finally threading them through the heddles and reed).

Complete woven sample showing the blend of ribbon, beaded string and hand spun yarn (salmon pink), wool yarn (green) and cotton chenille yarn mixed with lurex (blue) 

Detail of woven ribbon, beaded string and hand
spun yarn using a twill and plain weave

Detail of the selvedge where I wove ribbon into the fabric

Detail of green and pale blue fabric produced by weaving wool and lurex
mixed with chenille yarns, ribbon and beaded string 

The far left side of this photograph demonstrates the striped pattern
that I wove using alternating coloured yarn and the dense tapestry
can be seen on the right of the pale blue ribbon

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Handmade Coiled Structure that functions as a Placemat, Table Mat for Hot Saucepans and Basket

I have applied the technique of coiling, that is often used to make baskets, to develop a unique and charming placemat or table mat for hot saucepans. It can also function as a basket for example because the petals can be manipulated in different ways to create structures with varying uses. 

I used vibrantly coloured polypropylene rope as a core and coiled it into a structure using wool. This choice of core yarn enables the mat to be used for hot saucepans on work surfaces or tables because polypropylene has a good resistance to heat.

The yellow spiraled centre surrounded by crimson petals imitates the organic structure of flora as well as the stereotypical location of these colours in flowers. I also added coloured felted balls to the centre and outer edge of each petal in patterns to decorate the coiled structure further.

Side view of the petals after being shaped to form a basket

View of the coiled structure as a basket from above

Alternative way that the petals can be shaped to produce a
more enclosed structure

Photograph demonstrating how the petals can also be angled
so that they create the illusion of the structure being a flower

Detail of the coiling on the central spiral of the flower
View of complete placemat or table mat for hot saucepans from above
showing the petals opened out and flattened to a consistent height

Detail of the pattern that I created by sewing felted
balls to the inner part of each petal

Friday, 6 February 2015

Recycled Coral Reef Scene

Here I have presented photographs of a scene that I made from recycled materials. The scene depicts a rock with coral growing from it and on the central piece of coral a figure is shown wearing a necklace that I made from litter and rope. The figure evokes the fairy tale character of Thumbelina in her connection and unity with nature.

The base of the set is made from a slide projector carousel which I found in a tip and inserted lighting into. On top of this I placed a spiral of glued carpet strips to create the rounded rock shape. I then added detail to the lower edge of the rock by using the traditional technique of ribbon weaving to create a black wire feature.
I produced the large piece of coral by coiling a core of several large and smaller pieces of rope with paper string. This method was quite time-consuming but has created an intricate and beautiful plant-like structure.The smaller sea plants are made from wire and rope that I manipulated into natural shapes and then glued together.

Front of set showing the illuminated slide projector
carousel and coral

Detail of ribbon woven wire and coral

Detail of figure in the central coral

Complete scene 

Decorative Paper Ball Gown

I have created a paper ball gown using cartridge paper that I painted with dye. I designed and then painted the surface patterns on the skirt and bodice myself and then added a decorative bustle on the back to create a strong visual impact. If this garment were to be made from fabric I would incorporate a subtly coloured bandeau beneath the leaf bodice so that it could be worn feasibility.

Front of paper garment showing detail of leaf
bodice and upper skirt

Back of dress showing ruched bustle

Bodice and upper bustle on back of dress

Detail of hand painted sweet pea pattern and ruched paper decoration

View of dress from the side showing bustle,
full skirt and leaf bodice