Thoughts on my theme book

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what to concentrate on for my theme book. Much as I love my fairground art, rugged landscapes and nature I feel that I would really like to explore the theme of gears.

Interlocking, relying on each other, working together, movement and control are all symbolised by gears and cogs. They do not work independently, only in a pair or as a group.

They enable machinery to work, both modern and ancient, and humans have been using them forever. Our modern world revolves around them as they revolve around each other.

Cars, manufacturing machinery, boats and even our sewing machines will not work without them – even in this computerised, electronic world of ours. Even the first computers were a large collection of gears and cogs!

Looking closely at the gears around us there are so many types and designs, shapes and sizes to draw inspiration from as well as the machines they drive. I think they would create an interesting design project to take forward into a final piece – what, I am not sure of yet but something wearable could work well.

Ideas could be gleaned from ‘Steam Punk’ fashion designs as a research starting point for this. Where steam engineering and victorian style fashions combine to create rich, flamboyant clothing.

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About Julie Hooker

Having recently returned to my roots in Surrey, I am currently studying a BA Hons degree with the OCA. My work is often inspired by the local countryside in the beautiful Surrey Hills area and the wild rugged nature of the North Cornish coast. Steam engines and abandoned industrial history are also recent themes. A free machine embroiderer and felt maker; I like to explore the use of natural, found materials to create my art, whether that be as raw materials to stitch or weave with or as a material with which to produce dye or print with. Previously, I completed City and Guilds parts 1 & 2 Creative Embroidery at the East Berkshire College in Windsor in 2007. I was also awarded first place in the wearable art section of the National Quilt Championships 2008 and 2009 held annually at Sandown Park.
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