Notes on project 6 stages 3 & 4

How does working with fabric in this way compare with working directly with stitch?

I found working in this way rather than directly with stitch differed in the following ways:

  • It is a more intuitive experience, instead of purely following a drawing or source as it is the techniques themselves that dictate the direction taken as well, freeing the mind up a little to try new things.
  • More exciting possibilities open up creating more interesting results these are sometimes unexpected but none the less pleasing.
  • A less literal interpretation is achieved, this creates a more artistic outcome sometimes more distant from the source itself but still relating to it.

Are you pleased with the shapes and movements that you have created in both the applique and fabric manipulation? What would you do differently?

I really enjoyed the process of working directly with the fabrics, and I am really pleased with both final samples. Neither turned out exactly as first expected but I feel both are successful. I would possibly like to try the applique sample again using less precise techniques. It would be lovely to try combining applied and raised techniques together in one sample; taking elements from both. The movement created in the manipulated sample was the most pleasing. I never expected the sample to relate so closely to the source material.

How did the pieces work in relation to your drawings? Were the final results very different from the drawings? Did the fabric manipulation technique take over and dictate the final result?

I feel both pieces worked very well in relation to my drawings and in relation to each other. The final results were different from the original drawings but not too far removed that you cannot see the link between them.

I wouldn’t say that the fabric manipulation technique took over and dictated the final result too much. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to achieve and the techniques I chose to create it worked well to reach my goal. There were differences as the technique is quite unpredictable, but I liked this as it only served to improve on my original idea.

Was it helpful to work from the drawings in the applique exercise? Would you have preferred to play directly with cut shapes and materials?

I always find that I prefer to have some sort of design to get me started. I tend to get ‘blank page syndrome’ if presented with something without a starting point. I feel that the samples would not have turned out to be so interesting without the drawings to assist.

How do you feel about working in stitch in general? Is it an area you would like to pursue in more depth? Do you find it limiting in any way?

Stitch is my specialism if I have one, Before starting this course I studied City & Guilds parts 1 & 2 (now certificate and diploma) in embroidery. I particularly enjoy machine stitch but like to add some hand stitching to enhance pieces as well. My hand stitching skills are less developed than my machine skills, mainly due to having a problem with the muscles in one of my hands that makes neat, even hand stitch difficult at times. The only thing I found limiting with the embroidery course was everything had to be embroidered. Sometimes its nice to make something using construction or printing techniques alone without embellishment!

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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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