Project 5, Stage 6 – Prototype / maquette making





As I moved onto this, the final stage of the making of my project I needed to keep a few things in mind:

  • Everything I did needed to be kept neat, clean and precise. The structures are so intricate that any mistakes would show up. A stitch out of place would shout out to the viewer.
  • I could not be tempted to rush. Mistakes were more likely to occur if I did. The leaves are so delicate that if I rushed I would ruin them.
  • I needed to relax as the tension of the stitches was crucial. Too tight and the leaves would be damaged.
  • Concentration was vital as I needed to be precise.

The course notes also contain some pointers: ‘ In this final creative stage, make your final piece or multiple. This is just one of many important stages so try not to be over preoccupied with this final making part.’

I decided to develop the seed pod with grasses as a final piece. I chose to make three pods all identical (as far as is possible using natural materials). It will be the first time that I have made a multiple of something so it was to be an interesting exercise.

The original sample

Making them was relatively simple as I had spent so long refining my samples to check what worked best. As always with these materials one of the main challenges is not to snap or tear them. each one had be made slowly and gently. I chose to arrange the leaves to make ‘cris-cross’ markings if examined up close by alternating the leaves. To be honest it will probably only be noticed by a few but it was an important touch for me to add. Making  each one as close to identical to the others was not very easy. each leaf is a different size and a slightly different shape. To join them takes a lot of care and careful stitching. on the final samples I used a matching thread to sew the leaves together before stitching the grasses around the edge. This helped to stabilise the leaf before using the buttonhole stitch around the edge and looked better than using brown thread for both stages of stitching.

The final samples

I am really pleased with the final samples. They work really well together as a group. Each is obviously unique but are as close to identical as possible just like nature’s structures. I enjoy the contrast in texture and lines within the pods. The sheer lightweight leaves, the smooth crisp line made around the pods with the grass stems, the opaque seeds and the flowing grasses.

I hope that people will find them as intriguing and interesting as I have. I don’t think I would change anything if I made them again,  however I would like to try some on a different scale. This would be quite difficult; especially larger scale as materials may be difficult to source. I would also like at some point to come back to the other samples I produced during this project and develop them further as well.


Close up view
To finish the project I took advantage of it being a nice autumn day to take some photographs against natural backgrounds and some against non natural backgrounds, we have some rather impressive old tree stumps near my home so I thought I would start there first.


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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One Response to Project 5, Stage 6 – Prototype / maquette making

  1. Celia says:


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