I was very uncertain as I started this section.
I know what I want to explore, and where my interests lay. I have a strong desire to sew, especially by hand, and to create more sculptural pieces if I can. I find that nature is my greatest source of inspiration. I tend to create more abstract than realistic pieces, and appreciate deep texture. I prefer colors in strong tones, particularly the jewel tones, and appreciate how black can be a great contrast to those colors.
My initial ideas for this section were initially to work on the felting process, using multiple different materials. I even thought I would like to create a felted bag. I discussed this with my tutor, and he encouraged me to consider pushing felting in a different direction. He suggested exploring the use of synthetic materials, pushing the product to an extreme (for instance, how wispy could I create something?) and to not get tied into creating any specific object.
I thought about what I had enjoyed most about this course- the section on heating and fusing, creating images from unusual sources (printing, stitching to “push” an image) and combining unusual materials.
As I tried different things, I compared the outcomes with my other work. I re-read a few books on felting, and threw some ideas out to my on-line classmates.
I was surprised by how easily the final piece came together at the end.
I had thought by creating geometric shapes that I could construct something- sculpture? vessels? but my love of the natural world came out very strongly when I looked at all these little, curled shapes. They looked much like a pile of autumn leaves, familiar yet not- curved, angled, shadowed and fragile.
At that point, pulling out background fabric and creating a layout was simply following what the shapes asked me to do. The idea for the lights came from working at a bright, sunny window and remembering the use of light in a previous exercise. Again, that step flowed very naturally.
I’m pleased with this piece.
I have not finished the edges, as it is not intended at this time to hang anywhere in particular. If I were, I would create a deep frame, perhaps with a narrow border to simulate a picture frame. I would shorten the bottom edge so that the top empty space is deeper in comparison, to visually bring the flower to the bottom of the picture. Perhaps I will in future.
Would I try this technique again? Yes, I would. It would be interesting to see what type of vessels could be created. Perhaps a hat? How about incorporating this into a larger, printed and stitched piece? Using the lights with the organza intensified the shadows and shapes, adding more texture and depth to the shapes. What about lights within that hat? A hanging sculpture, perhaps of ocean creatures or leaves- the lights incorporated into the elements to bring a night world to life. There is a great deal of opportunity, especially to make something in a larger scale, in this concept.
Reviewing the course assessment criteria:
- Demonstration of technical and visual skills- from what I could gather, there has not been many similar construction techniques published either in print or online. The materials I chose were not in themselves unusual, simply the juxtaposition. The final flower maquette resembles a typical botanical plate, and a fairly simple one at that. I would therefore suggest 22/40 for a mark in this section.
- Quality of outcome- again, the final maquette is fairly basic- the materials are the unusual factor. I attempted to outline both my processes and thoughts in a straightforward manner, and demonstrate how I moved through this section. Considering the clarity of presentation, I would suggest 12/20 for this section.
- Demonstration of creativity- my personal voice is starting to become recognizable to me. Throughout this course, any of the more “finished” pieces show a strong abstract realism, with generally limited color palettes and a broader range of textures. Most of my work focuses on the natural world and organic subjects. My experimentation in this section revolved mostly around manipulating synthetic fabrics using multiple techniques. With that consideration, I would suggest 14/20 for a mark within this sphere.
- Context- I find I struggle with connecting my work to the greater community. I am not certain how I compare- what have I missed? what opportunities should I explore? are there details that could be omitted or added? I worry about those details, and as a consequence have a tendency to not stretch myself as far as I potentially could. Perhaps it is because I am worried about the outcome. I struggle with obtaining relevant feedback, and particularly in face to face interactions (which I prefer). Because of this, I would suggest 8/20 as a mark for this section.