Part 1 : Stage 5 & 6 Review and reflect

Q: Can you begin to see the relationship between stitching and drawing?
Yes, the more I draw now the more I think in terms of stitch and texture. Also when looking at other peoples work and pictures I find myself drawn to those with marks that would translate to stitch well.
Q: Where you able to choose stitches that expressed the marks and lines of your drawings?
Yes, I was able to translate my drawings into stitch. As I was working on the drawings I had an Idea of the marks the stitch would make so experimented there before starting the stitching part of the project.
Q: Did you choose the right source material to work from?
Yes, apart from the textural one that ended up more of an experiment in stitching with Felt and fleece rather than sticking with the subject matter. I did the two last pieces following a day’s felting workshop where I made a sheet for the first of my planned pieces but then began thinking of how the fleece and felted tubes could be incorporated into embroidery and sort of went off into a tangent. My intention had been to create a piece influenced by the limpet sketches and it sort of does follow that but the colours are all wrong.
Q: Do you think your samples work well irrespective of the drawing? Or is your sample merely a good interpretation of your drawing?
I think my samples take a few steps further than the drawings I produced. The first sample was from looking at the abstract Expressionist painters. I was looking at the marks that they made and how they would translate to stitch. The idea of having all the stitches going across but the colour patches flowing down (Ad Reinhardt and Jack Tworkov).  The idea of having the stitching criss-crossing each other randomly, but placed in specific areas (Ernest Briggs and Albert Kotin). I particularly liked the white dots on the Mark Tobey painting and loved the effect they made on the felt. I have always drawn black lines round coloured areas so it seemed natural to embroider black round the colour, the pattern inside the black lines were me having a go at the textures needed for the limpets.
Looking back at it now I think I have embroidered like I draw. I have an idea that I have drawn, but that develops each time I recreate it, taking influences from what I have been recently thinking about, looking at or experimenting with. I like the fact that the samples are an extension of my sketch book and hope that they will all lead to some interesting finished work.
Q: Which did you prefer – working with stitch to create textures or working with yarns to create textures? Which worked best for you and why?
I think I like using the embroidery silks best but I did enjoy sewing the fleece and felt onto fabric. I would like to have a go at folding the fabric to create textures. I think it is the stitch I like however as the primary texture, changing the style, thread and method to create texture
Q: Do you prefer to work from a drawing or by playing with materials and Yarns to create an effect? Which method produced the most interesting work?
I think I like to work with a mixture of both. In my sketch books I can work on ideas quickly, making marks and experimenting with colour. I like to do the same with stitch just playing with the textures the stitch makes. When I then take both these experimental things together and I look at interpreting drawings into stitch other possibilities emerge and the ideas change and mutate again. It is following this that the most interesting things emerge for me.

Q: Are there any other techniques you would like to try? Are there any samples you would like to do in a different way?
I would like to experiment with folding fabric and incorporating quilting to create texture but this seemed to not really follow the brief as we were just looking at stitch and thread.   I would also like to have had time to dye or paint on fabric before stitching on it.
Q: Is there anything you would like to change in your work?
Perhaps plan a little more prior to the exercises, also read through the entire chapter so as to get a good idea as to the flow of the work required. I felt like I was jumping about and repeating myself in the last part of the projects. Also allow much more time for the stitching as I am doing all by hand. Perhaps look at stitching on the machine as a first layer finishing off by hand.
General Comments:
I really enjoyed making my stitch samples and it was fun to try out all the different stitches, also copying the mark making exercises into stitch. I am not entirely sure that I followed the brief from then on and at times found it very confusing as to what it was that you were looking for me to produce. This has been one of the reasons that I have taken a little longer to finish than expected. I was stuck as to what to do next. In the end however I did what I felt would be the most helpful for what I liked doing and hope that it is ok. The sewing exercises also took much longer to do than the time allocated on the hand-out but I think that must be because I am doing it all by hand.
I think I have experimented with stitch but not with a wide variety of thread. Perhaps in the future exercises I need to look into using a more varied range. I think also I could work closer with my drawings and the stitching. I have very much enjoyed experimenting with ideas in my sketch book and the first block of samples on the felt were great fun to do. I could have carried on with that for days but was running out of time. The textural piece I have struggled with but I think mainly with my concerns about it not following the brief. I do like what I have made and hope it answers the brief enough.

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