Wednesday, 10 October 2018

It's all about the texture and Bonding - City and Guilds Hand and Machine Embroidery


city-and-guilds-logo-xl.jpg.pngBusy Bees Patchwork
City and Guilds Hand and Machine Embroidery
7161
Tutor - Beccy Paget


Level 2 City and Guilds in textiles begins to train you to start thinking more for yourself. A part of the syllabus requires, that you study 3 hand embroidery artists and 3 machine embroidery artists. Also that one should be a contemporary, one historic and one cultural. It is designed to help the student to develop their own style by seeing how other artists work and how they have been influenced by others to create their own unique approach to their work. 

Looking at other artists, patterns and trends is not copying, the very first designers of let's say the heart design have long been forgotten, many leaves are heart shaped and those who have designed before us would have been influenced by nature it's self.  When a heart appears on a bed quilt or appliqued on a cushion not one person would call that copying, because it is a shape now widely known and yet still we can make that shape our own in the way in which we implement it.
I have often thought a good class would be, to take one shape, one stitch and one type of thread and then see at the end of the day what every one would come up with and I guarantee they would all be different with no perceived idea of an initial design.  Everyone can design, it's a just a matter of taste and imagination! Although those who are creative are not afraid of thinking outside of the box, where as some need to build on their confidence and learn to think again as a child, where there are no limits and no right or wrongs. We are conditioned to think that either there is a correct way or a wrong way and forgot that there is room for the middle ground and the WHAT IF way.
May be I will get the group to experiment and see what we can come up with, it would be an interesting experiment.
For the past couple of weeks we have been concentrating on hand embroidery. Using simple stitches in a way we would not normally associate with those stitches, also creating backgrounds for stitch which require thinking outside the box to create pieces of work that are totally unique, with plenty of texture and depth. Here are a few examples from week 3 that have been completed, where we trapped buttons, bottle tops, curtain rings and other items under organza's and scrims. The effects are a textural symphony, creating surfaces that resemble those in nature produced by barnacles on a stone or lichen on bark, not a new technique on the block but certainly a very satisfying and exciting form of embroidery.


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This type of work would lends itself to many natural applications, for instance tree bark, rock pools, fungi, cliff face and much more. Depending on the threads, fabrics and items chosen this technique knows no end and certainly a very usable and useful technique to know.

Last week's class was using Bondaweb in a non traditional way. There are many forms of this brand of adhesive attached to a carrier sheet normally used for taking up hems and holding applique designs in place. I only use Bondaweb so I cannot really tell you if other makes work in the same way so experiment and see how your brand works. In this session we painted the Bondaweb with a watered down acrylic paint onto the glue side and let it dry fully before ironing it onto a piece of chosen fabric. Ironing the paint onto fabric gives a wonderful shiney texture almost like the texture of shark skin, creating backgrounds to be stitched on can add authenticity to a project by resembling the texture of a chosen subject.

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The variations of using this method are endless, the only drawback for lots of students is the cost of the Bondaweb, but careful planning and testing small pieces will help to create a portfolio of samples that could be used in certain projects. Some of the samples above remind me of that lovely texture of peeling paint on an old door or boat, and the diamond texture on a different make called applique it looks like snake skin. Of course more can be added to these backgrounds to create even more layers of colour and depth, we will also be trying some foiling as this sticks to the Bondaweb to add some luxury which can look like gold or silver plating.

This week we have been using the Bondaweb as a bonding agent for fabric and thread scraps to adhere them to a background for some hand stitching. These pieces will possibly used for book covers for sketch books.

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A great way to use up all those scraps from other projects that you just can't bear to throw away. This technique is not easy to plan, you need to feel this one as you go. Adding and removing as it grows and sensing when enough is enough.  No two projects like this will ever be the same and I think that's why it's a process I love to do because you just never know what it's going to look like until you've thrown the last piece down, and comes the stitching on such a rich background needs a certain amount of bravery and confidence in your ability. These won't be completed for a while but I am really looking forward to the reveal, I know that much! I will just have to get the girls to see it the same way I do and not to give up  half way through, I hope not, it's a technique that instills "Keep calm and do more stitching"

Today as well saw the arrival of the well deserved certificates for last year's Level 1, Rachel from Newport Borough Council brought them along to class and we had a little ceremony to hand them out. I am so proud of them all with Distinctions throughout what more could a tutor ask. Some really exquisite pieces of work were produced and hopefully you will see them again when we exhibit next year at the Busy Bees Programme Launch day and also another venue which is not quite finalised yet.
Well done to all I am so excited to see what this year brings!!!!!


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Best stitches
Beccy