I applied for this residency as I saw it as a means to have the time, facilities and head space to generate new ideas to take forward in my creative practice and take a step back from the fast paced design world that I usually work in. I want to SAMPLE and play with new ways of working and explore techniques unknown to me. If I am to sample new approaches and new ways of working, why not document them through SAMPLERS. I don’t necessarily mean I will create samplers in the traditional sense, of course I will be putting a contemporary twist of these old ways of working. I am known for pushing the boundary of string art in my creative practice; a thread weaving craft with its roots in mathematics, and I intend to push boundaries with the work I produce during this residency by using techniques in an unorthodox yet contemporary way.
Following on from last weeks post I have been investigating the methods of mending further through making and experimenting with mark-making using repair techniques. I’ve been playing with a staple gun, distressing fabric and exploring shading techniques for use in drawings in an unusual way
I have been further exploring darning processes and continuing on with removing the weft from the horsehair fabric. I am currently exploring the use of typography with this technique, examples below
As some of the samplers have a high contrast warp and weft, the typography is easily read. However I like the hidden nature of the low contrast sampler, I have held these up to the window here to display the light shining through the lettering.
I have also been experimenting with darning and drawn thread embroidery with little success, see below. I am not a huge fan of extremely slow processes. My next step is to look into getting a similar effect yet at a quicker pace. I like this juxtaposition of fast versus slow…..
As well as doing lots of making, I also paid a visit to Blaise Castle House Museum in Bristol this week. After trying to book a viewing of Bristol Museums important group of over 200 samplers and finding out they were closed until Easter, I was pointed in the direction of Blaise Castle House Museum. Having not heard of this museum nor did I know of their collection, I booked an appointment with Helen McConnell to view examples for their textile collection…..and what a collection it is. Some tasters below,
The first gem I would like to show you is this young girls needle work notebook, containing not only darning and cross stitch samples but beautiful hand-drawn sketches of the methods too, so exquisite
Here’s an example of one of the beutiful ink drawings in the notebook ans also some teeny weeny cross stitched name tags, so precise and wonderful
More beautiful darning
And finally this amazing patchwork quilt. Usually this type of patchwork uses patches that are similar in size to a 50p piece however the patches in this quilt were a lot smaller, each was the size of a finger nail. You can see the scale in the middle image where a hand is holding up the quilt. What an unusual piece, I’ve never seen anything like it
I would thoroughly recommend a visit to see Blaise House Museum, Helen was so helpful and even showed us their wonderful costume collection. They also have a lot of patchwork quilts but due to space are difficult to view. More details about their collection can be found here