Assignment 5: Playing with fragility

I read an article in a Textile journal – I am unable to reference it here unfortunately as cannot find it again. It was asking the question that my tutor has previously asked me in a feedback report – to consider what ‘surface’ really means. What is material? Even in her last report ( I had to send my work off for this assignment before getting it finished in order to meet the deadline) – there is the question that maybe I could even use paper in some of my pieces.

With this in mind, I have returned to experimenting with dissolvable film, and using light fabrics such as muslin, netting, organza ribbon and tissue and parchment papers.

As I have worked through the project, I am becoming interested in the tension between strength and fragility. I think the objects themselves explore this:

  • the crystals can seen fragile, shiny, delicate – and yet they are a hard rock!
  • the copper bottle is strong but has also been bashed and hammered into shape.
  • the fish leather in it’s original state as fish skin could have been torn and broken and yet through the tanning process has become deceptively strong.

As I turn to making small ‘fragments’ I pin them to larger base fabrics. Thinking about how to attach them, How to put them together.

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Assignment 5: Moving towards resolving

Having tutor feedback,  I am getting the idea to make sure I communicate clearly my intentions with what I am working with almost to exaggerate everything.
So for instance many of my samples are themselves ‘fragments’. They are off cuts from other pieces of work. I share a studio space with others, one of whom make costumes for reenactments. She has bags of bits of linen and felts.
As such I don’t even think about the ‘base’ piece itself, sometimes the size has already been dictated.
Responding to the point that I must emphasise the qualities of my samples; I already started sanding and heavily fraying some of my edges this afternoon. Many of my early visual responses I described as unfinished, suggested, trailing.. I don’t feel therefore that the final samples all necessitate strong highly defined borders.
I also went back to drawing to play around with ideas.

From my earlier experiments with stitch, yarns and netting concepts, I went back to the drawing board and played with composition ideas.

My tutor also advised I consider how to create fine pieces and then find ways to join them together. She suggested I look in to the fagotting technique which I did and experimented a little with in my book.

Quite soon I remembered the work I had done in assignment 2 with dissolvable film and immediately investigated the possibility of using this technique in a more refine way.

My tutor did point out that my work was perhaps a little tentative and stylised. I agree with this. I feel like I have to push for resolution if I want everything finished in time to send off by mid September.  However I feel like I totally restricted myself into a corner by stylising. There’s a fine balance I am discovering between playing and experimenting and then refining work to a more resolved state!
 I hope that as I work through the capsule collection, this opens up more and shows ore experimental risks.