Manipulation of materials. I used discharge to strip away colour, mostly from several dyed linens, plus an African print. I was intrigued to find what colours lay behind the dye and felt this fabric manipulation technique would be appropriate to the source and concept of some how stripping away, laying bare – and lend itself to the colour palette.
I also punctured some tissue, not knowing how I might incorporate this into the yarn making.
I also considered my selection of material and yarn closely: unspun wool, linen, organza, tissue paper, and a light denim
I enjoyed working intricately (surprised myself), and recognised the need to do this, or how this related to the source inspiration.
I wondered as I did this how I would ‘re-construct’. I found combining the yarns through a weaving in and out through one of them could work and create a delicate look.
I have used youtube videos to teach myself macrame. I enjoyed learning and sicovering the techniques – seemed to help ‘anchor’ the explorations and inspired me to revisit some of the earlier techniques (for instance working from the neutral fabric)
I briefly investigated knotting and braiding and plaiting. I made one braiding experiment which was very effective. I used very fine yarns, however because of this the knots/braid was very fine so it didn’t become a large (long) sample yarn design.
I didn’t want to purse French knitting or crochet as I liked the idea of not using another instrument or tools.
I was really resistant to the initial exercises in Project 1 of the assignment but things finally clicked in to place moving on to Project 2 when I started working on responses to the colour work from the Old Masters got me much more interested.
I realise I haven’t taken enough photos of my processes here, but will reflect on what I learnt with this exercise:
From the original braiding techniques, I found that different outcomes could be achieved by changing the texture and fineness of the yarn I chose. For instance in my macrame research, it is more common to use thick rope, jute etc. The technique and look took on a very different outcome when I applied using wool and a finer cotton.
I found that the knotting and braiding and macrame work suited the Rubens’ painting as it highlighted an intricate quality that resonated with the painting itself.
I aimed to accentuate the richness and warmth of the colours and the fluidity of the robes by using the strong colour combination of the wools.
The process was time consuming. There is a lot of room for further experimentation. For instance I began to ad-hoc one of the macrame knots by adding touches of finer yarns, knotting them into the braid.
I would like to have investigated further different possible combinations of colour and yarn with more knot techniques.
I would have liked to have used ribbons and cut up pieces of fabric and investigated the plastic bag further too.
Following my investigation into these techniques, particularly macrame, I returned to the earlier exercise in Project 1, using my neutral palette to inspire some macrame work.
I used my own spun wool again, plus some raffia I had picked up in a charity shop.