Thursday, 18 August 2022

Chapter 7 : Tactile Contrasts

 So here's an opportunity to take another look at my photographs and develop and extend ideas the from the previous few chapters.  It will be interesting to see how multiples of an idea might look, in some cases as a network, in others how they might appear layered.  This is just what I've already noticed countless times in my field.

So, my plan is to show all sixteen samples on my Sampler and then in pairs briefly describe what I was trying to do and how successfully the idea worked.  I have included quite a number of techniques from Caroline Bartlett's Workshop.  Individual samples are shown from left to right, top to bottom.


Row One:



 Here are spirals in different sizes to create an undulating surface.  As the threads are pulled up creases appear within and between the circles.  The threads are left to lie over them.  Below that sample is a narrower and more tightly spiralled version of an edge idea and unlike the version above the elements are detatched.


The first example using ideas from Caroline Bartlett's Workshop.  Beads have been wrapped with thread in silk organza, then steamed.  After the beads were removed each bubble was stitched on top with  running stitches between the bubbles. Further stitching would have created a more interesting as well as a greater contrast between bubbles and the background surface.


Here is an illusion of extreme flatness, the thread and fabric being stretched diagonally.

Row Two:


Another CB experiment and one I felt was a great success.  Triangles of silk organdie are wrapped round plastic tubing threaded with wire and curved into shape.  Steaming again fixes them and delightful translucent pods are the result.


A further CB idea: organdie tucked and stitched at varying intervals
 and gather to create a different undulating surface. The separate pods contrast with the integrated surface.


Still a surface, but this time opaque, pleated and densely stitched, the holes possibly imitating the light through the hedge bottom.


Here is "cracked ice": stiff, transparent, plastic the seams arranging themselves in mountain folds.

Row Three:


7:11 b

 This sample is the one that has caused me the most trouble.  I became fixated on trying to create my hedgerow by folding the fabric, drawing from my sketches and then cutting round them.  Whether in Vilene (b) or, organdie and organza (a), it still looks as if I'm in a fairytale wood with the proportions all wrong.

This, though pleated as in 7:11, is dense with no apertures.


Here are flakes of chiffon cut using a soldering iron, light, translucent with irregular frayed edges -- a barely there feel to the surface.


Here in contrast is the ground, dense, nearly opaque, patterned: undulating scrim looped through with silk.


Row Four:

Long stretched out, soft fabric rolled,wrapped in thread and knotted.  Here are a cluster of individual shapes.  They stretch between and beyond each other


Muslin randomly stitched and drawn into a soft puff -- more CB.  Another version of soft, cloud-like rather than insidious.


Strips of organza wrapped round cocktail sticks ( CB again) cut to length like blackthorn stems and spikes: hard, unrelenting in their threat and reaching out.


And finally, a translucent tucked and seamed landscape.  Instead of stretching upwards. like the black thorn it lies along the ground.

*     *     *

Scanning my samples I can see a good range of tactile qualities: the soft and the crisp , the hard and the cushiony, the smooth and the rough, the delicate and the strong, the concentrated and the thinned.  I think a tactile quality is the result of what the fingers feel and the eyes see, not feel alone.  Furthermore, it is how light inter-plays with any material used: its transparency, translucency and opaqueness, and how the light is reflected, or not, by that material.

These tactile samples try to evoke the qualities of landscape, understood in terms of a sense of dimension:how the samples appear to lie along, be vertical, have depth.  They have life and movement, seeming to twine round, enclose, open up, push through. A sense of place is challenging to create, close looking  and careful attention to materials are necessary to do just that.

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