Sunday, 5 August 2012

Stage 5

This part of the course instructs me to write something about it in my learning log, as well as considering putting some memory-joggers into my sketchbook.

I liked the inclusion of colour into this exercise, because I have not been very confident about using colour up till now, and it let me see that there isn't anything so frightening about it, and in fact it adds interest and liveliness to the thing. It made me start thinking about and looking forward to the colour exercises more (which I suppose is the point).

Again I at first felt rather restricted by the instructions at the same time as feeling they weren't specific enough, but once I had reminded myself that I was 'allowed' to follow my inclinations, I really enjoyed this section and discovered a whole set of new ways to produce marks and textures. Here are a few of them.

HERRINGBONE - wide - works well with different shades of the same colour close together. Looks a bit like Bargello work which has always appealed to me.

 - when worked closer and further away again it looks rather organic, like fish scales or the fold lines on skin.

 - very close together, it looks woven, could be used to make a plaited line, gives a more intense colour and the reflection of light from shiny threads used in this way is knobbled rather than smooth or linear.

CRETAN STITCH - there seemed to be a bit more variety of shapes to be had from this stitch. Close together it makes a neat rope-like good covering of the fabric. Wider stitches in close rows are very attractive to me. They make ridges, fences, curved scales, and if arranged carefully squares or honeycomb shapes. I wondered if this would make a good 3D surface if i tried puckering it - something for future experimentation.

BLANKET STITCH - turned out neat and tidy however hard i tried to be random. It could be useful for shading along a line or edge. It catches the lightin one direction but not another.

CROSS STITCH - Smaller cross stitching makes the colour more intense, as does overlapping them. I tried using thick yarn in one direction and thin in the other, and it made some interesting unusual patterns like art deco or 1950s textiles. Depending on how I crossed the crosses, I could make zigzags or a woven look. Shading seemed particularly effective with cross stitch. I tried using them widely separated to make texture, but they became separate from each other in my perception when they were still quite close together, so it was not very effective.

FRENCH KNOTS - I think I need more practice doing these because they so often turned into circles rather than knots. I can see potential for rough knobbly textures, but I think it would need something else going on underneath in most things I made. I found that the size of the knot was more predictable than I expected from the type of yarn used.

SEEDING - I didn't do much of this because I have used it quite a lot before and think I know what I can use it for texturally.

I have a little time and I'm looking forward to having a go at some of my textures. This exercise has opened my mind to lots of other possibilities for doing so than I thought of at the beginning. I'm also more aware, after the mark-making exercises, that you can use several of these stitches together or on top of each other to get different and richer results.

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