Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Developing my design continued

Looking back at what I've done so far in the light of my over-heavy design, I wondered if the coursework instructions could help direct me. I had thought about the part where it says 'A strong but simple ideas is often more effective than an overcrowded and unnecessarily complicated composition.'

I went back to the feeling that I wanted to convey, that related to the sound of cicadas and the wing pattern. The feeling is clear, sharp, and with upward movement. The overall impression needs to be of lots and lots of little complex things contributing to an upward sweep of vibrations. The colour impression is the colour and moistness of grass in the Spring. The problem with my first drawing of the whole thing was the lumpy bits with dark greens on.

So I thought about using only sound wave images.
But I want the whole thing to have an upward movement, like the direction of the cicadas' song around you as you walk through them.

I rotated the silk painted images, and squeezed them to see how they would be within wing sections. 

The wing sections themselves need to be slimmer and more wing-like in shape.

The colours should be dictated by the colours in the green cicada photo, with plum contrasts, perhaps beads, perhaps embroidered.

I made some samples to try out some ways of doing this.

These three little shapes were painted onto green polyester gauze to give them a green translucent background.

The paints I used are, from left to right, Pebeo textile paints, silk paints, and Pebeo translucent fabric paints.

I thought the left hand one turned out most interesting, although the colours were better in the right hand one.

 Then I had a look at how each of them changed with wire 'veins'.

This one was OK

This one looked bad. The colours were interestingly blotchy, so could be useful in another context but not for this piece.

This one didn't work either.

At this point I decided that I would revert to using the silk paints on silk as above, in sound wave shapes, for the 'wings'.

SO I took the first one and tried sewing it onto the frame using yellow machine embroidery thread, of the same shade as in one of the cicada pictures I had found. Although this looks quite good, it doesn't give the impression I had wanted, of a single line of yellow. And not surprisingly the machine needle broke on the wire.

I also tried various ways of sewing the wires onto the fabric with embroidery stitches, and I think the best one is a zig-zag stitch in a more olive green colour that is a couple of shades darker than the fabric.

I also tried machine embroidery of the geometrical sound waves onto the fabric.

This sample is rather messy but showed me that it might look quite good. It certainly has the clear light directional lines I am after. However, this would be a bit too fussy if I did it with the painted sound waves so I don't think I will be using this.

This photo shows me trying out the effect of different layers of green on top of the silk-painted sound waves. I think it looks interesting and will allow me to make a graduated look to the wings.

Finally, I found some beads with the iridescent look of insect eyes in the right colours, and tried fixing them in pairs at the ends of some of the wires.

During this reassessment process, I completed the wire support for the collar, and realised that it needed to be curved on itself at the back in order to allow the vertical wires to stand a little away from the back of the neck of the wearer.

After making these samples, and thinking about my final piece, I drew a picture of what I hope it will look like at the end.

Impression of final collar. This is only the left half of it, the right being a mirror image.
The 'wing' at the front sits on the chest, and the wires with pairs of 'eyes' stick up in a
spray around the back of the head.  This photo doesn't show it very well, but there is a
section of transparent lines above the fabric parts joining the lower parts of the wires and
supporting a grass green sound wave.
While drawing this in my sketchbook, I saw that it would be better for the sound waves on the front 'wing' to be vertical compared to the body of the person wearing it, rather than along the line of the wing as in the drawing.  

Other things I have decided about this collar which are not in this drawing are
1. I have found a way to record and play a minute of cicada sound, that will be played when the collar is put on.
2. An  idea for a title - 'The Grass is Singing'. 

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