Saturday, 28 February 2015

Sandy Leaves


Some time ago I saw a piece about an artist making pictures by thread painting on dissolvable fabric, then mounting them on board.  She used pins or nails to hold the pieces in place, such that they had a 3D shape, and the shadows of the work created the image as much as the thread.  Sadly, I've forgotten her name, but the thought stayed in my mind, "how could I do this just using thread and fabric?"

This is my first attempt, using leaves sewn with a sandy coloured thread, mounted on a quilted sandwich.  In the detailed photograph I hope you can see how I have tried to achieve the effect.
The thread work was done on dissolvable fabric, then mounted onto a small, specially made and shaped, block of polystyrene.  Then it was washed to remove the fabric and allowed to dry with a domed shape.  After it was dried I attached it to the background, then added beads to hold the dome up.  It has worked reasonably well, but I need to think the sewn shapes through more, to get more detail in the shadows.
In the second detail photo I have tried to light the piece so you can see the shadows, but I feel they are too puny - the lines need to be thicker to get the effect I want.  I'm still thinking of making a bigger piece using this technique, but unless I can find an inspiring idea for the shadow work, then I'm not sure it is worth the effort.

In the meantime, I'm enjoying a long break in New Zealand - and hopefully blogging about my experiences on lindaforeytravel.blogspot.com

18 comments:

  1. This is such an interesting technique and one I would like to try at some stage. I like the design where you have used soft stitching in the alternative blocks offsetting the structure of the blocks with the thread painted leaves. I am constantly inspired by everyone who uses different techniques in their work as they do, and always feel I should jump out of my comfort zone and try different things. Thank you for sharing this technique with us.

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  2. Very interesting, Linda. I appreciate all the thread work in this piece. Do you have any stiffener on the thread after the dissolvable fabric was rinsed away? If not, the beads are doing a good job.

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    1. I actually tried not to rinse out all the dissolvable film, but left some in as a stiffener for when it dried.

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  3. I'm glad you included the angled perspectives on this piece, Linda, so we can fully appreciate its 3D quality. The combination of grey and tan is very elegant, a good match for the leaf motif.

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  4. Love it, Linda. I know who you are referring to - a young embroidery artist who lives in Australia but can't remember her name either. Love what you have done and the play between the stiff 3D leaves and the alternate simple stitched leaves. If you want the 3D ones to be more stiff you can paint dissolved soluble fabric onto the piece. The design of the leaves is very effective.

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  5. Love the technique ... I agree lots of potential. Very cleverly done. Catching shadows is not easy and particularly in this small scale ... bigger might offer more under the correct lighting.

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  6. Hi Linda,
    I am currently experimenting with thread work inspired by the same young lady! Meredith Woolnough http://www.meredithwoolnough.com.au/gallery.html There was a link to a you-tube video about some craft show in Australia where the presenter motorbike chap when to her studio and interviewed her.
    I am doing trees. At this point not worrying about the shadow part, just glad to find a water soluble that 'solubles' straight away. It is the fabric/fleece type - fleece I presume because it looks similar to garden fleece. The film sort of stuff takes a lot of fussing and you still can't get all the melted goo out.
    Sandy in Bracknell

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    1. Anyway, I meant to say, I like the way you have applied the technique!
      Sandy

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    2. Thanks for the link Sandy - I too was struggling to remember her name.

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  7. You've done a great job producing the leaves on the water soluble. Wen Redmond is producing holographic images and I wonder if her method for separating the two fabrics would work with this.

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  8. The colour combination is very effective and also the contrast with the white. So delicate!!

    We use a number of products from Sulky in the Solvy line of washaways from fleece to transparent and there are a whole list to choose from. Is this what you are using? They are quite gooey but it is good to know that one could dissolve them as a liquid stiffener for further applications.

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    1. I'm pretty sure it was a Solvy product, but I'm away from my studio until early April, so can't go and check. I had to hold it in a frame while stitching which could make a bigger piece quite tricky.

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  9. I have used Solvy but found that Floriani Wet n Gone Regular works best for me. It dissolves very quickly and easily. It isn't the film type and is very easy to work with. I have also used Madeira Avalon Plus with success.
    There is a new product (well to me it's new) called Terial Magic (http://terialarts.com/terial-magic/ ). It is for use on fabric so not what we are talking about here, but it makes the fabric really stiff for the embroidery - and then you can rinse it away. Might be handy to know about...

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  10. I'm as impressed by your stitched leaves as the sculpted ones - you obviously know their form very well.
    Enjoy the rest of your adventures!

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  11. Great job Linda, I love how you are always experimenting with new techniques. Happy travels!

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  12. The thread painted leaves are really delicate and I like how you have contrasted them with the quilted leaves. Enjoy your break;

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  13. i just love working with this dissolving product. have used it a few times with exciting results
    thanks for the different angled photos linda - you have done a great job with this technique and colour

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  14. i just love working with this dissolving product. have used it a few times with exciting results
    thanks for the different angled photos linda - you have done a great job with this technique and colour

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