Sunday, 26 May 2013

The Whole Story

One day a lovely girl was born.
She was the colour of fresh snow.
 With hair as dark black as ebony.
Her little lips as red as blood.
Her jealous stepmother didn't like her much.
She tried many ways to kill her.
But a passing prince kissed her better.

Making of 'As'...


   For these four 'As's I chose to use the Braille symbol for as. There is a braille symbol for each letter of the alphabet, but there are also some short words that have their own symbol, such as 'as'.

   I started by making some braille blobs out of oven hardening Fimo. I did however make these all fractionally different in size and shape so I'm  not sure of my over-sized 'as's would actually be ledgible....
   I then affixed these fimo blobs to small pieces of foam board using a strong glue, which although melts the center of foam board does not affect the outside. Phew!

Once I had made the four 'as's I then went about finishing them in similar, but differing ways. All four were started with a knotted chord. my knot of choice was a Chinese button which results in two ends, I used these ends to conceal the foam board edges. I did however accidentally stab through the front of one of the foam board 'as's when sewing on the chord edge so I had to start again...           
     The final touch for all four was a thin strip of white sheepskin, which acts as a common thread throughout the four differing 'As's.

Making of 'Dark'...

  'Dark' was a word that evolved as I progressed through the process.
   I started out with the intention of making just a semi-circular brim/visor.

I started out by cutting the brim shape from stiff large scale plastic canvas which I couched rolled wool tops and chunky cotton yarn.

As I worked through this project I realised that a full hat would be much better to make that just a visor so I went about making a hat half, which I did by drawing out a paper template, testing the design of the sections and then making up a denim version.                                                      

   It then transpired that a semi-circular brim wouldn't  fit on the hat front, so I cut out some add on corners that I affixed in a sturdy way using fine wire, so as to give the illusion of having been made perfectly without any mistakes in the design...

    To make the letters I bundles some cotton yarn together, knotting the end and then binding in, all the while bending into the shape of the desired letter.

-Done, nice and shady!

Making of 'Red'...



    Inspired by a barber shop front lacking only those stripy, spiny things they have on the wall outside the doors, that and the large amount of red and white striped fabric I came to find in my possession.

   The core of this piece is made from light weight foam board, trimmed along the edges to create a 45degree angle to provide a snug fit when its time to construct the box like center.

The next step in the plan is to cover this foam board box structure with the fabric which I embroidered on the multihead embroidery machine. To use this machine you need to first create a digital file to programme the multihead to embroider.

  To make 'red' hangable I threaded a length of red chord through the hollow at going through the center of the foam board core and through the gap in the folded fabric.
   I couldn't get my head around a decorative knot for this one (as I am only beginning on my voyage into the unknown world of knotting) so I had to resort to fashioning my own version of a knot.

The very final touch for the barber-shop-front-esque word was to give it that distinctive scalloped edge. Having chosen a fabric that frays, and without the option of hemming, I had to affix an adhesive backing onto the fabric. Unfortunately I didn't have any self adhesive backing and had to improvise by way of double sided sticky tape and some finer fabric, which I then cut into shape following a paper guide I made earlier.                                                                                              

Making of 'Girl'...



'Girl' was a particularly fun word to make because its so tough to hand-sew leather that doing so feels like such a triumph!

My usual approach when creating a textile piece like this is to first make a paper template which I then lay onto the fabric to cut and hold in place with masking tape. This was, as I found out a bad idea with this particular slightly patent pink leather peeled with the masking tape, making the surrounding areas not quite so nice, oops!


     My approach was to sew a little bit of the orange jersey into a padded tube-like thing and then to sew that short length around the edge of the pink leather using a visible back stitch. I mainly did it this way so that I could feel like I was achieving something. Otherwise I would have finished all the orange edging but without really finishing anything....
  With the letter 'i' I was faced with the challenge of how to attach the dot above the main body of the letter. For this I chose to space the leather pieces by meeting the orange edging in the middle and attaching both parts of the 'i' together in this way.

The very final step was to conceal my stitching with a nice little bit of pink felt cut to just below the size each letter so as not to protrude beyond the edge. Lovely as the pink felt is, it was my plan for it to remain undetectable from the front, so that, apart from anyone looking at this and hearing my confession, no one will know of my need to hide messy work...                                                                                                 


Making of 'But'...



 When I had finally decided on the style of font that I wanted to use for this disagreeable word I found some large scale plastic canvas type aida material with a square grid and large holes.       
When I had cut the letters form the plastic canvas it was then time to embroider them with the colour of the sunset...                                                                                                                                           
   It was also time for some chocolate as it had been along day I needed it and it serves well as an incentive to work.                                                                                                                                 
I used a rug making technique for the pink fringing along the bottom edge of the letters to add a bit of variety to the overall texture of the piece.                                                                  
Now all that remained to do was to join the letters together into a word. For this I thought that the same stiff plastic canvas sewn into place would do the job nicely, however it did not, so I resorted to reinforcing this strip with a piece of clear Perspex. Then I looped some yarn, attached it to the 'b' and 't', and used detached buttonhole stitch (one of my very favourites) to disguise the join.                       
Yay, ready for hanging!

Making of 'Black'

   My textiley representation of the word 'black' is based on the Chinese character for the colour black. Well as far as I know that is....the nice lady in the Chinese take-away around the corner wrote it down for me when I asked her and I believe what she said!


I began by making little black jersey fingers  stuffed with wadding. I folded the jersey round a sausage of wadding, pinned it in place and sewed it using ladder stitch. I used a similar method for the little jersey dots.

Once all the black jersey fingers were complete
all that remained was to construct the pieces into the shape of the symbol and to figure out a way of suspending the bottom line of dots in thin air just below the overall form.

I found that the perfect solution was to use a fine strip of white sheepskin as cloud type thing in which I could suspend the dots, which I affixed with the use of one or two small stitches through the dot and around a bundle if fur.