From my Tutor Reports and recent OCA study days I have received some artists and designers names to research. What I have found about each is below.
In my work I try to use everyday easily obtained materials. Susan Collis also uses easily obtained materials but in a very different way. Collis takes very expensive materials such as white gold, turquoise, onyx and rare woods and transforms them into everyday items.
From first look they appear to be screws left attached to walls or dust sheets left behind after an exhibition. On looking again the viewer sees that the item is not as it seems. The marks on the dust sheet are in fact hand stitched embroidery and the paint marks on the floor could be a mother-of-pearl inlay.
These items reward further investigation. Only then can the item be fully appreciated as the crafted item that it in-fact is.
Bowers work doesn’t start with a concept or visual inspiration but is driven by material experiments, construction techniques or material combinations.
Work is formed from many small pieces, held together to form wearable items. Many of them are very shiny and have much fringing and due to the nature of the connections used to hold everything together there are some areas that are transparent or areas of the formed surface that can be seen through.
There is something quite Sci-Fi to some of these pieces.
Explores colour and pattern. The process area of this website is very interesting as it doesn’t show a pristine studio where everything has been arranged neatly in rows and colour coded. There are photographs of messy shelves and walls with things pinned to them and even some very painted hands. This is very reassuring. We are all working in whatever space we have and we can’t all be neat and tidy all the time. Some might be, I’m not. It was nice to see this warts-and-all approach to showcasing a studio.
As to the work produced there was some very interesting pieces here. fold, unfold, fly is a table-cloth where the lines folded in to the cloth have been highlighted using colour. Tablecloth folds are usually ironed out so to highlight them is a nice feature. I bet the cloth is still ironed flat though.
Colour Diary Japan is also an interesting idea. It documents the colour combinations seen on Japanese buildings over a two-week trip. These each occupy a page of a book in a similar presentation for each combination.
This sort of document could provide inspiration for future work, but is also an interesting way to record research.
There were also some embroideries that caught my eye. They had a simple composition but the colours used in each were selected using the roll of some dice. These chose the colours and the shade of each. This method takes some of the conscious selection of colour away and might result in some unexpected combinations.
There was one project that really caught my eye here and that was the Basket Weaving Project. The weaves used to make baskets were broken down to their constituent parts and then screen printed on to silk.
These printed fabrics were then refashioned back in to bags and vessels, similar in size and shape to the baskets the weaves were taken from.
I particularly liked the Light Filters. These window coverings have three or four layers of fabric on each unit. By moving the layers different effects can be achieved. Also the position of light, in-front or behind the fabric, can give even more effects.
Many of these units are made up of linear stitched fabrics. One of which very much reminded me of the work of Claire Benn, viewed recently at the Festival of Quilts.
There were also some images of samples made by Schuurman. These are not finished pieces but show how the correct presentation of samples can elevate them to more interesting items.
At the OCA study day in Macclesfield one of the pieces that caught all of our attention was by Debbie Lyddon. It was a series of pieces of tarpaulin, wire had been stitched in to it, then the whole piece had been soaked in seawater. This had rusted the wire to a deep yellow and had left salt crystals attached to the surface of the tarpaulin in a random arrangement.
After a little digging I found an article on TextileArtist.org where Lyddon details the process she uses from drawing to the finished item.
This highlights how drawing and a limited palette of colours and materials has focused Lyddons work in to the items she is now producing.
I also came across some other interesting items, the sketchbook pages for each are below.