Project 2 Developing Your Marks – Stage 6 Using thread and yarns to create textures

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I had a bit of a doodle plying bits and bobs to make my own yarns:  I used a variety of knitting yarns, raffia, strips of gingham and jacquard woven fabric, ribbons, lurex lace, wool pencil rovings, ric-rac braid and stockings.  I’m not sure that many of the samples look particularly sophisticated but I do like the pink hairy knitting yarn and lurex lace (bottom right).

I decided on using this image for developing my final sample:

I produced this on the inside of a brown envelope using wax crayons and ironing on some plastic net which had held garlic.  I like the effect the scraps of regular geometric net give to the otherwise organic design.

I cropped and enlarged small areas using the computer and came up with this image to work with:  I love the violet and iron red of this image.  The smooth pink “dogstooth” shapes on the left are the layer of melted plastic which was white originally.  When I printed it out the printer made even more of the reds and yellows than this image shows and so my choices of yarn are much bolder.   I really like the way that there is a slight shadow beneath the edges where the plastic meets the paper.  It gives it a kind of outline.  I also like the layered effect of the application of different colours of wax crayon over the paper.

Here is a photograph of my collection of yarns and other bits, along with my wrapped card showing the balance of colour proportions:  I also made up some plarn (plastic yarn).  I love going to the Polish grocers locally.  In some countries in Europe Walkers crisps are known as “Lays” and there are a whole bunch of different flavours that we don’t get on the normal supermarket shelves.  One of the Polish flavours is paprika and the “sharing” size packet is called “TV PAKA”.  I have this image in my head of the family sitting around their television watching the football and crunching away …  It just so happens that the paprika packet had just the right amounts of orangey reds and yellows so I added it to the mix by stripping it, folding and sewing down the centre with a straight machine stitch.  I had seen this technique used in pieces at the Brunel Broderers exhibition in Frome and couldn’t wait to try it.

For my final sample I chose the linen-mix fabric as a background which meant I could easily use some of the thicker yarns and threads without too much trouble.  I secured it in a 10 inch embroidery hoop which is why it retains the circular outline.  I used a great variety of yarns and threads: tapestry yarn, embroidery silks and cottons, woollen and synthetic knitting yarns, strips of lurex fabric and stockings.  I also appliquéd on some vintage fabric which has a gold thread weft and some of the plastic yarn.  I used blanket and fly stitch, chain stitch, running and seed stitches, herringbone stitch and some french and bullion knots. I also found some upholstery braid in a similar shade and added that because of the texture – perhaps I should have ripped it and used the threads to embroider with!

I am very pleased with the resulting sample, although, again I feel I got distracted from trying to reproduce the textures accurately.  The colours sing and the overall effect is of a very rich and dense piece.

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