Work done for City and Guilds Level 3 Certificate in Embroidery with Distant Stitch.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Certificate Module 4 Chapter 11 "Make a Special Book Structure Related to Media" - first thoughts

In choosing my colour scheme based on objects I picked up while beachcombing on a family picnic, the beach and the sea seems to have crept in quite unintentionally to all my work.

 It reminded me of a poem I often used to read to my Primary 6 and 7 pupils when I was a teacher.

'maggy and milly and molly and may'
maggy and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach (to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn't remember her troubles, and

milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles: and

may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it's always ourselves we find in the sea

e e cummings

When thinking about what I wanted to do for my special book structure, I thought I'd like to try to interpret e e cummings'  poem.  (He had his own eccentric approach to punctuation.)  The poem makes us think of the character of each girl and how her character influences how she reacts to the objects on the beach.  I thought it would be interesting to make a book to represent each girl and the object she found.   I had a very exciting tutorial with Sian at the Summer School when we had a real brainstorming session, discussing how I could portray each girl and how I could present the books in a way that would link them.

Since coming home, I've been thinking of how I could do this and how I could also incorporate some of the exciting new techniques we learned about at Summer School.

I was afraid I might forget about some of the ideas and so I started by having a brainstorming session, taking a sheet of paper for each girl and writing down words and ideas that came into my mind when I considered her part of the poem.




I'm feeling quite excited about this project and looking forward to exploring each book and how to link them.

I've been playing around with portraying each object through embroidery, at the moment quite literal interpretations, but some of my brainstorming inspires me to try to portray some more abstract qualities - should be fun!  I've also, when working through Chapter 10 and the various book structures I've been trying out, tried to portray the sea and the beach in general.

4.10.9 A beach-inspired sketchbook, bound using coptic stitch, which will enable it to lie flat.

A small pocket sized sketchbook, filled with pastel paper separated by tracing paper to mimise smudging.  Each folded pamphlet is stitched by hand and the pamphlets are joined by threading a machine embroidered ribbon through the stitches on the spines.  The ribbon was then glued down to the covers.  This idea could be developed further.

Fabric shapes trapped between adhesive soluble fabric on back and transparent soluble fabric on the front.  Machine stitched and then soluble fabric dissolved in warm water.  This is one of my samples from Summer School.

Another sample from Summer School.  We used "gloop", made from 10% PVA and 90% cellulose.  This was painted on a sheet of plastic before threads and  pieces of fabric were laid down (making sure they all linked) and secured by more gloop.  Once dry, the pieces had adhered to each other and could be peeled off as a new lacy fabric.  I thought mine looked like sea creatures, perhaps jellyfish.  I had some stiff paper which I had coloured in sea colours.  I glued on strips of coloured tissue paper using transparent blue Mod Podge, which I also used to give a top coat.  This, I have found, gives an almost leather-like texture to the paper.  I intend to use this piece as a book cover.

These are very early days.  I will have lots more samples to make and also lots of different book structures to explore.  However, as part of my resolution to devote more time to my Distant Stitch work and to work and post regularly, I wished to record my progress so far.  I feel as though I have taken the first tentative step on a really exciting journey!  

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