Final Piece additions / Primary research

From idea to design

All my felt pieces where inspired by the images I had taken of my local woodland & Cumbria. Over the walls of my plinths I wanted to include the idea of stacked mushrooms growing beside it. For this, I would have to add wire to the felt in order for it to stay structured and remain horizontal. I attached these felt pieces with staples. Underneath I added wire which I wove into the wool to make the felt more stable. In my opinion this is the most successful pet of my final piece , I think it looks really effective as it looks as if they’re growing out of the side. I used cream and green wool that I blended into each other as often when you see mushrooms in nature they are turning white.

The images I took of the growth in Cumbria by the side of a rotting tree trunk fed my inspiration for my felt pieces. This growth had appeared near our caravan over night almost ! It is a really strong structure and has accents of bright colour yellows and oranges whilst it’s still relatively new to its environment. All through my felt making I have carefully selected colours to reflect those that you find in nature. The way that the mushrooms are layered gives a really interesting look to the piece. I wanted to recreate this within my final piece.

What was successful about making this out of felt is that felt is easy to manipulate. I gathered the felt using stitch to make it appear to have folds and creases like the mushrooms have in life. Using the wire allowed me to manipulate the shaping of each piece.

Setting up my exhibition

 

Setting up the show I tried many different arrangements I wasn’t happy with the first arrangement I tried as the sides of the plinths were too bare and I didn’t feel like it looked that effective. Also working and setting up in the studio was quite challenging due to other students setting up at times I didn’t feel as though I had the space to work effectively and do my piece justice. I waited at times for the studio to become quieter in order for me to work more effectively by having the space to be able to look and reflect on my work. By reflecting on my work it allowed me to see that the positioning wasn’t doing my piece justice.

I then explored with moving the plinths and creating smaller & and bigger spacing in between. After trying out different compositions I decided to place the plinths closer together like the giants causeway were each hexagon column is next to each other. I then decided with working on the left section and building it up. I put all the felt pieces in colour order I wanted to show the contrast between the colours starting from brown and blending to green. As I started building up areas of felt I took photos and stepped away from the piece to see what was working effectively. I used masking tape to attach the felt to begin with this allowed me to easy manipulate the piece and change the placement of the individual pieces. I then added the weave to the plinth and by adding wire it allowed me to easily change the shape of the piece allowing it to look more natural. I placed felt pieces over parts of the weave in order for the separate textile pieces to work in harmony together. I think this worked really effectively as the two do work together due to the carefully selected colours and shape I chose when making the pieces.

The felt pieces that I had made that where 3D I stuffed with bubble wrap and carded wool so that they hold their shape more. I then added yarns to this when I was happy with their positioning and made it look as though they were spilling out. By using brightly coloured yarns in some of the 3D pieces it allows the viewers eye to be attracted to different areas of the piece.

I then using filament wire hung my muslin piece above the tallest plinth and manipulated into looking as if it was coming out of the piece.

Once I was happy with the full piece I added felt beads to areas as decoration but also to look at though they where growing out of sections. Some of the larger felt beads I stitched to felt pieces to lee them in place. Others I used velcro in order to keep the beads in place but also make it discrete to give a high finish for the exhibition.

After much manipulation and experimentation with composition I am really happy with the final outcome. Seeing it in the exhibition space gives the piece the space it needs to be understood and looked at. If there was more time I still feel that the piece has a lot of potential to be explored in different environments , I feel although my project is coming to an end it still has potential and over summer I plan to try out the ideas I have.

Upscaling felt for final piece

For my final piece I am using felt as my main material which I have bought online from World of Wool. I have bought different amounts of the different colours my main colour is a cream for the base layer I have 800g of this colour I have bought a 100g of shades of greens , browns and greys. I have also bought yarns and Saari silk from etsy and ebay. All my receipts are in the back of my sketchbook.

I am making my own felt pieces that I will construct from mohair wool fiber and will assemble them over the plinths to make them appear as if they are growing. I have been mainly inspired to make this piece by my interest in the natural world and how the natural world grows all around us without us really noticing.

I have been inspired by Antony Gormley after reading the book LAND his figures each day are ever changing due to weathering, erosion, the sea etc. I am fascinated by the way our natural world attacks what we put out there. I am interested in moss and lichen and the ever changing woodlands and this is mainly what my piece will be about. I have sampled some small 3d felt pieces and some flat pieces they will be attached to larger pieces and I will build layers in order to create the look I am desiring. However, in order to complete this look I need to go bigger and work bigger. Felt when making it naturally shrinks it is a quite unpredictable material to work with and you can never guarantee  the size it will be after wet felting.

The process

Making felt is time consuming firstly you use hot soapy water this is so the felt fibres attach together it makes the bonds strong. You need bubble wrap a woven cloth and towel. I start by selecting the colours used for the chosen piece I have used a lot of materials to mould around such as bottles, cups bowls to create shape. I have been working on my felt pieces for 2 weeks. I start by laying the fibers down over the shape and then adding yarns and materials to add additional colour and texture. Then adding soapy water and then you start by rubbing the felt using the cloth once it begins to mould you then roll and apply harder pressure to the felt so it “felts up”. Each piece roughly takes between 15-20 minutes.

Adding to the process

I plan to manipulate the felt after using the embellishing machine to add fibers and yarns to the felt. Also I plan to gather some of the felt adding pleats and folds. At the beginning of the project I looked at Issy Miyake the designer uses pleates and folds and you can see the correlation in the garments and the natural world. By adding pleats and folds to some of my felt pieces it will add more texture a better surface quality and give the effect of underneath a mushroom / tree bark.

What problems have I faced?

When making the felt it can be really tiring as you have to use a lot of pressure and rubbing of the felt to make it work. Additionally, some of the pieces have not held in position of a 3d form this is because I did not felt it correctly by molding it round the shape at the beginning. To rectify this, I have added starch by making a starch solution with my technician using a powder and adding water by putting the felt piece back around the shape it was meant to be and wetting with the solution. The starch has made the felt solid so that it stays in shape and holds and looks really effective.

Weave for final piece

 

Screen Shot 2017-06-01 at 15.21.06

My deadline is quickly approaching I am now thinking about my final piece and beginning to create this after lots of experimenting I have decided the two main processes I am going to use are 3d and 2d felting and creating a new weave. I have already got a small weave I made on the loom from earlier in the project I plan to put wire into areas of the weave to give a more 3d feel. Due to the size of my plinths I want to create a larger weave using the looms that I will be able to use to drape around the plinths to make it appear as if it is growing. To begin to create my new weave I have negotiated with my textiles technician on Tuesday morning to help set up the loom and create the warp. I know from my first weave that a loom takes a full day and a half to set up so I will definitely be weaving by Thursday.

In this weave design I want to focus more on using yarns and looking at colour I want to add areas of bright colour to reflect the small areas of bright colours found in nature that are amongst darker tertiary colours. My felt pieces will be mainly greens and browns with areas of bright colour and I think this will look effective to have the two together. Going back to my research I found that bright colours are in nature but you have to isolate them to really notice them. Therefore, I don’t want to use too much vibrancy as this wouldn’t be realistic and wouldn’t reflect my findings.

Setting up the loom meant I had to measure the length I wanted my warp to be to cover the plinths this worked out at roughly over a meter. I used the weaving mill to create my warp and then starting pulling it through the loom and setting up. Each piece of the warp has to be individually threaded and this is why it is so time consuming but I knew it would worth it to achieve the look I am aiming for. I also like the idea of my weave being less tightly packed so in this weave I didn’t beat the yarns down as hard leaving spacing to create transparency and more texture.

Finally, to finish my weave off I have tied the ends. I plan to put wire through the weave once all my felt pieces have been created and assemble over my plinths. Using wire will add more structure and make it appear more like growth.

James (a fad student) has kindly taken images for me I negotiated with him to make some time to help me get a good image for our show catalogue. I am really happy with my final image and I think it will link to my final piece really well.

Final Plinths

Final wood hexagons

After making a model of a hexagon plinth using cardboard I have decided to create my plinths out of MDF wood I have spoken to Jamie Holman and Bill our wood work technician and he suggested that MDF would be the cheapest and give me the quality that I was desiring.

I went to a local firm in Chorley called ASC negotiate a price on MDF wood I went with stencils of the sizes I would need cutting. They then cut the pieces of my plinths. Over the Easter Holidays I begun to construct them at home.

Unfortunately, they did not have the machinery to miter the edges on wood so that the side walls would fit perfectly together. So I had to come up with a solution in order to fit the sides together. Due to the sizes of the plinths some plinths were more difficult than others to make.

I started with the smallest one. I used a hot glue gun to attach some of the sides together. This worked however due to the weight of the wood on the larger plinths the glue would not hold long enough for me to nail the edges together. I wanted to work as professionally and neatly as possible I didn’t want them to look unfinished or unsuitable for my show.  I am really conscious about presentation and for my final show I wanted them to be as good as I could possibly make the. After buying the wood I started to panic and thought that they would never look good enough. After lots of thinking to help build the walls of the plinths on the inside I began to attach duct tape this held the walls together long enough for me to put the nails in. Even then there was still gaps between each piece due to the edges not lining up. To fix this problem I used quark I applied the quark to the edges and built it up in layers using water and my finger to smooth the quark. This worked really well and gave me really neat edges. Once all plinths where built I took them into college in the Easter Holidays. I then bought white matt emulsion from B&Q and began to paint them after 3 layers of paint they looked great and I am really pleased with them. I think the variation in their size is really effective and my felt work will look good growing over them.

Festival of Making

FESTIVAL OF MAKING

https://vimeo.com/216693230

10 min 54 into the video is the slot for my outfits I contributed to the festival of making.

For the festival of making the fashion and textiles pathway had a 20 minute runway slot. This involved me completing 3 outfits which would fit my theme of bold prints and wearable high street. This is an add on project to my Final Major and will not be my final piece. I wanted to be involved in the festival of making as it was such a great opportunity to get my work noticed and utilize the skills I have learned over the year.

As a result of it being advertised on social media and the radio there was a good turn out on the day. Subsequently as a result of me posting my work on my professional instagram “evelyn.creates: I got likes of fashion brands and “lazerian studio” who is a designer and maker and did the Chromatogram 3d visual representation of the art of manufacturing cardboard boxes at the festival of making.

On his instagram account he has 14.5k followers so this reached a broader audience. Additionally, to this the art director “Ylissa” from Vogue Paris liked my image. Using hashtags such as #festivalofmaking #design #surfacepattern.

To check out my instagram page where I post highlights of my work search : evelyn.creates

The only pieces I had made was the screen printed top, as a result I had to make a plain top to go with my digital printed skirt plus pants and a dress and accessories of digitally printed belts to tie all 3 pieces together.

I already had the design for my digital print using fabric provided by college and using a pattern I cut the pants and then used the over locker to construct. At this stage I was unsure on the size of the model so I added elastic to the pants and skirt so that they would fit any size. Due to making garments being relatively time consuming I have had to plan a few days to make and construct this time has been allocated wisely and I will have to begin to create my final piece along side in order to finish for my deadline on the 15/05/17.

In order to plan the show effectively we had to find models. My models all study at Blackburn college I had to negotiate for them to be at King Georges Hall on the 6th of May at 9 ready to practice and get hair and make up done. Previously to this we had all done a walk through in the week to see the space and to understand the timings of the show. The Windsor suite is a perfect size back stage was really accessible.

To keep to the runway look hair and make up was all done identically which made the photos look really good.

If I had more time I would have finished the garments of to a higher standard by not leaving raw edges and making hems but after watching “inside Dior” it outlines that clothing for the runway is often manipulated pinned to the model and sometimes even the model is stitched into the outfit. This highlights that the runway is about the impact which I felt my outfits had.

Weave structure / experimenting with set up

With the weave I have created as part of my final piece it is a mainly flat piece which I have added the colours found in nature to through use of yarns. With my final piece being a representation of growth having the weave draped over my plinths just didn’t look effective.

At this stage I am still exploring my set up and the difference of space I want between each plinth.

So after some consideration I decided to add wire to allow me ton manipulate the shape more and make it a growth in it’s own right. To make it look more organic I begun to add wire I was conscious that you would be able to see the wire but after carefully placing it in areas of compact woven material you can’t see it. I am really pleased with how it has turned out and it now looks more effective. As I don’t want the weave to be the main element of my final piece I plan to place my felting over and around it with areas of weave showing through.

Above are images of me exploring presentation and how I will present the weave and felt together.