Research Into Fabrics

I have been doing some research in order to find a possible material that could be used to build upon layers onto my wall hanging and I have found a few possible options.

One of which could be using a mesh or netting. I found some on eBay which is actually a bridal veil material but it is evident from the images that you can see through it and I feel that it wouldn’t distract away from the first layer.

Furthermore, I also came across a really interesting fabric known as ‘Angelina Fibre’ and I found this website which has offered me a lot of valuable information about the fibre/ material. If the college doesn’t have any of this in the textiles department then I will purchase some of this website.

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I feel that the way in which the fibres will reflect the light will create a really interesting effect, I think I will use colours that are still quite similar to the embroidery threads that I have already used and I will start out doing some samples to ensure that it will definitely work well with the piece.


Artist Research: Sandra Golbert

I came across Sandra Golbert whilst look through inspiration pages on Pinterest and a piece of her artwork called Barnacles interested me. Upon some research I discovered her website and was fascinated by the variety in the of ways in which she works, from creating quilts to art that can be worn as jewellery.

However, it was the Barnacles piece that was my particular favourite. This is due to the fact that I feel that although it has a certain simplicity to it when you study the piece, in actual fact the way in which she will have created this piece would have been complex as it is three dimensional, Furthermore, I really like the way that piece has a curl to it so that it can hang over the edge of shelves, this makes its reflection to the natural world even more realistic. I feel that this piece has influenced some of my ideas that I am considering experimenting with for my final piece due to the fact that I feel that it would be interesting to have some three dimensional aspects to my wall hanging using fabric manipulation techniques. Therefore, I have taken out a book in the library that teaches fabric manipulation techniques so that I can experiment with trying out different methods in order to replicate underwater textures on corals etc.

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Sandra Golbert has also created some quilt hangings that are influenced by works from under the sea such as the Lionfish Quilt and the Shell Quilt and although these on my favourite pieces due to the fact I feel they are a little bland I think that the way in which she has died up the background with ink has created a really nice textured affect and is definitely something I could consider doing with my final piece. Furthermore, it is also interesting to see the materials she has used for each piece listed on the websites. Her work has definitely been an insight into look at fabric manipulation for me due to the fact that most of the artists that have created three dimensional installations that I have previously looked at have used clay, whereas Sandra Golbert’s use of fabric has given me a more accurate representation of some of the work I could be creating.Screen Shot 2017-04-10 at 14.16.38.png

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Artist Research: Margaret Wertheim & Christine Wertheim.

The Crochet Coral Reef is a website that I came across whilst researching for artists that primarily focus on marine life as a part of their artistic studies. This webpage has a large variety of very unique pieces of artworks that combine the use of textiles, mathematics and a knowledge on marine biology in each and every piece. This passage found on the website briefly explains the mains purposes of the foundation; The Crochet Coral Reef is a project created by Margaret Wertheim and Christine Wertheim of the Institute For Figuring, a Los-Angeles based non-profit that pioneers creative new methods for engaging the public about scientific and mathematical issues by putting people and communities at the core”

One of the things that I find interesting about the wide variety of work that these artists have been creating is the fact that they focus on a range of different aspects and use the knowledge on marine biology that they have come to learn throughout this project to create aesthetically pleasing pieces of work that have had very careful consideration for the use of colours, sizes and in particular angles. For example one of my favourite installations they have created is the range of ‘Satellite reefs’ which is a selection of crochet based pieces that focus on the piece as a whole from a birds- eye point of view so that you view the piece from above.

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As a whole I think that creating these beautiful pieces of work through the use of crochet is really interesting and unique as not only is the coral they create beautiful in itself, when you look more closely at individual pieces you see the intricate details where the wools have been looped etc, which adds a textured effect to each piece. Furthermore, the way in which these crochet installations are exhibited and created throughout different areas within the States allows the artwork to be showcased to a large audience which in turn has engaged communities into getting involved with the making processes.

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I feel that the work that these artists has given me insight into more ways in which I could use a craft such as crochet to create some interesting textures the reflect the marine life that I have photographed and experiment with the use of different coloured yarns to see what works best.

Artist Research: Michael Raedecker

Michael Raedecker is a contemporary artist whom combines both his painting skills and elements of textiles into his work to create really unique pieces of art work. It was suggested to me by a tutor whilst having a 1:1 to look into his work due to the fact that I have been struggling to decide which medium to use to create my final piece and given that Michael Raedecker uses the two different mediums that I have been trying to decide upon, looking at his work has given me an interesting insight into how I may be able to combine both.

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When looking at this work as an example you can see how he initially creates a watercolour piece and then builds upon it using embroidery. This in turn gives the piece of work texture and depth. When looking at the house within the piece it looks as if he has placed a light behind the piece when in actual fact he has used pink and yellow threads to create this effect. I feel that combining these two mediums has allowed him to get the best qualities out of each, as he may not be able create light with watercolour alone, however, with the use of embroidery this has become possible.

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This is one of his most famous pieces of work and below is the description for the piece from his profile on the Saatchi website.

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Another thing I find particularly interesting about Michael Raedecker is that he works to a very dull/ bland colour palette, yet there is a lot of depth and texture within his work. When I imagine the above piece of work without the embroidery I picture a very plain and flat piece of work and this is why his the unique approach of combining the two mediums works so well, for example the tree trunks have a three dimensional feel to them due to the lining of thread.

When considering my own piece of work I think it would be interesting for me to experiment with creating some sample pieces of underwater scenes using watercolours and then have a go at sewing into the samples in different areas to see what works well.

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Vanishing Fabric

Whilst manipulating materials I also tried experimenting with vanishing fabric as I feel that this could be something that I could use within my final piece if I was to use layers.

I stuck to the idea of recreating the octopus suckers due to the fact I love the form and shape of them and think they would look really interesting as a pattern. However, I decided to simplify them as I am aware that if you don’t make the embroidery thick enough it won’t the final outcome won’t support itself once you wash away the vanishing fabric it would then have the possibility of falling apart.

I really like the outcome of this piece and feel that it was really successful, the colours that I used are really bold and vibrant and would certainly stand out against various other layers.


David Doubilet – Water Light Time

David Doubilet is referred to as one of the worlds leading underwater photographers. In this book ‘Water Light Time’  he went on diving expeditions in all different seas from the Red sea, the pacific shores to the fresh waters on North America to photograph the different forms and landscapes hidden beneath the waters.

Upon looking through his book it is really interesting to read a passage in which he explains how his work has developed and changed overtime; ‘My first really successful work underwater was black and white, not colour. I was making almost fine- art underwater pictures before I did reportage’. I feel that the progression of his work into colour was a crucial turning point for the success in his photographing career due to the fact that there is a black and white image he took at the beginning of his career and when I compared this to the recent photographs throughout the book it is evident to see that the coloured photographs are far more successful, which is also the original reason I took the book out in the first place as the bright and vibrant colours combined with the textures really appealed to me.

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Jack Andros Island, Bahamas, West Indies, 1963.

My particular favourites are the shots of the corals and sea anemones due to the fact that the textures and shapes that are associated with these things are what I am focussing on developing using various materials and fabrics. I am hoping to experiment with using fabric manipulation techniques to mimic these textures. Furthermore, I really like the shore photographs of swimming turtles


Primary Resource Photography- Sea Life Centre

I visited the Sea Life Centre in Blackpool to take some primary resource photography that will influence my practice. I took photographs of a wide range of different aspects of marine life and I focussed on the coral life and sea anemones in particular due to the fact that they provided me with some interesting and unique textures/ patterns.

These are some of the most successful photographs that I have taken as I feel that the vibrant pink and the unique textures really show through and it I have been considering the ways in which I could mimic the tube like textures though different mediums and materials such as yarns;