Studio work developments

29Dec09

Since the beginning of the MA I’ve mainly been making prints using the heat transfer method.  I find it an excellent way of working through my ideas as it is an instant print method. The down-side for me is that it only really works with synthetics. Although there are some polyesters out there that don’t make me wince, on the whole I don’t want to work with synthetic fibres unless I find a sustainable and environmentally friendly way of doing it. [note to self: need to find a local supplier of recyclable polyester]

The main bulk of the work I’ve undertaken this term was inspired by this photograph I took in Botswana in August 2008. 

I would have sat and drawn the reeds but there was always the possibility that a lion or elephant was lurking nearby.  I take photographs when there isn’t the opportunity to sit and draw though I do think that the resulting work is different – i.e. it’s a different feeling drawing from a photograph than drawing something in situ.  

What I like about this picture is that it already looks abstract and also if turned to a vertical image, the reeds start to form a sort of spine.

The pattern that the reeds make suggested a network of stitches and I started to stitch into heat transfer paper in order to print out a ‘negative’ pattern that the stitches would make in the fabric. 

This process led to me cutting slits into the transfer paper and printing. 

At first I was only concerned with printing up the pieces of paper with the pieces cut out until I was left with a handful of coloured heat transfer paper cuts.  I threw them down on the fabric in the press and hey presto the thin shards of paper created a print of intricate paperfolds.  

This tiny fabric sketch informed the direction of subsequent work and I started painting up papers with different textures in order to cut out the shapes and print.

I started to scale up some of these sketches to form the following larger pieces which measure about 1.5 metres.


At this time I was looking a lot at Mid-Century Modern textile design and the patterns created by Lucienne Day, Marlene Mahler and Jacqueline Groag. Associated research appears in the next post.

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