Saturday, 5 March 2011

Eclectic Project

At college we have started a new project (the last one before our final major!!) which began as a collection of random objects/things. We had to find a toy, a postcard from a foreign country and a piece of prose then brainstorm them and come up with an overall theme. It sounds easy, until you look at the objects I picked out (not knowing we had to link them).
A toy racing bat, bought as a novelty game one Halloween

A postcard from Antiparos in Greece (gorgeous place if you have never been there. I went in the summer last year and it was fantastic!)

And a small section from a 'Little Old Mrs Pepperpot' book I had as a kid.

I have to admit that I struggled to come up with a connection for these three things- as did most people I think. I eventually came up with an idea of fantasy and magic. The racing bat is for Halloween which is a time of witches and magic spells, Greece has its Greek Gods and the islands themselves are quite magical to visit, and finally Mrs Pepperpot (for those of you who don't know) randomly shrinks to the size of a fairy.

We only had a week to do this project so I dived straight in, looking at photographers like Annie Leibovitz who has done fantastic Disney photo shoots using celebrities as characters from the films. (Click here for her latest photos, and here for her earlier images.) And also at images of fairies and other magical things/beings.
I decided I wanted to do some weaving so started experimenting with different wools- the normal wools were quite clumpy and...well, woolly, whereas I wanted something more delicate. So I changed to using thinner threads, clear nylon thread and strips of plastic. Much more dainty and delicate.

I also looked at images with stardust and magic fairy sparkles, and was inspired to start using beads in my weaves, experimenting with threading them onto the warp threads (the vertical ones) or the weft threads (the horizontal ones). I think I prefer the warp thread ones because it gives the weave more character- the threads have to adapt to go around the beads, whereas when on the weft threads, the beads just sit on top of the weave and aren't really integrated into it.

And finally, to complete my little experiments, I decided to try and bring in a looping technique which involves looping the weft thread over an object (like a pencil) whilst weaving across. Depending on the size of the object you are weaving over, you can make the loops different sizes- I also tried a weave which involved threading beads onto the weft thread as it was being looped over. I think though, that it would have more impact if the rows of beaded loops were further apart so that they weren't all jumbled up so much. Plus it sort of brought back the woolly-ness so I don't think I will use them again.

There is still a way to go for this project though I think. I'm rather liking the long tails left behind- they give a great impression of movement, so maybe I could try fixing them somehow in a spiral shape. Possibly weaving using wire as the warp threads or using Paverpol/glue to fix the weaves in place.

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