I had started this Exercise last year but unfortunately my Dad who has had slight dementia rapidly got worse and I have been travelling 1300 kilometres round trip to country NSW over the past two and a half months to visit him and work with hospital staff in trying to meet his needs and get him more settled. I have now reread and revisited my mind map for Assignment Four and am determined to get it completed.
The aim of this exercise is to expand my knowledge and application of materials into yarn concepts and interpret and experiment with different ideas to translate the line qualities. I initially found it hard to understand what was really required but once I got going I could see the possibilities. It challenged me to think and create!
As required I selected two pieces from Part Two and/or Part One. I perused Helen Parrot’s Mark Making in Textile Book to provide me with inspiration and a way to approach the work. I identified adjectives to describe the selected pieces so that it would assist in my practical approach.
I looked at my supply of threads and other options for yarn. I came up with some merino felt; cotton 5ply thin warp; banana silk; extra thick Australian twisted cotton string; and medium Australian twisted cotton; jute twine; Paperbark from the tree in my front yard; thin wire; sari silk.
My first piece selected was a partial drawing of my Kantha purse from Part 1. I liked the strong lines and the paler lines and the irregular exes. I drew a few more quick sketches based on the drawing to assist in the creation of yarn pieces 30cm long.
The second source was my stitch work with seed pods.This piece was selected because I was interested in translating the curved lines and into yarn and was in contrast with my first chosen piece. I did some sketches to help me take the shapes further in a way that might work for yarn.
I stuck to a fairly neutral colour scheme for the pieces.
Drawing One – kantha purse
My first thought was to think about recycling and I used offcuts from a piece of lime linen used to make a top and my hand dyed quilting kona cotton in the pink. I twisted the two three quarter inch strips which were frayed at the edges. I was represented the irregular sides on the drawing. The distance between each twist is around 5cm. The next piece I used jute twine used for the garden and thin cotton twist thread and knotted every five cms. This was very smooth not as representational of the drawing.
I looked for some different sort of media and thought of the paperbark tree in my front yard used by the Australian Aborigines for fibre crafts. I wrapped at irregular intervals paper thread around the bark. In the photographs below you can see the trunk of the tree and the edge of the yarn piece shows the type of strip I was working with. The bark is slightly fluffy on the sides in keeping to some extent with the Drawing edge. The next one was to knot at 1cm intervals sari silk to obtain an uneven yarn with knobs. I think this has captured the drawing.
In the top yarn I was trying to exaggerate the jaggedness of the edges of the drawing. Like looking at the drawing with a magnifying glass. I used banana silk and the jute twine for the knotting. The second piece relates to my Piece Two.
Piece Two – Stitched on Paper Seed Pod
It was interesting trying to work out how to make ‘holes’ in the string. I used three pieces of tinted cotton medium and thin and decided to knot at intervals with the thin string. I think this is on the way to depicting the stitched piece but in a more irregular way!
So I had a few more attempts in the brown piece I used fine wire and wrapped hand dyed silk organza around it and then made a circular pattern I think this was reasonable. The next one I used the manila hemp paper string and because it is relatively stiff it held its shape and allowed me to create the holes I was after.
Working on from the 30cm pieces I created further pieces 100cm in length. I took the recycle fabric and made a tighter piece in purple quilting cotton which could be used for wrapping or embellishment on a textile piece.
Next I took some novelty wool yarn and white Australian twisted cotton and created holes and knots to depict the stitched piece. I took it further than the stitched piece in that I introduced more texture by knotting the yarns every approximately 10cms. The novelty wool adds interest to the yarn.
For the last 100cm piece I used a piece of wire covered in string and really shaped the circular shapes. I was tempted to add more fibre to the piece but decided to put it on a black background and leave it simple.
In concluding Exercise 4.1 opened my eyes to the possibilities of yarn and potential use in a variety of textile works. It has given me ideas for further pieces that I could work on including using dyed threads,spun wool and native plant fibres.