Sunday 22 January 2012

Growing feathers

Stitching detail around headdress
 Today I did a lot of stitch detailing to embellish the headdress.

 This was done through a technique called free motion embroidery. The feeddogs of the sewing machine are dropped and a special walking foot is attached and the stitch length set to zero. I then literally draw on the surface of the canvas by moving it around under the machine needle as it stitches with thread. It is a technique that requires a great deal of skill and concentration. I have to simultaneously press the foot control at the right speed and move the canvas either fast or slow to regulate the length of the stitch.

I can only do the stitching once and mistakes cannot be made as the needle punctures the canvas and leaves holes, so the stitching can't be removed without leaving damage.

I decided not to use the piece of textile I had pinned to the bottom of the figure yesterday. It was too difficult to integrate with the significant colours I had already committed to using with the headdress. The picture above shows the beginning stage of the new piece of textile being created specifically to coordinate.The white bits at the top and bottom in the picture are just pieces of masking tape used to temporarily adhere the piece to the surface while working out what to do next. I will continue to work on it as a separate entity and only apply it permanently to the composition by stitching it on as an applique when I feel it is developed to the right level. When finished many areas of the textile will remain transparent or have open lacework and show the painted canvas underneath.

The picture below shows how it was developing by the end of the day.

ummhhhhhm...strangely enough!...I actually really like the picture of how the textile looked previously at the very first stage!

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