Typography

March 13, 2011 § Leave a comment

I have discovered Sam Winston’s work. It is utterly compelling and beautiful. I think the idea of paring down a book/text/ theory into circles/lines/ doodles is really interesting. There is something about the process of the drawings and the outcomes themselves which look fragile and delicate – like the textile pieces I have been studying.

Sam Winston, Birth-day, detail

Reading

March 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

I have purchased the following books:

The Subversive Stitch, Rozsika Parker

This one is for me – I’m becoming interested in the role of women in the textile traditions, and this seems a book that should help my become enlightened about these issues. I’ve been meaning to read it for years.

By Hand, The Use of Craft in Contemporary Art, Su Hung and Joseph Magliaro

This one’s for me and the kids. It looks like it’s got an interesting introduction essay that I’ll read.

Radical Lace and Subversive Stitching, David Revere Mcfadden

For me mostly although will be useful for the students, particularly at key stage 5. An exhibition catalogue from a show of the same title at the New York museum of Art and Design. I wish I had seen it, the book is incredibly inspirational and really quite humbling – so many of the ideas I’m working through have been explored here.

Of particular interest to me was the work of Ann Wilson who’s piece Topography reminds me of my fractured drawing of crochet patters.

Topologies, begun 2002 (detail)

Topologies begun 2002 (detail)

She uses fragments and deconstructed pieces of lace to create an entirely new composition. Topology is described as “spatial properties that are preserved under continuous deformations of objects” which seems apt when applied to the process Wilson undertakes. There is something lovely about the black lace too, perhaps because it is in such stark contrast to the typical white, clinical doilies we are used to seeing. It makes it seem more serious.

Great Grandma’s Collection

March 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

Explaining my project to my mum she said I could borrow  my great grandmothers collection of tatted and crocheted pieces as stimulus for my work. 

I am very much looking forward to ‘unpicking’ the methods of construction with drawing. I might start off photocopying the pieces and inverting the negative/ positive space.

Hiller and Stezaker

March 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

I went to see the Susan Hiller at  the Tate Britain and John Stezaker at the Whitechapel gallery.

I wasn’t very familiar with Hiller’s work but the way she uses found objects, memorabilia, collections gave me a sense if deja vu as I was walking around the exhibition. I particularly liked the canvases she had unraveled reminding me the time consuming pulled thread work I completed at University. The transformation of the object is kind of magical; from large scale painting to plait.

Susan Hiller, Work in Progress, Tuesday 1980

Stezaker also uses found objects – primarily found images to create his work. I found the fractured images immediately arresting, but particularly liked when he makes us see inconsequential objects in images for example in The 3rd person Archive, 1976-present where he has presented tiny cut outs of people from photos where they were not the subject.

John Stezaker, Third Person Archive, 1976-present

Whilst walking to Liverpool Street I spotted this graffiti. I liked the patterns. The loops look like knitting.

pattern

 

Punch Cards

March 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

I have bid on these punch cards:

selection of punch cards

fingers crossed I win them as I want to have a go at drawing over them. I was also tempted by an actual puncher for the cards… but maybe next time.

 

Jacquard Loom

March 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

After showing my boyfriend my work he said it reminded him of books of software code for his Commodore 64 computer. The programme was copied out into the computer in order to play a game or run a software application.

He then went on to tell me about the  unusual overlap between textiles and computers. Some of the earliest programmable machines were used in textile factories, notably the Jacquard loom from 1801. The looms used punch cards as instructions for the weaving. The punch cards worked much the same way as the crochet instructions; the crochet instructions are like a programme for a human to make a piece of textiles.

punch card

The punch cards look so utilitarian and yet they create highly decorative textile pieces. The difference between the technology and the final piece is of great interest to me and something I would like to investigate further in my own work. Perhaps I can find some punch cards to experiment with?

Drawing Crochet

March 6, 2011 § 2 Comments

crochet patterns charity shop find

I found a selection of these crochet pattern magazines in a charity shop about a year ago. I brought them because aesthetically I thought they looked interesting and I loved the strange code like instructions it included on how to make the patterns. I found them again when I was looking for some old net curtains and was surprised at how appropriate they were considering what I want to explore within my own practice.

I used the instructions to make up the patterns on the first piece of work I produced.

Instructional Study

I want to look further into combining the instructions into the image but on a more subtle level. Although I think this concept works I would like the piece to talk more of layers – to embed the text more deeply into piece.

Linking the meticulous and repetitive feeling of creating these crochet pieces to the drawing process itself is important to my practice. I have set myself the challenge of covering an A1 piece of tracing paper with drawings of the crochet patterns. Hopefully this will be something I return to during the next six months as you might with creating a constructed textile piece. I can imagine that most people creating these time lengthy pieces of work would not have had the luxury of completing them all in one go, and therefore it became a process that would have been completed fitting in around the rest of their life as it will be for me.

work in progress

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