Friday, 30 September 2011

Denim Special

If you've been there form the start you will know of an entry on denim (Quilted Arcs) in which I touched on the environmental issues of denim itself. I decided that as the last post in September 2011, I'd look more into what can be done with cotton,
how it could be customised, reused or recycled.

Below are photos by Liz, a fellow student artist and friend:
Showing thick cotton stitch above,
of which Liz isn't a fan of - but personally
I think the thick cotton used is quite interesting.
Need to find and buy a roll of it myself to try out on my sewing machine.
Amazing macro skills here.
Liz tells me she ripped the jeans
and then stitched the lace/net onto the reverse side of the jeans.
A round of applause for the fashion guru folks.
Ah nice ragged effects.
Never gets old.
This is a great example of what can be done with old raggedy jeans,
in a way that utilises simple stitch skills (like the running stitch).
The above are the little metal studs that
are used in the corners or borders of pockets on jeans
to reinforce the corner areas, known as copper rivets.

The use of green thread here is quite different,
I've yet to see another pair of jeans using green thread.
Also the idea of tie dye being a way of stopping dye
getting to parts of fabric was also used on this pair of jeans.
Though this process industrially often involves more energy being used up.
It can also be done to jeans at home with bleach (here a link to a tutorial on the process),
however their are precautions you should take,
wearing gloves is just one of them.
Just something I've been working on very slowly,
looking at stitching scraps onto old denim using a brightish cyan like blue.
A better photo of what I'm working on.

Ending on an idea:
why not put words on jeans?

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Thoughts of blue and music: Christian Marclay

A look at ArtForum this week, somehow this week is the last of September 2011.
The below photos below are of works by Christian Marclay
and are displayed at Fraenkel Gallery
and are taken from ArtForum (an arts journal/magazine)
I found an advert in ArtForum which I liked,
now this isn't new as well if you an occasional or rabid reader of ArtForum
you'll find the articles a bit, well over complicated me thinks
and I kind of feel the need to get out the dictionary.
Any way when I went ahead and googled the artist whose advert looked so refreshing,
I found I still liked his work. Now that is NEW.
I have been resizing images a lot and cropping them down just so that you get the good stuff
(and admittedly to save space but thats not benifitial to you)
As you can see, only good premium stuff. I deserve a snickers
(of course Christian Marclay deserves a large bag of malteasers).
Glossy paper is a nightmare to photograph.
Some detail above shows actual tape strand entwined, circled, twirling and looking abstract.
His works from this exhibition are cyanotypes,
a form of work that combines both print and photography,
where an image is used and exposed onto paper that has been painted with a chemical mix.
A youtube video with more information and a 'how to' on cyanotype 
I really like the tape being used to create line,
and its reminder of analogue technology's existence, that and of physically owning a piece of music or sound on a tape, unlike mp3 files on a memory card of some kind.  

Monday, 26 September 2011

Back to simple stuff; dots and prints

 This summer I've been looking more into pattern on fabric,
mostly as at the moment those patterns are
more at hand and are interesting in some way or form. 
This fabric (above and below) is a form of Koshibo fabric,
this is a Japanese fabric and has a lovely small pebble like texture to it when looking closely.
The two yellows are quite subtle in terms of brightness
and as usual for any colour look great with black.
The simple flower motif is repeated on the darker yellow cloth, but there are two different sized motifs being used, one that is slightly bigger and lets more of the yellow show through and the other smaller letting more black through.
I seem to have an interest in the colour purple.
I'm fascinated with mixing that colour,
most recently in watercolour but a few months back in oil paint.
Here the dark blue-purple flowers seem to be wearing a white beaded necklace around their inner core area, this could be showing the very tips of the stamens of the flower, or perhaps like I first thought purely decorative, something actually found on a real flower or made up.
The range of purples, deep, mid and blueish tinted brings great depth to the fabric itself.

All the fabrics here are polyester based fabrics that though isn't great for hot weather, makes a great fabric type to print on and also in retaining dye.
This fabric can easily be put into the washing machine.
Where as anything cotton based tends to leak dye very easily in watter/rain, as you will notice with jeans and your now blue trainers.  

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Newcastle Mela, September 2011

Photos from Newcastle Mela 2011
Ooops...bad photography skills results in an
interesting incredibly motion blurred image, 
the pattern lost, but perhaps a new one made.
The Mela in itself, is an amzing show of diversity and culture in Newcastle,
it's a celebration of what makes Newcastle a fantastic and amazing palce to live
and of course is a perfect oppotunity to eat good food (with or without the spicy kick).
It has an amazing lineup of performers and live music
that would gurentee to make you stop, take a seat and listen.
The photos coming up are simply of the kurtas there.
Kurtas are tunic like tops,
like a kameez (the blouse/top part of the shalwar kameez),
they are worn with trousers like jeans or actually suit like trousers.
The above pattern comes from a red kurta I bought.
The sun or flower like motifs really attracted me to it in the first palce.
This kurta is in the currant style of a dress.
 Like any clothing styles vary season to season,
at the moment the dress style is..well in.  
ORANGE! Hah bet you didn't see that one coming.
Meticulouse beadwork again,
I don't think I've seen orange beadwork in a while.
Seems to be a colour not often used on clothes.
Hopefully next year I can get more photos,
might include some of the actual music, and costumes worn too.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Random - because life can be like that

This is an old wallpaper design that has been painted over at home.
I liked those random stains on them; the rings of brown. 
Been busy with other stuff this week but now
I'm onto an idea:
On Friday 30th September I am going to post a special on Denim.
It will be a big spread made up of photographs taken by not only myself, but YOU,
(yes, you heard me I am not joking).
The subject is anything made of denim,
I know its short notice, but I still hope to get at least 10 photos to post on the last day of september.

(you can't have civilisation without them)
1: No wearing of the denim in the photo itself
2: No imagery or words that are unsuitable for children on the denim/photo
3: Must be denim that is interesting in its pattern/marks/stitching/surface

Send these photos as attachments to:

Also you can send more than 1 photo.
I will resize photos that are over 3MB 
(see I'm very helpful when I want to be XD)
Your welcome to put a watermark or intitials on it
I will be putting names next to photos unless people request me not to in the body of the e-mail.

So I'm counting on you,
or you are counting on you. o_0

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Shisha (also known as abla) Embroidery

An old kameez which I adored for the
embroidery and especially for its mirror work,
a traditional technique in India and Pakistan 
and other countries in which small pieces of mirror
are secured onto fabric and embroidered around
The simple grids of light pink thread, as seen above, 
are cleverly couched down with the actual thread
making up the material of the kameez (a tunic like top).
The two large mirrors above are
embroidered to look like mirror flowers.
Blue and pink make an amazing colour combination.
A play of colour fused with that of light and mirrors.
The unique bead work uses small wooden like tubular like beads.
Shisha Embroidery TIY (Try it yourself) with clear photos and instructions
There is a bit of information about Shisha Embroidery on 
Wikipedia but so far I haven't found much on the web or in the local library. 

Friday, 16 September 2011

Diamonds and roses

A good song title me thinks.
The rose motif picked apart looks like
a group of clouds all whirled together.
Reminds me of Japanese cloud motifs
which look like multiple series of swirls.
The blue fabric itself is quite soft,
like satin soft but a little velvety too.
Whilst the golden parts seemed painted/pressed on top.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Faded Oranges

Faded Oranges
Collage on cartridge paper (in sketchbook)

Faded Reds

Faded Reds
Collage on cartridge paper (in sketchbook)

Brown and pink and all things pretty

Cut offs from an old kurta
(basicly a tunic top with a mandarin collar).
The deep pink colour can't really be seen here for one of 2 reasons:
1) my camera isn't as good as eyes at picking up colour
2) an incompetent photographer.
Take your pick. :D
The detail on the neckline area spills out onto the chest area.
The use of beads and pretty gold disks and
the chain like stich embroidery speaks for itself.
A closeup of these cicle disks shows they ae detailed with lines,
so far I haven't found any other fabric adorned this way.
The golden brown beads imbedded
amonst the very fine chain stich
Chain stich how to

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Aztec like Patterns (plus a bit of shiny)

You can't really see the shiny, but trust me,
the material has silver thread running up the pattern.
Click on the images for a closer look.
I googled 'Aztec patterns'
and found various images.
The Aztecs were tribes of people in central Mexico,
their culture a colourful one.
The traditional Aztec patterns,
as found on artifacts and surviving works
show patterns that are angular,
straight backed and not very often curved.
No doubt these patterns would
translate into pixel art very well.  

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Faded Yellows

Faded Yellows
Collage on cartridge paper (in sketchbook)