Final Fabric Manipulation Sample

Rather than using the designs at the beginning of this project, for this sample I decided to use a sketch based on the glass pillars of the staircase in the V&A glasss gallery.

The original sketch was gouache paint applied with a palette knife on A3 paper.

It struck me that the shapes looked like recordings of soundwaves, and the lines at the top looked like music paper. I wanted to develop the idea of sound in my reworking. I have taken more of a conceptial route for development, rather than the approach suggested in our course notes.

I did my next sketch on music paper, and the black marks on top were a hybrid of the pointed marks in the painting and musical notes. As you can see by the notes next to this sketch, I also explored how the various shapes in the original photo and sketch related to sounds, and how they might be portrayed in fabric manipulation.

My initial idea was to mould and stitch a ‘soundscape’, which would be a 3D landscape based on the sketches. I planned to have areas moulded over polystyrene, and smocked areas inbetween. The whole idea became rather complicated, and to work would be better done by working the pieces seperately and patchworking them together. This was not in the spirit of the brief for this project, so I had a complete rethink. I simplified my ideas, and decided that smocking and pleating would be the best way to convey the shapes I was aiming for.

I drew out this very simplified design and used it as a starting point for smocking my calico square. The folds of excess fabric from the smocked areas were then pleated and secured at the edges of the piece. The diamond shapes were lined up in the final sample, as the diamonds would have been distorted otherwise. I worked the smocking in a direct fashion, marking out the spots on the reverse of the fabric in 1cm squares.

From my initial smocking samples on lighter cotton, I enjoyed the mix of smocking techniques working fron the front and reverse of the piece. I like the way that the front facing stitches go some way to define the diamond shapes that are otherwise a little less obvious than I had hoped from the sketch. I am not sure that the final piece is evocative of sound at all, but it was an interesting process to reach the final design. I like it because it is clean and simple, but I worry that it is perhaps too simplistic.



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