What a Bonus!
It was a huge bonus to be asked if we would like to stay for another week and we jumped at the chance. Robi wanted to add to her installation in the window and I still had lots of experiments I wanted to do.
Experiments with Heat Setting Polyester Fabric
I manipulated the polyester organza fabric in a few ways: I wrapped and tied (string or wire) squares around table-tennis balls, marbles, large beads, plastic poker chips, syringe caps and rolled up aluminium foil. All of those worked well. I stitched tubes of fabric and inserted beads – tying between each bead. I also wrapped stitched tubes around a dowel to create a spring-like form.
Experiments with heat setting polyester fabric by steaming.
Another experiment was to cut iron-on pelmet interfacing into strips. I wove these into a grid and stitched them together. Then I poked the polyester squares that had been shaped around table-tennis balls through some of the holes. This worked quite well and might be worth exploring at a later date. Further experiments could include covering the interfacing with fabric before/after cutting into strips, varying the strip widths, making 3D forms from the strips, and more. It was quite interesting to try and form a pleasing composition by moving the red puffs around. I could have poked the puffs through from both sides because the back had interesting texture too. Another effect I thought about (but didn’t actually do at the time) was to stitch the corners of the puffed squares to the grid (so there wasn’t anything at the back).
Experiments with heat setting polyester fabric by steaming. Shapes poked through holes in grid of stiff interfacing. Front view.
Experiments with heat setting polyester fabric by steaming. Shapes poked through holes in grid of stiff interfacing. Back view.
As Artist in Residence I set out to:
- Research ethnic body ornament and contemporary personal adornment created with textile techniques prior to the residency.
- Design and create items of personal adornment such as necklaces, collars, bangles, rings, anklets, cuffs, brooches, ear-rings, and hair ornaments inspired by the research during the 2 week residency.
- Have the research material and work in progress available for viewing by visitors and to present a lunchtime talk about the experience.
The brooches and hair barrettes in this photo are the type of work I was producing just prior to the residency. I knew adornment and/or jewellery was the general direction I wanted to go in for the future but these works were “safe” and “known” in terms of technique, materials, colour, and form. I needed to research, explore, and experiment in order to produce more exciting work.
Clockwise from top left: Hair barrette (machine & hand stitching), brooch (wrapped wire, stitching and crochet), hair barrette (hand embroidery), loom-woven beaded brooch backed with leather, experimental paper beads, brooch (wrapped wire with beads and embroidery), brooch (crochet and embroidery), felted brooch with embroidery.
Note: The residency was a collaborative affair between the West Australian Fibre and Textiles Association (WAFTA) and North Metro TAFE, Perth. It was held from 8-18 August 2017 at The Shopfront Gallery, 149 Beaufort Street, Perth.