In preparing to present the work from the previous exercise, I’ve found myself spending a lot of time thinking about the best way to mount the samples, how to label them, and which samples to include in the presentation. Most of my samples will be used and I’m enjoying the methodical nature of the preparation.
Although I don’t know what exactly is expected in terms of visual presentation, my preference for clean, uncluttered visuals will hopefully be communicated in the final look at the samples produced in this unit.
I’ve been preparing clear printed labels to accompany each sample in a particular collection – eight samples, four collections making for a total of 32 samples. Holy, that adds up fast. No wonder it felt like a lot!
Because so many of my samples were constructed similarly, I was able to use the same mounting technique of applying a strip of washi tape to the top wrong-side edge of each sample and a length of double sided tape runner to affix each to the card. Since I ended up needing to mount a few samples to the back side of two of the cards, I’m glad I opted to use an attaching method that didn’t end up puncturing the card.
Many differences from fabric to fabric presented itself. Particularly, the upholstery fabric’s tendency to unravel led to a few minor frustrations but mostly to some unexpected surprises. The plastic shower curtain was full of promise and was mostly a successful material to work with but its rigidity was at times difficult to work with.I was pleased to find how the edges of each piece throughout the samples had a bit of a dark greyish tone to it which helped make each element become more visible. The flannelette was a little underwhelming as it behaved more or less as I expected it to but it was interesting working with/around imperfections with the grain and with tension of the base fabric. The jersey, while it did some of the things I was expecting, I’d never attempted some of the construction methods used so the expected behaviour of the fabric led to problem solving throughout the research process.
One of the most rewarding parts of the exercises were applying the same techniques to the different fabrics and observing the various results. Of the four fabrics used and the myriad techniques explored, I feel like the most successful ones are those which presented challenges in the making and produced results that were either unexpected or even ugly. Some of the most successful samples in my opinion are plastic shower curtain build/reduce, plastic shower curtain knot/plait, jersey embroidered rings, flannelette pearls enclosed in bulbs. I feel that these samples were some of the most successful ones because the results were different than I expected. I learned something from the experience.
I could see some of the techniques I explored being used in textile applications in various ways. In fashion contexts, I could see some of the slash/cut techniques used especially with loosely woven fabrics (especially when deliberately unravelling edges) or with double sided fabrics to show both sides. The image below is an example of Japanese designer, Yumi Katsura’s work which shows a bold lace. I see the potential here for the tear/slash/cut method I used with the plastic shower curtain to be put to work here. Probably not in plastic sheeting but something that would emphasize the structure of the technique as well as the depth of the construction.
In craft/art contexts, as stated previously in the research phase of this work, the merging bubbles appear in the work of Serena Garcia Dalla Venezia. There is a huge range of potential for this technique but her interpretation is one that I really enjoy. I particularly like how she varies the textures by using velvet as well as metallic stretch fabrics.
One of the biggest takeaways for me from this exercise was to be willing to lean into whatever the fabric is telling you is going to happen. By forcing an idea, the opportunity to learn and to be surprised is suppressed and the magic of exploration fizzles. By remembering to be in relationship with the materials, the most exciting potential exists. I think when starting down the path of each lesson, an attitude of curiosity paired with fluid goals is the best formula. Know which direction to point but we willing to detour and pause and observe.
I’m looking forward to the next exercise. I’ve definitely got my curiosity ready as well as an attitude of possibility. I am ready to learn and to explore without too much attachment to outcomes or to forcing things to fit into my ideals.
**Please click on any one of the images below to open the gallery viewer**