So at one time you can see I was pretty full on with the leather punch – and a few years ago looked into buying a secondhand laser cutter, but various real considerations and practicalities finally prevailed, and I didn’t go ahead with it.¬† I think I’d have had to do a lot of trophy engraving to pay for it ….¬† Well, I like the organic, hand-cut look, anyway
Top – Sample from today – some fused shapes with a variety of edge treatments, and including some metallic stitches.
LL – from a poor quality photo but an adequate aide memoire – of a section of kuba cloth we saw in a Colombian museum.
LR – detail of a¬†hand quilted¬†wall quilt,¬† 2010, using the traditional squares with squares motif non-traditionally.
To me they’re related, and link to the ethic of mending something valuable; on which theme I¬†recently discoverd the¬†beautiful Japanese craft of mending broken ceramics – kintsugi¬†
I was digging around looking for the name of and¬† basic working instruction for a loopy stitch I¬†used in the ’80′s but never since.¬†¬† I’ve seen it or something like it so effectively used in Debbie Lydon’s works, and some other artists’ works.¬† Despite fiddling with a needle and thread I’d forgotten how I did it, and looked around.¬† First, the meagre offerings on my bookcase; I have far more comprehensive books in my collection in Australia,¬† and now there is so much online, but I take these along to one of the workshops I teach.¬† They’re well travelled and had a lot of use since I bought them in the late 70′s.¬† But the stitch wasn’t there.¬† However, in the front of each one I found this wonderful¬†introductory quote:¬† “Free Style Embroidery – The most popular type of embroidery is Free Style Embroidery. i.e., embroideries which are worked over a traced of hot-iron transfer design of from a stamped linen.”¬†¬† Goodness – the last traced linen embroidered doily I did was at age 12-13 in the late ’50′s, hand crocheted edge and all.¬† I still have it and will phoograph and show it one day.
After amuch online searching I¬†found that¬†what I was looking for¬†is the Ghiordes Knot – check out these images for a feast of potential including easy to follow step by step instruction. ¬†Images include¬†a very few¬†from free spirits, but mostly carefully controlled execution… as in this next link,¬†containing perhaps the clearest basic step-by-step¬†instruction in an article on¬†the American¬† Needlepoint Guild’s Stitch of The Month back in August 2006.¬† Naturally, for a guild,¬† it’s very precise and correct, and¬†from the point of doing it on canvas and eventually cutting the loops once they’re all in place…. the equivalent to the ‘free style embroidery’ on linen !
I did masses of uncut loops, aka ghiordes knots apparently,¬†c. 1986 in a piece for an exhibition of my creative embroidery.¬† Of¬†course, I don’t have an image within reach,¬† and indeed I’m wondering if I do have an image anywhere¬†- well, surely ….¬†¬†and that’s one more¬†thing I’ll have to check next time I’m in my Aus sewing room, while photographing the last traced design doily I did.
My last post included a little square within a square, with holes.¬† I found when using the ‘what if?’ principle¬†that the leather punch would go through fabric, a pleasing little thing, and so¬†I did another little square-within-a-square -¬†I bonded it to paper – another pleasing little thing.¬† It’s io nthe top row – don’t take any notice of the brown next to it, that’s just the benchtop.
OK this is just a sample, but I am pleased with the landscape texture quality of it.¬† Bonding and free machine embroidery, cotton, bronze¬†leather and shot nylon organza, and I forgot this when working with it, so the upper blobs are oriented differently to the piece with the cutouts,¬†¬†and whichever way you look at it the colour is different but related – interesting. Maybe useful some time.
As I’ve said before, they have been on my mind for years.
This couple of samples¬†was cropped from a pic I took of several samples back in 2006.¬† Hand cut black leather and punched gold leather – I know I had some big plan for this but the constant use of a leather punch leads to tired hands and arms, and I dropped the plan.¬† ¬† A change of scale, though, and change of material… well there’s a lot of potential for both ideas.
And these sample snippets are from this afternoon’s experiments – grey nylon organza bonded onto the cream canvas – sure, the pic’s a bit dull but I know what it means.¬† Down in the LH side are some triangular shapes bonded on of course but then hand stitched in various ways with several threads including metallic.¬† I keep thinking of how people only repair precious objects, and ‘mending’ is a frequently used motif these days in mixed media and textile works – but I hope¬†I can use ‘mending’ in a non clich√© way – I’m working on it.
I don’t think it’s just the bold contrast why I like this little sample- approx. 4cm x 4cm¬†suede leather piece, with a smaller square cut and rotated – those holes are¬†smallest¬†done by the leather punch I have.¬† There’s no way I could do something¬† with masses of these squares of leather – oh for a laser cutter here!¬† But,¬†perhaps another material … this idea has lingered in my mind since 2006, too.