Crochet, Frayed Tatters and Sequins

imageI have been working with combinations of freeform crochet and distressed fabric pieces for some time now and more recently I have started incorporating beads and sequins as in the above piece.

I have always loved the idea of using beads and sequins with the surety that I will at some point add them to the materials I habitually use.  However for a long time I avoided starting as I saw it as yet another technique to have to practise extensively before feeling that the results are good enough.  It would seem simple enough to just add this form of decoration without too much thought, but actually when faced with vast ranges of beads and sequins to select from, it is quite overwhelming to select the perfect choice for each project.

Anyway I felt it was time to take the plunge and I can see that I will need a lot of experimentation before I know how to use them in a way that I feel happy with.  However I am confident that including them will really help me to start achieving the more fantastical aesthetic I am aiming towards.

Lourdes x

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Kintsukuroi Heart

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This heart is inspired by the Japanese art form, called ‘kintsukuroi’ which involves the repair of broken pieces of pottery with gold or silver lacquer.  The cracks in the clay are consequently made into a feature and in fact the ceramics are more beautiful as a result.

This solution to something seemingly destroyed is such an astoundingly beautiful metaphor, particularly when applied to people or hearts that have been ‘broken’.

It reminds me of certain people who are kind, gentle and loving to others in spite of their flaws and able to see their ‘light’ when there may also be much darkness.  The opulent gold revealing the previously separated fragments,  is just like the healing energy from such gorgeous people.  They allow one’s heart to not only feel whole again, but to also shine confidently like the sun!

Lourdes X

 

Preparing Materials

20180529_195458Carded merino, silk and angelina fibres; so much like textile candy floss!

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Lots of individually frayed snippets of fabric.

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Threads from frayed fabrics carded into fibres.

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Beginning stitching.

Lourdes X

Crochet Lace for Necklace

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Yesterday I worked on this piece of freestyle crochet for a necklace.  ‘Freestyle’ crochet differs from conventional crochet in that a pattern is not followed and it is worked spontaneously.  Therefore it often has an irregular appearance.  I choose to use this approach as I want these pieces to look organic, almost as if ‘growth’ is taking place in the work.  It is an amazing way to explore with crochet as it is experimental and hence exciting and unpredictable.  I found it very liberating when I fell upon this way of working, as I had never considered breaking the ‘rules’!  It also fosters an understanding of crochet and how it is used to create shapes and patterns.

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I selected some fabrics to use with the crochet lace.  I will cut these pieces up and fray them before stitching the fragments together and attaching the lace.  I will then decide whether to add more ornamentation.  The crochet is quite elaborate so it may not need anything else.

Lourdes X

Crochet Choker in Progress

 

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I have added the crochet strip to the frayed fabric tatters and fibres I wrote about in my last post.  This will be made into a choker but I have to source some appropriate clasps.

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I would usually add further ornamentation to my designs with organza petals, small crocheted flowers and semi-precious beads, but I am tempted in this instance to keep it ‘purer’ and leave it as it is.

Lourdes X

Feathery Fabrics and Fibres

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I started making a choker today.  I already had the length of crochet lace made and I was playing around with ideas for a suitable background.  I decided to use small frayed pieces as I liked the feathery effect and felt that if layered, would create a pleasing contrast for the crochet.

I cut up lots of pieces of lightweight and transparent fabrics, mainly along the bias, as the irregular edge formed was appealing.  I then frayed each piece, I wanted to include the loose threads as they reminded me of the fluffy material in flower heads.  I felt that the best way to do this was to add some wool fibres to the threads and then to needlefelt them with some of the frayed pieces of fabric.  Needlefelting is achieved by using a purpose-made barbed needle which tangles wool fibres together, when used to repeatedly stab them.  This creates a felted fabric and the more it is worked, the denser it becomes.

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These are some of the pieces of fibres needlefelted with frayed fabric.  They are possibly a little thick, so I will use them sparingly, combined with the layered, frayed pieces and attach the crochet strip on top.  I will include the finished result in a coming post.

Lourdes x

Crochet Elements

imageThis is a selection of crochet elements I have made for my accessory collection.  I really like to work in a disorganised but organic way, in so far as I go very much with my mood when it comes to developing my work.  Some days I like to say, make a whole lot of crochet flowers or a batch of something else all the same.  However I mostly like to work on one piece with an open mind towards it’s evolution as the

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spontaneity is more enjoyable.  I believe that the more enjoyable a job, the better it is done!  I may work on another piece altogether the next day, so it is normal for me to have a box of projects all at different stages.

To be honest I do find it a difficult discipline to complete things and I am far more comfortable with the experimental stage of design; I could remain in that place for eternity!  I have overcome this inner obstacle of mine by retaining a small element of improvisation to my method of creating finished pieces.  Therefore I allow room for a brand new idea to be included in a piece.  I am enjoying this approach as it suits my personality.  It does mean that I have to put more thought into how each individual piece comes together, but again I like that and it means that no 2 pieces will ever be the same.

Lourdes x

Inspiration from the Garden

 

As is so often the case, the garden provides the inspiration for my textile design.  It never fails to amaze me how much change takes place, creating a complex and intriguing storyline woven through the turning of the year.

In very early spring there is the need for hope and faith, when the ground is still hard and the air stil speckled with frost.  Then the excitement of potential as the sudden appearance of bright green shoots that emerge through the earth, reassure that although hidden, ‘life’ has not been extinguished after all.

As Spring burgeons, there is a glorious display of verdancy and colour, especially exhibited by trees now in blossom.  Infact I usually find most inspiration from petals that fall, and start to wrinkle and dry, at the end of summer as the colours intensify.

This year I am attracted to the grouping of delicate new flowers, which together form abundant textures of soft femininity, suggestive of ruffles and flounces characterising summer ball gown dresses in fairy tales.  It is just prettiness in excess! But it can be really lovely to appreciate colours, shapes and patterns that scintillate the sight and seem to celebrate the increasing warmth of the sunshine.

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Lourdes x

 

 

Organza Petals

imageThese are ‘petals’ made by melting cut-out circles of organza.  The technique is nothing new, but I like to stitch groups of them together as the transparency creates mixes of colour which appear dreamy and romantic.  I have only recently started to incorporate them into my accessory design, and I feel confident that over time I will discover a variety of applications for them.

Lourdes x

Hearts with Kisses

 

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