Mixed media textiles inspired by rebellion and the natural world
I haven’t posted in ages. Not because I have stopped working, but more because of an excessive amount of ideas all competing with eachother. This makes me confused and disorganised!
One of the themes I have been working on is hearts and their symbolism for love. This is in combination with a continuing fascination for erosion, deterioration and the ensuing potential for rebirth and renewal.
In my last post I blogged about a little stuffed heart I had made which had been covered with holey fabric. As it was made from tattered denim I felt it evoked the grunge clothing and music vibe in the nineties, as the title of the blog ‘grunge heart’ describes.
It also seemed appropriate as the spirit of grunge is so much about being ravaged, and a defiance that nevertheless survives.
I was really touched when one of my friends on Facebook saw the textile heart and asked if she could have it. She felt it was the only object she had seen that captured the pain she feels, due to tragic events in her life.
I had made the heart to express my own experiences in love; both sublime and from hell… and the journey it takes me through. Likewise the heart in this post speaks simply of the same.
The silver fabric was heated until it melted. The quality of melting, as often used to describe the surrender to love from another eg to melt in someone’s arms, to melt in a loving gaze, and so on…was something I wanted to refer to.
In addition the idea of melting suggests heat and fire which brings to mind more challenging elements, such as incineration, burning and purging by fire, providing apt metaphors for the more painful experiences of heartbreak and torment that the path of love likes to take us through.
Sometimes the pursuit of love feels too perilous. Much like in the Greek myth, where Icarus in his exhiliration, uses his wax and feather wings to fly him too close to the sun, we can fear that the longing may well lead us to a place too powerful and we too will have our wings melted and will be left to fall to drown!
Oh well, hopefully all of our little melted hearts although threadbare, are still just about beating to love another day or two!!
This time I wanted to return to a distressed look and make a heart with a grunge look. Made in tattered denim and repaired with metallic lurex fabric and machine-stitched darning.
Patched, stitched and padded heart.
I really like the idea of creating hearts that look repaired, mended and healed. Also the concept of something once broken but now repaired and somehow much stronger for it.
Last year I took part in a Facebook challenge to ‘pay it forward’. Basically the idea is to give gifts to people who agree to also give away gifts and so on, resulting in hopefully a very long continuation of gifts being both given and received. 3 people respond to each person taking part, but due to some misunderstandings, I had 5 responses! Anyway each person is supposed to send a gift to 3 people which could range from a card or postcard to an object of some kind or well, anything! I thought it would be nice to send things I made myself and I decided to design some wrist cuffs incorporating the ideas I have been working on recently such as crochet combined with fabric scraps and stitching. The year has progressed quickly and I have been focusing my attention on getting these completed before the year has passed!
I have completed all 5 cuffs but I haven’t yet finished the fastenings, I decided on brooches as both fastenings and extra adornment, but I haven’t made them yet so I will include them in a future post.
This was the first cuff I worked, using one of my favourite colour schemes of lilac and greens, it includes a couple of pieces of free-form crochet and small hand stitches.
Here is some more stitching with fabric scraps inspired by the colour scheme of wilting purple tulips. The second photo shows what it looks like when overlaid with crochet lace.
I have lots of ideas at the moment of how this could be further explored and I’m pleased with the direction it’s going in as it conveys the pretty, organic and feminine nature of the things I am inspired by at the moment. It also refers to deterioration and repair.
It can take such a long time to satisfactorily combine different elements of inspiration, especially when there are so many things one would like to include, of course you don’t want to throw everything in but the kitchen sink! I guess tirelessly working towards a balanced look is so much of what design is about. I often get frustrated at how long it takes and I’m sure I over-complicate things and also change direction far too much. Creativity is as much a path of self-mastery as the development of certain skills and ability to communicate ideas or aesthetics. Oh well, all one can do is keep going with the hope that one day everything will come together!
Love Lourdes x
I bought these purple tulips mainly to see how they would dry and I wasn’t disappointed in their performance! I like the delicate colour scheme very much and the inclusion of complementary colours, purple and yellow brings a vibrancy.
The papery texture is also pleasing and as the petals have shrunk they have been pulled into tiny ripples.
Infact they are quite similar to little watercolour paintings. I find that the subtle characteristics are often the most inspiring.
When translating some of these qualities into textile design, I would look at ways in which I could recreate the colour scheme. I find that dyed silk and merino fibres as used in feltmaking are really good for providing organic and sensitive colour palettes. Also fabric paint could be used to recreate the colours, particularly silk paints and silk habutai would be an ideal fabric to work with as it is similar in weight and translucency to the tulip petals.
Thanks for visiting!
Today I couldn’t stop myself from photographing the tulips which had began to fade in a vase I had in the house. It has been thoroughly enjoyable trying to capture the exquisite and delicate veining running through the petals and the forms of the flower heads as they soften and appear as if they are about to fly away. So entranced I have felt that I am tempted to dabble in some painting and drawing too.
The colours are beautiful too and I may have mentioned before how much I love the way the colours in flowers intensify as they dry.
I haven’t really considered use of colour too seriously in my recent work yet, rather focussing on recreating textural qualities and experimenting with these, while pretty much just grabbing the first colour scheme that evolves as I rummage through my supplies. However I think that these tulips could be a fine place to start!
The tactile quality of the petals is incredibly gorgeous, as it becomes silky soft before it starts to dry and with the richness of the colour scheme is very luxurious. It is like very fine paper, but also very obviously like pure silk.
It is so exciting that inspiration is everywhere and that at anytime something else can provide new input for ongoing work!
These are my most recent experiments where I have been playing around with more ways of combining very loosely-worked crochet with fabrics and stitching. The work above was also melted with a heat gun to add a distressed quality.
These are samples exploring ways of combining small scraps of fabric with crochet and stitching. I think that the lines created by the crochet contrasted with the coloured fabric is similar to the pattern and veining found on the wings of insects. I also think that the use of black thread gives the samples a gothic look.
Thanks so much for visiting! All the best
Just a short post today.
Here I have included more attempts to combine crochet with fabric scraps. I like the use of transparent fabrics as a delicate, dreamy quality is created.
May your day be filled with happiness!