Project 2 Stage 4 – Preparing to create texture

I’ve read through the instructions a few times and think I understand: look at some of the textures created in project 1 and the sketchbook; describe the textures found; think of them in textile terms – yarns, fabrics, stitches, embellishments…; select yarns etc that match the textural qualities seen; plan the techniques, materials, colours to use to express the effect wanted; but (and this is the bit I’ve checked and rechecked) don’t actually do any of the stitching/sampling/beading/whatever-ing. There are two more stages in the project but an actual sample is an optional extra if there is time. There are exercises to do, but focused on building blocks and general experimentation.

The first oddity was how difficult I found it to come up with words that describe texture. Weird. So that was the first research step and this site helped me past my momentary aphasia (perversely that word came to me without a fight).

oat texture in collaged painted tissue paper

Texture 1: rolled oats.
First seen here

Rough, matt, flakey, soft, fluttery, dusty.

Possible approach: lots of snippets of chiffon in various shades of golden yellow and orange brown (staying with what was created, rather than the original bland rolled oats colour). Raw edges slightly unravelling would help the soft feel, or cut on the bias and stretch edges to get more movement. Couch down the snippets using a detached chain stitch in a matt fibre – possibly a wool – in various shades of the fabric colours. Leave edges free to move.

Monoprint

Texture 2: Monoprint
First seen here
Grainy, faint, mottled, indistinct, uneven, patchy, fragmented. Could be seen as flakey, like peeling paint. Is the white on top or underneath??
Possible approach: The coloured parts actually have a lot of small amounts of different colours. That could be wool felted with a layer of tissue silk (offwhite) or some kind of gauze like crepe bandage on top – a sort of nuno felt. The wool fibres could be blended to give the different colours that would work through the fabric surface. The result would be cut roughly, spread apart, then stitched onto an offwhite background – I’d try a synthetic felt or maybe a boiled wool fabric to get a very matt, understated effect. Some very careful straight stitches in a matt yarn could add some shading without changing the texture already achieved.

Amethyst crystal

Texture 3: Amethyst crystal.
First seen here.
Crystalline, fractured, jagged, hard, sharp breaks, sparkling sheen. The real thing is glossy, but not this sample.
Possible approach: A good base fabric could be a medium weight silk – possibly dupioni, which has a sheen and some slubby texture which I think fits with the exercise sample although not so much the original crystals. Arashi shibori dyeing could give suitably jagged lines – either a paler purple fabric dyed with a darker, or a darker fabric discharged could be good. I’d like to try lots of straight machine stitching in glossy rayon, being careful to keep all the lines in the same direction as the lines of dyeing. Some areas of heavy beading could be added. Depending on scale bugle beads, or else some hex cut or twist hex cut could catch the light and give a hard glitter.

Scratches in layers of wax crayon

Texture 4: Scratch marks.
First seen here.
Contrast – mottled ground and sharp, hard scratches. Discordant, jarring, prickly.
Possible approach: A yellow yarn in different thicknesses is needed. A rayon used in a sewing machine could work, but I think raised lines of couching are worth a try, possibly using different colours of fine thread to hold the yellow down. Perle cotton has a sheen, but the twist of the fibres would detract. Something like synthetic fishing line or whipper snipper cord would be better, although it could be difficult to get the sharp changes of direction needed. The base cloth could be very heavily machined using granite stitch in a number of colours of rayon to get an overall mix of colour with a subdued gleam, although taking this approach could force machine application (couching or maybe bobbin work) of the yellow since it would probably resist hand stitching. Otherwise possibly some kind of matt vinyl or synthetic leather – I wonder if disperse dyes would work on that – although the same stitching constraints could apply.

Texture 5: Stoney driveway
First seen here.
No detail selected. On a number of the other images I have been pulled between the different textures of original source and my markmaking interpretation, but with this set I simply can’t settle on one. It feels like a tug-of-war been the mind and what I know about the texture versus the visual of the various interpretations I attempted – all of which have aspects that I like and dislike. I think in practice I would try to use parts of all of them.
Hard, lumpy, uneven, soft/fuzzy areas (moss), hard waxy areas (berries).
Possible approach: Layering of synthetic organza could give depth of colour and some hardness – I have a shiny grey that could be good Some initial disperse dyeing could introduce more colour variation. Machine granite stitch the background of low-relief pebbles, avoiding the stones which would puff out by comparison (some wadding underneath might help this). An alternative would be seeding by hand, but that would be a lengthy process. Add colour and texture using hand stitching on the stones – long straight stitches or a very uneven herringbone. Soft moss could be rumpled tissue silk couched onto the surface at the edges of stones and in a few places on the stone, adding shape as if a fissure by using varying tension of stitches. Red wooden beads could be added to suggest the berries (glass beads would be too glossy).

Detail of scrapped pastel

Texture 6: Flecks
First seen here
Powdery, layered, swirling, fizzy, sparkly
Possible approach: Loads and loads of seeding, with perhaps some french knots. Some of the depth could be added by a paint or dye wash of the base fabric before starting. A white crystal synthetic organza would give a good sparkly start – which would mean disperse dyes could be used to give the colour base. Stranded embroidery cotton yarns, using varying numbers of strands together would be used for the stitching. Clusters of seed beads would add sparkle and depth.

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