Archive for May 31st, 2015

T1-MMT-P2 Joining and Wrapping– Initial Research

Joining and wrapping in textiles. I’ve spent the last few days looking around the internet and through books, searching for examples of joining and wrapping.

Virtually everything involves joining, wrapping or both. Spinning joins together fibres to create a yarn – and in plying or if the twist is uneven you get the fibres wrapping around each other. In weaving the separate ends of warp are joined together by the weft. Add in a decorative line of Brook’s bouquet (or any number of weaving techniques) and there is wrapping. Take a stitch and thread is joined to cloth. Add a french knot… You think that’s low level? Colour is created when dye molecules react with fibre to form a chemical bond – a join. Warp and weft threads are bound or wrapped in dyeing for ikat.

Looking at types of joins as a way of focusing in:

  • Sample p2-1 Caterpillar headJoining two pieces of the same material. My caterpillar sample p2-1 joined two pieces of the same type of watercolour paper. I could perhaps have found a larger piece. The caterpillar could be stitched on a single page. The join is a way of getting larger pieces of a material. Kente cloth is joined – looms are narrow. The join can become a feature (bojagi), or it can be made nearly invisible. The join can be decorated, or the method of joining can be decorative.
  • Two or more materials can be joined. This could be a visual change, for extra strength, for other properties (eg translucent) or behaviour (eg one will shrink under heat, or is stretched and will relax after joining).
  • Introduce space / volume / dimension. Join a flat material to a cylinder. Join at darts and slashes. Join with curves. Colette Wolff’s The art of manipulating fabric is a great technical resource.
  • Do I want to consider that a material could be joined to itself? A thread can be knotted to itself to form a net. Or crocheted, knitted, tatted…
  • Visual joins – optical colour mixing; motifs building up a pattern. The power of not quite joining – the Creation of Adam in the Sistene chapel.
  • There’s more in my notes. With my new aim of quick, loose sketches as part of each work session, I’ve extended a method used in the past for book-based reading. A3 cartridge paper, two unequal columns. On the left goes information about the source and artwork with a sketch of whatever has caught my interest, together with a few notations on materials, technique, a quote from the artist… On the right I jot notes for myself – an idea, a place my mind has wandered… I can go back and add there too, as I make connections and ideas build. I haven’t quite got there yet, but this feels like a way of getting stronger and clearer connections between my research and how I use it to inspire my own making. It’s a way of balancing my natural wordiness with a more visual approach. I should be able to flip back through the pages as I work through the course exercises and remind myself of things I wanted to explore.

    A new-to-me innovation to up the visual part of my research is pinterest. I’ve had some concerns about this site in the past, but now OCA has started up a series of boards, including textiles – For my Joining and Wrapping image collection see It’s quite a broad interpretation. It includes some links to my own photos on this blog, plus to works by artists in my paper-based notes – a way to keep visuals together and in my mind.

    Next I plan to re-read the course notes and try to find some matches between exercises, the artworks I’ve been looking at, and my own inclinations. That should help me focus on the sorts of things I want to attempt, and identify a few artists to explore in more detail.

    T1-MMT-P2 Joining and Wrapping – Research
    Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
    Part 2: Joining and wrapping
    Initial Research


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