Wednesday, April 2, 2008

the story so far March 2008

Time is going so fast but I have been working really hard on my project ~ as I write here it is almost finished I've just been spending more time creating rather than blogging!!

So after my last post I got down to working on the logistics of the theatre and whether it would be possible to make my idea into an actual structure ~ I came up with a plan and measurements and together with Jim worked out the material list ~ so instead of fabric and threads it was wood, screws, wood glue, heavy duty matting board and paint and one or two other secret ingredients!

Finally the structure was finished and this gave me something to work with and take measurements from to make my back drop and so the process began. I looked back through my sketchbook and decided to choose the woodland scene with Alice

and explore the possibility of making the Mushroom and Caterpillar with fabrics stitch or possibly felt.

So the background first ~ I layered strips of my painted papers till I got an idea of where to start ~ brilliant idea these painted papers ~ they are one of my favourite things to do and are a brilliant design tool.

Here I love the idea of the trees and the path meandering through them and disappearing into the distance. I started by using my hand dyed fabrics ~ scrim, lightweight cottons etc and ripping them so I got frayed edges and layering the colours of the fabric till I got the idea of perspective and distance, in the mean time I painted a huge piece of craft vilene (love it) with silk and textile paints. I then started to add the fabric strips to the background and just sew and it was brilliant how it came together. Then I used a technique I learned at a workshop with Margaret Lappin ( a wonderful tutor and member of my branch of the Embroidery Guild) she is amazing and very generous with her knowledge of free machining.

The technique is really quite simple and it involves net, a hoop and thread and lots of free machine embroidery and building up lots of layers of gorgeous texture.

I cut stips of this texture and layered them onto the background and then just worked them into the background with free machine embroidery.

I used some of my favourite painted bondaweb on the path with lots of stitch

and for the stones at the bottom I made chiffon sandwiches cut them into shape and added lots of stitch.

And before I knew it, it was finished. The back had to be shaped to fit in the theatre and once I was happy with this I used mount board as a firm backing and covered the back with a piece of my beautiful hand dyed fabric, hand sewing the edges to finish.

I really loved every minute of making this embroidery. It looks really awesome in the theatre and the idea of the path leading away from you is perfect ~ well I think so! but it doesn't end here........

more to follow.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This backdrop is a complete work of Art in its own right, Jude. Absolutely beautiful - those colours are so perfect, and I feel I could walk along that path, to who knows where?
Wonderful, wonderful work! :D