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TO STITCH OR NOT TO STITCH

July 4, 2011 by Chris Lee   Comments (0)

Doing this project has meant that I’ve gained confidence and improved my practical felt-making skills on large-scale work. It’s also made me really think about the surface of the pieces I’ve produced as ‘test pieces’ - forcing me to re-consider the ideas I had at the start of the project about using hand or machine stitch on the three dimensional hollow shapes.

Felt takes both types of stitch beautifully, but I‘m no longer sure that the pieces I now have in mind to make will actually need any stitch.

 

The dye sampling and the test-pieces with texture are pointing me in a different direction now. I’m ready to start creating the final pieces that I would like to exhibit, and as I’m using my test pieces and all my samples to help me generate the new pieces,  I find that I’m questioning just about all of my initial ideas!

 

 

Process - making hollow felt

June 17, 2011 by Chris Lee   Comments (0)

This project has been about process - and the possibility that the processes might not work!

I now feel confident that my initial, making-processes to create large scale hollow felt pieces do actually work.

 

I completed just over 100 hours of practical work making various large-scale hollow felt shapes before Easter, and was able to go in for several days during Easter break and had some really good sessions working on very long, thin flat pieces of felt. It was oddly quiet without them, and I missed seeing them around, but it was good to be able to put three tables together and work without worrying that I had actually taken up all of their space!

 

I’ve solved most of the difficulties of doing the final shaping and finishing so that my hollow forms should retain their shape. It’s early days with this, but I have gained so much more confidence in working large-scale, that I’m sure  that my ideas will work!

 

I feel I’ve been very dogged with this involvement with ‘process only’, but that it’s paid off.

I’m so much more aware of the time required for each of the processes of large scale work,  that I can now get pieces to a point where they can be safely left overnight, to be finished next day, or can be carefully wrapped up and taken back to my own workspace for completing there.

Unfortunately, this highlights the lack of space in my own space!

Working processes

May 3, 2011 by Chris Lee   Comments (0)

This project has been about process - and the possibility that the processes might not work!

 I completed 100 hours of practical work making various large-scale hollow felt shapes before Easter, and now feel confident that my initial, making-processes do actually work.

 

The equally important final shaping & finishing processes have been tested on a slightly smaller scale, and although the full size pieces may be awkward to physically handle, I don’t think it’s going to be as difficult  as I imagined it might be.

 

I’ve solved most of the difficulties of doing the final shaping and finishing so that my hollow forms should retain their shape. It’s early days with this, but I have gained so much more confidence in working large-scale, that I’m sure  that my ideas will work!

 

I feel I’ve been very dogged with this involvement with ‘process only’, but I feel that it’s paid off.

I’m so much more aware of the time required for each of the processes of large scale work,  that I can now get pieces to a point where they can be safely left overnight, to be finished next day, or can be carefully wrapped up and taken back to my own workspace for completing there.

Unfortunately, this highlights the lack of space in my own space!

 

Testing shapes

April 27, 2011 by Chris Lee   Comments (1)

This project has provided a fantastic opportunity to ‘test to the point of failure’!

If things don’t work, then I know exactly why.

I would never have done this much, and tracked it with notes and sketches and photographs on my own – and I wouldn’t have felt confident enough to commit either the time or the money to it.

Apart from finding out how to use an Embellisher, and creating dozens of samples, I’ve created several large, test – pieces of hollow felt.

A plastic template is required for each shape and I’ve cut these templates in direct response to the lines and shapes in the sketchbook I’ve been using for this project. This has allowed me to work in a very free way. I’ve just gone for making the shapes without blocking myself by thinking too much ahead as to what problems could arise.

Some shapes work better than others, and having worked each of them by hand, I’ve been able to gain a much better understanding of why some did and some didn’t work.

 

I’m also conscious of my time at HSAD running out, and that I need to reach some decisions as to what the final pieces will be.

Tools for felting

April 26, 2011 by Chris Lee   Comments (0)

This project has been all about process – how to create large scale, hollow felt.

It’s been totally absorbing, and I’m now confident, and hopefully competent in the processes of laying up the felt fibres over the plastic templates I’ve devised. Problems of turning them to lay up the other sides have been resolved, but the actual felting was a hard physical slog.

I’ve found that lightweight acrylic roof sheeting with its more deeply ridged surface is the best surface to give quicker and very even felting on pieces this size – most recent piece is 2.10m x 0.5m.

However, I still needed something to wrap the felt round, so that I could roll it back and forward on the ridged acrylic to get it tightly felted and shrunk to final size.

Discussing this difficulty with a friend and fellow artist, we came up with the idea of making some kind of roller. He has resolved the problem and made me a couple of rollers from differently sized plastic plumbing pipe, ridged with plastic beading pop-riveted at regular intervals. They work brilliantly!

 

Work in progress

March 14, 2011 by Chris Lee   Comments (0)

The space I have for working in is just fab!

The room is light and airy, with a huge table  right next to a large sink, and directly upstairs, I have access to an embellishing machine!

Ideal for feltmaking!

I started my project by spending the first two sessions creating a range of felt samples to use as bases for testing out the embellishing machine, and for future sampling of other possible surface techniques.

I feel that the biggest part of my time in HSAD will be spent on process – particularly in  testing how I can create large-scale hollow felt pieces.