In conversation with a friend about creativity, making a series of pieces of work and other related things, we began talking about how we move from one piece of work to another. And I said that it was a good idea to reflect on a finished piece before moving onto the next as the first piece might inform the next. Brilliant point!
However it's not what I do! Do you?
So practising what I preach I'm going to reflect on all my map series at once. Too late to do it after I finished each piece! As several of the pieces are going to Eclectica exhibitions and need naming, I thought I could do that at the same time.
I have made several of these before as books. They usually fold up and have a button and a buttonhole. This one has been made as a hanging with D rings at each end. Making this was well within my comfort zone.
Map Collage #1-6
Size: 10cm square collages within a 20cm square box frame
Size: Box frame 27cms square.
6 small fabric collages 3x approx 7x5cms, 3x approx 5x5cms
I had started the small collages before I started the Shelley Rhodes online course. However I've done a workshop with her and have done lots of collage. These collages were in a series with them laid out on the the table and different bits of fabric auditioned on the different collages to see where the best fit was.
The five pieces of fabric were left over from setting up 'Bits and Pieces' and the hanging book. They were lightly bonded to the calcio. Acrylic felt wadding was bonded to the calico and also to a backing calico. I handstitched through the layers and finished the piece with bought bias binding. The running stitch followed the marks on the fabrics and extended to the edge of the piece. This piece was different from other pieces I've made - more abstract - but still within my comfort zone.
Bits and Pieces
This was the first piece to be assembled and almost the last to be finished. It has a mix of machine stiitching and handstitching. I wasn't sure how much handstitching to put on. It fits with the other pieces in the series but I don't know to what extent this influenced the other pieces, and vice versa.
What Three Words
Size: Closed 19x15cms Open 40x15cms
I had made the book using one piece of fabric, because I like making books. It was made by folding into 16 and cutting along lines - the red lines in the diagram below.
The pages hade been bonded together and a cover added before I knew what I was going to do with it. The blue fabric had been painted with dye whilst narrow masking tape had been stretched over it. White paint had been stencilled on top. The pages were too dark and patterned when I decided I want to stitch maps. Stitching on organza was suggested. It worked well but I don't think it's a technique I particularly want to repeat.
Maps & Grids
Size: Closed 20x15cms Open 40x15cms
Of all the series, this is my favourite. It's more adventurous but still not particularly experimental. It contains both the running stitch element and the collage element with a few extra media - paper lamination, hessian strips, OS maps and machine-gridded paper.
This has been a worthwhile activity although not necessarily informing a new piece from the previous piece in a series. One reason for this is that I'm looking at the whole finished series. The other is that when I work in a series like this I tend to have all of them on the go at once. This enables me to work on which ever piece catches my attention on any particular day. Or how much time I have to do something.
In actuality I suspect they all inform each other. But in looking back over the series in this way has been useful. I think I will be looking to develop some of the ideas in the Maps & Grids book at a later date, possibly in another book or look at how I could make wall pieces.
But that's for the future. For now, I'm going to have a rest from textiles and do some messy, painty stuff and also the Sally Tyrie workshop I signed up to and haven't done much with.
I started with a conversation with a friend which led to me having a conversation with my work.
Let me know in the comments below whether you reflect on finished pieces to see what you have learned about them and about yourself.
Thanks for joining me today