I’ve managed to take a lot home with me from this trip, and taking into consideration how much time we have left until the deadline it is now time to narrow down my thought processes and initial ideas. I previously mentioned that in a tutorial with Keiriene, I spoke highly of how much the wonkyness of the city has captured my attention. When visiting the Berber villages on the Friday, it amplified my inspiration for how the buildings sit within the city, and how they merge with the mountains and the busy life that surrounds them. So what can I take from all this? Knowing that I wanted to work 3D rather than just stick to my drawings in my sketchbook, I wanted to take them a little step further and give them more depth. On the Tuesday of being back we had more tutorials, and here I spoke of my ideas so far. Before heading to Morocco, I spoke with Maggie about the possibility of using the method of digital stitch when I return. Things were hopeful until I came back to here she can’t help me with digital stitch, so this was something to highlight in my tutorials.
I found my tutorial ever so helpful, I explained everything thus far and the other people in my group were ever so wonderful. I mentioned that I was keen to work on fabric, and after sitting and thinking a little more about my overall trip Morocco, I wanted to highlight the ‘wonkyness’ of the city, and also work with layers. There were many inspirational colours in the city so I can use this to my advantage when it comes to working with the layers, but my next question was how? It was at this point that some of the textiles girls began mentioning some techniques that they think would come in handy for me, including heat transfer (what we have already done), dissolving material leaving only the thread behind, and finally needle punch. Feeling confident, I left the tutorials with some great ideas and emailed Maggie asking for her thoughts, then heading to the workshop on the Thursday to attempt some.
When arriving in the stitch room to chat to Maggie about the techniques I had emailed about, she seemed hesitant to let me explore at first, but after spending a little more time with her she finally got me on to the needle-punch machines and handed me a box full of materials for me to play with. I immediately reached for the felt as to me, it just screamed Moroccan colours! At first I just had a play around so that I could get used to the machine.
After I felt comfortable enough with the process, I began to work on a background that I would like to free hand on top of. From my test piece, I decided that I had too many colours in there and decided to narrow it down in order to not overload my work and to keep it focussed to a certain colour scheme. Once I was happy with what I had worked with Maggie then showed me how to free-hand stitch on the other machines. At first I found it very daunting but after a while I got used to the process and wasn’t so scared after all. Again, I did a test piece, drawing up a simple house onto fabric. when stitching, I wanted to keep it similar to the way I draw, quite wobbly and wonky but detailed all the same. When I felt comfortable Maggie showed me the cling-film like material you use to trace your drawings. Using a pen that doesn’t smudge, I redrew my drawing onto the material and placed it together with my felt background I had previously needle-punched into an embroidery ring. I then began to stitch my drawing onto fabric.
I’m feeling very happy with the way things are going with this project, and after speaking with Keireine in another tutorial she is also happy with where things are, which is a great relief! My plan now is to keep working on this piece, afterwards weigh up how much time I have left before presentations and see if I can keep working with my idea of layering and maybe bring in some more fabrics, colours and maybe some of the Arabic text and writing.