Friday, 16 March 2012

Photo Friday: Ely Cathedral

Since we have been talking about Evolon this week, I would feature an Evolon piece, and, for a change, something that is unfinished, my own piece, Ely Cathedral. 

This is a large scale piece (by my standards, anyway), 23" by 30" (58cm x 76cm), and was one of the first images I printed using my large scale printer.  It is a digitally manipulated image of a stone in one of the walls of Ely Cathedral.  I wanted to catch the way in which the stone was eroding naturally, as well as the man made incisions on the stone.  Or are they?  I think they probably are, but they are ambiguous enough to be natural, also... the viewer must decide.

I have two print outs of this piece.  One of them is untouched, and will remain that way.  Just because I print out on cloth, doesn't mean that I have to do anything with it... and the image is strong on its own.  This version, however, has a lot of hand stitching in it; I'm about two thirds of the way through the initial stitching of it, entirely by hand, using three different variegated cotton threads, random stab stitching.  As you can see, unlike the example yesterday, there is no puckering.  My intention in using stitch was to add some texture, but not too much.  Stone is a hard material; trying to render that by quilting it seemed inappropriate.  So I have stitched randomly, and with different sizes of stitch.  From a distance, it looks untouched; it isn't until you get up close and personal with the work, that you realise that there is any stitch involved.  Where there are clear marks, I have tried to avoid stitching into them, but I have not always been successful in that; there is the odd stitch here and there which is not quite where it should be, but I don't think it makes any difference. 

Now, I have to finish that initial layer of stitch, and decide whether that is it, or not.  My initial intention was to add a second layer of stitch, using a heavier weight of thread, and larger stitches, to see how that affected the texture.  From yesterday's example, though, my suspicions about puckering have been confirmed, so I need to think again.  One option would be to use Lutradur XL as a backing; I don't want to use fusible interfacing as it would make the cloth difficult to stitch by hand.  I'm also wondering about those marks...  do I find a way of suggesting that they are somehow lower than the rest of the piece... perhaps some sort of reverse trapunto, where the featured area is the one without any padding.  I haven't decided, but I do hope you have enjoyed this particular trip round a work in progress.  If you have any questions, please ask away.

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