Wednesday, 6 May 2015
Notes on drawing with thread
tiny figure - perhaps the most detailed smaller figure I have stitched (so far).... here you see the reverse side or alternative story. As my stitching ideas have evolved so more than ever do I feel sharing the 'other side' is part of the work - so now I often don't add a backing to a piece. There are times when I will add a backing, not to conceal but to give support when needed. It does depend on the shape and the process, the stages an individual piece went through to become 'complete'. Each piece is different. I improvise and go with the flow, which is why I knew some years ago I would not be able to promise to repeat designs.
This dainty woman has tiny-tiny faces on her gown.
It is always tricky for me to predict outcomes. When I sit down to stitch I may have a particular size and idea in mind, but will always go with the flow of stitching. I cannot be too rigid, but need to work with the beginning few 'marks'. When I begin I start at the head and then I have an idea of who I am working with.
Sitting down to work I often feel something akin to stage fright. It is always a bit like pulling off a magic trick, or creating a dance in stitch. My dance partner is my sewing machine, a basic yet sturdy partner and we depend on cooperation to make good things happen. As much as I do enjoy stitching by hand, I find the process of drawing with a sewing machine quietly exhilarating, foot on pedal, working at a different speed but having to take great care.
There are frustrating days when no matter how I try the stitches just don't come to life in the way I want. I know what or who I am looking for, so that when I stitch a face and see the face is 'one of my people', I know I can proceed. If it was always easy to just sit down and stitch then my enthusiasm would not be so great. There are two essential tensions: the never knowing if I can pull it off and the tension of thread and machine needle.