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Jennie Pickett Part 1 .. research and journey 0603428

Inspirations and starting point

The inspirations from my last project, and other goals I wanted to achieve, meant it was quite hard to decide what I would do for my final piece. The love of stitching is still close to my heart and I really wanted to continue with this theme. With the failed attempts of window designs, proving to be difficult to secure a window unit, I was very reluctant to undertake this project again. Looking back across my previous work, manifestos was certainly an area I wanted to investigate more. In addition there are very few manifestos for the younger stitcher in this age, therfore I wanted to engage within new territory. Previous research has also added to this project, opposite sits a small array of artists and work. From Julie Jacksons “subversive cross stitch” book to Ken Garland’s “first things first” manifesto. Each of these artist’s works have aided me to find a direction and meaning for my own piece. Without previous knowledge of work my own message could become rather opaque.

Stitch a day In the initial stages I was not entirely sure what I wanted to achieve, therefore I kept my mind active by creating a ‘stitch a day’. These were made with scraps of fabric, I took inspiration from my surroundings and artist or I wanted to experiment with a new technique. Each day I created something new, and hence improved my stitching ability. In addition, it allowed me to discover what stitches work best on a larger scale.

These are a sample of the stitch a days.

Back and front When creating the pieces of stitching it is always a joy to look at the back. It creates a wonderfully interesting style of entwining threads. This effect is especially inspiring when looking at faces. It creates an odd ‘melting’ face effect, yet It looks quite haunting. This face was a stitch of the day, with inspirations from the artist Eleanor Bowley. Her work is amazingly beautiful, she sources discarded materials and fabrics, stitching them together to create images. With the pieces of fabrics being scraps, each artwork is unique; one offs, and is not an art that you can plan but working with the materials you already have.

Eleanor Bowley especially loves creating faces, interestingly she uses her sewing machine, and uses the back of the material as the “front” as it holds more character. With this style of working it makes me wonder which side she is actually working! Depending on the style and message I want to create, I, like Eleanor, agree with the beauty of the back and where possible use my back as the front.. I really enjoyed making my homage to the artist and discovering how I can use all my scraps as art itself.

Working into illustrations The images of the face on the previous page was created by hand. Still inspired by Eleanor, I created a sketch, similar to that of a fashion sketch, and wanted to use this as a base for a few experiments. Firstly, I created a machine sewn image using the sewing machine as a pen tool. This worked really successfully and the quality of the image was unique. The different sewing functions really adds dimension to the piece.. It is also a piece that needs to be touched and handled in order to appreciate it fully. It was quite a learning curve to use the sewing machine in a such a style. This style certainly takes practice, you need to understand the sewing machine and your fabrics in order to work out how they react together. The tension needs to be addressed, or the machine will not agree. The second image is using materials and objects to make the piece stand out. This was much harder to achieve and the effects looked rather childlike. But the experimentation was invaluable. Perhaps sticking to just one fabric type, or even color would be interesting.. It was also difficult to hold all the pieces together as I sewed them.

Back and front Still sticking with the back and front theme, using my sewing machine created a similar but more mechanical feel. The back looked nearly the same as the front in some cases, due to the neatness the machine creates. This occurs mostly when you cut all threads off neatly. When left to hang and droop in an organic form, the pieces then become interesting with them all tangling together and forming the melting effect like before. These were really interesting turn outs, an experiment that was completely new to me, this was not something I had seen any other artist attempt.. The image is simply drawn onto paper first, then using the sewing machine and holding the image onto fabric with dress pins, I used the drawing as a guideline. The paper then can be, either be ripped off, or kept on. Using different functions on the sewing machine I created different styles and textures. These types of experiments allowed me to bring in my love of illustration and mix the two together creating an unusually different outcome.

This is using the same format as before, but instead of using the sheet of paper, the image has been sketched directly onto the fabric. The eyelashes and the dandelion demonstrate the different functions that the sewing machine can be set at and how appropriate to the object that it was creating. The bobbin thread had been set to yellow contrasting the black on the back..

Manifesto? The initial theme or subject of my FMP was a manifesto. I wanted to create a manifesto outlining a guide to new age stitchers; with simple snappy puns; accessibility to students and the younger stitching audience. There are very few graphically made manifestos for stitching. The only examples have been created in a more amateur method, available on stitching websites and blogs With this carrier of a manifesto in mind, artists such as Ken Garland were a sure winner for inspiration. Judy Chicago was the most influential, with her resolutions themed work. This matched my method perfectly, the only reason why I did not fully engage with her work is that it seemed a little outdated. Judy’s work began in 1994 and ran to the year 2000, therefore it is considered outdated. In addition, it was an older generation creating the stitching, and did not inspire younger audiances. The images adjacent were my first ideas to have pun’s or one liners as the manifesto. These are the test creations, although they are fun and quirky I’m not sure they would all link together as a manifesto. The lines seem to work, but the diversity and uniqueness to each design makes them look dis-jointed as a ‘set’

Manifesto Pillow With the idea of stitching a manifesto, I needed a carrier for the message. Thinking about what stitching is used for, pillows seemed like a great ‘canvas’ for the piece. Other options were quilts, clothing and sewn images. I used my mottos and puns that I had been creating previously, but needing to bring them together into one place. I was inspired by artists, such as Anthony Burril and the effortless way he brings words and sentences together and how they sit comfortably on the page with images sometimes included His colour options are always perfectly decided, and execution is flawless. In comparison Bob and Roberta Smith uses typography in an organic hand rendered manor. He also fills the page practically full of work. In addition he is well known for his humorous approach to art with a political and social message, similar to what I am trying to achieve with my work. The perfect design of Burril, with the chaos of Roberta Smith has collided to make my manifesto cushion. I am really pleased with the outcome, and execution, but now confused where to head next.

Stitching with Pen

This was a bit of ‘a stitch a day’ change. I wanted to explore wether you could get the same effect of stitch using a pen. This piece was just a sketch that I had made, using inspiration from traditional image patterns for cross stitchers. These can be found online, I mainly used: http://www. Then using felt tip pens, dabbing for short stitches and longer strokes for longer stitches. Overall the effect is decieveing. It is not till you inspect the image you can see it is not stitched. Playing with the notion of touching is believing!

You also have to be careful with the colour choices to make it more believable, deeper colours seem to work best, they better imitate stitches. To improve the technique further, use a fabric pen that will not ‘bleed’ will help immensely. Felt tips bled too much and you see ‘fuzzyness’ it was interesting to find out that it fooled 7 out of 10 people who saw it (without touching it) they said it was due to the image looking like a pattern for stitching and just presumed it was stitched.

Working on clothes.. My stitching progressed to clothing, naturally. I used a shirt and tie, a very masculine attire. I thought of a few puns that could be placed on the shirt: ‘lipstick on my collar’ and ‘wearing your heart on your sleeve’. Sadly these were the only two I could think of, as I would have loved to cover the shirt in stitched imagery, It was not until I started to stitch the tie that a whole host of connotations arose. Using the pun ‘working like a machine’ linked working and the fact that mainly men wear a tie! in addition a machine possibly made the tie and how man is trying to fight this battle of work. The sock features the words ‘oh darn it’ a bit of a play on words as the process of repairing socks is called darning. This was extremely hard to stitch and unsuccessful, especially having to place your hand in and out of a tight sock.

Sewing Journal

Whilst creating my stitch a days i had the notion of a product. A portable stitch journal. similar to that of a normal paper leaf book, but instead this carries fabrics, pins and threads. It was the idea of being able to stitch an observation rather then just a sketch.. It was a possibility that for my FMP I would further this idea into a real working product. Even though it was not my final route it has now become my staple in stitching in public. In addition, if this was enhanced and created for stores I really think that it would be successful. There is nothing really like this on the market, using its unique factor to sell. These were the initial ideas for the product and form it could take.

First idea of a book shape. This would be ringbound, and also have more threads. Each tool would sit neatly in a grooved area. The ring-binder idea allows the user to swap and reuse fabrics, without having to re-buy another book.

Second idea of a box shape. This would ‘pop’ open when the thread was released. Inside the middle would sit the pin cushion, and each side would contain a tool. The problem mainly for this design is where the fabric would sit..

Sewing Journal Portable box This was the overall creation. I also made a tutorial on how it was made for the blog. The journal box is actually extremely helpful, portable and convenient. I think the idea of being able to make your own from an online blog is even better then being able to buy one. Each box can be made uniquely and fit the users needs better. This was also a great little side project of implementing an idea Something that I have not done in a while and extremely enjoyed. Full instructions featured on my blog page:

After the manifesto pillow and the mid point review I needed a solid direction to take. The manifesto was beginning to hit a dead end and could not use just one pillow as a final piece. By revisting my previous experiments and research I began to create a series of possible ideas. They ranged from stitching together all my stitch a days, to re-stitching the manifesto into a chair, or progressing further with my sewing journal. But the cushions and quilting still had me ‘hooked’. I knew that this would be the best option to take. The manifesto was still a possibility, but would need a lot more. work The puns were possibly a bit off key, and nothing really linking them. The project had no context. This was the main concern at this point.

Additonal ideas featured on my blog page:

Sew where next?

The beginning.. The pillow idea has always been the most exciting, even just as I began the project. The context was lacking with the manifesto, so thinking of issues I feel passionate about and re-reading my dissertation about the suffragettes; how they used crafts to demonstrate a need or a problem. and used techniques that could best express their opinions. I decided to follow this theme for my project. There was a possibility of these choices 1. 10 great women in history 2. Quotes from influnetial women in history 3. A celebration of women 4. Statistics of how women are treated It was the forth option that i wanted to undertake. A BBC headline in Feb, 2011 read: “Female managers say glass ceiling intact� this also influenced my decision. Still in this current climate this stigma still remains and something needs to be done. Using my skill as a stitcher, I wanted to follow in the footsteps of the suffragettes .

Fmp proposal Title of project :


Overview: Uncomfortable will be a series of pillows that carry statistics about how

women are oppressed in society. These statistics will be based on UK stats only, as the statistics will be based within one society. The idea is following on from the suffragettes how they used their crafts in order to change opinions and make a political stand. They have been a huge influence within the making of the pillows.

Target audience: The audience will be mainly females, but very accessible

to the male audience. The age range will be mainly 21-65. It will also be accessible to all women that stitch, and creative blogs.

Message: The message is how women are still treated today in this era. The statistics

will be up to date as possible. We as a nation think that every year issues like race, ethnicity and female discrimination is being dealt with and slowly being stamped out but this is certainly not the case, and in some circumstances are proving worse then what they were. The reason they will be displayed on cushions is to link in with the idea of a feminine craft demostrating feminine issues. They enable women to reach out and discuss these issues. The pillows will also be filled uncomfortably,to link with the idea of unease and discomfort that viewers may feel when reading the facts.

Final outcome: The final outcome will be eight to nine pillows that cover a range of issues. These will all be hand stitched and decorated in a feminine way. They will not be made to look distressed, but as a piece of artwork that a stitcher would create. They need to be beautiful and welcoming, throwing you off balance when reading them. The message and idea will stick in the mind of the viewer that way. The novelty of uncomfortable cushions will also add to this unforgettableness. The final decision of how to present these will later be decided.

International Women’s day

It was quite coincidental that it was International women’s day just as I began covering this topic! International women’s day is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. In some places like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, International Women’s Day is a national holiday. For this year they featured a small clip featuring Daniel Craig (aka James Bond actor) Stepping into scene as J‘ames Bond, Judy Dench asks if we are equal, and quotes a few stats about how women are treated.

With the scene cutting, ‘Bond’ is now in a dress. Judy Dench explains how better off he is as a man and gives a few more facts. These facts will be my basis of information. As these are up to date and british based. They are clear and concise. It was from this website http://www. and the small clip made for the 2011 celebrations.

Women’s center Speaking to the volunteers and some of the visiting members of the Sutton Women’s Center was extremely insightful. It was surprising how many women still feel like they are not treated equally in the workplace, and needed guidance. It was also a center where women could just drop in for coffee and a chat. It is its own little community, where all are welcome. I had never visited before then, but now feel welcome back at any time, and a cause that I feel even stronger about. By visitng the center i gained a deeper understanding of female inequality affects them. The day I visited, they had a mother and child craft day, where women could engage with other mothers. The center regularly hold day such as this.

The WI To also further my knowledge and get more involved into the area of female equality, I contacted Pat Lumsdale, she is the head of NFWI (National federation of Women’s institutes)- The Women’s institute is a very proud community of women, that began in 1915- and more importantly the head of the craft advisor. The WI are well re-nowned in the UK. They are constantly running a large amount of campaings across many issues. I wanted to introduce Pat to my project, and what I wanted to achieve. I will be keeping in touch with her throughout my project and asking for opinions, advice and looking forward to showing her the end result. The Wi itself has produced a wealth of knowledge and if I had a spare £30.000 a year fee to be a member, I certainly would jump at the chance

Crochet classes

To engage and learn more about the art of stitching and thread based crafts, I visited a class. This was a great opportunity to learn something new and could possibly incorporate this within the final piece, if it fits within the style. The class was extremely fun and informative. Talking to the lady who ran the course, Kelly, she explained how older crafts like these are becoming more popular within the younger generation. She also stated “it looked at one point that this type of tradition would not be practiced so much later on, but it has proved us all wrong and is now quite a ‘cool’ thing to do”. The class was quite mixed, with a few men. It was open to everybody. The advertisement was actually really hard to find and was actually something i just stumbled across and decided to take a chance.

These were a few test pieces and small projects that we were taught in class. It was pretty simple to pick up, and was so glad that I attended

Statistics Contacting the chairty “WomensAid� I wanted to introduce them to my project and find out where it would sit within their chairty. In addition I also wanted the oppertunity to find out other relevant advice that they may have to give. Rachel Murray, a campaigner at the chairty replied with a wealth of advice. The websites that she suggested became another tool in my research. In a later email she sent me, she was interested in viewing the final creations to possibly feature on their website, or newsletter.

Research To make the pillows have a even range of information across them, I wittled down the areas that would best be covered by the statistics, this included: political and econimc power, job oppurtunities and pay, parenting and child care and domestic violence and sexual assult. These will be the quotes that I will stitch onto the pillows: • Women working full-time in the UK are still paid on average 15.5% less per hour than men. • The 2010 general election returned only 143 female MPs • One in five single women pensioners live in poverty • 30,000 women in uk lose thier jobs anually due to pregnancy • 1 in 4 women in uk are affected by domestic violence. 2 women a week are killed • Incidence: At least 47,000 adult women are raped every year in the UK. • There are no ethnic minority women police chief constables In addition to these statistics, a ‘title’ and a summary pillow might be beneficial with the title reading: ‘un-comforting’ and the summary pillow could be a quote I found in Andrew Heywood’s book: “Political Ideologies: An Introduction.”, whcih reads: “feminist ideology is defined by two basic beliefs; that women are disadvantaged because of their sex; and that this disadvantage can be and should be overthrown.”

Font tests Experimenting with the fonts was next, making sure the font suited the tone of the information It needed to be quite bold, but not so bold that it had to be ‘satin stitched’, which is full of thread and would be extremely difficult to use for curvier letters. These were a few that I had whittled down to. All of them incorrect, but I would discover this later. I had to check whether these fonts would work in stitch formats. You can clearly see that the thinner font worked more effectively, but care needs to be taken when using such a thin line, as it begins to resemble that of COMIC SANS!! The thicker font you can clearly see will not work as It’s falling all over the place; being lost and looking like a blob.

These fonts were used to discover how they could appear on the pillows as demonstrated on the opposite page. The idea is to highlight in another colour the importance of the fact/ percentage. These were the first mock ups of the pillows. I was at this point feeling rather excited about the process ahead.

Cushion layout With sharing these previous findings in a group meeting, it was stated that the type could be more playful. and sit better on the cushion. I produced several more designs, Inspired by Anthony Burril’s regimental and perfectly set type. Not all the sentences need to be the same size, or font. This was fun to experiment with, some of the wording also slightly altered in order to fit the shape of the pillow better. It was after this step of sketching that new fonts needed to be explored.


After I had experimented with the fonts, I wanted them to all have their own style, but still to all link together. It was the process of chopping and pasting to get the right mix of text on each. Also experimenting with the size of the text really proved to pay off, with interesting sentence structure. All the pillows read smoothly and the eye just flows over each quote. I changed the percentage colour on one of the pillows as this was a previous idea. This seemed to work effectively, as it drags the eye in, highlights the piece of information that is key and is memorable. Each pillow when being stitched (depending on colour) will have the main basis of the statistic highlighted in another colour.


The pillows needed to be beautfiul, so decorating them was next. Incorprating a style of urban traditional decorations This is in order to make the pillows appear more appealing, without looking too ‘chintzy’ but more up to date. The styles were inspired by various websites: featured on the next page.

Inspirations I keep up to date with several stitching websites. These are a few of my favorites, not only for the decoration of the pillows but actually the whole creation. Urban threads is a fantastic ‘punk’ stitching site. Also Cath Kidston is great inspiration, as she only uses floral patterns as a type of “restriction”. Finally Scissor quirk is full of fun ideas. Each have something different about them all, which is why I love the idea of stitching. Crafters thrive for their items to be different and everyone tries to create their own little niche, and unique selling point.

These were my designs i created for decorating the pillows.

Cath Kidston:

Scissor quirk:

Materials To make sure that the pillows looked their best I had to source the best materials.: making sure the stitch did not snag, or pull, that the colours would be suitable and also to make sure that they did not become to expensive. Sourcing them took a few attempts and I even looked into making my own. The best option was a set of two coloured pillows from Primark. Their material was by far the best and colour options were near enough perfect. The ribbed effect stopped the thread snagging the material, the continuous stitch of a needle would not ruin the thread os the pillow as it would in more delicate fabrics.

This is my handmade pillow, if I chose to make them, but it would be too expensive to buy the fabric and zips and much longer to complete.

This was a pillow from John Lewis. The material was awful, and had such a bad colour range, I would have to be very careful, as any mistakes would show like a sore thumb.

This is a jersey material pillow from Tesco. The material was much harder to work with, due to the stretch in the fabric. They were difficult to control and without copious amounts of time I would not be able to complete it, This chain stitch took ages to complete, making sure not to pull the fabric out of shape.

These pilllows are the ones from Primark, You can see how well the stitch sits on the material. Also the colour is great, without being overly white, but a comfortable neutral shade.

Making the Pillows To transfer the image onto the pillow the text was created on screen and printed. This was then stenciled onto the pillow with pencil, using a lightbox to get the perfect line. Using an embroidery hoop ensures tension was taught the whole way throughout the stitch and kept the pillows neat. There was a few problems with the darker pillow, as this was harder to see once transfered. However with determination and a stitch ripper it could be rectified. This was great as there were many mishaps with some stitches, as you can see in the image on the right.

Filling the pillows The pillows are filled with pebbles, stones and sawdust. The pebbles were picked up from a trip to Brighton. I was able to experiment a little with photography, due to the unseasonably good weather. The pilow filling allowed them to keep their shape perfectly, To make sure the viewer was unable to tell that they are filled with unusual objects for a pillow. Additionally they are not there to cause harm, only discomfort.

Using the Pillows The pillows had been stitched and finished. I had previously thought about how they were going to be displayed, Ideally on a sofa in a show. As this was not possible I needed to think of other options. Photography seemed the only option. With photography not my strongest talent, this was a challenge, Especially as they had to look their best for the final piece. With advice from online guides and experiments of my own accord, I managed to build just enough experience.

Photoshop’ing The photos here were the first experiments within photoshop. I tried to improve the conditions of the photo and experiment with blurring the background for the pillow to stand out and become to focus object.

Original Photo

Blurring background

Light gradient

The sofa To place the cushions into somewhere with context, I started to take the shots of them on a sofa. There were a few too many to sit upon the sofa fully. Photographing them on the armchair individually proved much better.. As they were more focused and all the text could be read without being overlapped and lost by the other cushions.

Photographing the cushions in a surrounding, gave it more context then I first intended. After viewing them with ‘fresh’ eyes, all the additional imagery, such as flowers that surrounded the pillow was apparent. The aged armchair, in a traditional country home, with fresh flowers and log fire, kind of suggest that this would be a happy home. This could be seen as a contrast to the information used on the pillow and the whole imagery of the pillow becomes deceptive. In addition, with all the images being taken in the same location, meant it became stale and boring, as each background was the same. They needed to be rethought, wether they were to be taken on plain backgrounds, or wether to reshoot them in different locations

Using the Pillows

Surroundings.. Following the photos of the cushions on the armchair and sofa, I had a conversation with Tim Ellis about the surroundings in which they have been photographed. He brought to my attention the meaning of the surroundings. As it was my project i had become ‘blind’ of other suggestive surroundings. I purely wanted to get the message of the cushion over, as this was my main concern. Tim suggested for me to research, photographer, Dina Goldstein’s work. Her series of Disney Princesses shows how their life has now progressed after their fairy-tale film. The arrangement of props, the surroundings in which they were in, the emotions on their faces etc. all add to the ‘story’ in their lives. The one above shows Snow white, and how her Prince charming is now Prince lazy, with each prop pointing to less then the perfect princess life. Talking to Tim I got really excited over the fact that my pillows could be used in a similar style of Dina’s. I thought about the surroundings for the pillows, linking the message on the pillow with its surroundings. I effectively used props to convey my message, for example the domestic violence pillow was accompanied with broken objects and a messy sofa portraying poor house keeping and an unhappy life. I was not certain wether I wanted the photos to be displayed in this manner, but I really wanted to experiment to see if it was a good alternative. Here are three examples of placing my cushions within suitable surroundings


Another idea on the presentation of the pillows were to have them sit within deep set frames, without glass to allow the viewers to touch and interact with them. This way the viewer can also discover how ‘uncomfortable’ the pillow is with a touch and a squeeze. The black frames above was sourced from ‘Atlantis’ in Hanbury Street, London. These would cost over £49.50 each. I tried to barter and offer free advertisement, however I was unsuccessful. They also would not allow me to photograph the cushions within the frame, so I created a few mock ups for the full effect. These are sat in pine frames, with black backgrounds, They really stand out from the black and make a strong impact. They also draw the viewer into a kind of hole I have created by removing the glass.

Using a white fabric background was not setting the pillow off enough. The sheet is creased, however I could see instantly that the colours was too similar to make an impact.

To the point I wanted the message of the pillows to shine and to be the main attraction of my work. Although I have previously experimented with surroundings and styles of the photos, it was a little to much information for the pillows and too many “things� were happening. I wanted the whole thing to be simple, to the point and to make you think. The space surrounding the pillow allows you to think and reflect on the message and the vehicle in which this is being delivered to you. Keeping this in mind, I began to experiment with what type of background that would benefit this project best. I experimented with fabric backgrounds and also used different colours to see what sits best against the pillows.

I took inspiration from Donna Wilson, especially her website. She uses plain white backgrounds for her pillows. The pillows manage really well to just scream out from the page. Each pillow has been carefully photographed, in order to get all details possible across to entice you to purchase the product. This attention to detail is something that I wanted to concentrate on.

This is a black fabric background, and you can instantly see how it just jumps out. The black clearly is the better colour, however I would have to get rid of the creases.

These are some of the near final pieces. Using the theme that Donna uses, and using attention to detail as the main focus.

To test the colour backgrounds out, I simply placed one of the pillows against a printed version of the pantone colour chart.

Testing agsint a plain coloured background.. The plain flat colour really sets the piece. The cushion would benefit from a differant colour, I think that the black is much more suitable.

The final pieces are now featured in the second issue.

Evaluation The project took many different forms before it emerged to what it is now. With a low grade from my previous project, which really threw me back I was extremely cautious and disheartened. Windows was certainly not going to be a viable choice to undertake, the securing of a space and purchasing/ making large props was seemingly difficult for only myself to do. In addition my work placement at Plan, who specialize in window design proved that this is more of a group effort then a lone person. I did want to keep to the theme of stitching though, being a huge love in my life, and make my own mark on the “make do and mend” theme which has reappeared during this economic crisis. Reviewing my previous projects, manifestos seemed a perfect vehicle in which this message could be explored. It is also a subject I found compelling and I wanted to explore again. The ideas were fruitful and I’ve seemed to have experimented with it as much as I could. With the restrictions of my personal life; moving house, living in rented accommodation and with very limited resources, was the first hurdle. This was the creation of my stitch a day, where I could use scraps of fabrics to create smaller pieces of work. This also kept me busy and constantly thinking of the work. Each piece was unique, and was inspired by the days events. It was thanks to this smaller daily job which led onto a bigger idea later on. The manifesto was still taking shape, with a process of puns to engage with a younger audience.

Using artists such as Anthony Burrill and Bob and Roberta Smith, who uses words and text in such a fantastic manor, I managed to create my manifesto pillow. This was the mid point of the project and I was feeling a little lost after creating just one piece. The content had been explored as much as it could, so I turned to another passion: Political Feminism, this would be my new route. My dissertation covered the suffragettes and how they used their crafts to change political views, now I wanted explore femaile oppression in UK society. Using this as my material and my pillows a traditional feminine item, I decided to compile statistics about the treatment of women onto pillows with stitch. Researching Feminism in more depth truly was astounding, by visiting women’s centers and the WI has only made me feel more stronger about my female heritage. The notion of filling the pillows with objects considered uncomfortable, came from a peer who suggested the facts were uncomforting, whereas the pillows were considered comfortable. This is where the title of the project arose and that it truly all tied in together. It was after this I could begin to make the pillows and research the statistics further. The work itself was very labour intensive as I wanted each pillow to look its best and create something I could be proud to show. When the product was completed, restrictions of showing them in an exhibition area was a problem. I had to investigate other areas in which I could display them.

Photography seemed the only viable option, not that it is my strongest talent. Not letting this phase me too much I was able to experiment with placement and other ideas surrounding the pillow. My final printed images, I think, really make the pillows and message stand out to its full potential. The brown pillows were harder to photograph, and possibly could be made better by using a different colour pillow. Overall, I am a little concerned about the pillows filling and how some of the ‘message’ could be lost by not being able to feel the uncomfortable pillow itself, rather then just viewing them 2d. The pillows laid out on a sofa, looking inconspicuous could be a better viewing method and provoking thoughts about them when experienced of sitting among and on them. Overall I am happy with how the project progressed and was something I was much more excited about. Each week has been a pleasure in creating the pieces and getting the opportunity to be creatively hands on.


Books Millman, Debbie (2008). How to think like a great graphic designer. U.S.: Allworth Press Burke, Sandra (2005). Fashion artist : drawing techniques to portfolio presentation. 2nd ed. uk: Burke Publishing Meech, Sandra (2009). Connecting art to stitch. 2nd ed. uk: Batsford Gregory, Amelia (2009). Amelia’s anthology of illustration. uk: Amelia’s House. Scanlon, Gisèle (2007). The goddess guide. uk: HarperCollins Tellier-Loumagne, Françoise (2006). the art of embroidery : inspirational stitches, textures and surfaces. uk: Thames & Hudson Levine, Faythe (2008). Handmade nation : the rise of DIY, art, craft, and design. uk: Princeton Architectural Press Thomas, Mary (2001). Mary Thomas’s dictionary of embroidery stitches. uk: Caxton Editions; New Ed edition Jackson, Julie (2006). Subversive cross stitch: 33 designs for your surly side. uk: Chronicle Books Waterhouse, Jo. (2010). Indie craft. uk: Laurence King na (2007). Illustration - play. uk: Viction Design Workshop; illustrated Elinor, Gillian. (2000). Women and craft. uk: Virago Press Ltd Websites Mrs.Lacer. (2011). feelingstitchy. Available: Last accessed 14.03.2011 Gerard. (2011). I Knit London . Available: Last accessed 19.03.2011 Kathy scarlet. (2011). craftychica. Available: Last accessed 19.04.2011. na. (2011). dude craft. Available: Last accessed 18.04.2011.

uncomfortable issue 1  

this is the journey and development of my research into my fmp uncomfortable

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