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“Uncomfortable”

Jennie Pickett Part 2 .. Final photographs 0603428


Inspirations and starting point

The inspirations from my last project, and other things i wanted to achieve was quite hard to decide what i finally wanted to undertake. The love of stitching is still close to my heart and really wanted to continue with this theme. With the failed attempts of window designs, proving to be difficult to secure, i was very reluctant to undertake this again. Looking back across my previous projects,, manifestos was certainly an area i wanted to investigate more. In addition there is very few manifestos for the younger stitcher in this age. With thoughts of creating new territory. Previous research has also added to this project, but 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 artists and works have all guided and aided me to finding direction and meaning for my own piece. Without previous knowledge of work and research my own message on my work could become rather opaque.


Stitch a day

In the initial stages of not entirely knowing what i wanted to achieve, i kept my mind active but creating a ‘stitch a day’. These were made with scraps of fabric, and inspiration from something that was around me, or inspiration from an artist i wanted to experiment with, or a new technique i had not tried before. Each day created something new, and improved my stitching ability. In addition also allowing 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 style. It does look quite haunting. This face was a stitch of the day, with inspirations from the artist Eleanor Bowley (as featured on the two bottom images) Her work is amazingly beautiful, she sources discarded materials and fabrics, stitching them together to create images. With the pieces of fabrics being scrap, each artwork is unique. One offs, and not something that you can plan but working with what you already have.

She 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 with the inspiration of Eleanor Bowley. I created a sketch, similar to that of a fashion sketch and wanted to use this as a base for a few experiments.

This style certainly takes practice, you need to understand the sewing machine, and your fabrics in order to work out how they will entwine together. The tension needs to be addressed, or the machine will not agree.

Firstly creating 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 sewing function changes 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.

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.


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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 does it. This occurs mostly when you cut all threads off neatly. When left to hang and droop in an organic form the pieces become so interesting with them all tangling together and forming the melting effect like before. These were really interesting turn outs, and an experiment that was completely new to me, and not something i had seen any other artist attempt..

The image is simply drawn onto paper first, then using the sewing machine and placing the image onto fabric, using the drawing as a guideline. The paper then can be, either be ripped off, or kept on. On the reverse has the image of the drawing. Using different functions on the sewing machine can create the 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 onto the fabric. You can see on the eyelashes and the dandelion the different functions that the sewing machine can be set, and how appropriate to the object that it is creating. The bobbin thread has been set at a different colour, giving the contrast of the two in the back.. ie yellow and black.


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, and accessibility to students and the younger stitching audience. There is not many graphically made manifestos for stitching. Mainly ones that 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 niggle 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, hence why it is so outdated. In addition it was an older generation creating the stitching, and was not reaching out to the younger audience as inspiration. These 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 theme of stitching a manifesto, i needed d 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 bringing them all together into one place. Using inspiration from artists such as Anthony Burril, the effortless way he brings words and sentences together and sit amazingly on the page, with sometimes images combined. His colour options are always perfectly decided, and execution is flawless.

In comparison looking at Bob and Robert Smith, who use his typography in such a organic, hand rendered manor. The way he also fills the page nearly 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 weather you could get the same effect of stitching using 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 but i mainly use: http://www. emblibrary.com/el/default.aspx 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 carful with the colour choices to make it more believable, deeper colours seem to work best. They imitate stitches better. To improve this using a fabric pen that will not ‘bleed’ will help immensely. These felt tips bled too much and you see ‘fuzzyness’ it was interesting to find out that it fooled 6 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. The shirt i thought of a few puns that link with it, ‘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 arrives. Using the pun ‘working like a machine’ linked working and the fact that mainly men wear a tie! in addition a machine possible 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 with the repair of socks is called darning. This was extremely hard to stitch and unsuccessful. The words are hard to stitch, especially having to place your hand in and out of a 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 though, 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 item 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 creating an object. Something that i have not done in a while and extremely enjoyed.

Full instructions featured on my blog page: http://jenniepickett1.gdnm.org/page/2/


Sew where next?

After the manifesto pillow and 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 re-looking at 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, and 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 series of cushions was something i was seriously thinking about, and the manifesto was still a possibility, but would need working a lot more. 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: http://jenniepickett1.gdnm.org/page/3/


The begining..

The pillow idea has always been the most exciting, even just as i was beginning this project at the start. The context was lacking with the manifesto, so thinking back over things that i felt strongly about, and picking up what i had covered for my dissertation was the suffragettes. Using their craft in order to demonstrate a need or problem. Using techniques they used best to express their opinions. 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.. The news of that week had made this inspiration. Feb 2011, BBC news report, “Female managers say glass ceiling intact� Still in this current climate this stigmata still remains. Something needs to be done. Using my skill as a stitcher, i wanted to follow in the footsteps of the suffragettes .


Title of project :

Uncomfortable

Overview: Uncomfortable will be a series of

pillows that carry statistics about how badly women are still treated. These statistics will be based on UK stats only, due to the vast differences that most muslim countries use. 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:

Message:

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 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 that things 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 cases are proving worse then what they were. The reason they will be displayed on cushions is to link in with the idea of what stitching is used for. Decorating pillows and other textiles. The idea of stitching is always related to a female craft, as well as decorating and furnishing the home. They are in some ways the idea that women are trying to reach out to speak to one another about this issue. The pillows will also be filled uncomfortably, to link with the idea of unease and discomfort. Thinking these problems on the pillows will ‘go away’ of they are simply ignored will not happen, they will always cause discomfort in the end.

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 should be the International women’s day just as i am 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 made using Daniel Craig (aka James Bond actor) Stepping into scene as J‘ames Bond’ ,Judy Dench voice over asks if we are equal, and quotes a few stats about how women are

treated. With the scene cutting, and ‘Bond’ now in a dress. Judy Dench explains how better off he is as a man, and a few more facts entwined. 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. internationalwomensday.com/ and the small clip made for the 2011 celebrations.


Women’s center meeting

Getting to speak to the volunteers and some of the visiting members, was extremely insightful. It was surprising how many women still feel like they are not treated equally in the workplace, and needed guidance. But it was also a center where women could just drop in for coffee and a chat. It was its own little community, that all is welcome. I had never visited before then, but now feel welcome back at any time, and a cause that i feel even stronger about.


The WI

To also further my knowledge and get more involved into the area i am passionate about. The Women’s institute is a very proud community of women, that began in 1915. With their reputation they are well re-known in the uk. They have a mass of campaings they are constanlty running, which i first think if amazing, across a mass field of subjects.

I contacted Pat Lumsdale, she is the head of NFWI (National federation of Women’s institutes) and more importantly the head of the craft advisor. I wanted to introduce her 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 craft of stitching, and thread based i visited a class. This was a great opportunity to learn something new, and could possible 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 said how popular older crafts like this is 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 no 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

It was quite coincidental that it should be the International women’s day just as i am 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 made using Daniel Craig (aka James Bond actor) Stepping into scene as J‘ames Bond’ ,Judy Dench voice over asks if we are equal, and quotes a few stats about how women are


RESEARCH to make the pillows have an even sense of information across them i have wittled down the areas that wold best be covered by the statistics power (govermental) econimc power. leading bankers etc.. top jobs etc child bearing .. child care and differant sectors pay (done) domestic violence (done) pregnancy (done) sexual assult bridging gender gap .. possibility these are some of the quotes that have been wittled down to, and still may need rewording to make more of an impact! • 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 stats a into ‘title’ pillow and a summary pillow might be beneficial with the title being something like ‘ un-comforting’ and the summary pillow is a quote i found ““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 ” andrew hayward


Font tests

The fonts were next to get the right tone. It needed to be quite bold, but not to bold so that it had to be ‘satin stitched’ which is full of thread. This would be extremely difficult to use for curvier letters. These were a few that i had whittled down (the images above) to. All of them incorrect, but this is later to be discovered. These then had to go through the check of are they going to work in stitch formats? You can clearly see that the thinner 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. It is falling all over the place, and being lost, looking like a blob.

These fonts were used to discover how the 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 pillow form. 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. Again thinking back to how regimental and perfectly designed Anthony Burril works. These are the next few sketches of the heirachy of text. 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.


Current stitches

Whilst i have been doing my Fmp, there has been a barrage of handmade/hand stitched adverts and creations. The first came as featured above as a series of ‘cross stitched’ adverts from virgin media. Advertising their broadband at home, with the homely feel that the cross stitch evokes. They were featured on websites, as pop up ad’s. They looked amazing, and i got so excited when they appeared. It has been quite a while that anything like this has been done, as it is seen as ‘chintzy’. The next selection of photos are a series of book covers for Penguin. They were created by the artist Jillian Tamaki. Her creation of these classics using embroidery work with such ease. They look as if they were always supposed to be as they are.

The workman ship of the pieces are perfection, and the colours are just so vivid without being brash. I also love the way that she has mixed her illustrations with stitch, like i had done previously. Overall by finding these adverts and inspirations as i have gone through the project have really made me feel confident, as i was getting concerned that it may be seen as an old, unappreciated skill. But artists such as these have shown this is certainly not the case.


Layouts

After fonts had been experimented with, i wanted them to all have their own style, but still to all link in 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 previously 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 stat highlighted in another colour.


Decorate

The pillows needed to be beautfiul, so decorating them was next. Linking a kind of urban traditional style 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 a few various websites: featured on the next page.


Inspirations

These were my designs i created for decorating the pillows.

There are quite a few stitching websites that i keep up to date with. These are some of my favorites, and inspirations not only for the decoration of the pillows, but actually the whole creation. Urban threads is a fantastic ‘punk’ stitching site, Cath Kidston is great inspiration, and scissor quirk is full of fun ideas. Each have their uniqueness, and something different about them all. Which is my main love of the idea of stitching, that never two things handmade are the same. Each are unique, and crafters thrive for their items to be different. Everyone tries to create their own little niche, and unique selling point.


http://www.urbanthreads.com

Cath Kidston: www.cathkidston.co.uk

Scissor quirk: www.michelleclement.typepad.com/ blog/


Materials

This is my handmade pillow, i would have chosen to make them, but it would be much more expensive then to buy them, and much longer to complete.

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 cost a fortune. Sourcing them took a few attempts. And i even looked into making my own. It came down to the best option of 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, as it would in more delicate fabrics.


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 are much harder to control, and without copious amounts to time will take ages to complete, 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 on the material. Also the colour is great, without being overly white, but a comfortable neutral shade.


Making the Pillows

To transfer the image on to 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 to keep the pillows neat. There was a few problems with the darker pillow, as this was harder to see once transfered. But with determination and a stitch ripper it could be rectified. Which was great as there were many mishaps with some stitches, as you can see to the image on the right.


Filling the pillows

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 cost a fortune. Sourcing them took a few attempts. And i even looked into making my own. It came down to the best option of 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, as it would in more delicate fabrics.


Using the Pillows

The pillows had been stitched and finished. I had not 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 ability, this was a challenge, Especially as they had to look their optimal best for the final piece. With advice from online guides and experiments of my own accord, i managed to build up 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 with them all on the sofa. There were a few too many to sit upon the sofa fully. Taking them onto 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.


Using the Pillows

Taking the images of the cushions in a surrounding, gave it more context then i first intended. After viewing them with ‘fresh’ eyes, all the additional imagery that surrounded the pillow with the use of flowers and setting 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 an oxymoron.

In addition, with all the images being taken on the same location, they were becoming stale and boring. 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


Surroundings..

Following the photos of the cushions on the armchair and sofa, it was after a conversation with Tim Ellis about the surroundings in which they have been photographed. 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 m main concern and message. Tim suggested a photographer to me, Dina Goldstein. Her series of Disney princesses, and how their life has now progressed after their fairy-tale film. The arrangement of props, and the surroundings in which they were in, emotions of 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. The surroundings for the pillows, thinking about the sofa and place that the pillow was sitting, the message on the pillow linking with its surroundings. The props that accompany the pillows, for example the domestic violence pillow, accompanied with broken objects, messy sofa everything that suggests poor house keeping and an unhappy life. I was not certain wether i wanted this photos displayed in this manner, but really wanted to experiment to see if it was a good alternative.


Frames

Another idea on the presentation of the pillows were to have them sit within deep set frames. Without the glass in order for them to be touched, and engaged with. 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. To also extend my experience bartering, and offering free advertisement was not successful. They would also not allow me to photograph the images 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 back, and make a strong impact. They also draw the viewer into a kind of hole i have created when i would remove the glass.


To the point

I wanted my message of the pillows to shine, and 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 for the pillows and too much information, and too many “things� were happening. I want 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. Experimenting with fabric backgrounds, and also using different colours to see what sits best against the pillows.

I took inspiration from Donna Wilson, and especially her website. She uses plain background for her pillows, all pages being white. 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. These attention to details is something that i wanted to mainly concentrate on.


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

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

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

This is black fabric background, and you can instantly see how it just jumps out. The black clearly is the better colour, but without the fabric creases would be best.


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 i took previously at Plan, who specialize in window design proved that this is more of a group effort then a lone one. I did want to keep to the theme of stitching though, being a huge love in my life, and also want to aid the love of “make do and mend� which has appeared 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 in which to explore again. The ideas were fruitful, and seemed to have experimented with it as much as i could. With the restrictions of my personal life, moving house, and living in rented accommodation 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 ket 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 still was taking shape, and a process of puns to engage a younger audience to the art of stitch was the theme.

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 was feeling a little lost after creating just one piece. The content had been explored as much as it could, so turning to another love of political feminism was a new route. My dissertation covered the suffragettes and how they used their crafts to change political views, and now i wanted to look into how women are still treated in this current age. Using this as my material, and my pillows a traditional feminine item, the idea built up into compiling statistics about the treatment of women onto pillows with stitch. Finding out about the research in more depth truly was astounding, and by visiting women’s centers and the WI has only made me feel more stronger about my female heritage. The notion of filling them uncomfortably came from a peer, who suggested the facts were un-comforting, and that the pillows were seen as something opposite. This is where the title of the piece arose, and that it truly all tied in together. It was after this is could begin to make the pillows and research the statistics further. The work itself was very labour intensive, wanting each pillow to look its best, creating something i could be proud to show. When the product was completed, the restrictions of showing them in a exhibition area was restricted, so i had to investigate other areas in which i could display them. Photography seemed the main viable option,


not that it is my strongest ability. Not letting this phase my too much i was able to experiment with placement, and other ideas surrounding the pillow. My final printed plainer images, i think really make the pillows and m essage 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 of 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.


Bibliograpahy 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: http://www.feelingstitchy.com/. Last accessed 14.03.2011 Gerard. (2011). I Knit London . Available: http://www.iknit.org.uk. Last accessed 19.03.2011 Kathy scarlet. (2011). craftychica. Available: http://craftychica.com/. Last accessed 19.04.2011. na. (2011). dude craft. Available: http://www.dudecraft.com. Last accessed 18.04.2011. http://michelleclement.typepad.com/blog/ http://everydaycritter.blogspot.com/ http://www.urbanthreads.com/pages?id=695 http://www.mrxstitch.com/ http://www.monster-munch.com/category/things-ive-made/ http://craftzine.com/ http://www.thewi.org.uk/ http://www.womensaid.org.uk/ http://www.internationalwomensday.com/ http://www.womankind.org.uk/ http://www.refuge.org.uk/


uncomfortable final fmp book 1  

book 1 of the project uncomfortable

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