3: Gloves & waterfall silk.

The Gloves hold the waterfall with the fibonacci spiralling at the base.  I am in awe of this mathematical equation that is found in nature, from Shells to Seed heads, the Milky Way, an Ocean Wave. a cyclone a Pine Cone…….  With this stitched together in three panels it will float & fan out when walking forward.

fibonacci seeds fibonacci spiral

With these 3 spiral panels stitched together, connecting together……….it will float & fan out when walking forward. We are connected to everything else.

I create a pattern piece with the spiral, place it on the silk, I can fit two panels on one 2.5mtr length of silk with next to no wastage….any scraps I keep, everything is needed.

Learn how to see


 

Starting work outside…….it’s 11:11am when I check the time……a magical repeating number sequence for me & many others on a guided path, I stop & listen……..  Pin to my frame & using soy wax with an organic tool called a Djanting, I freehand draw my design on to the silk, going with the flow of the wax.

Also making sure that I drink my juice the hipster jar with lid & straw……..not paint with it. the colour of beetroot is strong! ❤️

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I’ve done a watery mix for this silk dye, as I want the colours to be soft & really swish around with the revisit salts to crate that watery effect splashing down onto the Earth spirals.

 

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The cotton used for the gloves was a hem off cut from a long dress that I chopped off 20yrs ago …..CRAZYYYYYY…….. but I just new that I would use that for something special……..100% thick cotton knits are a keeper. This was painted with the same dye lots to match the waterfall.

After fixing the dye to the silk with a steaming technique, I cut & stitch the silk together, exciting to see it meld into one panel. Felted some moss, & stitched these pieces on around the base of the waterfall.

thumb_IMG_9331_1024sewing   thumb_IMG_9498_1024


 

The finished result…….after walking around with them & stitched it together at centre back, this kept the piece flowing straight, with out twisting & separating…….

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Photo session by Camille Walsh with the wings being lifted by the most beautiful breeze. 💫❤️ 💫

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10: Becoming one; Gloves, felt Moss, LED lighting & silk Waterfall.

 

 

 

 

Riding along on the forces of the “Death Adder” keeping patient….. focused on my methodical plan, stitching it all while flat first so it can fit under the machine. Layout on the table for the left & right to keep it clear, what is going where…… A plug to connect the lights to the power source, so battery packs can be removed.

So grateful.….I had a wonderfull friend…a Wizard…. solder the wires for me…..owe him a big favour!! He said he’ll teach this skill to me later……. as right now I need to get these completed, without burning a hole in anything. the Moons energy is perfect for this complicated item…… Pumping up to full Moon.

Stitching the moss to the gloves over the pockets….I have put the wooden template inside while I sew as to not put any pressure on wires or plastic battery cases.

Mighty Adder planning wiring


 

Plugs & Needles…… Using the correct needle is essential for success. Knitted fabrics need a ball point needle, I change needles so often I get confused so out comes my trusty pocket microscope for a closer inspection to get it right.

This plug is for car electronics (learnt that) & UGLY. This will need to be outside of the moss as it’s bulky & you need clear access to unplug. With all scraps kept from the hand painted lycra, I made some tiny sleeves to cover them so they blend into the glove to be camouflaged.

ball pointhide plug plug sock


 

Stitching the felt moss with single sided zip foot again, over the lycra glove pockets with wood template inside, bending the wire coils as I go, careful not to stitch over wire or cables…….. I stretch the lycra to get a snug fit against the sides. This has to be firm on the upper arm of the glove.

moss to glove 1 moss to glove 2 moss to glove 3


 

Planning the full length Glove……I’ve had this design concept in my head for a while…….so t’s good to get it down on paper to free up some brain space. These will only have a thumb…like a mitten & be stitched from the right side as I can not turn the glove through, the big seam allowance will be cut as fringing.

The extension Stitched to the finger section…..is a long bias cut, hand painted silk, bendy soft spike, continuing from the hand to add visual length & balance. I have seen onstage the use of sticks to extend the arms…..but i wanted something soft & bendy to keep with the flow of the waterfalls for a finishing touch.  Plus….. not to be dangerous, no one want to be poked in the eye with a stick!!!!!

glove plan talan plan


 

Making the shape on the hand, pinning & sewing left & right into the glove. Stitching around fingers & cutting away excess fabric at fingers to allow for the silk extension.

 

1 thumb 2 thunmb thumb on


 

Boning…..I work with natural fibres only & aim at all trims to be organic……I did research Willow branches, Bamboo stalks, Cane…….but I needed to be confident that it would not snap during transit/freighting, or in a parade as it’s being worn, or hung in an exhibition. I will research more into an organic version, even spring metal for future projects.

I cut the boning curved at the ends & taped with electrical tape to soften them, cut a long strip down the selvedge for a casing, folded it & stitched it onto a long triangle of cotton wadding. It will be skinny at the tip & full at the finger/hand end.

tape boning boning casing stitch boning


 

This silk fabric was hand painted with streaks of yellow & green on the diagonal, specifically for this section way back when all the silk was framed up to paint the waterfall.  So the dye matches exactly to the Cotton lycra  gloves. Stretched as I’ve sewn & double stitched for strength. The wadding wrapped around the boning evenly & softly….filling the tube of bias silk to a soft (safe) point at the end & wide & full at the other to go over the knuckles of the hand.

 

dble stitch  stuffstuffed


 

Checking the fit over the hand stretching it to it’s maximum & pinning in place with the boning under the hand to support the length like a lever. I searched the house for a shape to go inside while I stitched it….a bottle!!!! YES!!!! PERFECT!!!! Cut away any excess wadding to fit the top of the hand inside & hand stitched it to the glove.

2 silk talan1 stitch talan stitch talan 3


 

Gathering stitches, changing needle back to a sharp…… this is best done in two parallel lines, then pulling the bobbin threads evenly from both ends. This helps to control an even gather when attaching to a band or a bind. it has to look beautiful from both sides, so all the raw edges are encased in the bind.

Cutting the rouleau ribbons so all the lengths are varied as they hang down from the seam points of the waterfalls to distract from the french seams.

gatherbind gathercut reulau


 

 

Stitching the glove together, changing back to a ball point needle…..stretching as I’m sewing so when the glove is pulled on the stitches will not break. Change back to a point needle & stitch on the waterfalls at the seam points with the 2 x bias rouleau ribbon. Cutting all the excess cotton lycra seam allowance into a fringe…..love knits….they don’t fray!!!

 

attach to glove stitch glove cut waterfall glove


 

 

 

The glove is completed, stitching some green glittery crystal beads to the ends of the green rouleau ribbons for some glistening when the LED lighting reflects off them, like water dripping off the end of a vine…………….Also hand stitched a swivel holder onto the palm of the glove for an LED light to shine under the long leaf off the hand, this can then be manoeuvred into different positions. Looking like fire flies at night……..

 

light swivelLED fire flies LED silk


 

COMPLETED WATERFALL: The left image (front View). The right image (back view).

These are cropped professional images to show the waterfall wings in full length, Images by the talented & beautiful  camillewalshphotography.com.au 

front veiw back veiw

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8: Upper arm, Macro Moss, + LED lighting

 

The gloves continue with moss…… What better than moss at the top of a water fall….. Delving into the macro world is on my favourite to do list. I carry a pocket microscope with me on all bush walks……If you place your iPhone over the top you can take microscopic images, awesome!!!! The red stem moss completely captured me, again it’s the colour & unusual stems with a tuft of green at the top….as I’m entering in the colour category of this competition, that visual excites the senses, & will pop out amongst a very aqua/green area of the piece.

moss 2jpg Moss1 moss red stem


 

The Ocean Card today……I just love how it flows with all my bias rouleau strands, beautiful to me. It’s a hot  40degC & unbelievably humid, I love the heat….but the humidity really makes me feel nauseous, like sea sickness.  “Surrender” is the word for this card….turbulence, waves, changes, feeling pulled, quickly moving situations….yes i totally feel the speed as the days count down to the finish line.

I could really do with reviving dip in the ocean, but I live one & a half hours away from it. I’ve been totally attracted to this essential oil mix to get me feeling like “I’ve had a dip in the ocean”……. Epsom salt bath tonight indeed…..

ocean cardrejuvinate


 

Template & patterns are made for the upper arm felted section. The wood block (thanks to my darling husband having left over decking pieces, see….it pays to keep your scraps!!!)

This is to mimic the size of the battery packs for the lighting, the felt will be folded over it. As the pieces are small & thinner (less wool) I’m doing a 30% shrinkage rate. A left & right side are made so I can keep them looking even while creating them.

1 wood block 2 wood block 3 wood block


 

Pre-felt, wool & Nepps, are played over the pattern shapes. The pre felt has turned out to be a great way to start a piece…..as you cut it to shape. Layering all the colours I can see in the macro moss image with some aqua at the back for watery look, & two get a defined front & back. The long strands will turn into fine roots hanging from the upper arms. The nepps are those little lumpy pale aqua wool bits, to add some variance & texture like the little pale leaves in the moss images above.

 

pattern pre felt pattern lay 2 lay wool texture


 

Adding colours & textures to the moss, & creating the stems is exciting!! Carrying the vision of the watery moss, looking inward, listening…… & laying it down with the fibres.

The tips of the stems have a green floppy section in the macro image at the top of this post. the Leicester curly wool gets felted in to resemble that aspect. It so cool that Leicester wool, it doesn’t shrink & stays all curly, just like an 80’s perm……

3 lay colours red stem top red stems


 

Attaching the stems to the moss has to be done while the moss felt is still in a ‘pre-felt’ state. I believe wool has moods, I like to get to know my materials like this….it helps me to form a relationship with it so I can understand how to work with it.

Leaving a fluffy section at the thick end of the stem, cut a hole in the moss felt & poke it through. The fluffy end is what attaches to the under side to keep it standing… you can see on the middle image, it felted well.

I took the moss felt too far on the image on the right…..you can see that it did not attach to the under side & went all lumpy, exposing the wire…….ahhhhhhhh annoying!!!!! That means that I now have to stitch around it to hold it in place. You won’t notice from the top…..but while sewing it, the needle hit the wire, broke in 1/2 & threw my machine out of sync…….it still sews ok, just sounds clunky. technician will be called. Left nostril yoga breathing to calm myself…….


 

red stem attach  workedworked not


 

Standing the stems & fulling in the left pic, making sure that the stems are in place firmly attached & standing tall with Leicester wool all fluffy at the top. stretching the dreads, moss roots, to get them strong & felted well.

Setting the shape, in the right pic of the moss on the wooden template blocks. The wool remembers what to do when it’s dry. Looking quite alien all spread out like that, but it will all hang down as fringing roots.

stems in the pair

I went with the flow, as suggested by the “Ocean” card……..I recovered the piece…..The end result was achieved, with out effecting the design, looking balanced for both arms……phew…… breathe in….breathe out…….let it go move on.


 

STITCHING IN  THE LED LIGHTING                                                

The “Death Adder” Card selected today,  FAR OUT!!!!!…..but when I realised that it was STRATEGY ….i took notice & pulled my  thoughts from panic to planned…….

These felt arm pieces that hide the battery boxes, plugs & wiring , hold all the LED lights, & get stitched to full length gloves….with out falling off, or slipping around the arm …….they were really starting to intimidating me. Lots of planning has been done, but correct timing & order of constructing in this part of the piece was crucial to it’s success.

The Death Adder card reading: “You must take the time to work out what strategies are needed to fulfil your ambitions & make sure you follow the plan you have worked out in order to get the results you are hoping for”  ………………  The anxiety slowly lifted & morphed into confidence, I tied my ‘communicate with the universe & otherworld ‘,  amulets on my receiving hand,  then meditated on the end result required to confirm my plan……………. with all the lighting wires through the wire coils….I begin to pin the pieces in to place……

death card left hand recieve pin wire


 

Using the wooden block template  ‘battery pack shape’ I curved the wire (inside the green bias strips) around the felted moss & over the shape to make a stand for the spring to hold the LED lighting wires up.There isn’t much room to manoeuvre, I single side zipper foot will get the stitching close to the wire. BANG ….. needle snapped as it hit the wire……..I was going so slowly, I had to stitch as much down as possible as it has to very firm as the lighting base.

bend wires broken close wire


 

It was a challenge to say the least.….two broken needles……but no garment damage!!! It looks alive & I had to wind my way in to the moss to get into the positions to comfortable sew short sections at a time.

Completed with both left & right looking balanced, one with a light standing up to shine on the Crown, the other a light with soft wire to run across the armhole to shine down the centre of the dress.

stitch wire 2sort wires


 

This awesome professional close up image is by Camille Walsh 

 

 close up small

 

 

 

6: Gloves with Battery pack pockets…..

As the ‘Common Threads’  competitions main theme is Illumination.….we have to add lights!!! What a challenge. I searched the wonderful web……LED…….tiny……..WOW, so much lighting out there!!! But I needed something small, but powerful. As much as I love fairy lights, the ‘water wings’ need to be back lit, silk painting looks amazing with light shining through it.

Finally a company in America called ‘Fright Props’, what a cool shop, lots of freaky horror stuff, but the lighting section….totally awesome, as prop people like lights to be hidden. Ordered 10 Nano LED spot lights 12V , bare wires at the ends…..(Had to learn what volts were too!!!)

Setup: After felting outside for most of the hot day yesterday….I was looking forward to sewing inside, in the cool. Bush Flower Essence Space Clearing Mist cleared the room……Called & Welcomed the Elementals, loved ones lost & powerful ones…… to guard & empower my creative space.  “Walkabout” card…..showing me to get outside more, gosh wasn’t 12 hrs enough yesterday!!! But also relates to full connections to our Mother Earth & stopping & listening to her, I need that as I’m creating the top of the Waterfall today.

1rejuvinate oil 2walkabout card 3card spread


 

The ideas, & where to put 12v of AA batteries (8)….. has been going around in my head for months. Gloves are made of cotton lycra so will be super tight, the battery packs will not move if held down tight. Plus thats were I want the lights to come from.

The gloves are seperate from the dress, so can’t have batteries on the dress with ugly wires traveling to the gloves…..the longer the wire, the dimmer the LED. (I’m learning every day)

All my side fabric when painting my outlined pattern pieces on silk, are painted with the left over dye so I don’t waste it….so great to have matching fabric around when it’s hand painted!!! I know every sewer has boxes & boxes of little pieces & strips, the “just what I needed” box. Essential when creating.

Sketch plan below with the tiny LED on the page,  sketched Left & Right glove together, one arm will have the Crown LED & the other the dress LED. Both will have 3 x LED’s shining down the back of the waterfall & 1 x LED pointing down the arm to finger tips. This will all be stitched onto a felt piece that looks like mystical roots, plants, & vines that will hide the battery box in the pocket, but still be accessible to change the batteries.

Cut & stitch, using a ball point needle, a 3D shaped pocket for the battery packs. Perfect sizing to finish just before the elbow bend……need to ben & move your arms to get full effect from the waterfall…..

All the wires are covered with bias cut hand painted silk. I had to label all the wire pieces as it got confusing…..electronics…….I can do it!!!. The males in this family were & are wiz kids at it…….hope I can tap into the left side of my brain today.

I’ve stepped outside many times today to get grounded after fiddling with electronics …….the “Walkabout” card……so that’s why……..bare feet-ground, bring it on!!!!

 

glove notes glove1 glove3


 

Bias strips with green silk are first stitched then turned through with wire, encasing it. I spiralled it around a chop stick as it’s quite strong, then slipped the LED lead through the spiral. This can now be bent to direct the LED beam of light, & looks like a vine climbing a stick.

wire1 wire2 wire3


 

While in the bias stitching mode.…it can be repetitive……I continued with the water silk ones……as below…..good to be prepared with all the elements when putting your piece together, then you can FOCUS……& CREATE.

Water with fabric: Over 20 bias strips are all stitched while stretching, so your thread doesn’t snap when turning through. Woven fabric cut on the bias has a stretch as it’s diagonal through the cross grain. I love bias rouleau…….it hangs like soft tubular ribbon. Where can I put it???? I know!!! ……all stitched to the front of the water fall wings at the french seam joins, to take the ‘eye’ away from the seams…..a distraction.

Winding bobbins as you sew, saves time!!!!

bias glove2

 

 

 

2. Cutting/Sewing Waterfall Wings.

The silk satin has been washed & ironed, the soy wax is so beautiful…it washes out in the hot water & also irons out onto paper during this process. Cutting the pattern out to reveal the spiral forms.

cut spiral cut spiral 2 spiral cut


 

As the Waterfall wings will be viewed from the front & back, french seams are a must….my favourite seam. Colour matching threads as I sew for invisibility.

french seam sew 1 stitch colours


 

Hand cut & pressed bias binding, for single sew, encasing all the raw edges of the spiral hem. Starting with the brown hand painted silk to match, blending into the dark green.

hand cut bind iron bind sew bind


 

The finished bias bind contours beautifully around tight curves adding to the flow…… … Selecting the “River” card today from Laura Bowen’s Dream Time deck was spot on…I find meditating & doing card readings can bring fantastic insight into my creative process. I really had to go with the flow of many aspects of this silk piece, &choose the path of least resistance.

Refer to post 10: “Becoming one”  to show you how this fun piece is attached to the full length gloves. I’m also adding LED lights into the twisted vines, with the moss on the upper arms of the gloves………to shine through the silk, like glow worms over water………….the LED lights will be supported by wire so they can be angled: 3 x shine behind the silk. 1 x down under the long sheath from the fingers, & 1 x both gloves shining down the dress & 1 x standing tall to shine onto the Crown. Not only will it illuminate……but it will make some crazy shadows like in the bush at night………..

finish bind river card


 

1. Silk dye elixer & painting

Using fibre reactive dyes are vibrant, cold water & non toxic…..mixing & measuring to ensure colours match from batch to batch & to mix a volume that is correct to the fabric weight. Once the dye is mixed with the salts & soda’s it has 1hr of activity, so planning ahead & clear set up is essential. It’s best not to move the fabric too much as the soy wax is delicate & can crack…which is what true Batik is all about. I would like to create a clear defined line.  Challenging……..

Recipe guideIMG_0084IMG_0057


 

I mix pure colours in the jars & do most of the colour mixing on the fabric, I love watching the ways they blend together & how you can push them around with water, salts & colour adding. Pure magic

resist salts IMG_0041IMG_0040


 

A delay with one fabric length...realising that i had only washed this once, by hand…..it definitely effected the way it handled the dyes……this slowed me down as I had to paint both sides of the fabric. In the image below you can see the faded side…..when the fabric is washed thoroughly the dye absorbs all the way through. The design requires both sides to be vibrant….as it hangs from the full length gloves. Problem solved in the end……. Hooray!!

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Painting the cotton lycra for the gloves…..I love the way the colours blend as it soaks in. These will hold the Waterfalls & the River grass…….next in the making.

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Got the first three dried on the line……started the next three, finished the water sections……. Then the sky clouded over (image is colour…looks B&W!) & it rained…& rained & poured with rained….for days…moving in doors to cut & sew. Perfect timing really. My daughter selected a Louise L Hay card for me, she can’t read yet…It’s perfect, kids feel vibrations so strongly, she strengthens me……“My thoughts are creative” It’s my Mantra for the next few weeks.

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Common Threads, Wearable Art Show 2016

I’ve only just started creating again…..& blogging is brand new for me too, motivated by this Competition to use blogging as an Art Journal.

In mid November my friend Vanessa, (who had never seen my creations before)  a textile teacher & facilitator of Context Art in the Blue Mountains. Came along to a local Art show to see my latest wearable Art piece….. she sent me the details about this competition…….so here I am……on a mission…..to express my love of Nature, Spirals, & healing energies of natural fibres, crystals, furs & skins…….with an important date to complete a piece for an amazing looking stage production. Let the fun begin.


 

INSPIRATION:

Overall Theme: Illumination….I resonate with the Spiritual illumination of connection to self & place……..Nature Spirits, colour vibrations in the silk & using tinny LED lights to illuminate the silk from behind to make it glow & shimmer like a waterfall. The lights will also create shadows of the felted forms.

Selected Category: Colour Palette……natures palette is so attractive, it naturally blends & compliments, it also has many subtle colours if you take the time to study it…..close up, I even use a pocket microscope to see what is hidden, other worlds. Starting with a blank canvas of flat natural silk, Wool roving, & feral animal skins…… my imagination can run with texture & colour mixing & stitching it into a 3D form…..Colour has the power to change your mind & mood through waves into your eyes, many emotions can be brought on or enhanced.

Imagination of piece:  I hope to bring many moods of excitement, movement, contemplation & Spirit into the garment. The colours for the dress section will be an enhanced chakra tree trunk, with bright orange & yellow fungi to contrast.

Colours of the waterfall wings aqua, soothing & cool, with radical coloured fantasy grasses & micro moss plants bought to a larger scale.

The Crown is coral colours from the native Grevillea flower.

Leg chaps…feral Cane Toad, & rabbit skins: using what would be waist from butcher meat supply & eradication programs. I wish to bring awareness of the damage feral animals are causing to our native species & landscapes.

Inspiration: Spiritual Connection to elements of place……..Colour vibrations/healing…. bushland….nature…flowers….growth spirals….Fibonacci Spirals are everywhere ……..using & infusing the essence of my chosen  flora…..Native nature/animal conservation Spirits…..Fungi…..Elementals….supporting the eradication of feral animals in Australia……using those resources for skins & furs, honouring that animals life while saving the lives of Australian Native species, many of those on the endangered list.

 

1: PLANNING WATERFALL WINGS:

Silk satin hand drawn with Soy wax gutta & painted with fibre reactive dyes.

Starting with the Waterfall wings….water drop shapes & salt resist to create the illusion of running water.

IMG_9804spiral diagram


 

The Fibonacci Spiral at the base to represent water feeding life, these Spirals are found all through nature, we are even spiralling through the universe around our Sun. In the Southern hemisphere we Spiral to the left, ‘Sun Wise’….In the Northern Hemisphere, to the right, the vines grow this way, the bark on trees…..even our hair on our head grows in this spiral direction depending where you were born. Spirals are an ancient powerful symbol of life.

When the spirals are stitched together, the flow of the silk satin with arms raised & forward movements will flow & lift.

Wash & dry silk first as it is filled with finishes that inhibit dye from reaching the fibre.

IMG_9763


 

Pin silk to frame stretching as you go. Using an organic tool of metal & wood, a Djanting, & natural soy wax…. beautiful being able to work outside on the deck as the frames are long. 2.5mtrs & my new one is 3mtrs.  I bring in the Nature Elementals to assist me on my journey.

IMG_0070elements