I am now ready to start some more new pieces. I have developed a strategy for this over the years. I rarely design one piece at a time. I usually design a big batch and work through them although I will still veer off course and do others if something crops up and then return to the list.
I spent a couple of days browsing through all my photographs and choosing those which have rung the design bells. I also browse through my books especially my rather large collection of Dover books full of design ideas. I don’t altogether feel totally happy using these but they are an excellent start source. I will probably change them significantly or just use bits of them etc.
As I am choosing the photos and designs I am also making design idea notes on each one, writing down techniques which are suggested, making little scribble sketches etc. Then I put all the images into a file and print out a contact sheet to refer to.
The next stage is to load each design into the computer and begin to work on them. Many need to be sized and turned into patterns which I will use to trace the designs onto fabric or cut out fabric. Some convert easily and some not. One or two images will suggest more than one idea so I will create all of them – ‘variations on a theme’ as I call them. Many will start as one idea and finish up totally different. Some will simply grow as I work on them. Sometimes when rummaging through my ‘stash’ I come across materials I forgot I had -tut tut- and then the piece may be material led.
When making a pattern from a photo, I open the image. turn it into a black and white, up the brightness and contrast, take away any areas I don’t want, then use the filter/effect find edges or photocopy – whichever gives me the best lined drawing.
They are then sized and printed out. I do any tweeking to the pattern once printed e.g. defining some of the lines with black felt tip pen.
I plan to print some of the photos directly onto fabric so I will either dip in Bubble jet or coat with Inkaid. I also plan a visit to Whaleys in Bradford who do prepared fabrics for inkjet printing on the roll in wide widths. Can print A3 size then and with any large pieces have less joins.
I have a couple of stamps to make for a couple of the pieces. This will be done with Funky foam. Lots of painting, dying and digitising for the embroidery machine. Must try to include using my embellishing machine too. So many techniques and materials to choose from!!
So far, then, I have done about 30 designs to work on which will keep me busy for a while. I also want to work on another themed project but can’t decide on which one yet. Could do with more hours in the day couldn’t we???
Finally, and you will probably read about this on Sharon’s blog too, I wanted to mention my visit from Sharon and her OH earlier this week. We had a fabulous day together and our OH’s got on well too and left us to it. It couldn’t have worked out better other than it lasting longer. So much to talk about. Hope to see them again – they are always welcome. Maybe a longer visit next time.
Now back to all these designs. Haven’t decided which one to start with or maybe I will work on several at the same time!!!!!