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18 November 2013

Excellent Talks

I've attended a couple of lectures recently.
The first by Rachel Gornall on her work and how she layers fabrics to make colour.  She was lovely, very enthusiastic, a good speaker.  It showed how pursuing a technique can produce endless possibilities.  And.... ta dah, she also uses elements of paper, so that pleased me too!

Then I had a day conference on restoration/conservation with Jackie Hyman.  Not really my 'thing' but I'm a huge detective/mystery fan.  So it was not only the historical information on the particular pieces in the talk, but also the how of unravelling the story, which intrigued.
Second element from Jackie was about conserving/looking after our own textiles.
As a conservator she said never ever lace embroidery when mounting it up. It creates strain points, where the fabric is likely to rip.
Well I was almost there with a high five, racing round the room yelping, OK there was an underbreath YES! I hate lacing work, I am no good at it.
photographed on black background
This piece is my headache.  Made way back in 1995 as part of City & Guilds studies.  It was an 'extra'.  The tutor wanted us to make a panel, of our choice, but within a timescale.  So I made this, laced the cream fabric to a board, and she failed it!  Not that there was a section for this task.   It failed because the base cream fabric was not on the straight of grain all along the edges of the board, the thread line waved, not much, but it did. However with a ruler the small surface panels measured equally to the edge. So I was made to dismantle and do it again, not much more successfully I might add.
Its not my only attempt at lacing, but I always seem to get the wiggle!  I see it now on other pieces, so I guess the lesson was learned.
However, I do now (partially) commit another sin for the textile restorer.  I use sticky tape.  Let me tell you, there's no wiggle now!  But its not something the restorer likes of course.
BUT in my defence I use sticky tape from the world of scrapbooking, where creating longevity of memories is the essence of making.  As such the sticky tape is acid free.  So I like to think I'm trying my best to be aware, not that I expect my work to exist in 100 years!
Oh and yes I mounted the piece above, again... this time using sticky tape, determined to get the grain lines straight, which it now has... not acid free tape at the time though,  but there's no seepage of glue, 18 years on.  Ssssh don't tell Jackie!

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