Some other techniques we had to demonstrate for our portfolio in Intro to Fibers were crochet:
And knitting. Below is some standard knit/pearl/knit/pearl, and checkers made by alternating ribbing.
One of my favorite techniques we had to exercise, and which I still use to a great extent today in my work, was embroidery and beading.
This is a found piece of fabric with an old screenprint on it. It has been appliqued to the muslin and then stitched around with backstitched rings, a few stitches I made up, and julienne stitches (the little loops). Satin stitch colored the women's lips and eyes, and made their speech bubble.
The beading around the edge is actually two colors of gold, making a little pattern of Venusian symbols.
This is old news; the second semester of my freshman year I was in a class called Intro to Fibers. More about process than concept, much of the spring was spent learning new ways to create, dye, embellish or print things, and at the end of the class a portfolio was due of examples displaying our mastery of the techniques explored. Above is the box I created to house my portfolio, fulfilling the "something machine sewn" requirement.
The inside of the box is seen above, as well as some of the contents.
Above is my felting sample. In class, our teacher said, "Of course, it's impossible to felt an exact square, and you should probably just get close and then cut it afterwards if that's what you want." Being a contrarian, this was my attempt at a perfect square.
Next is twining, or coiling. This is a basket making or sculptural process where you wrap yarn (or twine, duh) around some more yarn (or twine) and occasionally thread it back through the preceeding coils to make a form. I wanted to do something difficult (duh) so this is my twined sphere.
Another basket making process, here we have the basket weave. Colorful! Cube!
We also had to have an 'extra' technique displayed; I picked screenprinting, and printed this fabric which became the inside of the box at the same time as these shirts.
A photograph I took back in high school. Those are two torsos: my best friends', and my boyfriends'. I was trying to do a series of abstracted skin - the photos were great, but I lost almost all of them and couldn't reprint them in time to complete my final project. I did reprint this one and it is still one of my favorites.
Those gold bubbles in the grey wash are speech bubbles. They are speaking squid but because it is underwater, we can only see it as funny little cartoon circles, like those you see above any drawing of a goldfish. I drew this last year for no reason at all.
I found this in my old sketchbook. I remember showing it to someone after drawing it, and them being completely baffled. I think I like these little scenarios more now that I have no idea why I drew them. I like them very much.
This comes from my old nightmare sketchbook, the one with all the Llama Man drawings. I went through a period of origami obsession when I was young(er), and one of my favorite characters was this little Inuit man. I knew how to make a kayak for him too, and a paddle. All I remember now is how to make the little man. I still don't know how to make a paper crane but I do make this guy a lot. Here is a sketch of two of them posed on my pen nib jar with a ghostly toilet paper replica sewn to the corner.
I made this for my friend Fern while I was living in San Francisco several years ago. I was really into recycling found fabric into functional objects and clothes. This came directly after I made a 'Cripple Crate' for my friend Ilyse, who was laid up with a broken leg and no one but a milk crate to keep her and her remote control company ((not actually true)). The Cripple Crate was a wrap-around corset that snugly hugged the milk crate and created loads of multi-functional pockets of various sizes.
This pretty little bag operated as a fannypack for Fern, since she needed something small to keep cash in for an upcoming bodyworker convention. It also operated as me learning how to make something with lining.
The tying parts are of the same fabric, sewn into cords, braided, and sewn again.
Did you know that you, yes you, are capable of making an eight page book using any mere 8 x 10 sheet of paper?
Above is a template I've put together for how exactly you would go about it. 'Mountain folds', familiar to anyone with a childhood obsession with origami (like me), are folds where the paper, when laid flat on a table, peaks up towards you like a perfectly planar mountain range. 'Valley folds' are where the paper pokes down towards the table, creating a little trough.
Fold your paper into eight sections (half and half and half again) ignoring the direction the folds are going - any fold, once created, will happily accept either mountain or valley designations. Cut along the middle fold, NOT reaching the ends of the paper, where I have marked it above. Now fold the paper in half longways, so the cut edge is at the top of your 10 inch mountain range. Hold the paper at either end and push in, so the cut edge opens into a diamond shape and you hold a two-ply section in each hand. Push in until all four valley folds meet in the center of your paper cross. Now you can choose any of these quadrants as the front and back cover of your little pamphlet, and sandwich the rest of the pages between.
Below you will find a full sheet drawn by me on the back of a returned science quiz. This page was drawn to become a mini pamphlet, or as we krazy kids say, 'zine'. Print it out on a regular sheet of printer paper, making sure not to shrink the image and print as close to the edges of the paper as possible. Fold it as I've described above, and arrange the pages so that "FIRE!" is the front cover, and "NOW YOU WILL NEVER LEAVE ME, MY CHILD" the back. The image at the beginning of this post should end up as the centerfold.
Turning blown eggs into Pisanki eggs is an old Polish tradition. They are made through a wax-relief dying process, and generally patterned with abstract geometric patterns or natural images.
Deborah introduced me to Pisanki eggs when I was about 12, and we would spend hours in Cazadero making them. Deborah opted for the patterns, but I opted for vignettes.
This is my favorite egg I've made, which is good because I have no idea where the rest of them are. On one side is a sorcerer in a red spiraled suit, extending his arms to this little boy in a bubble on the opposite side.
The process begins with a white or brown egg. Using a small metal cone on the end of a stick, you scoop up beeswax, melt it over a candle, and draw with the narrow end of the cone. This area will remain white or brown (here, the hands and face of the sorcerer). You then dye the egg the next lightest color (here yellow) and draw again, covering what you wish to remain that color (the boy's face, the sorcerer's ruff, the border of the bubble). These steps continue through however many colors you desire, until the final color is reached, and the wax is melted off the egg, revealing the colors and polishing the egg's surface.
It is a convoluted, difficult process to hold a 3-D egg-shaped composition in your head and work from the lightest color out on a bare, 2 inch canvass. It's even more difficult not to break it afterward.