Friday, January 27, 2006

The Apple of My Eye

I had a wonderful busy day. After deciding to participate in 6 x 4 Lives by doing one postcard-size piece per month, I thought I could also use that size to practice different techniques and so, I set an additional goal for myself to do at least one 4"x6" work sample each week. The one I did today took about two and one-half hours. Most of the time I was changing thread or filling the bobbin. For this piece I used tissue paper, timtex and a scrap fabric.

I fused the tissue paper to the timtex, then with a pencil I drew a design, put the fabric on the back of the timtex and traced over the design with neutral thread in the sewing machine.

I added color with prismcolor pencils.
Threadplay was next! I used mostly straight and zig-zag stitches. I did use a decorative stitch to fill the white of the eye.I thought about dropping the feed dogs and just do free motion but since the sample was small I felt like I had more control with them up. It was easy to move the piece, I kept one finger on the reverse button and just improvised at a fairly fast speed.

I added some additional shading using a fabric ink pen (I hate the baby-poop color but it's effective for things like this.) I had some problems with thread breaking and with the bobbin thread coming up - even when I tried to adjust the tension to keep it invisible. I used cotton and rayon threads. I did use some decorative gold and silver thread in the bobbin (and adjusted the tensions so that they would come up to the top) which worked nicely in creating a reflective quality. I wish I had used felt, instead of fabric, as I did on the first eye - by the time I was finishing the piece was flat & looked like a piece of cardboard. I will most likely do both eyes again using fabric instead of tissue paper.

On a personal note, 'The Apple of My Eye' is actually my oldest daughter's eye. The previous eye was my younger daughter's. Allie says she like her eye best! Go figure.

And finally, the last collage for the month is done. I am through with self-portraits! It is time to move them of the design wall and start working on the Journal Quilt for February and the ArtImage challenge. I'm going to try to get both done before the Olympics start.


Micki said...

Kim, thanks for posting a step by step with this. It is really great. I think I am going to have to give it a try.

Julaine said...

Your "eyes" are incredible! I enjoyed reading about the process...


Sophie said...

The eyes are great - thanks for explaining your processes

jenclair said...

Love the newest collage and am sorry that this is the end of the self-portraits.

Still entranced by your eyes and love the apple!!!

Although I enjoyed using the tissue paper technique as an experiment and plan to do some postcards with it, I don't see the advantage in the long run. The tissue is bound to have serious archival problems (wonder if using gel medium would help there?) and other than the texture (which I do like), I'm not sure there is an advantage. When I finished my dragon, I was pleased, but not willing to put much energy into repeating the process for anything I cared about. It just isn't as much fun as fabric. Of course, if anything I did turned out as well as Maggie Grey's did...well, that isn't the case.

I liked using the felt as batting, though. :)

Sande said...

Like the rest said, thank you for posting the step by step. It was very interesting and looks like fun. I also really like your contemplation piece. It is very dramatic.

Granny Fran said...

Your contemplation self portrait is gorgeous. The Apple is such a good idea and really works.