I've recently been away from my studio for a couple of weeks, so in order to keep up my progress on the Dungeness Lady Launchers piece I decided to try some experimentation.
Last year I had an interview with Professor Lesley Millar with a view to applying for a place on the MA textile course at the UCA in Farnham Surrey. She was extremely helpful and selected one sketch in particular as her favourite amongst the content of my sketchbook.
It's the bottom sketch on the LH page.
I was successful in gaining a place on the course, but sadly had to decline the offer as I could not raise the funding for it.
My original idea was to show the ladies pulling on the launching rope in a literal representation.
Being separated from my sewing machine I decided to try a more contemporary approach and revisited some of my earlier sketches.
The hand embroidered sample below caught my attention and I decided to use it for a trial.
The proportions were much smaller than I needed so I had to size up each figure, keeping it in proportion so that the figures would be smaller as they receded into the distance.
I worked all the sketches in running stitch on silk organza, which is my fabric of choice for all three panels.
This is a very quick trial, but already I can see the benefit of thinking beyond the obvious.
I also used the time away from my familiar surroundings to think about how I would support each sail in the ‘window frames’ that will be used to display each piece individually.
In the above image you will see my favourite sample, using fine twine, doubling each strand, which was then plaited, passed through the eyelet and then whipped into place.
It was quite a fiddly process and it took several attempts to find the best way to support the twine.