Last November I wrote about how I was disappointed by what I'd produced at the Alan Turing Textile Workshop. (Now I've completed Assignment 3, in hindsight, I realise that part of the problem was attempting reverse applique without knowing what it was or how to do it!). However, I still felt that a drawing I'd produced there had potential in the shapes.
I'd planned to use some photographs I'd taken of animal markings (markings that would have interested Alan Turing) to create my collage. However, as I was considering what background to use, I came across a map of the Pacific Ocean. The Great Barrier Reef made me think of the Assignment 3 final sample I'd just completed of an underwater scene and I decided to concentrate on markings of sea creatures, which was more relevant anyway, since my drawing was of a sliced open shell. I gained a great deal of pleasure just by flicking through amazing seascape images and pulled out those with exuberant, jewel-like colours that really drew me in.
I traced my design, cut out my shapes and played with different images on the background before finalising which to use, thinking about how I could enhance them by stitch. Rather than complete a collage then stitch, which is what I'd done with my previous wall design, this time I wanted layers. I stitched across the map before gluing on the larger shapes, which I positioned to leave the most interesting and relevant parts of the map still visible. I stitched onto these then stuck down the final pieces. As the map might have torn, I'd also stitched some florist wrapping fabric to the rear. This also helped the sample slide easier on the machine.
Finally I added some hand stitching and beading and finished the edges. I really do enjoy incorporating paper into my work, even if it is unforgiving of mistakes. I relished working with colour and I'm happy with the result. I think this was a lesson in not discarding what hasn't worked but working out why and finding the positives and I found it so much easier to select a design that would work for stitched collage, this being my second attempt.