Make it in Design Summer School

I have joined the Make it in design Summer School 2017. The course is a fun series of briefs focused on experimenting with new patterns ideas and techniques for surface patterns designers.

Week 1 Brief

Your brief is to design a mystical, tribal inspired
pattern using the following prompts:
  • Be inspired by the supernatural, geometry, astronomy, magic, nature, minerals and the cosmic to create your pattern
  • Think about dark symbols, landspaces, the cosmos, flower mandalas, fractals, geometric shapes, symmetry and symbols

Key words that attract me:

Mandalas

  •  Circular designs symbolizing the belief that life is never-ending. A Mandala represents wholeness, and is an apparent shape in life, the earth, moon and sun

Symbols

  • Representations of life, fecundity, ritual, war, protection, communication
  • Viking Runes
  • Textile patterns – carpets and cultural clothing

Fractals

A fractal is a never-ending pattern. They are created by repeating a simple process or pattern over and over.

  • Shell, flowers, ferns, crystals

Geometric design

  • Islamic patterns
  • Precision and repetition

Repetition, movement and symbolism are key points for the design development that I will start today! More later next week – deadline 9th August so I’m gathering my pens, pencils and geometry kit and heading to my studio!

References:

Islamic Geometric Patterns 12 May 2008 by by Eric Broug

Viking Language 1 Learn Old Norse, Runes, and Icelandic Sagas: Volume 1 (Viking Language Series) by Jesse L. Byock

Hali Magazine

www.mandalas.com

 

 

Jiang Zhoahe

Jiang Zhoahe 1904 – 1986

Born in Sichuang Province in 1904, Jiang Zhaohe is one of the most famous 20th century painters in China and a contemporary of Xu Beihong and Qi Baishi

He studied with established masters such as Xu Beihong and Qi Baishi and mastered many  different modes of artistic expression, including sculpture.

In the Autumn of 1927 he made acquaintance with Xu Beihong in his friend’s home. During the following years they established a long lasting friendship. In 1928 he was appointed as teacher by Li Yi of the education school of Nanjing Central University to teach design pattern. In 1930 Jiang transferred to Shanghai Art School as the sketch professor. In 1937 he held the display of his latest painting works in Beijing. In 1947 he was appointed as a professor by Xu Beihong in Beiping art school. In 1950, he was appointed as a professor in Central Academy of Fine Art.

Reference

“Liu Min Tu” -The Refugees 1943

‘Inspired by Mr. Jiang’s experience during the War of Japanese Invasion, the painting portrays the suffering of over sixty ordinary people during the war. The original piece is about 32m high and 30m long in total and was created in 1941. However, 10 metres of the picture was ruined and the remaining 20metres is now kept in the National Art Museum of China in Beijing.’

Jiang Zhaohe’s huge handscroll Liumin tu (Refugees), painted secretly in occupied Beijing, stands out as a remarkable achievement.

Jaing Zhaohe had had it in mind for a long time to record the suffering of refugees and the poor in an ambitious work, and is said to have lived for a year and a half in the slums of Beijing, Shanghai, and Nanjing before embarking on the Liumin tu. This huge scroll, two meters high and twenty-six meters long, contained over a hundred figures. To avoid attracting attention, he worked on it section by section. Finally completed in the autumn of 1943, the scroll was put on show in the Imperial Ancestral Temple in Taimiao. Within a few hours, Japanese soldiers burst into try to close the exhibition; so truthful a picture of life under the Occupation was offensive to the occupying power. Later that afternoon, orders came from Japanese police headquarters to take the painting down, officially because of the “poor lighting” in the hall.

In the following summer, Jiang Zhaohe took the scroll to Shanghai for an exhibition in the French Concession. A week later, the Japanese “borrowed” it. It then disappeared until 1953, when it was discovered in a warehouse in Shanghai. By that time, the second half of the scroll was lost–destroyed, it was said, by a Japanese officer–and today exists only in photographs. The surviving half was badly damaged.

A Chinese critic has called the Liumin tu China’s Guernica. But here is none of the screaming horror, the pitiless cruelty of Picasso’s work. Suffering and despair, the dying and the dead, are here rendered with a quietness that is far more tragic, because it is more human. It is fortunate that it is the first half that has survived, for it has more variety and movement than the lost section, and the figures seem less posed. Taken as a whole, it is a deeply moving work. Art and Artists of Twentieth-Century China.

 

Reference

Fortunately Jiang Zhoahe took pictures of his masterpiece and a replicated version was painted by his students based on the photos to pay tribute to this virtuoso in the 90th anniversary of Mr.Jiang’ birth in 1994.

Video of Jiang Zhoahe’s life and art.

My Pinterest board of paintings by Jiang Zhoahe.

3 Jackets

I have been experimenting with hand dyeing and painting fabric and the fabric I have chosen for this development is a beautiful ottoman rib viscose/cotton fabric.

The fabric has behaved beautifully during the dyeing processes and has been a joy to make into garments.

So to recap:

Three dye techniques:

  1. Shibori kimono

A simple kimono design – medium size 14 -16 UK

Shibori pattern – 2 metres ready to cut the pattern pieces.

Kimono pattern:

Kimono pattern

 

2. Ikat design jacket

A short boxy jacket with machine stitched ribs

I made the fabric into a short boxy jacket – size 14/16. Great with black dress or trousers or team with jeans for a BOHO look!

3. Shocking pink jacket

Hand painted twice with a rich, deep pink dye I have used this lovely fabric to make a kaftan style jacket with some shaping at the waist  with set in sleeves and lined.

To embellish the plain fabric I cut sections of gold embroidery from an old Zari sari and have stitched it down one side of the front.

See examples on my Etsy shop

To my dyeing day No.2!!

Two metres of wide fabric is a lot to dye!!

  1. The first piece is very deep pink – all over liquid procion dye applied with a wide brush. I left the fabric covered with plastic sheet over night to get a really saturated colour.
  2. Shibori dyed with liquid indigo coloured procion dye. Cured 22 hours

3.  Brush painting in strong pink, orange, yellow and green and black procion dye paste. Cured 20 hours

I poured the black dye paste into a silk paint bottle with a fine nib and drew the black outlines of pattern onto the fabric and then added the other colours with a brush. It was very random and I just had to keep going not really knowing what the outcome would be. The main problem I had was to get the black dye paste to flow evenly from the paint bottle. The nib was a little to narrow and I think un-mixed dye particles clogged it easily – a lesson for next time.

The finished design is really experimental and unpolished but I will persevere!

Here are the finished fabrics ready to be made into jackets this week – with some extra embellishment:

To my dyeing day No. 1!

Actually two dyeing days as I spent the first day experimenting with dye colours and techniques on small samples of white cotton fabric that had been pre-soaked in a solution of soda ash for 3 hours.

I am very lucky to have a great assistant for a few days – Carmen is a fashion photography student who is doing 20 hours work experience with me and her work is included in the following sample images.

Techniques:

  • Lino printing – with a thickened procion dye paste
  • Brush painting with both liquid procion dye and paste
  • Combining the two techniques

 

Dye samples covered with clingfilm to prevent drying and left to cure over night – 18 hours

 

The results are interesting as I have never used dyes like this before and, although the samples are rather rough and ready, there is potential. The lino print is not as good as I hoped – some lines are indistinct as it is difficult to apply the dye paste evenly. I find using a brush is the best method as it gives me better control over the dye placement than with a roller.

So tomorrow I will jump in to this wonderful world of colour and dye 6 meters of beautiful Ottoman Rib Viscose/cotton fabric to make three colourful fabrics for jackets:

  1. Plain colour – a strong pink mixing a little scarlet not magenta dye powder
  2. Shibori tie dye with indigo procion dye
  3. Brush designs in three – four colours with Ikat patterns in mind.

References

Shibori

Dye painting

Ikat

Fabric printing project – preparation

I have been making Lino prints ready to experiment printing on fabric with procion dyes with inspiration from Ikat woven fabric and Ottoman textile design

I have used fabric paints in the past however as these are pigment based the prints are stiff and change the nature and drape of the fabric. Dyes are permanent and do not affect the hand.

Chemical ingredients

  • Soda Ash (Sodium Carbonate) – to fix the dye
  • Water
  • Urea –  increases the brightness and intensity of dyes
  • Sodium Alginate – to thicken the dye mixture to a print consistency
  • Procion dyes – I will start with 4 colours – magenta, royal blue and lemon yellow and black. With this selection I should be able to mix many different colours and tones.
  • Synthrasol – to remove any trace of dye in the final wash

Equipment

  • Safety: face mask, rubber gloves and heavy apron
  • Table – lined with cardboard and topped with a plastic cover
  • Large plastic jug
  • Large bucket
  • Plastic spoons
  • Wooden spoons
  • Glass jars to store the thickened dye
  • Paint brushes
  • Rollers
  • Lino prints
  • Prepared sticker for the fabric pieces
  • Log book
  • Camera
  1. Pre soak the fabric – I have bought fabric that is already prepared for dyeing and will soak this in a Soda Ash solution over night
  • Mix 3/4 cup Soda ash with 7 Litres water in a large bucket and stir until the soda has dissolved. Then add half the fabric and leave to soak.
  • Wring out the fabric and then spin in the washing machine to remove excess water. The fabric must remain wet for dyeing.

2. Mix the dye base for 1.5 metres fabric:

Put on the face mask, gloves and apron

Mix together in a large plastic jug:

  • 4 cups warm water
  • 3/4 cup urea
  • 1 tbsp sodium alginate

Mix well with a whisk as the mixture blends and thickens. Divided the paste base into 4 glass jars.

3. Prepare the fabric

As I am experimenting at this stage I will cut the pre-soaked fabric and unsoaked fabric into 20cm squares and lay them across the prepared table.

4. Mixing the dyes

  • Face mask, gloves and apron on
  • Add 4 teaspoon of soda ash to the paste base and mix in well
  • Measure out 1/2 teaspoon of dye powder into a glass jar and add 1-2 teaspoons of water and mix to a paste – it is important not to add too much water and to mix the dye very well so that it has all been dissolved. Unmixed particles of dye will cause streaking on the fabric.

Repeat this process with the other 3 dye colours.

N.b. Once the dye has been mixed with the soda ash in the dye mixture the dye will have short shelf life – maximum 4 hours so my experiment will have to be completed in that time

Experiments

Use a soak and unsoaked piece of fabric for each experiment. First label the fabric with:

  • S – soaked
  • US – unsoaked
  • Technique
  • Start time
  • Completion time
  • Comments in log book

Techniques

  • a. Lino print
  • b. Brush strokes – wide and fine
  • c. Water colour – spraying extra water on the fabric to see how the paste behaves
  • d. Stencilling
  • e. Printing with a range of shapes – leaves, pasta etc

Finishing

  1. Leave 1/3 fabric pieces on the table for 90 minutes before washing.
  2. Leave 1/3 fabric pieces on the table covered lightly with cling film for 4 hours before washing.
  3. Leave 1/3 fabric pieces on the table covered lightly with cling film over night for about 16 hours+ before washing.

Finally rinse out the fabric in cold water until the water runs clear and then wash with Synthrapol to remove any last traces of dye.

Questions

  • Does pre soaking the fabric make a difference to the final colour and design and colourfastness?
  • Which printing method is most effective?
  • Which colours look best with a white background?
  • Which colour combinations work?
  • Which techniques work well together?

References:

Books

How to dye your own fabric
Margo Price, Andrew Moore

 

 

Fabric dyeing project

I have never used procion dyes before and have decided to dye and print my fabric for a range of jackets with an Asian ottoman theme.

Researching I have found some good tips for using dyes thickened with sodium alginate to paint or print onto fabric by Alyson Provax

Alyson Provax – printmaker and experimental dyer in Portland, Oregon. Her prints are available through Uprise Art, and her work will be shown in Variable States: Prints Now at Upfor Gallery in Portland this spring. Find her at alysonprovax.com

Pattern design – thoughts

  • Lino cut printing
  • Free hand painting
  • Flowers – tulips, roses, hyacinths, carnations pomegranates
  • Blues and turquoise, maroon, purple and gold, orange and serene greens

 

  • Free machine embroidery
  • Simple jacket design – no darts or extra seams
  • Loose fitting, comfortable, elegant, individual, colourful, excellent

Materials and equipment

  • Procion dyes
  • Urea
  • Soda ash
  • Sodium alginate
  • Mask and gloves
  • Buckets and plastic jugs, spoons and cups, wooden spoon, lots of towels and cardboard to work on
  • Lino cuts, paint brushes
  • Fabrics: Cotton/viscose Ottoman rib Siberia natural, Barkweave cotton, Linen/cotton Manetti (Whaleys of Bradford)

Everything is ordered and will be ready to go by next week – watch this space…..

 

 

Ottoman garment fabrics and patterns 1.

Gomlek

The under shirt (chemise)

17thC image British Museum archive depicting a white gomlek under a hirka or short entari

Fabrics

Finest, translucent woven cotton or silk fabric was used to make the under garments. There are examples of men’s winter gomleks made of fine wool. This garment was very wide and loose and often reached to the ankles, with generously wide, long sleeves.

Gomlek pattern

Entari

The entari was a decorative indoor coat cut in several designs:

16thC Ottoman ladies

Long to the floor:

  • sleeveless
  • short sleeved
  • long sleeved – tight fitted at the top widening below the elbow

Short to below the hips:

  • sleeveless
  • short sleeved
  • long tight sleeved

Fabrics

The most popular fabrics were heavy silks such as brocaded silk, velvet, brocaded silk with metallic threads in lampas structure, and clothe of gold and silver. Colours – rich reds and yellows, some blue but green was rare until the 18th century

Entari pattern