One week on and I have finally finished stitching the sky samplers. The work has made me reconsider my initial ideas and now I am thinking how to develop this new work. I have envisaged these pieces for several months and thought that I knew how they would look, but these samples are not working as well as I imagined. I am not sure if this is just a matter of scale, they are quite small – one is 15x60cms and the other 15x90cms, other enamel panels I have made using this stitched technique are much bigger and have more presence. So I probably need to leave them alone and view them in a few days/weeks time to gauge my reaction. But I did make several decisions that I am certain about.
I decided to keep the stripes in different widths, as opposed to the same size blocks as in commercial colour charts, but I am not sure that I need so many stripes as more interesting effects may be gained by the gradation of the colours in one stripe – so the yellow sky stripe would be wider and go from rich coral pink through apricot to yellow to cream. but I will loose the lovely slinky movement of the strips, I will need to sample further…..
But these samples are successful in giving me the technical information I need:- an initial colour gamut to work from – I made the same size sample into a the colour reference with each recipe on the back. The glossy surface of the enamel has been chemically treated to make it matte, this also softens and distances the colours.
I decided that the actual stitching will be uniform throughout as in the sample on the left, and to use only copper coloured wires, from pale to dark, to unify the stitching; and I tested to find the best gauge of wire to use. So I ordered more wire from the Scientific Wire Company web site and it came in time for me to complete the work within my self imposed deadline of a week.
When stitching the pieces with the wire, I did consider whether I was actually stitching or threading – but why do I want to stitch this particular work – is it because I just want to make enamel fabric to this format again? The original stitched strip enamel hangings can be seen in the Gallery section of the blog.
By chance I have just received a new paint chart, the idea that first made me see a way of using my original sky drawings, and I realised that what is so alluring here are those perfect rectangles of pristine colour, whether in paint, silk or woolen threads they give us a sense of order and are in fact complete entities in themselves.
So how will my simple strips of colour give the impression of a whole sky and why do I want to do this? to contain it? to claim it? to make a version of it for myself, in a size I can manage? The sky is limitless, I am trying to convey the beauty of the colour in a tiny fragment -or does it need to be big – on the scale of a window? Maybe I should make a whole series of different striped skies and hang them side by side as in the chart layout?
So here it is – the dilemma of making your own work from your own ideas – do you allow the work a life of its own and let it lead you where it will or do you stay faithful to your original idea and ignore all the possibilities that making affords you? At present the sky samples fall between these 2 options, which is why I am not sure how to continue just yet. And significantly it is being developed just as an idea, not a product as yet. I have heard writers talk of the characters in their novels who suddenly take on their own life and guide the story, is this what I need to let happen?
Anyone got anything to say to me about this?