PROJECT 10 – A DESIGN PROJECT – STAGE 4
Having decided on three main elements for the chair project and two possible designs for cushions I decided to try to execute all of the parts. I calculated that I had enough time and materials to achieve it all.
There are some technical problems that had to be solved in terms of the upholstery of the chair and I needed to caluculate the size and shape of each piece so that I could design and make the panels and know that they would come together at the end. I stripped the chair and used the old fabric covers to make templates for the new panels. I knew that if I had a project plan for each section of the chair and the two separate cushions that I could work on each section in tandem rather than in sequence which allowed me to do all the printing, all the painting and all the stitching in a way that made best use of time and, more importantly, let me see whether the design decisions I had made for each elements would in fact work together as a coherent whole. If it did not then I had opportunity to adjust as I went along. In fact I did do this. When I printed the trellis on the fabric for the seat cover I had intended to quilt in green and brown only (the colour of the poppy stems) however it looked at that stage like two very separate elements and I changed the plan and introduced some pinks and purples to the trellis quilting to tie it in more closely with the back. I was also able to balance up the intensity of the text once I saw the impact of the density of colour and stitch on the poppies.
I also varied the tones I used in the tapestry I was weaving for one of the cushions to introduce some brighter tones in green and yellow. This lifted the piece and tied in better to the other cushion which used yellow and orange tones in the seed pods design which was painted. I also had to make decisions on the type of thread I would use to stitch the background to the second cushion and after I had done some sampling I changed my original decision to create more lustrous background.
Constructing the seat covers was a little nerve wracking. I had spent time creating each panel and was nervous that they would not fit or that the shapes had not been calculated correctly. In fact it came together easily. I have never done any upholstery but did a lot of dress making when I was younger and there are transferable skills and knowledge. Helped of course by a very simple design of chair. I fitted the coverings but will remove them again to send them to my tutor but the pictures of the finished chair can be seen below.
I think there is a clear thread of development running through the theme book. I used my theme book for the development work, interweaving that with the earlier images and drawings and I hope this allows the development to be seen clearly. I did change some of my decisions during the making process. They were not fundamental changes to the design and concept but they were important in terms of integration and balance I think. I was able to use the materials I had and selected to realise the work. I did go looking specifically for textiles that I could re-use that were suitable not just in type of fabric and colour but also that they had a history and fitted with the concept.
At the back of my theme book I have stashed away a small list of further development I would like to do which arises directly from my exploration of this theme. I would like to weave some cloth on a loom that could add to the project and have started on that at a weaving class. This is based on the lotus seed heads. I would like to make some wall pieces taking the printing and painting of the poppies and the seed pods design further. For example I have sketched out a possible design for a wall piece that brings together poppy heads and honesty. I am sure there is a further development in the red and green colour and texture of the dock plants. Some of these might get realised or returned to later in the course of my degree of might simply be part of my own work so I have stored them as potential ideas.