Monday, April 12, 2010

Sketched, Sculpted, & Stitched

Thought I'd share some photos of a project I've been working on. I was asked to do some wire and fabric daffodils and since I haven't done this form of flower before I thought this would be a good chance to share my artistic process.

Step 1: Sketch the form from Life
It's easier for me to grasp the spatial dimensions of a piece if I'm able to sketch it first from life. Sculpting directly from a photo or from memory seems to result in a creation that feels rather 2d-ish. I have used a good quality silk flower stem to draw from before. This works pretty well as you can bend the stems or twist the form as desired to create different angles and "poses" to sketch. It usually takes me at least 2 times to sketch something before I'm satisfied I have all the information I want.

Step 2: Choose the materials
Pretty fabrics, wire, and embroidery floss are the only materials in this sculpture. The wire is a 16-gauge galvanized and the fabrics are cotton quilting fabrics.

Step 3: Sculpt the image with wire
Following the lines on the actual object ( the daffodil) or the sketches as I sculpt the wire gives me the feeling that I'm actually drawing with the wire. Imagine you're doing a line drawing as you manipulate the wire and you'll get the idea pretty quickly. This gives a lovely free-formed "sketched" quality to the work that I just love.

Step 4: Stitch the fabric to the wire
Adding fabric to the wire creation adds color, substance, density, and pattern to the wire sculpture. Although I love how the sculptures look without the fabric, adding the fabric seems to add to their personality. Each stitch in fact, becomes a little added linear element that creates a rhythmic border around the piece. This is a personal preference- I have lots of customers who prefer the pieces sans fabric.

What's your artistic process like? How do you create? I'd love to know!!!


Cristi Baxter Clothier said...

Those look wonderful!

Single Stone Studios said...

Love these!!

Jen said...

Thanks girls! You're both sweet to comment!

Julia-Rose said...

Awesome tutorial. Thanks!

creativejewishmom/ said...

I just love this project! So fresh amongst all the halloween crafts! I'm going to link to this on my weekly international blog linking party, (hope that's okay...) and would love it if you'd drop by and add some more projects with wire! Plus I think you'll enjoy the party, it's always full of inspiration, since I try and invite some new very crafty adn talented contributers every week (like you!) all the best, and hope to see you there