Use of Tapestry Weaving with Screen Printing on Cotton Muslin and other Materials
Sampling Work to Investigate Options for Creating Very Large Scale Screen-Printed Visual Art with Enhanced Textural Qualities and Reduced Colour Palettes based upon more Worn, Muted, Natural Tones with a Bright Accent
Developing my Ideas-Narrowing and Broadening my Approach
On completing my series of screen-printing sampling using waste including recycled materials, repurposed paper, and card I utilised the A1 sized white cardboard which had been printed onto for tapestry weaving. Although not all the printing inks represented my preferred colour schemes as they were left over printing inks which were used to avoid waste, they were not used in the sampling processes with muslin. I cut out sections of the printed cardboard to symbolise the disappearance of nature and the gaps were patched and repaired through tapestry weaving to demonstrate hope that recovery is possible.
Through reflecting upon my creative process, I liked the surface quality of the cardboard, of its textural qualities after print and the effects created on the cardboard which acted as an impactful contrast to the tapestry weaving and the yarns used. While the colours utilised
were brighter than initially considered I felt that the processes of screen printing and tapestry weaving have generated many ideas going forward. The cardboard proved to be the most conducive material to use with tapestry weaving to act as a printed surface and support, to use with a range of threads and yarns to weave as warp and weft within the created gaps. The contrasts created between the print and the weave were interesting.
Remake Scotland is a local reuse charity which has proven to be an excellent supplier of materials including recycled threads, yarns, and haberdashery for my artwork. Their purpose is to promote the reuse of materials for the benefit of our community. Remake is a local solution to a global problem which promotes environmental sustainability through waste reduction. I have been led by availability in relation to my tapestry weaving processes. That said I have been enthralled by what can be made from waste, recycling and repurposing which communicates and promotes the core message of my making, of the need to reuse.
Given all my learning about sheer cotton muslin through related experiencing of this material ideas have continued to be generated concerning the integration of tapestry weaving within this screen-printed material given its loose open weave construction. Through continued experimentation with sheer cotton muslin the scale of my work has significantly increased beyond A4 to encompass A1 and A2 sampling sizes including 70x50cm samples. Once the printed muslin was adequately supported, I explored a range of ways of using weft and warp threads within, through and around the cotton muslin. It felt particularly liberating to move beyond the traditional confines of a wooden frame, to utilise the materials differently. In considering the increased scale the mixture of linen, cotton, and silk threads were used to either compliment or contrast with the screen prints. I liked the contrasts generated from the threads overlapping the cardboard supported printed muslin. There was an increased emphasis on the print given the portrayal of and communication of fragility, fragmentation, fraying and disintegration through the print itself which evolved from prints, imprints and relief -resist imagery from screen printing on recycled paper, card, cardboard and MDF. I felt that such an approach to print and tapestry weaving integrated the related themes of fragility and fracturing to environmental decline and destruction through too much waste and too little reuse.
In considering the increased scale of my screen printing and tapestry weaving further exploration is planned in terms of linking the larger scale screen printed muslin with the warp and weft of the tapestry weaving. I have started to investigate more sculptural forms for weaving to envelop print from an increasingly three-dimensional perspective. I have researched the work of several textile artists including Sheila Hicks. This artist has used recycled bamboo, textile fragments, stray threads, acrylic fibres, cotton, wool, and linen to produce richly coloured textile wraps with environmental significance which have the potential to translate into more subdued warp and weft. The work of Cos Ahmet has influenced me with his contemporary use of woven tapestry including his use of long lengths of continuous hand-felted cords which have been bound and wrapped with threads and yarns by hand. The manila rope sculptures by Susan Beallor-Snyder has also led to further consideration of a different range of ropes which can be adapted to suit the amalgamation of larger scale work involving print and weave.