What have you achieved?

Posted by Agnes Iley , Monday, July 23, 2012 8:30 AM

Can you see a clear line of progression from source material through to the finished piece? Was there enough information in your source material to stimulate your imagination and sustain your enthusiasm?

Yes I do think I see a line of progression from my inspiration picture to my finished piece. I kept revering to my picture for guidance in colour choices and to keep the “feel” of the picture. There was more than enough information to keep my imagination going, although I must admit that it doesn’t take much to get my imagination going. But I had absolutely loved this picture for a long time, so it was great to finally unleash that and work with it.

Do you feel you made the right choices and decisions when selecting at each stage of the project? If not what would you change and how would you alter the outcome?

Above I describe the choices I have made at every step and I am happy with the outcome. On one hand she turned out to be quite a striking soft sculpt, but on the other hand she got quite a serene feel over her. Just like a Weeping Willow. I don’t think I would change her.

Are there more ideas you would like to pursue that have come out of this project? Are they similar in feeling to the direction you took, or different? Note them down for future use.

I have no immediate plans to start another project based on this picture. But that’s just because working on a sculpt like this is very time consuming. When finished it is nice to get a little distance from the subject you’ve been working on so intensely for quite a long time and think about some fresh new ideas. But in the back of my head there is a wise old willow, wrinkly and a little crooked…. And of course this picture isn’t going anywhere, so I am sure it will creep up in the future in some other textile art forms. At the moment I am still brimming with ideas from the weaving challenge, great inspiration for a tapestry!

Which stage did you find the most exciting? Which stage was most arduous and difficult to get through?

There are so many different stages to get through on a sculpt like this, but in this case I was most excited when I was sewing on the cords and realized the whole thing came together just as I hoped. That was the moment that my human figure became a tree. I didn’t have any really difficult moments. Difficult moments to me are moments that I want to pick the whole thing up and bin it! So no true melt downs. But there were two tasks that can get a little tedious. One is the needle felting. Needle felting the whole body shape is labour intensive and can get a little tedious. But when the figures starts to take shape, all is forgotten. The one thing that got absolutely mind-numbing on this sculpt was making the cords. It was a long and tedious job and the wires where putting a lot of pressure on my hands (trying to keep them going straight and not being hit by the machine’s needle), so it took me a lot of time and I had to take regular breaks. But I loved the result, so I would absolutely do it again! (Just not tomorrow)

Do you like the finished textile? Can you say what it’s strengths and weaknesses are?

I do like the finished piece. What I like most is that it’s a striking figure, but still has a quiet, serene feel about it, just like a tree.  What I would have liked to have done better is some of the finishing. I took this piece with me to the United States for a show (Creations in Fiber in Albuquerque) and she wasn’t quite finished when I left. So I ended up doing some final work in various hotel rooms during our trip and in some places it’s not quite perfect. However she did win Perfect Score, Judges Choice and Best in Show. So maybe she’s not all that bad.

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