HNC Autumn School – Day 3

  Today it feels as though Autumn is well and truly here. Gale warnings on the 5.30am news and it is pouring with rain as I cycle to my studio. There’s a lot to deal with each morning before I set off for Bradford.    

 A Fern of Sunlight

A Fern of Sunlight

I swear it is several degrees colder when I step out of the train at Bradford Interchange, but once in the Drawing Studio the sun appears and the room is flooded with light. We share the space today with a Life Class, which I don’t realise until Marina, with whom I share a table, points this out! Marina’s organic material is a mackerel acquired from the city market. Now two days old its smell and patina are becoming  . . . interesting.        

Black Net Background

Black Net Background

The task today is to explore the possibility of texture through collage. Our tutor Andrea arrives with a large bag of oddments: fabric, paper, net, card. We rummage through this like old ladies at a market stall. I grab some black net two (green) plastic bags, some white net and a swathe of olive coloured cotton. Immediately I sense the possibility of the black net as a surface onto which I could pin and glue. I find a wall space between two doors and fill this with a piece of black net cut to size.       I then experiment by painting a little cut-out frond of white net. I pin it to the black net – success! Next I make a whole series of fern-like fronds cut from white net, imagining the fern in two halves, the central stem marking out the separation.  

Cumbrian Bracken

Cumbrian Bracken

I begin to imagine the white netted half as a fern gradually dying on me and study the photo I took in Cumbria of a piece of bracken showing a sequence from its living green to its dry, dead, yellow/brown state through a progression of orange and reddish brown. I paint the white net series in a progression of colour from green through to a ‘dead’ yellow.    

Collage Fern Segment

Collage Fern Segment

On the other segment of my collage I begin with frond pieces created from two plastic bags. Much careful and patient work with scissors required. I realise how very impatient I get with such processes. At a loss to know how to continue I realise that the pieces of cartridge paper I placed underneath the white net fronds as they were painted are a rich kaleidoscope of my observed and chosen colours: green, yellows, orange,brown and a little red. I cut the paper into three  fronds I need to balance the net segment. The collage is complete when the seam of a piece of white net is removed and given a new life as a ‘stalk’.   

This day of making has woven into it a session in the textiles CAD room.This is a suite of computers adjacent to the main workshop space in the basement of the Craft Centre. I  now have a college e-mail address: 10133943@bradfordcollege.ac.uk . I also get access to a suite of software tools and 3Gig of server space for all those images I’ll create in research and preparation for my woven work. I have access to printers and scanners: essential tools for examining the detail of freehand images or chosen ‘found’ objects.

Collage Colour Analysis

Collage Colour Analysis

With my collage on the wall I’m now ready to make an analysis of its colour and texture; with colour the intention is to describe the proportions and inemployment  colours used in the collage; with texture a description of the different aspects of the materials I’ve selected and used. Two days hence this analysis will form the basis of my selection of yarns for warp and weft. But tomorrow is a break from practical work: a day devoted to learning about the technology of yarns and fibres with tutor Edward Marshall.

Collage in situ

Collage in situ

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