Free machine embroidered ‘Infinity Nets’

I really like the textural quality of the fabric background of the painted nets. Therefore, I have chosen to extend this idea by free machine embroidering the net directly into the dyed fabric.

Below are two small samples. The first is simply free machine embroidered circles, layered and overlapping, to translate the painted pattern as closely as possible. The second is the same, however I tried sewing over small tufts of wadding. This was an effort to add another element of texture, but I feel it will end up looking patchy and loose the lovely flowing quality of the infinity nets I have produced thus far.

Continuing with the sewn circles I have produced a larger piece, so that the density and repetition can be better observed. img_8454

This ‘Infinity net’ is more truly net-like. The texture and tones produce a raw finish, which reminds me of a worn fishing net. There are multiple reasons why I feel this outcome is so much more intriguing that me previous painted nets:

  • Pattern of the stitches – each line of stitch is a repeating pattern of dashes, a pattern which has been repeated thousands of times in this outcome.
  • Drawn by hand via a machine – I am in control of the machine, but there is a separation between the artist and the outcome, a mechanical barrier.
  • Multiple layered circles – for each circle you can see at a distance, at least three circles have been layered together to create it. This intensifies the repetition.
  • Texture of the stitch and fabric –  the slight buckling of the fabric caused by the stitch, makes little divvies within each circle. From a distance this gives an organic earthy quality as though it is a natural material which has started to break down in the elements.
  • Softer palette –  although the thread is bright white, the fine lines of stitch provide less of a contrast than that of the paint. This allows the textures and shadows to play a greater role in  this pattern.
  • Stitched to the edges – I wanted the pattern to look as though it could continue forever, hence ‘Infinity nets’. Along with the ripped edges, this panel looks as though it’s an artifact that at some point in time was larger.
  • Ripped raw edge – I really like the raw edges of fabric, it exaggerates the rawness of the material and its textural quality.

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What would happen it this was stretched onto a canvas frame?

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Although I like the pattern continuing around the edge of the frame as though it doesn’t end, stretching the fabric even loosely removes lots of the beautiful texture and qualities of the raw fabric.

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Author: Crisiant Williams

I am a Fine Art student, studying at Cardiff School of Art and Design.

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