Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Black Denim Throws, Wallhangings or Floor Covering.

Black Denim Throws, Wallhangings or Floor Covering.

When I started using denim back in the early 1990's I realised how versatile and creative you could be with this fabric.   It is strong, easy to sew, great to embroider on and most of all can be changed by adding substances to it.  This took me down a pathway of experimentation, trying out different weights of denim, playing with colour discharge techniques, adding dye and paint.  Each product, brand and quantity created something new.

When I chanced upon black denim for the first time I noticed that it had a slightly different texture to indigo. I bought it only because the indigo had sold out.  It was an eureka moment when I added colour discharge for the first time, a rusty colour substance filled the bowl and the fabric changed very quickly indeed.  It sort of scared me as I thought it was going to melt away.   I washed the product out and left to dry naturally overnight, and awoke in the morning to find  I had natural effect animal hide.  Was a very exciting moment.  Brilliant for waistcoats.   See images below:

waistcoat detail by Jackie Wills
Waistcoat that inspired bedspread below by Jackie Wills.

Then I was given a commission to create a bedspread.   My domestic Brother sewing machine would not allow me to sew great widths or lengths so I optioned to create panels of various lengths.   Each panel colour discharged differently by manipulating the fabric/products in process.    I twisted black and rustic beige wool then machine couched onto each panel.  Simple skeleton lines.  Using earth colours for thread.

Denim bedspread commission by Jackie Wills 1992

At the time a created two other pieces which had more intense design.   The larger is a replica of the smaller in scale.   A friend recently discovered these forgotten works and I was surprised how enthusiastic she was about them.   To me they look dated, but have photographed well in situ today.
Denim is wonderful as it gets better the more it is handled.

I have created a video clip to accompany this blog: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2nU9n81a0Kw

Large denim throw by Jackie Wills
Denim Wallhanging by Jackie Wills

Friday, 6 September 2013

Coincidence or what? ............judge for yourself.....This blog is not about textiles

Coincidence or what? .........judge for yourself.  This blog is not about textiles.

Feel compelled to write about two incidences that occurred this week.  Need to air it and get it out my system.

About a week ago decided that the two plastic boxes had to be condensed into one.   These boxes contained diaries, old letters, newspaper cuttings and photographs from the 1980's and before.  It was a wrench to do and in hindsight should have chosen a time when each bit of paper could have been scrutinised.

I did the job standing up and was ruthless in my throwing.  Why keep Sunday Times magazines, newspaper articles and old letters and postcards from people who am no longer in contact with.   A postcard slipped, then ripped through my fingers from a chap with the initials D.W.   I remembered we had spent some pleasant times in the late 1980's hiking and going to events in London.    He disappeared off the radar completely.   I ripped his distinct handwritten card in two and that was that.

About three days later I was pushing a heavy trolly out of a supermarket entrance in a slightly harassed state.  Ahead of me, blocking the entrance was a lady and a man talking in an animated way.  He looked strangely familiar.    It was D.W. I did not interrupt the conversation and carried on my way.    How strange is that.....after 25 years off the radar, then two incidents in three days.  Weird.

The second happening occurred this morning.   Mornings are always busy and rushed off my feet.   I mostly always indoors working after 9am.

This morning completely out of sync I had the urge to find a galvanised bucket in the garden.  I never potter in the garden in the mornings.    A lady in her later years with a sleeping child in pushchair stood at the top of the drive.   I said hello and she seemed a bit overwhelmed, shy and tearful.   She told me she was visiting from a distance and that her parents once lived in our house and she wanted to walk past it.   I invited her in and we had the most pleasant conversation.  

It really made her happy that we had kept the bannisters and curtain rails.   She said had I not been in the garden she would not have stopped.   Strange.  Very strange.

The image below is of "The Happy Book"  I could not throw it away.   I must have compiled it when about 8 years old.   Quoting one of the bits I wrote  "If I did not knit or sew, what would I do for hobbies"  How prophetic.