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|