Over the past few months I've been experimenting with different ways of making marks on cloth. While I love the linear marks I have been producing with shibori and other techniques, I don't want to just keep repeating myself. So I've been shaking things up.
I started by looking through my library of photographs and identifying certain qualities that interested me. I also collected images with similar qualities from the internet and elsewhere to expand my ideas about what I might do. Then I thought about ways I might achieve similar effects on cloth.
Since February, I've been engaged in an extended, on and off, process of experimenting - in between making new work for exhibition. There have been some outright failures. Dip-dye techniques are now crossed firmly off my list of possibilities. But there have also been some interesting beginnings.
I've deliberately investigated methods I tend not to use much. I generally avoid screen-printing because I'm not interested in repeating designs. But mixing screen-printing with drawing and mono-print techniques has led to some exciting results.
I also don't normally use screen inks. But I wondered what would happen if I used them to resist the dye ... and there were some surprises with interesting texture effects.
There is still loads to do. I need to solve some technical issues; refine techniques; think about colour; develop the marks and imagery ... and all just to develop an initial collection of different fabrics. Only then can I start to play around with ideas for new work.
In the meantime I carry on making work with my existing fabrics. Although In practice, some of my new ideas are starting to creep in anyway ...