Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Highlights from five months of slöjd

So my last post was in September, and I had high hopes of getting back into blogging a bit more often. Well, that didn't happen. My slöjd course in school literary drained me, my days mostly looked like this:

05:00 Sound of the alarm clock
06:19 Off to school
09:00 - 16:00 Official school hours
16:49 Hop on the train to start journey home
18:50 Arriving at home, time to cook dinner, doing housework and collapising in the sofa
22:00 Time to go to bed

Repeat this schedule five times a week, with some added hours here and there for working late in school to get projects done. Also add in worknig 11-17 every two weekends as a personal care assistant and we have the reason to my blogging absence pretty clear.

But even if last semester was hard I learned a lot. And I created a lot. I can't show you guys everything I made because then this post would get like a kilometre long but I will show you the artefacts I'm most proud of after the jump. Warning, image bonanza coming your way!

The "Upcycle" project

So first up we have the project I made for our Upcycle-theme.
This is what I used:
A table cloth made of polyester ripstop fabric, a crochet doily,  a piece of oil cloth, some artificial flowers from a candlestick ornament, some cherry coke cans, a lunchbox with a deer on it and a piece of thin linen that had a lot of un removable stains on it.
I turned it all into this:
A skirt with heart pockets (sadly they are hard to distinguish in this image) and embroidery with spangles made of aluminium, a lined lunch box purse with spotted shoulder strap decorated with flowers, and a crochet hat.
The inside of the purse, I padded the lining so the stuff I put into the purse won't make clonking sounds. Sadly this covered up some of the pretty prints on the inside but, oh well....

Close up of the embroidery layout, I used stem stitch with green linen thread on the stems.
The pockets and the front end of the waistband, before they got installed.

 The "Tradition as inspiration" project

Next up we had a theme called "With tradition as inspiration".
We were free to choose any material and technique we had learned so far but our teachers wanted us to work with a more controlled process so we all had to start with a mood board, mine looked like this:
My inspiration sources were the colourful embroideries from Dala -floda in Sweden and Oaxaca in Mexico.

I had a personal goal for this whole course to get out of my comfort zone. Earlier I preferred to work with very limited colour palettes (mainly duocolour, like pink with a purple or black/white or black/white/red) and this project really was the crown jewel of that goal.

 I made a wool shawlette with cotton embroidery, adorned with spangles. It's mostly satin stitch with french knots used in the center of the roses. I used a small ball fringe around the outer edges and bound the front edge with some vintage cotton bias tape I had in my stash. The shawl itself is made of three pieces of wool scraps and I covered the joining seams with some thin venice lace scraps from my stash. 
How the shawlette looks like when worn, I snapped this image in our exhibition that we made as a finale of our course.

 The "In my window" project

We had two mandatory embroidery assignments in our course, I'm going to show you the bigger of the two. Our theme was "In my window", our textile teacher was inspired by a photographers project were he documented people in a remote village in Africa. They were all posing in the same window and they choose by them selves how the wanted to portray themselves. Some choose to bring objects they liked and posed with them, some just wanted to show of their tattoos or fabulous hair or something along those lines.
Our guidelines was that the embroidery had to feature a window,  and in it we should feature things or abstract themes that represented us. I quickly decided that I wanted to work with embroidery in a more sculptural fashion and I'm very happy with and proud of  my result:

My window, it's an interpretation of an actual shop window in Paris.
The base is a piece of an old linen towel with the lyrics from one of my favorite songs transferred up on it. The motifs in the window is embroidered on a scrap of dupion silk, with a mix of stem stitch, satin stitch, long and short stitch, wheels made with blanket stitch, and a small appliqué made of silk with the edges made in to fringe. I used a variety of threads, cotton, rayon and linen.
The actual window is made by layering white wool and emphasise the three-dimensional forms with small running stiches in one strand cotton floss, tone on tone. For green and light green shapes I used multiple strands of thick thread and couched them down with one strand of cotton floss in matching colour.
The whole thing is mounted on very thick and firm cardboard and I shaped the bottom edge to follow the shape of my window to add even more to the three-dimensional feeling.

The "Choose your goal" project

This was our last project of the course. I choose to take an musty. ragged old wood box and turn into a cabinet to store my yarn and knitting supplies in. It was a long process and I learned a lot about wood working which was my goal with the project. But I will only show you the before and after photos, because this post is too looooong already.

I'm very proud of this little cabinet. And as a bonus I learned the basics of gilding! And how to work with oil based paints and  glazes!

So that's some of what I've been up with since my last post. When weather gets warmer I will do photoshoots with my atomic felted hat as promised earlier and my upcycled project from this post.
Now I have a bored dog to walk and then I will finish a comissioned corset I've worked on for ages and continue my work on my early edwardian wardrobe. More of all of this in separate post. See you then!