Saturday, June 30, 2007

Chair 1

It is that time of year again. The next show on my horizon is the Festival of Quilts at the NEC and I can play with some of my more wacky ideas. I love this show as it has a category for everything. I really can go to town. Even better it uses collection depot, so I deliver a piece by hand to a courier who takes it to Birmingham, the cost isn't related to the size or weight of the piece. This is so wonderful. Maybe it won't sound so great to those of you in the USA but over here postage is very expensive and a lot of my work is effectively censored by what I can ship. The first question Thargol asked last night when he saw this was 'How are you going to ship it?".

Anyway, to the quilting. The chair is entirely self supporting and will effectively be four quilts. The back sides and arms are made from two quilts (one the inside of the chair the other the outside) and the same for the seat. The first picture shows a close up of the wood grain I've quilted on all the fabric I will use. I have just one layer of a thin wadding under the grain. Just enough for it to have some depth. I have had to quilt some face grain and some end grain as there will be places where you can see the end of the wood.

The design is based on cardboard chairs that slot together. I did think about leaving this one just slotted into place but I think it will be stronger and neater if I stitch all the joins into place. It will mean a fair amount of quite tricky hand sewing. Just what I always wanted. I've also taken inspiration from old furniture I have seen. I am thinking about the pieces made from planks joined then carved, where you can still clearly see the planks. I like the way they look like they have just used what was to hand. The planks are often different widths an sometimes even thicknesses. The real thing does have tones of character, so of which I would like to capture in this. I am concerned that the judges won't understand what I was after and will feel that the planks should all be the same width, so I have made them very obviously different in the hopes it will be clear it was a deliberate design decision. Keep your fingers crossed for me with that one.

In the second picture you can see a close up of the 'carving' on the back of the chair. It has been sprayed with water to remove the various wash away products on it. I love the look of the wet fabric, it did look even more woody. I don't think it entirely comes across in the photograph though.

Lastly this is the outer skin of the chair, standing up on it's own. Only one of the arms is in it's correct position, but you can see why I need the end grain. It isn't a full size chair, I thought for my first attempt a scale model or child size would be more sensible. See just sometimes I can make life a little easier for myself. I guess the back stands about 30" tall. I Obviously have quite a lot more work to do on this piece but I just had to share it. I am so excited that it does seem to be working. To me it was very important to just use textiles to make the structure. Several people have pointed out that I could put boards in between the quilts to keep things solid, but then it isn't really a fabric chair anymore is it. This is partly caused by the 3D textiles course I did earlier this year. I was disappointed to find some of the pieces were stuffed with bubble wrap to keep them in shape, and at that point decided I wanted to find ways to make the fabric do it on it's own. I did consider things like starch and other stiffeners, but it looks like I can avoid them, which for me is perfect. Keep watching, over the next month there will be plenty more wacky stuff appearing here.

6 comments:

Quilt Nut said...

that is amazing. it looks fantastic

Bird on a wire said...

This is a real show piece, Well done that woman

Ferret said...

Thanks guys, now I just need to get it finished :)

Nellie's Needles said...

You are sooooo clever as well as talented. I can't wait to see more.

Anne Wigfull said...

Attagirl!! I'm not too sure what that means, but you get the idea, I hope. This is so very original, Ferret,in which category will you enter it?

Ferret said...

It is in quilt creations. I love that category as it is the only one in this country for sculpture.