Sally is making good progress, stitching the Flotta Chair. This time, before each element, we are looking at new kinds of what essentially are the fundamental running–, chain–, rope– and back–stitches. Also, for the fills, weaving and couching in a number of ways.
So here, two mixes of a sage green and dusty, dijon yellow. Whipped and threaded backstitches for the radiuses; couched lines for the angulars. At the drawing stage, I pay a lot of attention now (in translating the original hand drawings to more 'stable' — for the overstitching) screen drawings) to a muscle memory of each form. This then is a guiding logic to the character of each stitched line and helps us navigate the array of unfamiliar options.
It also gives me a clearer idea of where to stop, in making the artwork.
So, to an extent, each chair is a sampler. On this note, we are preparing a sampler for The Idler Academy. Sally will be running an embroidery workshop; I'm making drawings, to adapt as artwork screened onto linen, for each participant. Returning again to notions of 'kit', Froebel's Gifts and Occupations, Bauhaus preliminary exercises. I like the idea of an underprinted structure that allows for some improvisation, even by the novice. Not sure yet whether this is sufficiently simple and practicable but will try.
Two modular woodblock prints measuring 400mm x 600mm, to be exhibited along with the plates, in Monozukuri: formes d'impression, part of the 22nd International poster and graphic design festival of Chaumont, France. Opening 21 May.
The exhibition, curated by Sacha Léopold and Charles Beauté, shows examples of the interdeterminate relationship between mechanical process and print.
So these prints are building on the first experiment at this scale last year. This time monochrome, to foreground the structural and patchy surface; therefore the object quality of the plate. I do want to try some flat underprinting with an acidic or dark tone from non-grained plates, then overprinting with opaque, milky colours using the plywood. This will involve plenty of drying time and heavy inking of the second colour.
Not sure it will offer something better than this. The blue here is getting close to something I like about Barron & Larcher's indigo discharge and resist designs.
The unrivalled Mr. Best has an exhibition, opening this weekend at Krets gallery, Malmö. More here.
He's showing new, large drawings, alongwith hand–appliquéd cushions. Very exciting. Luke is so good with commercial work but the moments too — when he goes after drawing process, concocted out of a circling set of personal marks, forms and props — are so interesting.