Metronome Mk 4

I decided that I wanted to try a layered approach to this metronome, so I drew a basic design (see left pic above). Inspired by the fact a metronome helps keeps ‘time’ and that I looked at how sound (in this case music) looks visually; I drew a waveform on each panel on the base design.

I then drew wave forms on the top design (see right pic above), these smaller wave forms were to include a word or two describing my father-in-law.

These photos (directly above) show the process of densely filling in the front panel.

This is the back panel (above), each panel is less dense than the one before. I also decided that the metronome in this size is too small to achieve such fine detail as planned on the top layer.  So I created musical notes separately, so that they could be added afterwards, stitching them on to each panel, except the back panel.  It was my intention to wire the notes coming out of the back, as if floating away.  I thought they would add some movement to the piece.

These photos show the completed panels still on the dissolvable fabric and then the musical notes and panels, trimmed and ready to assemble BEFORE washing out the fabric. This is a modification that I made from the construction of the first Metronome. When you wash out the panels there is slight shrinkage and they can be distorted by the time they have dried. Also the thread darkens when washed, so when you stitch it together with the same thread there is a noticeable colour difference.

The photo on the left is partially constructed and still intact with the dissolvable fabric.  On the right is the fully constructed, dissolved and dried object.

I really like the fourth panel with the open design, but still not sure about the finished object; feedback from my tutor was that it was too graphic.  Unfortunately, it would appear that I am still guilty of being very obvious with my work – old habits can be hard to break.



Process – Washing out water soluble fabric

Here is a short video showing the washing away of the water soluble fabric and moulding the textile sculpture on a form, which represents a metronome.




Treble Clef for Metronome

I worked a design which incorporated a musical staff,  base clef and a crotchet to make up the shape of a treble clef.  It was my intention to fix it to the front of the metronome, but unfortunately it turned out to be too big and would have swamped the metronome.

Trial – Stargazer Lily

I decided to create a very rough stargazer lily and try and form it, to see if the flower would hold its shape etc.

I drew the basic shape on the dissolvable fabric and using a fairly loose pattern ‘coloured in’ the petals. I also embroidered text around the edge of a couple of the leaves to see how it would look. After washing out the fabric I arranged the flower in a wine glass to hopefully achieve the correct shape.

The text was challenging on a small scale, but I liked the effect, so will need to perfect this technique.

On the whole I think it worked very well, so the plan is the make another one.  However, this time I will make two sets of three petals, and layer them when the dissolvable fabric has been washed away, as I think it will look better.


Stargazer Lily

My mother-in-law used to sing in the choir at St Mary’s Church and was often asked to sing solo at weddings.  She was artistic with a talent for producing the most beautiful wedding and occasion cakes, long before they really became popular.  She took her inspiration from nature, especially flowers and butterflies. She also loved clothes, shopping, fairies and jewellery. However, I always think about her when I see a Stargazer Lily as it was one of her favourite flowers, so I have chosen to use this flower as the object I will create with her in mind.

I was recently bought some flowers that included a Stargazer Lily and took the opportunity to sketch it and play with some ideas that I have for the one I am going to make.

I looked at putting the text around the edge of the petals, as it will soften the edge. I think the next thing I need to do is try and rough out a flower in machine embroidery and dissolvable, to work through the logistics of constructing a flower in this medium.


Textile Text

As conversation is a major element in my work, I need to find the best way of incorporation written text in my projects, using the dissolvable fabric and machine embroidery.  The problem I have, is that I just want the text and no base fabric, but if I am not careful this will unravel as soon as I wash the dissolvable away and I will be just left with unravelled thread.

I looked on Pinterest to see how other people incorporated text. These are some examples I liked, particularly the example on the right, but note it is paper and not textile.

I decided to experiment  with a combination of machine embroidery, dissolvable fabric and paper.

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This was a rough example of letters joined by a thin thread, however it wasn’t very successful when I washed out the dissolvable fabric. The structure became unclear and it looked quite messy.  It is possible that if I pinned the piece in place on a board and then washed the fabric away, it might keep the structure better.

This was a little more successful as I used a small zig-zag stitch, which gives a better density to the text, but you can’t get very fine detail and you need the words to be a reasonable size otherwise the text is not clear to read.  I will definitely experiment with this some more.

In the photo on the left, I have created a free machine embroidery panel and then on a separate piece of dissolvable attached to the top, stitched a phrase.  When I washed out the fabric, the phrase  was not very obvious,  so I would have to consider back lighting to aid reading. It was still not very obvious, but I liked that fact as it added interest and would be good if I wanted to convey a hidden message.

In the photo on the right, I used paper letters sandwiched between two pieces of dissolvable fabric, but it wasn’t very successful, as the machine needle cut through the paper as I was sewing.  I tried a thicker handmade paper which was better but not brilliant.  However, this might be worth trying with various papers and explore the different results.


Alternative Tea Set

I decided to look at the tea set differently and wondered if I made simple shapes in wire, could I attach the conversation text to them, so the conversation and tea set would be as one.


I quite liked the simple cup shapes, but the teapot might take a bit more work, as my daughter thought it was a lovely……….. chicken!

I can see her point – so maybe a rethink.