I sewed a goldfish. Its body alone is made of six parts!
But OH BOY was there was a lot of background work required for me to get to this stage!!
I love the little buddy
My visual dictionary was very complex, from using a marvellous quasi-entirely visual reference book “KINGYO” (Japanese for Gold Fish. Literally.) which I bought at the V&A bookshop some two years ago in order to make preliminary sketches (central pencil drawing) to using photographs and stylised imagery. A mood board of sorts is included below:
I realised that making using sewn materials has been very much a part of who I am as a heavily illustrative artist and ceramist for a long time. I’ve designed and made dresses, clothes, bags… stuffed toys… the list goes on. I want to integrate this aspect of myself, which I feel is so close to my heart, and important to me, into my work.
I have a lot of ideas as to how I can achieve this, and I’m keen to experiment further.
I’d really like to scale up (ha ha see what I did there?) the current fish to make a much larger one, and use translucent material on top of the original coloured material, embroidering scales into it, and thus trapping some kind of star or something confetti between the two layers of the cloth. I’m curious as to what can be achieved sensorially speaking.
This interesting instructable DIY article on a fusion of embroidery, darning, and weaving also fascinated me. A more in-depth look on this blog/ blogpost. And this lovely embroidery by Knohe is so cute.
and I can’t even begin to explain the sense of wonder some of these intense, richly visually and haptically textured items I found here instil.