I have finally found some time to begin sampling for the Thames Valley Contemporary Textiles exhibition Worn Threads. The items are due in January, but this Saturday we are having a session where we are showing ideas and thinking about aspects we might develop. So, as the Co-Ordinator, I wanted to have something out of my head into a sample.
The idea is to take a garment as inspiration for a new piece. This could be one worn by you or sentimental to you, but it does not have to be. So, I thought this was time for something I have had in my head for a long time.
Over 10 years ago we went to visit my sister in Alaska. I never got to see the photos I took, because my SD card got full and my husband downloaded them to his computer...where they have been ever since! But at last this week I got him to transfer them for me.
Which was a bit sad in some ways. My son warned me that the camera I had then was not as good quality, so the photos might be pretty rubbish.
I was Very Impressed by the 'gut parkas' made by the indigenous people. Your original waterproof jacket. Kamleika is a seal gut parka and the word comes from the Chukchi people. The Unangan name for the gut parka/rain coat is chagtalisax. Alutiiq word is kanaglluk.
One of the airport photos is tolerable. So, I hope it will do.
I did a bit more research about them - one of my favourite parts of making work is the research - and got more of an idea of how they were made.
I thought maybe lutrador/spun woven material. But when I was rummaging in my storage of spun woven types, I found a piece of wax paper I had tried using for something else.
Besides the fact that I really already have a project in mind for the spun woven fabrics at some point, the wax paper is more translucent and has the added benefit of being waterproof already!
So, I have been making some sample seams. In my research, I found some ideas on how they were actually stitched.
Here are some of the threads I am trying out; including bleached and unbleached fine linen, hemp, and twine.