I use a wide range of beads and sequins to enhance my textiles. A flat design can become enriched with light, changing throughout the day, casting shadow to create depth within the surface contouring. In this article we will explore building a colour palette, the impact of delicate detail, threading techniques, building texture and depth, block colour and decorative detail to enhance a design.
BUILDING A COLOUR PALETTE – BEADS AND SEQUINS
The vagina in ‘Rainbow’ is created from panels of colour heavily embellished with beads and sequins, creating rich depths of colour and pattern within each panel. The large flower shaped sequins were chosen for their iridescent light, changing colour as light travels across, creating a rainbow effect. The difference in size, shape and 3D form creates diversity within the contouring.
A plain fabric can be enriched using just one colour palette to enhance and bring light to a flat surface. The background of ‘Vibrant Buddha Temple’ is encrusted with gold based sequins (yellow, bright gold, pale coppers and mid browns). The lively patterned temples are enhanced with light, their edges encrusted with silver mirrors, layered and overlapped to unite the void between padded structures.
DELICATE DETAIL – SEQUINS
Lengths of flesh toned sequins adorn the background layers in ‘Cancer 1: Lumpectomy’, establishing a colour palette of skin against the steel grey of the operating table. A blue running stitch (veins within the flesh) creates a delicate colour palette.
Clusters of sequins adorn the outer edge and inner core of the abstract body part in ‘Anal’. A colour palette of old pewter (created from a mix of silver, grey, blue, green, purple, gold and black sequins) provides a depth to the fragile abstract creation (a lace topped silk stocking).
3D Textiles – THREADING BEADS
The technique of threading beads onto a length of thread (thick enough that it will not snap) is an effective method in applying mobility and depth to a contoured surface of embellishment. ‘Abstract Design E’ uses a long length of small glass beads, layered and overlapping, anchored with a stitch at both ends, leaving the lengths freely mobile.
Long lengths of wooden and metallic beads are threaded onto wool and cord, anchored to the design at the top (stitched through to the back) and knotted at the bottom to create a mobile structure within the beard of ‘Jesus 1’.
TEXTURE AND DEPTH IN SURFACE EMBELLISHMENT – BEADS AND SEQUINS
Light reflective sequins and plastic beads nestle in the tangled threads of flower heads in ‘Abstract Flower Design E’, creating a contouring rich in texture and depth.
BLOCK COLOUR – SEQUINS
Sequinned fabric is fabulous in creating blocks of light within a design. The beach huts in ‘Three Ages of Beach’ were created from recycled clothes. Individual sequins draw the eye upwards and beyond, a haze of light capturing the intense heat of our summers.
DECORATIVE DETAIL IN SURFACE EMBELLISHMENT – BEADS AND SEQUINS
‘Autumn 2’ is a fine example where decorative detail captures the essence of a season laden with berries in a warm colour palette of brown and gold. Panels are adorned in a range of plastic, glass, wooden and metallic beads and sequins, establishing light and depth within the contouring of the layered surface. Blue sequins hint at a weak light and short days.
I hope you have enjoyed EXPLORING 3D Textiles – SURFACE EMBELLISHMENT – BEADS AND SEQUINS .
For more examples of textiles rich in surface embellishment visit https://www.ccunningham-textileartist.com/ and https://ma9798.wixsite.com/ccunningham-woman by CHRISTINE CUNNINGHAM.
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