Monthly Archives: July 2013

Tajima!

Big upgrades this week! I’ve gone from this, the 6-color 2003 Brother PR-600brother machine

to this, the 12-color embroidery plus sequins and laying Tajima!

tajima

A new addition to Hexagram thanks to the grant-writing skills of Barbara Layne. They had to remove a section of the 10th floor EV building wall to crane in this 1.5 tonne beast. Details about the machine’s journey into the subTela lab can be found here Back to the Future of Fabrics.

So far I’ve just been learning the software, which is pretty confusing, but shows promise of speeding up future projects. The Brother machine used Embird software, which required you to manually outline all of the colors and lines from your digital image in order to render them into stitches. The Tajima software has an “autodigitize” feature which reads the colors and lines of your digital file automatically and lay the stitches without any tracing.

So I just put in one of my drawings from photoshop like this

rooster photoshop

hit the autodigitizer and…

rooster tajima

Things are never as easy as you hope. I’ve been making slow and steady progress on how to get the Tajima to read the images, but I’ve also been saving these glitchy patterns as well. In some ways I find them more interesting than the polished drawing. I’ve been looking at glitched embroidery from Nukeme, like this one here, which I especially like displayed with the gif hoodie.

While checking out a friend’s site GIMCRA©K I started looking at Animationsmears. Purposeful analog motion blurs designed to convey motion faster than the speed of animation. I liken them to digital glitches, as they are both a chaotic instant that, when detected, snaps the illusion of life back to awareness of the material, whether it be drawing or code.

 

 

This piece was part of the Concordia MFA exhibition Ultramoderne at Art Mur.

01Thompson_Cuffs

Entirely stitched and hemmed by hand, these two cuffs were displayed as a static sculpture.

02Thompson_Cuffs

 

Although I always seem to read about the gestures and movements of craft, I fuss over details and hard lines. I love the chaotic backs of the embroideries, and it give me a chance to incorporate some form of randomness into the piece.

Although I always seem to read about the gestures and movements of craft, I fuss over details and hard lines. I love the chaotic backs of the embroideries, and it gives me a chance to incorporate some form of randomness into the piece.

I’ve been gravitating towards floral motifs as they appear frequently in western embroidery and they are intrinsically animated  in their bloom-die cycle. Much of my previous work revolves around transformative states of the human/animal body, but over the last few months I’ve been thinking about incorporating plants into the imagery. Previously I was only thinking about animation as movement, progression, or a potential for advancing a linear narrative. But what also goes along with that, and what makes animation really chaotic, is it’s potential to suspend time and motion and to manipulate it. Suspended animation, like dormant plants, is possibly what makes the movement and the motion so enjoyable.

Here is one of my first tests to see if I could cyclically animate the embroidery.

I was also reading Swamp Thing while working on this.

And it was the end of a cold and dark winter.

So on the first sunny day I made this: