November 29, 2010

What is a Line?

When does a line stop being a line and become a shape? It seems like an easy question, doesn't it?
After drawing many lines and thinking about them, there were two things that I kept noticing. If a line is wider than it is long, it appears to be a shape instead of a line. If the beginning of a line connects back to itself, it appears to be a shape.
I'm pretty sure most people would agree with those two statements. I don't, but it's probably because of my background as a graphic artist. I am constantly using lines to construct shapes and see them and treat them as separate elements. I can choose to feature the line or hide the line, but the line always exists.
After spending way too much time thinking about this, I started an experimental piece. I drew lines on the paper side of fusible web and ironed it to the back of fabric. The first thing I did was cut the piece into four equal parts, then I cut on each line and placed the positive pieces on a background making sure to leave space between each piece. All the pieces were fused in place.
I was hoping to visually connect the four pieces with machine stitching even though they were physically separated. I stitched along the outside line and continued the stitched line whenever the physical line ended.
The visual connection was weak, so I added a second line, but it was still weak. I added vertical and horizontal stitching between the four sections, but the connection remained weak.
The only way I could visually tie the four pieces together was by adding paint to the areas where the lines had been machine stitched. Once I did that, the line appeared to be a connected.
Conclusion: There are too many variables and more samples would have to be done in order to know if the stitching itself could make a visual connection. That's not going to happen, I'm over this experiment!
If I were to try more samples, I would reduce the space between the four sections. This sample has 1 inch between each section. I would also use a solid colored thread, I used a variegated thread with a section as dark as the background. Unfortunately, it completely disappeared in areas.
Do you think that too much time was spent on this small piece (14" x 19")? Probably, but I'm not finished yet. I'm adding seed stitching to all the purple areas. The fun just never ends!