|jean kuwabara | visual artist||about the process|
about the process
It started with lots and lots of samples...Each transparent fabric has a particular look when fused onto the plexiglass. Also included are different kinds of paper and machine embroidery samples. These are samples for the Journal series.
And more samples...How do different fabrics look when layered on top of each
other? What does acrylic paint look like when combined with fusible glue? And what about dyesticks when applied to multiple layers of fused fabrics? These are samples for the Meme series.
I now have a big collection of sheer fabrics.This is my palette of colours and textures. When they are
combined together, one on top of each other, the permutations are endless.
Many, many decisions in each pieceI have a particular visual image in my head for each piece, and colours and fabrics are accepted or rejected according to how they fit into that vision. Its not a straight path from start to finish though. More like a zigzag route, as I try different solutions out, which leads to another possible one and so on.
A photographic image would catch my attention.Then I would play with it on Photoshop, changing dimensions, colour, etc. until it looked right to me. It would then be printed onto clear acetate plastic sheets and incorporated into the emerging design on the plexiglass panels.
For each element, many different colours and fabrics are trialed before one is chosen.My energy and state of mind are really important during this process. Usually, I try to make these kind of decisions when Im at my freshest during each day. Keen observation and decision-making take a lot of energy . . .
Machine embroidery is like drawing.But one is using thread and a sewing machine instead of pencil and paper. It takes the same kind of zen state of mind. For the Journal series, I had great enjoyment discovering how machine embroidery looked on sheer fabrics.
Sheer fabrics are ornery and difficult to sew.They are slippery and unforgiving of mistakes. Because I hate sewing within a hoop, I had to come up with different methods, such as backing sheer fabric with a layer of gossamer tulle and fusible glue, in order to give it enough body not to dissappear down the needle hole.
Fusible glue + acrylic paint = ?This is one of the random methods used in the Journal series. I never knew exactly what would appear. I would choose the paint colours, stroke it onto the fusible glue and a surprise would happen every time.
New products are fun to try out!But its important not to get too carried away in many directions because they are just the means to an end, ie, they must serve your vision and not vice versa.
photography: marisa seguin
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