Michael Fuller wrote me yesterday
“Go with the detail and time consuming fussiness. It’ll be superior to the photo copy model….”
‘OK,’ I though to myself, ‘I’ll give it a try.”
That’s where I started today – I began by printing out the black and white outlined image of Brian, the figure on the left, on some Heat ‘n Bond printing paper in order to use the outlines as templates for the fabric – BUT, here’s a glitch: the technique requires a ton of cutting with small fine scissors and for the last six weeks my arthritic right thumb isn’t working – the muscles to “open” the scissors are too weak to let me cut with any precision.
I decided to try fighting through that problem but a second issue presented itself: I cut out the entire jacket in a light fabric intending to use that as the base and building toward the darker tonal qualities until I had the jacket assembled. I fused some Heat ‘n Bond to the wrong side of my lightest fabric, cut out the overall jacket shape – that worked out OK, but when I started to build the left sleeve it became immediately obvious the slight differences in weight of fabric (although all quilting cottons) was going to create an imbalance and because each tiny piece of the puzzle is so small I would be left with a slightly fraying “raw” edge in spite of the fact that I’ve fused some Heat ‘n Bond to the wrong side of each small piece before cutting it out.
The final thing that was obvious was how “lifeless” the construction would be. The very subtle differences in shade intensity wasn’t achievable with the fabrics I have.
I gave up after about an hour of finicky cutting and fusing and decided to use the fabric photo images after all and fused them to the background.
What I will do tomorrow is begin the process of edge stitching each figure and then stitching in the colour/shading boundaries. That is also fussy work but my wonky right hand doesn’t interfere with being able to do careful machine stitching.