Liz Gemmell -
Liz's work shows her adventurous spirit....
Tiger Eyes neckpiece, hand knitted cotton tube cord.
Size: Cord length 72cm. Embroidery area is 10.5cm x 5.5 cm
Description: Hand embroidered in cotton threads using a variety of filling in stitches such as stem and satin stitch. The colours of the tiger were chosen from a close up photograph of a tiger’s face. Being familiar with domestic cats I was already aware how the direction of fur on a cat’s face change. The detailed tiger’s photograph showed me just how many variations of colour there were in what the brain registered simply as orange or red- brown. I started to use very fine cotton threads to overlay the colours and to emphasis the direction of the fur. It was an engrossing process to ‘paint’ with the finer threads.
The eyes were the last section to be embroidered as the photograph showed the piercing stare and this is what I wanted to capture.
Rhythms - A Hand Knitted Floor Rug.
Dimensions: 1500mm x 930mm
Materials: Wool and synthetic mix yarn.
The floor rug is hand knitted on knitting needles, not on a loom. Yarns used are durable carpet yarns which are a mixture of wool and synthetic fibres. The technique used to create the patterns is the traditional Parallel Stranding used in Fair Isle and European knitted garments. This technique ensures that the knitted stitch is a uniform size for the light and dark colours and creates an even surface texture on the right side of work.
Care: Give the rug a shake every so often to remove harsh particles caught in the knitted fabric. The rug may be hand washed by placing in a large laundry tub or bath with wool wash detergent. After rinsing, arrange carefully into the washing machine for balance and spin dry. Lay flat onto a clean surface such as cement, tiles or timber, indoor or outdoor and the wool mixture fibres will dry overnight. It may be dry cleaned.
I have always been interested in making my own clothing and recycling commercially made garments. My mother and grandmother were great exponents of recycling garments and designing their own clothing as well as mine. They showed me nothing was impossible if you could visualise what you wanted. There were no limits. I studied fine art in Newcastle TAFE. Later on I wrote several knitting books on intarsia and colour stranding techniques. All this led to teaching fabric surface design at Sydney UTS for several years. UTS was a marvellous experience in sharing knowledge and inspiration as I taught students techniques in manipulating, painting, knitting and felting fabric and in return I learnt from the students to take risks with techniques and designs.
You can see more of Liz's work here