Primary Tools & Materials:
FIBERS, ADOBE PHOTOSHOP
Additional Tools & Materials: inkjet printer, scissors, xacto blade, camera
For this study, fibers + adobe photoshop, I decided to amplify the materials by purposefully fraying the edges of this fabric letter. I started in Photoshop with an existing font called Arvo. I printed the N, cut it out with an xacto blade, then used the negative letter shape as a stencil to trace the N onto the back of my fabric. Then I stopped to take a few photos of the clean cut letter before I went to work unravelling it.
Unravelling this kind of cotton turned out to be harder than I expected. I figured I could just rub it between my fingers and see it start to fray, but I actually had to attack it with the xacto blade to get the effect I wanted. As I worked to unravel the fabric, I noticed that the two edges are diagonal in this letter tended to fray more evenly than the horizontal or vertical edges. That's because the individual strands won't float away as you see them doing everywhere else on the letter. On the diagonal, the edges can separate, but they don't tear off completely. This letter might have turned out completely different had I rotated the fabric 30 degrees or so - enough to keep all the edges from aligning with the grain of the fabric.
This letter feels soft, delicate, and fuzzy. I get the sense that I could tear this letter apart quite easily (though I know, because I made it - that it's not as easy as you might think). It's feminine, due to the pattern of the fabric, but tough, because it's been torn apart. In some places, where strands of fiber are floating away from the letter's shape, you can still see the floral pattern, disconnected and semi-transparent, floating away from the woven letter. That aspect - the visible pattern detached from the woven letter - is what I think is most significant about this letter study. Using Photoshop, I was able to adjust levels in this image to make details such as this more apparent. I tried to keep tearing this letter apart further, but it didn't keep its shape very well. I had hoped to rip the letter apart to just bare threads, but keep that pattern visible, but it wasn't working. Still, this is the characteristic I would try to push through a further type study, were I to try this again.