Primary Tools & Materials:
Pencil, sewing machine
Additional Tools & Materials: card stock, scanner, light table, camera
I made this letter after I discovered one Peter Bilak's first digital typeface called FF Craft. Made in 1992, this typeface was made by drawing and cutting each letterform out of linoleum - over 300 characters. What's lovely about the font is that it each letter also includes some stray cut shapes which darken the white space around and between letterforms. It's a font that clearly defines how it was made, and I admire the time and effort Bilak put into its creation.
I created this letter S as a tribute to Bilak's FF Craft by carefully sewing the outline of a hand-drawn letter, sewing some fluid, organic stripes within the letterform, and then leaving all the loose threads intact. It's a humble, unpolished letterform that clearly reflects how it was made, and the craftsmanship of its maker. It should also be said that this letter - the last one made on the sewing machine for this project - has the cleanest curved stitching I've been able to create in this entire project. The secret is to go incredibly slowly. Sew one stitch, stop, rotate paper (or fabric, or whatever), sew another stitch, repeat. It takes a long time, but thicker materials - like this card stock - can handle being dragged around without even lifting the machine's presser foot. It may not be the most beautiful letter I've made, but it demonstrates months of practice in forcing my sewing machine to give me smooth, fluid shapes, which I feel I finally achieved in this study.