Books: Exploring Dimension in Quilt Art

I picked up C. June Barnes’ book Exploring Dimension in Quilt Art in the library when I was pondering ways to make my textile work more three-dimensional in response to my tutor’s feedback on Assignment 2. This seemed like a perfect title and there were some ideas that could be tried and possibly incorporated into the rework.

Barnes focus is on quilting but suggests that spatial dimension can be achieved in the following ways:

  • manipulating the surface of the quilted plane to achieve depth
  • adding to the surface to increase depth
  • manipulating the quilted plan or layers through folding, wrapping, curling etc to construct a shape or to create depth
  • constructing objects and quilting the outer layer.

On pages 16 and 17 Barnes discusses various options for presenting work by breaking it into two categories:

“Two-and-a-half dimensions” which you can’t move around such as:

  • wall panels where surface has depth
  • wall panels where the plane has been manipulated to add depth
  • wall panels where additions have been made to the surface to add depth
  • wall panels that are modular structures

Three-dimensional works include:

  • forms/structures presented on a plinth
  • columns standing on the floor (stalagmitic)
  • structures hanging from the ceiling (stalactitic)

There are numerous techniques explained in this book so to summarise for future reference they are broken down into four categories; manipulating the plane, arranging the plane, three-dimensional geometric shapes, pieced constructions.

Manipulating the Plane – covers weaving strips, coiling, folding, gathering and smocking.

Arranging the plane – covers stacking & layering, curling or wrapping, spirals, stretching & extending and twisting.

Three-dimensional geometric shapes – covers creating squares and circles

Pieced constructions – covers Platonic solids, Archimedean solids, spherical shapes & orbs, crescent, pyramids, prisms, cylinders, capsules.

This book goes into a lot of detail about how to construct increasingly complicated shapes and I think it appeals to me as it is essentially just playing with maths. Maybe the way to play with this would be to build a variety of shapes from paper and take them back apart to use the nets as patterns for textile pieces.

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