Rachel Parker: Tool kit

Rachel Parker: Tool kit

‘Tool kit’ is a new series for TextileArtist.org.

Each edition will explore some of the primary tools used by our favourite textile artists, including descriptions of the item, brand name, specific models, and year, if applicable.

In this first edition of ‘Tool kit’ we get a firsthand look at some of the most valuable equipment used by Rachel Parker.

To see more by Rachel Parker, have a look at: Rachel Parker interview: An experimental approach

Item 1 – Sketchbook and associated paraphernalia

Sketchbook and associated paraphernalia

Sketchbook and associated paraphernalia

Brand: It doesn’t matter as long as the pages are thick enough to take paints without seeping through. I don’t like working in spiral bound sketchbooks because it’s too easy to just tear a page out if I don’t like it! There’s been lots of times when I’ve gone back to something that I originally hated and seen it it in a different light.

How do you use this item in your practice?

I try not to be precious about it and see it as a blank canvas without the pressure to be perfect. Nowadays working in my sketchbook is a real treat, it means I don’t have a looming deadline and I have the time to experiment and play which is so important to creativity. I try and vary the materials I use, sometimes paints, sometimes fine liners, maybe crayons or collage… depending on where I am at the time. It’s the starting point for all my ideas, good and bad.

Why do you use this specific item?

It’s transportable and it’s really helpful to have everything in one place. If I have a creative block I turn to my sketchbooks for inspiration.

And where did you buy it from?

A local art store.

Item 2 – Perforating tool and felt

Perforating tool and felt

Perforating tool and felt

How do you use this item in your practice?

To punch holes into paper to create stitched artwork.

Why do you use this specific item?

This tool is essentially a needle with a handle and it makes my life so much easier when transferring my designs onto paper ready to be stitched. It allows me to accurately place my holes, it’s comfortable to use and doesn’t shred my hands! Working on top of a few layers of felt as a cushion makes punching the holes easier (and it protects your table too).

And where did you buy it from?

A local art store and haberdashery.

Item 3 – Stranded cotton threads

Stranded cotton threads

Stranded cotton threads

Brand: Anchor

How do you use this item in your practice?

I stitch designs onto paper and fabric.

Why do you use this specific item?

I love these cotton threads because they come in such a huge range of colours, hundred and hundreds of shades that are really exciting to work with. Stranded cotton is perfect to work with on paper because it creates a crisp line, doesn’t fray and it’s easy to vary the weight of line.

And where did you buy it from?

A haberdashery.

Item 4 – Watercolour paper

Watercolour paper, 300/400gsm

Watercolour paper, 300/400gsm

Brand: Bockingford

How do you use this item in your practice?

I use it as a base for my stitched designs.

Why do you use this specific item?

I love the weight and the stability it gives as a surface to be stitched onto. The paper has a beautiful textured surface that provides a nice contrast with the clean lines of thread.

And where did you buy it from?

A local art store.

Item 5 – Intuos creative pen and touch tablet

Intuos creative pen and touch tablet

Intuos creative pen and touch tablet

Brand: Wacom

Year: 2012

How do you use this item in your practice?

I use it to digitise artwork and transfer my drawings to the screen, often by scanning my paper artwork and drawings in and then drawing over the top in Adobe Photoshop.
This is great for creating digital patterns that have hand-drawn origins.

Why do you use this specific item?

It gives me the freedom of drawing with a pen while working digitally, allowing me to create fluid lines and maintain that hand-drawn feel in my work. The pen is pressure sensitive which means you can create really authentic marks and treat it as if it were a pencil on paper.

And where did you buy it from?

It was a present from my man, I think in the hope that I’d stop getting paint all over the computer. There’s a whole range of different models on the Wacom website and on Amazon.

To get in touch with Rachel and for more information please visit: www.cargocollective.com/rachel-parker

Let us know us know if you’ve enjoyed this first edition of ‘Tool kit’ by leaving a comment below.

FREE E-BOOK: How my journey into textile art began, a fascinating insight into the work of textile artist Sue Stone
Sunday 22nd, October 2017 / 08:36
Sam

About the author

Sam is the co-founder of TextileArtist.org and son of textile artist Sue Stone. Connect with Sam on Google+c/a>

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6 Comments on “Rachel Parker: Tool kit

  • This is a marvelous idea for a series of interviews. I always love reading about other artist’s tools. The tools one uses, explained, offer a periscope into practice. Please: more!

    Reply
  • This is such a good idea for a set of articles. When you’re working on stuff on your own there’s no-one to hand you little tips. This type of article does just that. Keep them going.

    Reply
  • This is a really cool concept and ‘sharing’ is not just kind its smart too as this sort of info can actually help to stop one from wasting time and money on unnecessary tools, thank you

    Reply

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