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Cell Structure Textiles

Updated on October 1, 2014

My Textiles Work based on Cell Structures

Cell structures and microscopic imagery were a huge inspiration for my early textiles work.

I started looking at microscopic imagery when I was designing my final major project for my degree in costume. I had this mad idea that it might be interesting to design costumes for a sci-fi/fantasy version of "The Book of Revelation" and wanted some sort of surface decoration for the costumes.

Microscopic imagery seemed like a fantastic idea because I was dealing with the concepts of creation/ the destruction of creation but also there are some amazing images out there just begging to be made into textiles and when they are made you get these great abstract textures.

Here are some of the textiles and bags I made and some microscopic images.

Green Knotweed Bag
Green Knotweed Bag

Pollen Cell

A circular bag.

The bag below was inspired by the pollen cell on the front cover of the book Heaven and Earth: Unseen by the Naked Eye (see below), as were the featured textiles piece above and some of the pieces below.

As you can see below, this bag was made from two half-domes linked together. The main textiles piece was covered in fabric yoyos, puffs and sequins and beads.

I used a mixture of found, recycled and bought fabrics to make this layered piece and decorated it heavily with beads and sequins.

The inside of this bag is lined with a thick red velvet.

Heaven and Earth - Unseen by the Naked Eye.

Heaven and Earth: Unseen by the Naked Eye
Heaven and Earth: Unseen by the Naked Eye

This is the main book I used to source my imagery. It's filled with beautiful images that would be really inspirational to any creatively-minded person.

 

Surface of Pollen

The image below is another piece based on the front cover of Unseen by the Naked Eye.

The backing for this was a thick piece of handmade paper. Paper can be sewn just as well on the sewing machine as fabric but you have to be aware that your needles may become blunt much quicker.

The pale honeycomb structure was cut from leather and sewn into place.

Knotweed Hexagon Purse by MeltedRachel
Knotweed Hexagon Purse by MeltedRachel

Hexagon Pollen Purse

French knots and beaded bits.

This was one of my favorite bags. I sold it quite a while ago now.

It's made with layers of delicate fabrics and coated with beads, sequins and knots.

I adore making little purses with purse frames.

The handle was made from handmade beaded baubles.

Knotweed Hexagon Purse by MeltedRachel
Knotweed Hexagon Purse by MeltedRachel
Pollen by MeltedRachel
Pollen by MeltedRachel

Surface of Pollen

A round alternative.

This next piece is based on the pollen cells that inspired the textiles above but I decided I wanted to take liberties with the shape.

This piece is layered and melted . The blue thread was attached to the bobbin and I sewed the textiles piece upside down to get it onto the top surface - this is because the thread was too thick to go through the needle.

Marram Grass Cells by MeltedRachel
Marram Grass Cells by MeltedRachel

Marram Grass Cells

Using papers.

This next piece has a lot of layered up paper in it as well as fabrics.

The main background was a thick piece of dark purple handmade paper that I picked up in Paperchase.

I also used a paper with holes in it and decorated the piece with handmade polymer clay beads.

Leaf Cells

Cross section of a Christmas Rose Leaf.

The original Image I used for the piece below can be found in "Unseen by the Naked Eye".

In this piece I used a lot of cut-away applique.

I think this is the first ever piece that I melted (by accident) and discovered that melting was much easier than cut away applique!

Leaf Cell

Cross section of a Christmas Rose Leaf.

Below I've made a pink version of the green textiles piece above.

I padded this piece to make the cell sections look "squidgy". I also decorated this piece with the same sort of beaded baubles that I used for the hexagon pollen purse's handle.

Blue Iris by MeltedRachel
Blue Iris by MeltedRachel

Blue Iris

Inspired by the human iris.

This bag was based on the surface of a human iris seen under a microscope.

This is another dome bag like the first bag on this page.

The main bag was decorated with discs of textiles - an interesting alternative to beads!

The handle was made from a secondhand necklace.

Mitochondria Purse by MeltedRachel
Mitochondria Purse by MeltedRachel

Mitochondria Purse

Impractical and frivolous!

This silly little purse is one of my favorites. It's based on an image I found of a mitochondria cell. The image here shows the underside of the bag, so it just looks like a cocoon.

This little purse is a solid structure made from strong wire covered with layered melted textiles, clouds of organza and sequins and beads.

It doesn't hold much but it looks pretty cute!

Mitochondria Purse by MeltedRachel
Mitochondria Purse by MeltedRachel
Diatoms by MeltedRachel
Diatoms by MeltedRachel

Light Diatoms

Little water creatures.

This textiles piece and the one below were made for a Water Angel's costume.

I trapped little pieces of textiles between two layers of blue organza.

Solid Diatoms

Little water creatures.

This is a more solid version of the textiles piece above.

The funny looking popcorn parts of this piece were made with dollops of puff binder that were then heated.

Water Angel by MeltedRachel
Water Angel by MeltedRachel
Membrane by MeltedRachel
Membrane by MeltedRachel

Membrane

Plastic bags and bottle tops.

Membrane is mostly made out of junk.

The circles are bottle tops from bubble-bath (that's a lot of baths!).

This piece also features plastic bags that have been knitted and then melted and stretched.

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    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 8 years ago from Croatia

      I would have never thought of looking for beauty in cell structures! Wonderful!

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 8 years ago

      [in reply to a_willow] Thanks :D

    • howtocurecancer profile image

      howtocurecancer 6 years ago

      It seems so alive!

    • Rachel Field profile image
      Author

      Rachel Field 6 years ago

      @howtocurecancer: :)

    • sorana lm profile image

      sorana lm 5 years ago

      Now that's creativity at its best. Definitely worth a blessing.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 4 years ago from Colorado

      I'm quite taken with the extraordinary creativity of these nature inspired works of art. Absolutely stunning. I am more than fascinated by this work. Sheer genius!

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