Monday, November 24, 2014

- Being brave: Lettering with a Pitt pen

I have never been satisfied with my handwriting ... scrawl really. And so at first I tried using rubber stamps to letter my work, but the size was too fixed, the letters too regular.

Then I tried  writing in my own hand using water erasable markers, but the lines were so heavy that it wasn't much fun.

So this time I decided to use the permanent ink Pitt pen ... worried that I would make a mistake halfway through and ruin a piece of cloth ... deciding to use a scrap of rust-dyed cotton muslin that hadn't taken a strong image of Don's wonky metal thing ... I could always try again.

The point of the Pitt pen was so fine it surprised me when it didn't catch on the cloth. I lettered TRIANGULATION with such care ... holding my breath.

Then stopped and wrote out the rest of the words on paper, just to see. And it looked okay, so I wrote them on the cloth. Faster at first, until I stumbled on the "f"  in "from" at the end of the first line. Then slower.

And when I finished, I wished I had left more room at the bottom of the cloth, but I didn't and it was okay.

I basted the rust-dyed cloth onto a piece of lichen-dyed muslin and began to stitch ... one strand of floss in a short, fine needle ...


stitches so small they made my heart happy ... even the wonky "f" ...


Don asked me if I had printed the text out on the computer somehow ... he has the perfect, regular hand of an elementary school teacher who has written on blackboards for decades ... it was the best thing he could have said.

And the two layers of cloth together ... how is that that I never realized how much easier it would be to stitch through two thin layers rather than one?


Thank you Jude for this revelation. 

Addendum: Here's the link to the jeans in the background ... I've posted an update on their current condition

9 comments:

beth from still life pond said...

That tiny nib Pitt pen… And yet another thing to thank Jude for sharing. You have such precision. Now you need to allow yourself to embrace the wonky. I just have to ask about the blue background. Are those your jeans? That stitch is glorious!

Liz Ackert said...

The past year or so has been a journey of exploration, where I alternately embrace precision and try to find a looser way to express myself in cloth ... metaphor for a life

Liz Ackert said...

And the jeans are a part of that ... here's where they started http://imgoingtotexas.blogspot.com/2014/03/quotidian-cloth-part-1.html?m=1
I'll have to post a picture of where they are now that they have been stitched further and taken through the wash

Saskia van Herwaarden said...

I love rubber stamp letters, rubber stamps period!
having said that I also love your handwriting and how beautifully you have managed to stitch these lines, boy you sure sew a neat stitch; and then, like Beth, my eye was attracted to the jeans underneath, jabba dabba dooza, subtle and yet impact-full

Mo Crow said...

Oh the stitched lettering is perfectly imperfect!

jude said...

a, it is nicer isn't it? i like when things feel good. makes the whole process more filling. for me there is nothing more boring than perfect handwriting... love this.

Liz Ackert said...

I dare say that computer-generated "handwriting" is the worst ... regularly irregular, with no sense of relationship between the letters

Liz Ackert said...

Love that you love the jeans ... today's post is for you and Beth

Liz Ackert said...

I channeled Don ... forcing myself to slow down and attend to each letter, but allowing them to flow into each other

It felt soooo cool ... I went back and erased all the water-soluble lettering on the main cloth so I can ink them in Pitt pen.