Monday, 17 November 2014

technique: drawing with thread pva

Just a quick post to share my excitement with this technique! I love the idea of working with thread but not every student is going to be into the idea of sewing so if you've got any students like this get them to give this a go! 

Drawing with thread & pva
what you need: 
- embroidery floss (I used black but you can use any colour!)
- pva glue
- a flat plastic surface (I used a paint palette)
- glue stick or brush 

1. Pour a layer of pva into your palette (approx. 5mm thick) - you can pour and tilt your palette or push the glue around to make a particular shape that suits your drawing or go right to the edges for an even shape
2. Cut stripes of thread to work with - if your using embroidery floss experiment with separating the 6 strands into different thicknesses so that you can get a range of line in your drawing
3. lay the strands thread into the pva to create your drawing - if you can't get them in the right position use your glue stick or brush to push them into place. You can also create loose threads around your drawing by hanging them outside of the glue area! 
note: the threads will start to sink into the pva and will look faint but the glue will dry clear so do not worry! 
4. Once you have completed your drawing leave to dry! This could take 24-48 hours depending on the thickness of the glue!
5. Once completely dry carefully peel your drawing away from the palette to reveal! 

extension: you could work into your drawing with machine or hand sewing OR cut away areas of glue to leave loose threads 

tip: I used a slightly dirty paint palette (you could paint the palette before hand if you wanted more control over this aspect) - the pva will pick up the paint from the surface which can add an interesting effect to your drawing, if you want it to dry clear use a super clean one! 

As always we'd love to see anything you create if you followed our instructions!
- Claire 


  1. I absolutely love your blog! I studied Fine Art at uni and when I graduated 2 years ago I went into retail management which I am just not enjoying, I have contemplated teaching on and off since I graduated but have always scared myself out of it! I think though that I finally feel confident enough to go for it, so if you have any tips or advice I would really appreciate it. Thank you :) Rebecca xx

  2. Thanks :)

    Glad to hear you want to go into teaching! Me and Kirsty both went slightly different but similar routes in as we started at the same place. Kirsty started as an Art Technician then went onto the GTP (graduate training programme) at our college to qualify - I was on the same course but prior to doing it had done some art outreach in schools via gallery education as well as some volunteering in schools to check how I would be - I would def recommend that you try to get some experience somewhere even if it's just a few days/week observing! It might help you out as well if your unsure of what level you want to teach. We both started in post 16, Kirst is still doing that but I'm now teaching 11-18.

    In terms of how to get in there's a bunch of different routes has more details about the different ways! There are a few routes where you go straight in and train on the job - we both did that and really enjoyed it and it meant we were earning at the same time as training!

    Hope that helps! But yeah, no reason to be scared! We really enjoy it! It can be full on at times but it's a rewarding job! If you've got anymore questions feel free to ask :) - Claire ❤

  3. This blog is amazing so inspiring I am thinking of teaching art or design and technology textiles at pgce as I did a fashion design degree but am now working in retail management which I really don't want to do! Think it's a confidence thing after getting 'Stuck' in a job it seems a huge challenge to go and do it, but I suppose the only way is to try! Chelsey x

    1. Thanks Chelsey! You should definitely consider it - it's never too late for a change. I know a lady who used to work as a Visual Merchandiser and now she is Curriculum Manager in Textiles. The job is hugely rewarding and everyday I learn something new. Reach for your dreams! Kirsty ❤