T1-MMT-P1-p1-e1 Linear accordion pleats continued

My initial post for this exercise was 23-March-2015. That used a single A4 page of white printer paper. Time to explore wider. I started with the idea that folding damages the material.

My work notes:
Sample p1-2a. Cut some white crepe paper to roughly A4 size.
Folded in roughly 2cm folds-as for previous sample. Hard to get a crisp fold. Pleated paper sits softly on the worktop.
Sample p1-2b. Easy to tie in a knot.
Sample p1-2c. Unknotted & tried to stretch along folds, then realised I had cut with the grain going the wrong way. Retied the knot and stretched ends across the folds. Looks a bit like a bow on present wrapping, but I think it is a good distortion.
Sample p1-2d. Untied knot and stretched across the folds a couple more times. More interesting in the photo than on the work surface, as shadows are more pronounced.
Was trying to add some more random stretches when I tore the paper. Crumpled it up in disgust before remembering to document.
Sample p1-2e. There’s something attractive about the torn edge and shadow line at the front, also the central tear creates an interesting gap.
Sample p1-3a. Cut a new piece of crepe paper, this time changing the grain orientation.
It was tricky to fold without introducing distortions I didn’t want yet. FoIds are firmer, but not as sharp along the edge – more a crushed look.
Sample p1-3b. Next I ran my fingernail along the folds, causing the edge to stretch and flute. Unexpectedly the sides of the fold caught together. I stretched just the hill folds and the paper formed a natural star profile. Good shadows and movement.
Sample p1-3c. I finger stretched the valley folds, trying not to disturb where the layers had caught.
Sample p1-3d. Then opened out the folds.
Sample p1-4a. Thinking about accordion folds while grocery shopping, I noticed a pack of drinking straws. A little cutting and messing around, and it looks like an accordion pleat – that happily moves further into 3 dimensions.
A quick sketch of method.
accordion_25Sample p1-5a. We’re meant to include failures. The idea was to create an accordion-like profile with pieces of straw cut in half lengthwise and joined using clear adhesive tape. Total Fail. Didn’t notice until later that in my dislike of the thing I took an equally bad photo.
Still thinking about the profile of the pleats, I played with some cable ties.
Sample p1-6a. First a basic accordion zigzag.
Sample p1-6b. Then thinking about the amount of overhang at the folds. The energy and movement changes entirely, the blue stable, motionless, the purple briskly marching us off to the right.
Sample p1-6c. Then exploring some of the geometrical possibilities with overlapping. l think there is lots more to find here – something to return to.
Sample p1-7a. Steel wool next. I unrolled the pads – messy, but I find the result exciting, so like sheep’s wool, especially that lovely crimp, and yet so different.
Sample p1-7b. I needed a way to keep “pleats” in the material. Thinking of the crepe paper where the sides stuck together, I used party picks to stabilize the folds. A few pictures of this, to show the closed, tight shape – but still showing pleats.
Sample p1-8a. I wanted something looser, more fragile (in contrast to the metallic nature), so started teasing it out -just as I would prepare wool tops for spinning.
An extra photo – because I like it.
Some soft accordion pleats – a cloud of metal.
Sample p1-8b. The form somewhat clearer with the addition of “structural” party picks.
Sample p1-9a. I was rather taken with the wool tops analogy, so had to make a quick length of 2-ply. Really like the look & would seem to have possibilities, but it’s a messy material, not nice to work with.
Going back to the damage being done to a material in the process of folding it – its bending and possibly breaking fibres. Could folding thin balsawood keep structure but produce splintering to highlight that damage?
Sample p1-10a. I used 1mm thick balsa, and tried to control the folds by lightly scoring on the underside of where I wanted to fold. Note with my crepe paper experience I was careful to fold across the grain.
I did get an accordion fold of a sort, with some rather nice, controlled splintering, but the material just wanted to break entirely.
Sample p1-11a. Next I tried without pre-scoring, but using a ruler to try to control positioning.
This held together, although fragile, and I began to get some of that broken vibe I was looking for.
Sample p1-12a. Finally, folding totally freehand. I very much like this.
The imperfect screen seems a particularly poignant effect.

That’s the end of linear accordion pleats, for now at least. I’ve experimented with

  • printer paper
  • crepe paper
  • plastic drinking straws
  • cable ties
  • steel wool
  • balsa wood
  • No conventional textiles – hope I’ve read the course notes correctly on that. I didn’t get through my initial list of ideas – trying to manage time, and I rather like the feeling of having an excess of ideas.

    I’m fine-tuning the working method. Those nasty interference lines are pretty much gone, but that was achieved by turning off one of my work lights meaning the photos are a little dim. I’ve read up on the camera controls in the tablet itself, so will experiment with that at some point. Hopefully what I have is good enough for now. Over the two posts I’ve included sketches on paper and quick computer-based notes, as well as lots of photos obviously, which I think was a good test of what my systems and I can do.

    labelI’ve printed off some standard labels, a format that I’ve used in the past that helps tracking samples. I can scrawl necessary details and attach in moments.

    Next step is to respond to my tutor and check that all this works for her and that I haven’t set of in totally the wrong direction.

    T1-MMT-P1-p1-e1 Linear accordion pleats continued
    Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
    Part 1: Surface Distortion
    Project 1: Folding and crumpling
    Exercise 1: Linear accordion pleats continued

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    Something about me and directions. Class sample on the left, my version on the right.

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