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.
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Sample p1-2b. Easy to tie in a knot.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Sample p1-3c. I finger stretched the valley folds, trying not to disturb where the layers had caught.
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Sample p1-3d. Then opened out the folds.
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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.
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A quick sketch of method.
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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.
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Still thinking about the profile of the pleats, I played with some cable ties.
Sample p1-6a. First a basic accordion zigzag.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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An extra photo – because I like it.
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Some soft accordion pleats – a cloud of metal.
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Sample p1-8b. The form somewhat clearer with the addition of “structural” party picks.
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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.
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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.
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I did get an accordion fold of a sort, with some rather nice, controlled splintering, but the material just wanted to break entirely.
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Sample p1-11a. Next I tried without pre-scoring, but using a ruler to try to control positioning.
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This held together, although fragile, and I began to get some of that broken vibe I was looking for.
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Sample p1-12a. Finally, folding totally freehand. I very much like this.
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The imperfect screen seems a particularly poignant effect.
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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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