Archive for June, 2015



T1-MMT-P2-p1-e2 Joining straight edges with a gap – post 1

Rather than following the precise sequence suggested in the course notes, I’ve started this exercise by thinking of clusters and similarities in joins. My start-the-session sketching was reminding myself of works where the join with a gap is very loose, responding (or not) to gravity, the join itself a major feature.

Colour pencils on A3 cartridge paper

Colour pencils on A3 cartridge paper

All the works drawn are on my pinterest page (link). Clockwise from top left, artists and direct links:

  • Alicia Scardetta Melted (2014, http://ascardetta.com/new-work). I love the exuberant colour and fall of the wrapped wefts, contained within a traditional weaving format.
  • Eva Hesse Metronomic Irregularity I (1966, a href=”https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/eascfa/feminist_art_base/gallery/eva_hesse.php?i=1701″>https://www.brooklynmuseum.org/eascfa/feminist_art_base/gallery/eva_hesse.php?i=1701). The relative sizes of board and gap is wrong. This work defies gravity, with the tangle of lines the result of the nature of the material.
  • Paula do Prado Almas Gemelas/Twin Souls (http://www.pauladoprado.net/twin-souls.html. This is a conceptually based work, considering issues such as identity. While experimenting with materials and techniques I don’t want to lose sight of meaning, here people joined yet individual.
  • Diem Chau Sisters (http://www.diemchau.com/plates24.html). I saw this artist’s work on the OCA pinterest site (https://www.pinterest.com/opencollegearts/textiles/). As well as the conceptual join, this work uses a glued join of organza to ceramic which is very effective. More on Diem Chau’s technique on her blog http://tinyhaus.blogspot.com.au/2010/03/embroidery-faq-part-1.html
  • Michele Elliot hemispheres, drawn to you, still (2011, http://rmitgallery.com/2012/02/10/behind-the-scenes-of-sensorial-loop/). This work accepts – uses – gravity, but with a level of control and order also imposed. It is materials and process led, recreated at each venue of a travelling exhibition.
  • Sample p2-6

    Sample p2-6 In progress

    Sample p2-6 In progress

    My first sample is similar in layout to Hesse’s work, but I decided to push the exuberance with colour. The material being joined is a plastic latchhook canvas, with the joining “threads” plastic drawn with the 3D pen. Both these materials are fairly rigid – one of my sub-thoughts is the mix of rigid and soft materials, and the impact of the combination in a join.

    Sample p2-6 Top view

    Sample p2-6 Top view


    The result has energy and colour. I photographed it flat on the table, but also tried pinning it on the wall and it protruded and defied gravity in a pleasing way.

    Sample p2-6 Detail view

    Sample p2-6 Detail view


    There is too much detail and I don’t know where to look. I’d like to try for a better balance with some control or constraint. Looking back, Hesse’s work has the subtle grid of the boards and the clear divisions of boards and gap providing a structure and sense of order. My grid is effectively invisible against the white background, and simply colouring it probably wouldn’t help – I think it is too coarse and would only become yet more lines.

    I didn’t intend the blobby attachment areas and have thought of a few ways to avoid them, but decided I quite like a bit of solidity or density with all those fine lines.

    The comments above were written when first looking at and photographing the result. The sample had too much information, too much complexity, nowhere to rest the eyes. I found it difficult.

    Sample p2-6 Side view

    Sample p2-6 Side view

    A few hours later, writing this post, I see it differently. Pottering around the workroom the blobby attachment areas become the focus, with the lines above a lacework that changes in colour and shape as I move around. Static, there is too much and I can see nothing. Moving around, the base provides stability and interest with a haze of colour constantly shifting above. The result is bright, cheerful, lively, and the colour haze fascinating. I would like to find ways to reproduce that on different scales, and in a more permanent way. Unfortunately the actual join is light and brittle, and I’m sure with a sharp pull I could separated the two parts.

    Sample p2-7
    Wanting to make a feature of gravity, next I made three bundles of rayon machine embroidery threads, each bundle a different length. I used them together with thumbtacks to join two pieces of acrylic felt acoustic panel – a soft join between two rigid materials.

    Sample p2-7a Straight join

    Sample p2-7a Straight join


    A simple straight join shows the thread more lively than I anticipated.

    Sample p2-7b Lower panel suspended

    Sample p2-7b Lower panel suspended


    The lower panel is supported only by the threads.

    Sample p2-7c angles panels

    Sample p2-7c angles panels


    Angled panels and wider spacing looks like an ineffective trouser closing.

    Sample p2-7c Detail

    Sample p2-7c Detail


    On closer look I am beginning to appreciate the liveliness of the threads.

    Sample p2-7d Another uneven join

    Sample p2-7d Another uneven join


    Another uneven join looks like a bizarre clown smile in the cropped photo. The three bundles are much more integrated here, creating a field of movement.

    Sample p2-7e Intertwined

    Sample p2-7e Intertwined


    Some interaction, with the bundles crossing. It loses the individuality of the threads, getting more the smooth stream that I envisaged at the beginning. I like the geometry that’s beginning to appear.

    Sample p2-7f Offset

    Sample p2-7f Offset


    Offset. The threads create lovely fluid shapes.

    Sample p2-7g Plait - showing dimensionality

    Sample p2-7g Plait – showing dimensionality


    This started as a plait. The photograph was taken at an angle to capture the dimensional effect that is appearing.

    There are lots of possibilities still to be explored here. I would like to try at a larger scale – number of threads, number of bundles, possibly size of thread (20/2 silk could make a beautiful show).

    T1-MMT-P2-p1-e2 Joining straight edges with a gap – post 1
    Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
    Part 2: Joining and wrapping
    Project 1: Joining
    Exercise 2: Joining straight edges with a gap

    T1-MMT-P2-p1-e1 Joining straight flush edges – post 3

    “Sessions” of work have fallen apart, mostly because my next sample needed extended drying time between stages.

    Sample p2-4 Joining by encasing
    This sample is inspired by Eva Hesse’s work Contingent (1969), discussed in my last post (7-Jun-2015). I was attracted by the idea of joining two materials by encasing them, and of using a modern material to do the encasing. I don’t think this is quite what’s happening in Contingent. From the National Gallery of Australia website: “Each of these elements consists of a large rectangular stretch of latex-covered cheesecloth embedded at each end in a translucent field of fibreglass.” (http://nga.gov.au/international/catalogue/Detail.cfm?IRN=49353 ). In any case, a source inspiration is a starting point, not the end.

    I decided to join three pieces of paper, white pieces at either end of a brown piece, the visual layout of Contingent. The straight edges would be joined flush, held in place by being encased in an acrylic heavy structure gel.

    Through this exercise, thinking a bit more techniques and types rather than starting with a particular material, I find myself including aesthetic decisions. I auditioned a number of materials that remind me at some level of the Eva Hesse work.

    Sample p2-4 Material audition

    Sample p2-4 Material audition


    For the brown centre: a light paper with lots of texture and holes; a paper bag; baking paper that was used in natural dyeing (4-Apr-2015).
    For the white ends: mulberry bark; a soft almost felted-feeling paper with a regular grid of holes; a paper towel.

    Sample p2-4 Layout

    Sample p2-4 Layout


    I chose the paper bag and the gridded white paper. The mulberry bark was better texturally, but wouldn’t provide the straight edge needed. I wanted more texture in the centre, so crumpled the paper bag a few times. It feels nice to have a link back to a previous exercise.

    The materials don’t look like they belong together. Will acrylic medium help them join either physically or visually?

    Sample p2-4 First side coated

    Sample p2-4 First side coated


    Heavy structure gel was applied directly from the tub to the papers with a palette knife. I’ve found in some sketchbook work in the past that this can give some nice surface texture (2-Jan-2015). Looking back while writing this post I think that experience might have subconsciously influenced my choices in this sample.

    I didn’t dilute or colour the gel, and didn’t use supporting material to strengthen the whole (unlike that earlier “sketch”). I wanted to see how the idea worked “raw”.

    After almost a day there were still white areas, suggesting the medium was not completely dry. However trapped with glass on one side and a skin of dry medium on the other, this could take a long time. I decided to attempt to detatch it.

    Sample p2-4 Detaching from glass

    Sample p2-4 Detaching from glass


    I had put the work on a piece of glass while applying the gel. As hoped, it was fairly easy to scrape around the edges and then lift up the papers as a single piece.
    Sample p2-4 Join holds after first side covered

    Sample p2-4 Join holds after first side covered


    The flush join held – I was careful not to pull or twist or distort it at all.

    After leaving it loose for an hour to allow extra drying, I put the work on cleaned glass, and covered the second side in gel. No photo of that – it looked like the first time.

    Another day later, it was looking fairly dry and only the slightest hint of tackiness.

    Sample p2-4 Almost dry

    Sample p2-4 Almost dry


    It was very easy to scrape off. After a few more hours of drying it felt very stable, non-tacky, and just a few of the thicker areas a little white.

    The finished sample:

    Sample p2-4 Front and backlit views

    Sample p2-4 Front and backlit views

    Sample p2-4 Join detail

    Sample p2-4 Join detail

    20141228_29bThe sampled joining method of embedding has worked very well. After another few hours of drying some gentle stretching did not disturb the joins at all. I found my old sketchbook sample and it has lost any residual tackiness and that slight cloudiness. Actually I’m a little disappointed to find I am almost repeating previous work – but the earlier version had a lot of overlap and gluing (mod podge), with a backing page and in the leaf elements, and the medium was thinner.

    The join produced in sample p2-4 is almost entirely flush, there is no reinforcing, and the end result is thicker and feels more substantial.

    I find the backlit view lovely. The two papers contrast but there is a harmony to the whole. In life the texture effect helps blend the front lit version, but this is less apparent in the photograph.

    The whole is more rigid and constrained than the organic appearance of the inspiration source. The rectangular shapes of the papers, chosen for the exercise task, and the grid of holes result in a very different effect.

    Sample p2-5 Materials mixup

    For my final sample I wanted to challenge myself on materials. With no particular purpose or result in mind, I wanted to join balsa wood to metal using plastic.

    Direct from my notes:

    Sample p2-5 Materials

    Sample p2-5 Materials


    The wood is 1mm thick balsa. The metal is a cut down beercan, which I assume is aluminium – certainly thinner than the wood. It’s been sitting waiting in my stash since a Shimmering surfaces class tutored by fellow OCA student Claire back in 2009. The joining mechnaism is plastic using the 3D pen.

    The metal has been darkened in a heat treatment. I decide to start with some sanding, to brighten things up and hoping to find some green. The result is messy. Moving on.

    I’ll start with a weld-like effect. Although the brief is a flush join, I’ll leave a tiny gap.

    Sample p2-5 Gap for welding

    Sample p2-5 Gap for welding


    Sample p2-5 Weld version 1

    Sample p2-5 Weld version 1


    Some attachment to the wood, but nothing on the metal. I need a temporary hold as I work.
    Sample p2-5 Weld version 2

    Sample p2-5 Weld version 2


    Not so good. I can’t keep it on the surface.
    Sample p2-5 Weld version 3 part 1

    Sample p2-5 Weld version 3 part 1


    Next idea – I trace a bead of plastic in a straight line on paper. Then I tape the wood and metal down on either side.
    Sample p2-5 Weld version 3 part 2

    Sample p2-5 Weld version 3 part 2


    First side – no adhesion except to the plastic and all very messy -but I like an energetic line.
    Sample p2-5 Weld version 3 part 3

    Sample p2-5 Weld version 3 part 3


    I managed to detach it from the paper and turn over without falling apart! Unexpected. It’s amusing that the pen line I traced is visible on the plastic.
    Sample p2-5 Weld version 3 part 4

    Sample p2-5 Weld version 3 part 4


    The second line is done.
    Sample p2-5 Weld version 3 part 5

    Sample p2-5 Weld version 3 part 5


    Sticky tape removed and ends encased. With light handling it is holding – and I am in shock. This “welding” approach was not expected to work at all.
    Sample p2-5 Weld version 3 part 6

    Sample p2-5 Weld version 3 part 6


    Expectations met. With a little wriggling the metal popped out of the slot of plastic that had formed around it.
    Sample p2-5 Weld version 3 part 7

    Sample p2-5 Weld version 3 part 7


    It took some determined prying, but I was able to detach the wood too.

    On to plan b.

    Sample p2-5 Link part 1

    Sample p2-5 Link part 1


    Holes have been punched, materials held temporarily by sticky tape on paper.
    Sample p2-5 Link part 2

    Sample p2-5 Link part 2


    Holes filled and connected across on one side. There is no adhesion to the metal and little to the wood at this point.
    Sample p2-5 Link part 3

    Sample p2-5 Link part 3


    Turned over, everything has stayed in place – for now.
    Sample p2-5 Link part 4

    Sample p2-5 Link part 4


    Joined on both sides.
    Sample p2-5 Link

    Sample p2-5 Link


    It actually seems somewhat firm. I’ve pulled and shaken and twisted, plus tried to snap at one of the joins. Not with extreme force, but some force.

    Sample p2-3 e Reverse

    Sample p2-3 e Reverse

    In terms of join methods, this is really the same as sample p2-3e. It’s just interpreted in very different materials and arrived at from a different direction.

    The different materials do exhibit different properties.

    Sample p2-5 Link - accordion folds

    Sample p2-5 Link – accordion folds


    I was able to cut off part of the metal without breaking the bond. Then I tried forming soft accordion pleats, using the metal to hold them in place and force shaping in the wood. The wood gave way while all the plastic joins are intact.
    Sample p2-5 Link - accordion folds reverse

    Sample p2-5 Link – accordion folds reverse


    I like the unusual mix of materials in this sample. There is a warmth to the wood that contrasts with the hard, shiny metal. It’s fascinating to see the strength of the metal shaping and holding the wood. The green plastic comes from no-where and adds a quirky note and another texture.

    I tried to capture the effect using a variety of media in my end-of-session sketch.

    Sketch 20150607

    Sketch 20150607


    The wood is depicted in inktense pencils. I thought the soft watercolour effect would suit.
    The plastic is in felt tip pen, with the idea of the colour showing up harsh and aggressive.
    I started with colour pencils on the metal, then rubbed in metallic waxes and pigments, trying to get some hard, metallic sheen. It shows up a little in person, depending on the angle of lighting.

    I got a bit lost with the folds and lines of reflection, so finished with an uplifting squiggle in felt tip pens, referring back to some of the welding attempts.

    T1-MMT-P2-p1-e1 Joining straight flush edges – post 3
    Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
    Part 2: Joining and wrapping
    Project 1: Joining
    Exercise 1: Joining straight flush edges

    T1-MMT-P2 Joining and Wrapping Research – Eva Hesse

    Eva Hesse (1936 – 1970) has been associated with Minimalism and with early feminist art (The Art Story, [nd]), with organic abstraction (Dempsey, 2010) and process art (Honour and Fleming, 2009). One short post can give only the most brief and partial information on this woman, her work and ongoing influence. I will focus on aspects relevant to Joining and Wrapping. I’ve pinned a number of her works on my Joining and Wrapping pinterest board, and will include separate links to particular works below.

    Her name has come up in this blog a few times before.

  • From Reading – Elissa Auther: String Felt Thread (26-May-2012): Hesse was an artist among those who began to use fibre in their work in the postminimilism movement, having sufficient credibility and connections to avoid the suggestion of craft in her work.
  • In Reading: Abstraction and its Processes (2-Nov-2014) I noted references to Hesse in company with Robert Hunter, Paul Partos, Marcel Duchamp and Sandra Selig in Kelly’s discussion of the use of thread as a mark making tool by painters and sculptors.
  • A more recent Experimentation (14-Dec-2014) was inspired by my reading of Glenn Adamson linking Marcel Duchamp’s 3 Standard Stoppages to “the drooping, coiling, spilling, and curling forms of Hesse, Morris, Zeisler, Hicks, and their peers” (Adamson, 2014, p. 148)
  • From the MoMA website: “Her mature sculpture abounds in contradictions: chaos and order, organic and geometric, absurd and tragic. Hesse was one of the first and most influential artists to question the austere, immobile exactitude of serial Minimalism and imbue it with a capacity to move, change and vary from the norm like a living being.” (Johnson, 2009)

    Hesse was highly experimental in her use of materials, and in her evolving approach to making art. Hang Up (1966, Art Institute Chicago) turns art inside out. Clement Greenberg claimed “Modernism used art to call attention to art” and championed abstract expressionists who focused on the flat surface of the canvas and the physical presence of the paint (more at 2-Mar-2014 and 27-Dec-2013). Hesse removes the canvas entirely, and extends an acrylic covered steel cord far into the viewers’ space. The frame, on Old Masters works often elaborate, in modern art marginal or absent, is central to the work – Is the work. It’s a playful, ironic comment on art, and has the the level of “absurdity or extreme feeling” Hesse sought. Of interest in my current Assignment, the frame is neatly but not smoothly wrapped in fabric and covered with acrylic paint. The wrapping does not disguise the frame – effectively the canvas surrounds the frame instead of the frame surrounding the canvas. The normal picture’s hanging wire is brought right into view. I haven’t found a good closeup to examine the join of cable to frame, but it appears to be managed neatly and invisibly.

    I have had the opportunity to see two of Hesse’s works in person. One, a painting in the National Gallery of Victoria, was seen briefly in a chaotic room and had little impact. The other is Contingent (1969) in the National Gallery of Australia. This is huge, and in my eyes dominates its space despite being hung in a rather odd area transitioning between galleries. In the large, dim, gray concrete space Contingent glows, capturing, condensing and infusing the light around with warmth. Standing near the panels they seem immense, somehow heavy with gravity pulling them down and yet ethereal. From Hesse’s exhibition statement when Contingent was show at the Finch College Museum:

      “I remember I wanted to get to non art, non connotive,
      non anthropomorphic, non geometric, non, nothing,
      everything, but of another kind, vision, sort.
      from a total other reference point, is it possible?
      I have learned anything is possible, I know that.
      that vision or concept will come through total risk, freedom, discipline.”

    (Hesse, 1969)

    Tomorrow’s Apples (5 in White) (1965) (The Tate) could be seen as joining curved edges with a gap. This relief was part of Hesse’s move from painting to sculpture, and can be seen as in interpretation of line in three dimensions. Cloth-wrapped rods make connections across the surface, and are apparently “secured by being knotted through the chipboard support” (The Tate, 1981). The wrapping and joining are clearly relevant to this Part of the course, but also of interest are the irregular areas of papier mâché on the board, creating relief but also reminiscent of the torn edges explored in Part 1.

    Metronomic Irregularity I (1966) (Brooklyn Museum) is also an exercise in joining with a gap. To me it looks like a joyful scribble in space, or a crazy early phone switchboard. So many connections! Such chaos, yet somehow captured in a grid. There’s a wonderful sense of energy and freedom … contained, disciplined.

    A point of interest in using Mixed Media. Hesse once said “Life doesn’t last, art doesn’t last, it doesn’t matter” (quoted in Prichard, 2012). Her choice of materials has proven very difficult for curators. Many of Hesse’s works are now extremely fragile, some impossible to display. On the Tate website is an interesting article by Michelle Barger, considering the possibilities and implications of replicating Hesse’s works (Barger, 2007). Virtually any ‘Old Masters’ work we see in a gallery has substantially changed since leaving the Master’s hands, through deterioration of materials and restoration efforts. I wonder how different Contingent looked when first hung.

    References
    Adamson, G. (2014) “Soft Power” in Porter, J. (ed.) Fiber: Sculpture 1960 – Present DelMonico Prestel

    The Art Story ([nd]) Eva Hesse: German-American Sculptor [online] Available from http://www.theartstory.org/artist-hesse-eva.htm (Accessed 4 June 2015)

    Auther, E. (2009) String Felt Thread: The hierarchy of art and craft in American art, Minneapolis & London: University of Minnesota Press

    Barger, M. (2007) Thoughts on Replication and the Work of Eva Hesse [online] Available from http://www.tate.org.uk/research/publications/tate-papers/thoughts-on-replication-and-work-eva-hesse (Accessed 5 June 2015)

    Dempsey, A. (2010) Styles, schools and movements: The essential encyclopaedic guide to modern art. London: Thames & Hudson.

    Hesse, E. (1969) catalogue statement [online] Available from http://nga.gov.au/international/catalogue/Detail.cfm?IRN=49353 (Accessed 7 June 2015)

    Honour, H. and Fleming, J. (2009) A World History of Art (revised 7th edition). London: Laurence King.

    Johnson, E. (2009) From Grove Art Online, Oxford University Press [Online] Available from http://www.moma.org/ (Accessed 7 June 2015)

    Kelly, W. (2011) Abstraction and its Processes: An historical and practical investigation into abstract visual language Saarbrücken: LAP Lambert Academic Publishing (print on demand – October 2014)

    Prichard, S. (2005, reproduced 2012) “Collecting the Contemporary: ‘Love will decide what is kept and science will decide how it is kept'” In Hemmings, J. (ed) (2012) The Textile Reader, Berg.

    The Tate (1981) Catalogue entry: T02383 TOMORROW’S APPLES (5 IN WHITE) 1965 [Online] Available from http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/hesse-tomorrows-apples-5-in-white-t02383/text-catalogue-entry (Accessed 7 June 2015)

    Other Resources

    Glueck, G. (2006) “Bringing the Soul Into Minimalism: Eva Hesse” In The New York Times [Online] Available from http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/12/arts/design/12hess.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 (Accesseed 5 June 2015)

    T1-MMT-P2 Joining and Wrapping Research – Eva Hesse
    Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
    Part 2: Joining and wrapping
    Research: Eva Hesse

    T1-MMT-P2-p1-e1 Joining straight flush edges – session 2

    Sample p2-1 Caterpillar tail

    Sample p2-1 Caterpillar tail

    This exercise started with my caterpillar sample (29-May-2015), followed by a high level look at artists’ use of joining and wrapping (31-May-2015).

    With such a wide field I’ve come up with a few guiding principles to help me find focus.

  • Use materials already used. I want to keep widening my pool of materials, but also extend my knowledge and skills in some of the interesting ones I’ve already connected with.
  • Use previous samples. I like the idea of layers of processes building up, creating depth and variety of interest.
  • Use a textile or textile technique in everything.
  • Nothing entirely textile. This is the counterpart of the previous point.
  • Do things you’re not sure will work. A basic requirement in the course, but worth keeping front of mind.
  • My next set of samples focus on materials already used – corrugated cardboard. Jackie Langfeld’s Paper Warriors (http://www.odysseytextileart.co.uk/jackie.htm) are full of meaning and ironic comment, the texture created with joins of garden twine and paper cording is wonderful, and armour generally provides a rich resource of joining ideas (chain mail…). However I used a materials led approach, enticed by the happenstance of cocktail sticks (seen in sample p1-7 22-March-2015) fitting beautifully into the ridges of the cardboard. It made me think about carpentry biscuit joins.

    Sample p2-2 Cardboard join - one side started

    Sample p2-2 Cardboard join – one side started


    Above the “biscuits” (aka cocktail sticks) are in place on one side.
    Sample p2-2 Cardboard join - second side in progress

    Sample p2-2 Cardboard join – second side in progress


    This join could be done with the corrugations facing on both sides – but that seems a little pointless (although see my previous remarks on the caterpillar).
    Sample p2-2 Cardboard joined with gap

    Sample p2-2 Cardboard joined with gap


    The join process proceeds, drifting into exercise 2 (joining straight edges with a gap). I capture an idea for that in a quick sketch (having already forgotten my plan of starting with a sketch. Oops).
    Sample p2-2 Problem or opportunity on the reverse side

    Sample p2-2 Problem or opportunity on the reverse side


    Turning the sample over revealed a potential-rich mistake. What about “biscuits” that don’t hide neatly away?
    Sample p2-2a  Cardboard joined

    Sample p2-2a Cardboard joined


    The sample shows a nice change of texture and shadow lines. It also shows up my inaccurate cutting – I could do that deliberately as a feature, a wavy variant of the sketch above, or torn to reveal the interior of the cardboard.
    Sample p2-2a Cardboard joined - backlit

    Sample p2-2a Cardboard joined – backlit


    From an angle beads of light show through, which could be useful.
    Sample p2-2b Cardboard join - spacing variation

    Sample p2-2b Cardboard join – spacing variation


    I took out every second stick on one side, making the second buckle in order to complete the join.
    Sample p2-2b Cardboard join - spacing variation views

    Sample p2-2b Cardboard join – spacing variation views


    A slight continuity issue with the photos. I decided not to vary the face of the corrugation.
    Sample p2-2b Cardboard join - spacing variation backlit

    Sample p2-2b Cardboard join – spacing variation backlit


    That’s rather nice, especially when you start playing with shadows.
    Sample p2-2c, d Cardboard join - fold and roll variations

    Sample p2-2c, d Cardboard join – fold and roll variations


    I tried a number of variations – getting all the bumps coming in one direction didn’t work, but other fold and roll attempts did. Not so exciting in themselves, but perhaps in combination, in the right context, you could really go to town.
    Sample p2-2f  Cardboard joined - multi-level

    Sample p2-2f Cardboard joined – multi-level


    Thinking back to the beginning of the sample, when the sticks were pushed out of place, I tried another manipulation.
    Sample p2-2g  Pushing limits

    Sample p2-2g Pushing limits


    Sample p2-2h  To destruction

    Sample p2-2h To destruction


    Sample p1-12a

    Sample p1-12a

    I seem to like broken things. I think this is the most exciting variant of the sample. Dynamic, unexpected, great light. I made this the subject of an “end of session” sketch.
    Sketch 20150601b

    Sketch 20150601b


    Charcoal and white conte crayon on kraft paper. I tried to concentrate on changes in rib directions and on the fall of light and shadow.

    Although I’m presenting two samples as a single session the timing was actually a bit more complex and spaced out. A couple of days later I almost came undone with the “start with a sketch” idea. I couldn’t think of what to do, found it hard to get moving and wandered off for a while.

    fuse_plastic_11fuse_plastic_10Coming back I restarted by playing with materials. I decided (somewhat bravely, I feel) to use one of my favourite earlier samples – p1-26 (10-April-2015). I auditioned a number of other samples with it and eventually chose p1-27. Finally I was able to attempt a sketch, planning for the next step. This is felt tip pens on bank layout paper and I ended feeling a bit better and clearer about the lacing join I wanted to try.

    Sketch 20150604

    Sketch 20150604


    The lacing isn’t inspired by a single source. On my pinterest board (click here) are links to ladies’ silk brocade stays (1700-1720), a contemporary Elizabethan-inspired garment by Helen MacRitchie, the breath-taking contemplation of mourning by Beverly Ayling-Smith, and Jackie Langfeld’s Paper Warrior.

    I trimmed some sides, wanting to reduce visual distractions in the finished piece, then got bogged down in decisions.

    Sample p2-3 Trimmed with eyelets

    Sample p2-3 Trimmed with eyelets


    How to handle the raw edge where the join will be done? Neat and flat? Trim a little, fold back, iron, and hope the grommets will hold in place? Bind? Leave raw? What kind of eyelets, and do I want to cut the second piece of plastic at an angle? The red eyelets echo the diamond shapes of the lower piece, while the round silver ones are a more subtle match to the bubble wrap texture of the top.

    Having slept on it, I realised I was losing the momentum and fun of the exercises, trying to “get it right”. Note there are choices about edge treatment, eyelet type, eyelet spacing etc, but stop obsessing. Try something and keep moving. There will be a lot happening with the lacing. Keep it simple. Square at the top, with the red creating a clear bottom and top to the final.

    After all that fussing I did a bad job of inserting the eyelets – either more practice or better quality materials and tools next time! At least I could move on to actual joining.

    Sample p2-3 a. Shiny red ribbon, cross-lacing and a trailing bow.

    Sample p2-3 a

    Sample p2-3 a


    This really makes a statement of the lacing, but don’t overshadow the other strong elements. The Xs are dynamic and echo the mesh grid, the trailing ribbons join with with movement of the frilled off-the-edge netting. I think this is a successful combination.

    Sample p2-3 b. The same shiny red ribbon, with simple, functional lacing.

    Sample p2-3 b

    Sample p2-3 b

    This is effectively the reverse of the previous lacing. The colour and size mean the ribbon is still a strong element, but I find it attracts / distracts the eye without really giving any interest in return.

    In this small sample the lacing detracts, but in a larger piece it could work to add a bit of texture and interest in what would otherwise be a quiet area. It might look quite different if one side of the join was red rather than white, creating a colour link across the divide.

    Sample p2-3 c. Silver-white synthetic organza ribbon, cross-lacing and bow.

    Sample p2-3 c

    Sample p2-3 c


    The silver ribbon doesn’t work at all.

    I thought it would give the liveliness without the somewhat dominant visual effect of the red ribbon in p2-3a. Instead it looks totally alien, anaemic, lost, pointless. It doesn’t stand up to the strong colours and shapes around.

    In her assignment 1 report my tutor Rebecca Fairley advised “The trick is to put everything down to a learning experience, another step towards a positive outcome”. The silver-white ribbon is definitely one of those disappointments, but in a set of experiments like this there has to be a “worst”.

    Sample p2-3 d. Black ric-rac, cross-lacing and knot.

    Sample p2-3 d

    Sample p2-3 d


    There’s an annoying thing towards the bottom of all the samples that looks like a crease and shadow, but is actually black colour on on one of the carrier bags that were fused. I tried playing this up with some black ric-rac. I like this! On an actual, larger work I think it would not shout so much, but really give a lift and extra interest.

    Although I started with a lacing inspiration, now I have eyelets I could link each pair separately. A simple metal ring would work, if I had or made the right size to get a join with no overlap and no gap. Instead I was very keen to use some more of the original fruit bag net.

    Sample p2-3 e. Fruit bag ties.

    Sample p2-3 e

    Sample p2-3 e


    It was hard to get through some of my badly set eyelets, but I mostly managed. There’s just too much happening here, but once again imagine a larger piece. Net could be fused flat, pulled to distort the base plastic, frill off the edge – and now be used to join different parts together. Just not all at once!

    Sample p2-3 e Sideview

    Sample p2-3 e Sideview

    The side view shows some of the wonderful space and form created by the net. In the sample I used ties of different lengths, different widths – nothing planned, just contending with those dratted eyelets. Maybe one assignment coming up there’ll be an opportunity to get a really big piece of net and go crazy. …p8s2e2_05 Writing that reminded me of some braid I made in A Creative Approach, using stripped strips of fibreglass flyscreen (16-Sept-2012). I also used it in a couple of weavings for that course, and really like the texture and the filtering of light it gives. That could fit in the mythical larger piece, perhaps the ricrac as well. Lots of movement and dimension in red, white and black. Classic combination.
    Sample p2-3 e Reverse

    Sample p2-3 e Reverse


    Sample p2-3 e Reverse - adjustedBack on topic, the reverse side shows that this method can actually be quite restrained. For each tie I can decide how dimensional I want it to be. I tried to get a few different effects, but really wanted more volume of net available.

    Lots of more potential in this lacing – with longer pieces, I could try skipping an eyelet or two to create fullness on one side. I could add loops and dangles. Vary colour combinations. The more textured fruit bag suggests a bundle of threads with lots of textures and colours…

    I finished the session with a sketch in crayon on A3 black paper.

    Sketch 20150605

    Sketch 20150605

    T1-MMT-P2-p1-e1 Joining straight flush edges – session 2
    Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
    Part 2: Joining and wrapping
    Project 1: Joining
    Exercise 1: Joining straight flush edges


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