Wrapping is a fascinating process. It’s one of those repetitive processes quite common in textiles, where the hands are occupied but most of the mind is free to wander. It can enhance a shape, or change it, or hide it. It can join materials or objects, can take advantage of their properties, extend or adapt them (think of pillows and tea-cosies). It can protect, comfort (a hug) or bind, suffocate.
As suggested in the course notes I started with a kitchen wooden spoon, and wound rug wool evenly around it.
The wool changes the colour and texture, but the shape is unmistakable. The wrapping is like a textured coat of paint. The dip of the bowl is lost, and the tip isn’t covered neatly – I think glue would be needed for that. It doesn’t really fire the imagination … although it does make me more conscious of the shape, rather than taking it for granted and dismissing it. It’s not quite so familiar any more.
Any mystery is gone. The wrapping looks brash, random, careless. The wool doesn’t speak to or enhance the wood. Perhaps a kitchen twine would have been better here.
Sample p2-40 The black elastic bands were placed as supports for the next sample, but I liked the effect and wanted to capture it. There’s also the pun on “measuring spoon”, which pleases me (at one point I had the bands lined up at 2 cm intervals, although clearly there was shifting).
Here the elastic bands have been used to anchor some stiff plastic threads – they are like artificial horsehair, which I have cut into shorter lengths.
The bristles of the ends create a wonderful dynamic effect. The spoon isn’t disguised at all, but it is transformed.
Version b has just a bit more added, trying to push the 3D aspect of the result.
I think this sample is a simple but very effective use of wrapping. The almost monochromatic colour brings unity to the combination of materials. There is a dynamic presence claiming space around the spoon, and also a sense of honesty – the constituent materials declare themselves without disguise or false modesty.
In the previous sample I was trying to stay clean and linear, but noticed the tendency of individual strands to separate. In sample p2-42 I played up that effect, introducing a lot more interest and detail.
The shape of the spoon is de-emphasized, although there is something about the mixture of curved and straight black lines that links back to it. The spoon has become a vehicle for exuberant three-dimensional drawing.
I think there are lots of possibilities to explore here. Using a variety of different-but-related base shapes which together form a larger composition could be interesting.
It takes quite a bit more effort to discern the spoon within, but it can still be seen in its entirety. The overall shape has been changed and is now wider at the handle end. I was hoping to get more from the layering of the mesh, but the result is more even, contained, and dull than expected.
Wrapping more closely, the spoon is enhanced rather than overwhelmed. The twisted, layered, fringed screening creates interest and variety, acting in partnership with the spoon. It’s almost like the wardrobe staple “little black dress”, a glamorous presentation of the previously humble.
Here the mesh becomes a container for the spoon. Some volume is created, but in the end it is just a spoon.
Shredded silver paper has been used to wrap loosely around the spoon. Tighter wrapping around part of the handle reflects the shape, but changing tension at the end confuses – which side is the bowl? The answer is clearer in the photograph than in real life.
Looser wrapping overall disguises the spoon more completely, but glimpses are still available.
I like the idea of hidden strength and form. This is almost all, but not entirely, about the wrapping material. Its erratic behaviour is just a little controlled by the interior spoon. There is a slight tension between form and chaos, between hard and soft, which gives interest.
An extra layer of wrapping using insect mesh has been added. Knowing there is a spoon inside I can distinguish the shape, but really it could be anything or nothing. The spoon is just armature.
Allowing the paper to “escape” the exterior wrapping brings a sparkle and interest back to the package. The underlying form of the spoon is much more apparent as well – obscured but not lost within.
There is almost a sense of a captured moment. Something is being revealed or is bursting out. Can it be contained? What more will be revealed? Each element – spoon, paper and mesh – plays a part in the ongoing story.
The result in my eyes is surprisingly static.
By this stage it may be apparent that I was dismantling the extended sample from the previous project while working on this exercise. Paper-clip chains, previously suspenders, are now wrapped around the spoon.
Almost interesting, I feel it should be interesting, but dull. The individual paper-clips aren’t exactly aligned, but they aren’t greatly varied. Density of wrapping isn’t consistent – but it isn’t particularly anything. The paper-clips and spoon just sit there, not giving anything to each other.
I tried to find a variation that worked, but the paper-clips had an odd mixture of rigidity and movement that resisted. They wouldn’t fall loosely. They reacted to the spoon’s varying shape as if they resented it.
In the photograph there is a feeling of the spoon entrapped, imprisoned. It was less apparent while working with the materials and I didn’t explore this.
It looks a little like a stealth jet, or a revealing x-ray. A series could be interesting, individual items that you have to decipher that build into a whole. The kitchen link makes me think of 1950s housewives, chained to their domestic duties. My mother? Could I show house and children dragging and chaining, a gradual lightening and emergence in her own right?
Bundles of mixed yarns have been used for wrapping. The spoon has returned, there is some nice zigzag movement on the handle, but the bowl wrapping is just a mess.
I like the return to colour and to fibre, but this is clumsy.
The same materials are wrapped in a more co-ordinated and controlled way. The result is great. The colours and textures sing together. The spoon is clearly there, but sheathed beautifully. Just last night, days after I’d worked on this exercise, I saw this at the Art Gallery of NSW. Part of the Colin McDonald collection, this is a detail of a piece described as “Tachi (long sword worn with cutting edge down) with fittings decorated with dragons amongst the clouds and itomaki-tachi-goshirae style mount. 1390”. The whole piece was exquisite. I couldn’t figure out how this section of wrapping was worked, but the crossing structure was used on a number of the items on display – presumably none original, but I don’t know.
It feels ridiculous to link my spoon with a beautiful, highly crafted, lethal weapon, but it suggests a path to investigate.
Wrapping in plastic filament using the 3D pen – a nod to spun sugar.
On this first attempt I kept a bit loose and open, wondering if I would need to break the plastic to remove it from the spoon. The spiral turned out to be very flexible, and it was easy to manipulate off the bowl and then slide away.
The second attempt followed the spoon shape more closely, and resulted in a more dynamic line.
I like the wrapping, but even more I like the wrapping with the original gone. You could take the line of an imprint of what is now lost, or be lighter and see it as a quirky representation.It reminds me of Shi Jindian Beijing Jeep’s Shadow, seen at the White Rabbit gallery (9-November-2012)Described as crochet in wire, the form of an entire jeep has been captured in wire lace.
This could be a very interesting and rewarding path to follow with plastic. A later Part of this module is on Molding and Casting, and there may be an opportunity in that to take this further.
T1-MMT-P2-p2-e1 Straight wrapping with threads
Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
Part 2: Joining and wrapping
Project 2: Wrapping
Exercise 1: Straight wrapping with threads