T1-MMT-P2-p2-e3 Uneven wrapping

Found computer components

Found computer components

This exercise calls for found objects or bric-a-brac, wrapped in an experimental and playful way. Thinking of building on a theme of sorts, I collected and de-constructed two old PC and a defunct printer, together with sundry keyboards, headphones, a scanner, mouse… Lots of interesting shapes and protrusions, plus potential for more complicated combinations.

Computer component printing

Computer component printing

Warming up, I used a variety of the surfaces to print in acrylic paint on paper – potential wrapping material.

Preparatory tracing - Judith Scott

Preparatory tracing – Judith Scott

Judith Scott - additional response

Judith Scott – additional response

I also looked again at Judith Scott’s work, tracing over one of my favourite images, and reviewed some of my earlier research, including a page not previously posted which focused on the colour, freedom, and my interpretation of emotion in some of her work.

I pulled out a pile of more and less conventional wrapping “threads” and materials.

Then I froze.

“There is no limit to the ways in which you can use your binding materials”, the OCA notes inform me. “Respond the to the shape of the object”. Yep.

My head was full of an end result of a group of objects in a theme. The particular work by Judith Scott I had looked at is more line, complex but quite drab in colour, while the other research focused on lots of colour and a general mass. I was thinking emotions and colour combinations. I was loading all this pre-thinking on an exercise that calls for playful response.

I stopped to capture all of the above in a draft post. Then put it to one side.

Deep breath, and just start wrapping. See what happens.

Sample p2-73
I chose a component with some interesting bumps and holes.

Sample p2-73 Two views of found object

Sample p2-73 Two views of found object


Wrapping began with a torn strip of green crystal organza. I used holes and notched edges to wrap a “flower” effect.
Sample p2-73 Two views - wrapped organaz strip

Sample p2-73 Two views – wrapped organza strip


I wanted to highlight the knob, and used a red computer cable – again using holes in the object to place, catch and hold the “thread”.
Sample p2-73 Protrusion wrapped

Sample p2-73 Protrusion wrapped


I liked the open looping spiral, but it didn’t feel generous enough.
Sample p2-73

Sample p2-73


Some horsehair plastic threaded through holes adds a little drama and height. The bump of a gear wheel on the reverse side helps the object sit up on a slant, presenting the work to the viewer.

Sample p2-74

Sample p2-74 Printer components

Sample p2-74 Printer components


Next a piece of printer roller/feed, and an extra corner because I want to stand it up and get some height.
Sample p2-74 Attached cable wrapped for initial join

Sample p2-74 Attached cable wrapped for initial join


The two pieces stand together, joined by a simple wrapping of cable from the corner around the roller. As work progressed I gradually made a number of other joins to stabilize and strengthen the join.

There are lots of separated bits, so I decide to start with a series of upward spirals.

Sample p2-74 Side wrapping in bricklayers line

Sample p2-74 Side wrapping in bricklayers line


Pink bricklayers line, closely wrapped giving density of colour. The spacing responds to the shape and holes of the object – I find the variation pleasing.
Sample p2-74 Side over-wrapping in trimmer line

Sample p2-74 Side over-wrapping in trimmer line


Some green trimmer line gives a much more open curve and helps the piece claim more space around it. The interaction with the pink wrapping is good. The green might need to be removed temporarily as work progresses.
Sample p2-74 Other side wrapped in bricklayers line

Sample p2-74 Other side wrapped in bricklayers line


Yellow bricklayers line wraps up the other side. There’s also some orange line helping to stabilise the connection of the two parts.

I want to add something more substantial.

Sample p2-74 Sliced cd-rom cable looped around roller

Sample p2-74 Sliced cd-rom cable looped around roller

Puzzling over what to do, I added another vertical element, adjusting that orange tie that didn’t really fit.

I sliced a cd-rom cable into shreads, and looped it around. It doesn’t look like much at the moment.

Sample p2-74 Weaving through cable

Sample p2-74 Weaving through cable


Other reclaimed wires woven through create volume. I had to do some extra work to stabilise everything with the weight pulling forward.

It’s amazingly ugly, but I actually like it. I see the volume and the lines, and not so much the mess.

Sample p2-74 Rear stabilised but bare

Sample p2-74 Rear stabilised but bare


The back (new clarity of orientation) was looking empty and uncared for.
Sample p2-74 Rear woven with insect mesh strip

Sample p2-74 Rear woven with insect mesh strip


Some fringed strips of insect mesh woven through filled that.
Sample p2-74 Completed column

Sample p2-74 Completed column

Sample p2-74 Detail - multiple wrappings and joins

Sample p2-74 Detail – multiple wrappings and joins


I like it! Lots of colour, texture and volume. There are odd aspects, true, but it’s got character!

Hiromi Tango

Hiromi Tango

Hiromi Tango

Hiromi Tango

It’s totally different in character to the original inspiration work of Judith Scott, and also to that of Hiromi Tango. I haven’t written about her work in the research for this section – information on an exhibition I visited last year was posted 30-October-2014. There was a profusion of objects and wrappings around the room and piled up in the centre. Hiromi clambered over and around, and sat cocooned in the mass as she spoke to us. Such a sensation of generosity and joy and layers of meaning and history. The hard metal and complex shapes and cables I am using as my objects are taking me on a different, sparser path. Although a different interpretation, I think there is still enough “wrapping” technique to meet the requirements of the exercise.

Sample p2-75
Next the inside of a power supply.

Sample p2-75 Power supply, with inset showing reverse side

Sample p2-75 Power supply, with inset showing reverse side


This looks so great and has so many wires already attached that it could be displayed as is. However that would push a bit too hard on the exercise requirements. The tricky thing will be to find something that enhances it and makes it more interesting.

On further investigation the underside is interesting too.

Sample p2-75 Support from second power supply

Sample p2-75 Support from second power supply


I took apart another power supply – just harvesting interesting parts. One piece of metal I used as a prop for my board. I also cleared off a few deteriorating batteries and bits and pieces from my object, to better display the finds and coils that first attracted me.

It seemed a natural choice to spiral the attached wires around the object like an inverted bowl. It would be wrapped in space as well as wire “threads”, continuing the idea of increasing volume.

Sample p2-75 Weaving in progress

Sample p2-75 Weaving in progress

I briefly tried using another thread as a weft, but felt it obscured the contents too much. Interweaving the wires themselves seemed a better fit, responding to all my base object offered. Not an experienced basket weaver, I found the process difficult. Creating a neat, or at least non-distracting finish defeated me. I did twining (?) first, using strips of organza to link back to the first sample. That still left a tangle of wires that cluttered the base. An attempt to weave in the ends based on an internet tutorial had mixed success. The wires looked likely to spring apart at any moment if I cut them shorter. I used waxed linen thread (a nice, obedient, strong thread) to whip around the edges to bind the base together. It hasn’t quite worked but it hasn’t quite fallen apart, so I’m calling it good enough for a sample, with some questions to be resolved in a finished work.

Sample p2-75

Sample p2-75


Sample p2-75 Top view

Sample p2-75 Top view

Sample p2-76
In my next sample I wanted to use a disk drive which has a lovely screw mechanism support, a part that moves up and down – perhaps I could keep that – plus a fan that still has traces of acrylic paint from the printing session.

Sample p2-76 Components

Sample p2-76 Components


Wanting to move away from the sparse, hard computer cables and braided nylon of earlier wrappings, I used the printed paper from the beginning of the exercise as my wrapping material.
Sample p2-76 Wrapped in printed paper

Sample p2-76 Wrapped in printed paper


To display the interesting interior I cut and tore through the paper.
Sample p2-76 Revealed

Sample p2-76 Revealed

I really like this effect. The wrapping acts as a frame to the piece. It’s good to make the connection of wrapping to unwrapping. Christo’s wrapped paintings are intriguing (18-July-2015), but I like the excited-tearing-of-gift-wrapping association, plus such a deliberate and self-conscious “mystery” feels a little forced.

Wrapping of the fan was minimal.

Sample p2-76 Fan wrapped

Sample p2-76 Fan wrapped

Horsehair plastic thread was wrapped through holes, braided, and tied with a snippet of crystal organza. It’s a link back to sample p2-73, but quite a different treatment. I’ve found myself trying to create height and movement in all the samples of this exercise – computer components can tend to just sit, static.

Sample p2-76 Joined - top view

Sample p2-76 Joined – top view


Sample p2-76 Detail

Sample p2-76 Detail

The two parts were joined simply, pushing a loop of cable from the tying on the wrapped package over the fan where it fits snugly, while a cable from the fan is jammed into an opening of the disk drive. The combination is satisfying, non-identical twins joined by their own cords. It creates a variation and a tension – why are these connected? is one taking power or information from the other? The space between them becomes important.

Sample p2-77
In what was going to be my final sample I played with the idea of inside-out – computer components and cables wrapping around the case, rather than inside.

Sample p2-77 Initial attempt

Sample p2-77 Initial attempt with inset of cable join

In the initial attempt I started creating lengths of thread and cable, wrapping them around the empty case. It looked thin and weedy, and too like earlier samples.

Sample p2-77 Second attempt in progress

Sample p2-77 Second attempt in progress

I restarted, this time connecting components – a motherboard, disk drive, printer body parts – wrapping them around with yarns to form the connections and trying to build an interesting and complex shape.

Sample p2-77 Abandoned

Sample p2-77 Abandoned

I had taken on too much. It would take too much time, too much in materials, to get the density of wrapping I wanted a create a new whole from the various components. I abandoned the sample.

Sample p2-78
I still wanted to make a sample with dense wrapping and colour mixing. I took a drive component very similar to p2-73, and started wrapping.

Sample p2-78 Progressing

Sample p2-78 Progressing


This was quick, fun, satisfying, and I really like the result.
Sample p2-78

Sample p2-78


Sample p2-78 Reverse side

Sample p2-78 Reverse side


The colours work well together, the lines are dynamic. The wrapping responds to the overall shape of the plate, but works around the knob without interacting with it. I rather like this as a contrast to all the other samples, which seemed acutely aware of and directed by the protrusions of the found objects. Here the wrapping is the star, the original object a vehicle to display it.

Following a comment from another student on social media, I tried grouping my objects as a collection.

Exercise 3 Samples

Exercise 3 Samples

There is variety but also a strong commonality of the grouped wrappings. If this were an actual exhibition I would want to take more space, putting each sample on a separate plinth at various heights to give each an opportunity to claim its own space while still creating a conversation with the group. As shown in the photograph there is too much visual complexity and confusion, and in honesty it looks too similar to the original pile of components pictured at the beginning of this post.

I added a few inductors, gear wheels and springs on the table to break up the space and add an extra note. In a larger setting I’d like to experiment with a box of cables and parts lying discarded on the floor.

T1-MMT-P2-p2-e3 Uneven wrapping
Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
Part 2: Joining and wrapping
Project 2: Wrapping
Exercise 3: Uneven wrapping

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