Archive for June 26th, 2016

Dimensional / depth weaving

dimensional_weave_3My weekly roundup was already in draft form including tentative plans for “depth weaving” when Claire lent me a rotary corrugating tool plus a bag of goodies including embossing foil. I’d asked for her advice on corrugating metal strips or foil following my dimensional weaving experiment (12-Jun-2016).



The photo above shows the rotary tool, a sheet of foil, and my first sample which uses a strip of the foil.

It looks very neat and precise. It’s also reasonably firm, so accepts and holds curves I put into it. The foil is probably available in rolls, to give greater lengths – something to research.



Wanting more length, sample 2 used a longer piece of kitchen foil – a cheap brand and light gauge. It started as the full width of 30 cm. I kept folding, crimping, finding it still very soft, so pulling out the corrugations and folding the width more eventually down to roughly 2 cm. It holds the crimps, but not any folds I try to make.

It’s very shiny, more brash than the embossing foil. I could use the less shiny side, or use this as an advantage.



There was some unintentional folding and crimping at an angle in s2. I decided to push this, folding a new piece of kitchen foil and then putting more folds into the sides to create uneven width.

It went through the crimping tool without trouble, and is a little firmer in the hand than s2.



I liked the additional creasing in s3 where I’d put the extra folds. Wanting to get more of this, I took a new piece of kitchen foil and roughly pleated it along its length by hand. I pushed the creases flat, then used the crimping tool.

The result is still corrugated, but very textured at the detail level. Although wider than the folded s2 and s3 the result is much firmer in the hand and sits up well when I try to put in looping folds.

s1 to s4 -20160626

s1 to s4 -20160626

I see s1 and s4 as the samples with potential at the moment.

S1 is lovely and crisp and precise. Less shiny than the others – it looks more elegant and expensive to me. It doesn’t demand attention and I think would work well with other materials and allow the focus to be on the dimensional folding.

S4 has lots of extra texture and interest. You lose some of the corrugations that were my original intention, but you get a lively effect and extra stability in return. It could be a bit of a prima donna.

s5-20160626 view 2

s5-20160626 view 2



S5 is the 4 previous samples, woven together with strips of insect mesh. The structure is plain weave, although that’s not apparent with all the loops of extra material. I attempted some twists in the mesh with the idea of varying tones, but it didn’t hold. Lots of options to address that if I choose.

What next?

  • I’ve already mentioned (earlier today) metal and much crisper/neater, then undulating the folds of metal so they suggest an image, then use the gridded mesh weft to create tone. pleat_13That idea may have started thinking of the Barak building in Melbourne (link), and searching for that link took me back to corrugation experiments in MMT Part 1, which I should probably revisit (5-Apr-2015).
  • Attempts could be to highlight the view through, or Fontana’s infinite dimension…
  • Print p4-89

    Print p4-89

    Collagraph plate. More work to emboss obviously. How about a diptych, one side a collagraph print, the other an embossed, cut into strips and woven version – what would the new dimension show or suggest, the newly exposed interior? Thinking of that took me back to printing in MMT – the paper shown here was heavily embossed, although the photograph doesn’t show that well (can’t take a new photo, as it’s with OCA in the UK waiting for assessment, and will probably be thoroughly flattened going through the post). Can one print on foil?
  • Variations in the corrugation – for example slit and twist, especially with the foils that have colour on one side. This reminds me of wrapped warp techniques – in a previous post (14-Oct-2012) I mentioned Sheila Hicks’s Zapallar (link).
  • lace & finger manipulated sampler

    lace & finger manipulated sampler

    Other weave structures, especially with the new depth, could be reimagined. Supplementary weft? Theo Moorman technique – that could really be worth exploring. Or spanish lace – being foil and corrugated there must be ways to take advantage of the open / turning areas to go a bit wild.
  • Perhaps I could emboss the foil in a way similar to the pvc board in the workshop with Jet James (16-Jul-2015), although that’s working very fine and detailed.
  • I could write on the foil – as a long strip, or a page of text that is then cut.
  • I’m sure there’s more, but I want to stop my mind racing and spend more time with the materials. Experience them. Listen to them.

    Weekly roundup 26 June 2016

    Lecture: Anne Gérard-Austin Gustave Caillebotte, the ideal collection (part of the AGNSW Collectors & Collections series).

    I don’t think I’ve heard of Caillebotte before, but he was heavily involved with the French Impressionists as friend, supporter, collector, organiser of exhibitions and in leaving the French State an amazing bequest of artworks (only some of which were accepted). Caillebotte was also an artist whose paintings in Gérard-Austin’s view demonstrate that rather than a narrow, cohesive field there was a range of work which fell within (or near) Impressionism as a movement.

    Much of Caillebotte’s work may suggest Realism then you notice the unusual subject matter (often domestic interiors, or workers scraping floors in an urban apartment rather than rustic work in picturesque rural settings); flickering brushwork; radical composition and play with the geometry of the city (Caillebotte was interested in early photography). There is a coherence and modernity in Caillebotte’s compositions.

    During the lecture we saw many beautiful, some familiar, images of works by Renoir, Monet, Manet, Cézanne, Degas, Pissarro, but with my current grid and geometry interests it was Caillebotte’s own work which really excited. I’ve traced out a few as the basis for experiments.

    Panel discussion: Andrew Christofides, Rhonda Davis, Leonard Janiszewski, Lizzy Marshall and Paul McGillick in conversation, within the Into Abstraction exhibition at the Macquarie University Art Gallery.
    The conversation started by considering what is meant by “abstract art”. Possibilities included: all art – it’s a question of emphasis; thought patterns not simply process and outcome; representing the world without appearing like the world; mention of Kant’s viewing that which is unseen.

    There were some politics – starting with the 1860s and the teaching of art at the École des Beaux-Arts (does the student start by drawing old masters and learning the canon, or with their own markmaking?); the teaching of art in schools of the 1950s and 60s (in Australia looking to British conservatism, and definitely don’t encourage thinking for themselves in the masses); Wilhelm Worringer’s linking of art to the political and social, and the level of impact of German art theory in the UK and Australia…

    Lots of different views (some of them coming from the same person) over the “meaning” in abstract art: sometimes spiritual elements; dependent on context; dependent on the perception and engagement of the viewer; none.

    There were artists and ideas somewhat familiar to me, others not so much. I have pages of notes full of asterisks and underlines showing things I want to follow up.

    Andrew Christofides Lineage  (2001)

    Andrew Christofides

    Andrew Christofides was the only practicing artist, his work pictured here clearly relevant to my current research. He suggested abstract artists create languages that allow us to understand the world, to see it in a different way. Over time he has tried to extend the geometric language and syntax that he uses. He describes some of his work as “non-hierarchic” (aka modular) – a word that got a buzz around the panel. In response to a question from the audience Christofides explained that he brings together all sorts of things from his past experiences, into an image that people can respond to based on their own, different, experiences. He hopes people experience it in the way they experience music. There’s some more really interesting explanation of Studio Practice on his website – There’s also a rather long but illuminating interview of Christofides by McGillick at

    As well as being fuzzy, my photograph doesn’t capture the richness of colour, nor that the colour isn’t flat. That rust red background seems to have its own grid within it. I think it would actually translate very well into a woven piece – I’d try 20/2 silk, finished very carefully to minimise without eliminating the dimensionality of the weave. So not really the direction I’m expecting to go at the moment.

    Christofides also had copies for everyone of a diagram he has used in teaching, showing a continuum of more and less abstract and representational in art, plus concrete as the opposite to abstract. Including brief lists of words and artists associated with each, it makes a very useful guide.

    Macquarie University Sculpture Garden
    Later we walked through a little of the university’s Sculpture Garden.
    I spent around twelve years on and off at Macquarie, working part-time to a BSc. The building housing the Art Gallery didn’t exist back then and I suspect this grassy area and the lake may be newer too – certainly I was entirely unaware of them.

    Errol B Davis Springfire 1990

    Errol B Davis

    Springfire by Errol Davis can be rotated around, framing different sections of the landscape. Something about the two planes, the space between, the way this intensifies the depth of the window through, makes me think of the “depth weaving” (new, undefined term) that I am looking to create. [Note: this was written but not posted before my experiments in crimping and weaving metal – see next post].

    dimensional_weave_5This is a (planned) development or series of developments to the sample I showed 12-Jun-2016. First plan is simply corrugated metal and much crisper/neater. Next is undulating the folds of metal so they suggest an image, then use the gridded mesh weft to create tone. New third attempt could be to highlight the view through, or Fontana’s infinite dimension…

    While at the Gallery I was delighted to find out more about the one work I remember from my student days. It turns out to be Hojarasca En Oro by Olga de Amaral, acquired by the university in 1976 with the assistance of the Crafts board (the Gallery staff found the original catalogue card for me). It’s now in storage, but I found an image here.

    Made of wool and sisal, I remember it dusty, providing a little colour and texture on a large grey concrete wall in the cavernous E7B building. I’d spend a little time with it if I arrived early for COMP 101 (6 – 10pm Monday nights after work – brutal, like the architecture 🙂 ). See more of this amazing artist’s work on her website

    In particular there is a video which gives rich context to her work and also shows pieces during creation. It fits in well with the day’s topic of abstract art, to see some of the places, colours, textures that inform Olga de Amaral.

    Followup – Matisse Large Reclining Nude
    Last week (19-Jun-2016) I mentioned this work painted for the Cone sisters, and the series of photographs of progress. From the video referenced ( I’ve made a page of images to look at the changes in the grid(s) and the influence on the overall composition.

    Matisse Large reclining nude progress photos

    Large reclining nude progress photos

    No 1&20 sketch this week, and not a lot of reading completed. Currently new things to read, do and think are coming up more quickly than I can deal with. I feel the need to look long term and pace myself.


    No Instagram images were found.

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