Archive for the '1.3 Heating and fusing' Category

T1-MMT-P1-p3-e2 Using a heat gun – third session

For my third session I choses two focus points – a quick test of a range of materials, and some experimentation with colour in fabrics.

Sample p1-65. The gridded foil shelf liner.

Sample p1-65 Before

Sample p1-65 Before


Sample p1-65 After

Sample p1-65 After


After heating the shiny side

Sample p1-66. The same gridded foil shelf liner.

Sample p1-66 Before

Sample p1-66 Before


Before, on the reverse side.
Sample p1-66 After

Sample p1-66 After


Sample p1-66 After - detail

Sample p1-66 After – detail


Sample p1-66 After - reverse of reverse

Sample p1-66 After – reverse of reverse


After heating the reverse side. The plastic backing dissolved, giving a distressed effect, and a textured foil material that isn’t super shiny. The front (or reverse of the reverse) has a potentially useful unstructured grid effect. The material is quite strong and I think would survive stitching. A useful result.

Sample p1-67. Polyester fill

Sample p1-67 Before

Sample p1-67 Before


Sample p1-67 After

Sample p1-67 After


Sample p1-67 After - detail

Sample p1-67 After – detail


At first it seemed to be dissolving away like fairy floss, but it ended with a deep texture effect.

Sample p1-68. Thick acrylic felt, leftover from a sound-reduction project.

Sample p1-68 Before

Sample p1-68 Before


Sample p1-68 After

Sample p1-68 After


The effect is more apparent to the touch than the sight. I would like to try printing off this.

Sample p1-69. Non-slip liner.

Sample p1-69

Sample p1-69


No photo of after – there was no apparent reaction at first. I put the heat up, but could see fumes so stopped working with it.

Sample p1-70. Some thin acrylic felt, two colours, layers partially overlapped.

Sample p1-70 Before

Sample p1-70 Before


Sample p1-70 After

Sample p1-70 After


The melting them together idea went nowhere. Treated separately I got some nice distressing of the surface plus variation in colour. It could make a good concealing/revealing layer. Alternatively the mottling could help texture an area.

Sample p1-71. Polyester satin

Sample p1-71 Before

Sample p1-71 Before


It took a lot of heating to get this moving.
Sample p1-71 After

Sample p1-71 After


Some nice texture, and it really breaks up the shine to give a much more interesting – and less cheap – look.
It still doesn’t feel nice for hand-sewing – if you spend a lot of time handling a material you want it to feel good. However it should be fine for machine stitching.
It could be effective to combine this texture with colour from disperse dyes.

Sample p1-72. Synthetic velvet.
A small sample – I only brought one piece out with me, and I want to try heating from both sides. First the front (textured) side.

Sample p1-72 Before

Sample p1-72 Before


Sample p1-72 After

Sample p1-72 After


Very hard to get moving, de-lustred, hard and nasty where it shrunk most.

Sample p1-73. Synthetic velvet.
I’m very not keen, but going ahead with the plan. This time heating from the knit side.

Sample p1-73 Before

Sample p1-73 Before


Sample p1-73 After - knit side

Sample p1-73 After – knit side


Sample p1-73 After - pile side

Sample p1-73 After – pile side


A much quicker response to the heat. The result is not so hard and plasticky, except where the edges rolled a bit. The lustre is still there, and because it is now dimpled it is not as harsh a shine as the original fabric.

Sample p1-74. A light, synthetic silver lamé thing.

Sample p1-74 Before

Sample p1-74 Before


Sample p1-74 During

Sample p1-74 During


Sample p1-74 After

Sample p1-74 After


Sample p1-74 Backlit

Sample p1-74 Backlit


A nice textured and disstressed look. The fabric is a bit crunchy and fragile, so would probably be a pain to work with.

Sample p1-75. Pink synthetic crystal organza.

Sample p1-75 Before

Sample p1-75 Before


Sample p1-75 During

Sample p1-75 During


Sample p1-75 After

Sample p1-75 After


Sample p1-75 Backlit

Sample p1-75 Backlit


Some interesting texture. It’s lost some shine, which I consider a good thing. It provides some variation in colour and transparency which could be useful. Ridiculously coloured rocks???

Sample p1-76. Pink and blue synthetic organza.
I want to try colour mixing, also whether I can get the two fabrics to join at all. I’ve used the kinetic sand for at least a little control – the pink on its own was very flighty.

Sample p1-76 Before

Sample p1-76 Before


Sample p1-76 After

Sample p1-76 After


Sample p1-76 Layers separated

Sample p1-76 Layers separated


The fabrics didn’t bond at all, but they fit together with related shaping, which could be useful.

What I’m really attracted by is the protection and shaping given by the sand.

Sample p1-77. Purple synthetic organza.
Areas covered by sand. Is this too detailed for the reserving effect to work?

Sample p1-77 Before

Sample p1-77 Before


Sample p1-77 After

Sample p1-77 After


Sample p1-77 Sand removed

Sample p1-77 Sand removed


Either that was a different kind of material, or the weight of sand and amount of material available for shrinking was the wrong mix.

Sample p1-78 Green synthetic organza.
A simpler set of sand shapes, and lots of spare material available.

Sample p1-78 Before

Sample p1-78 Before


Sample p1-78 After

Sample p1-78 After


Sample p1-78 Sand removed

Sample p1-78 Sand removed


That worked better.
I think this technique could be useful.

T1-MMT-P1-p3-e2 Using a heat gun – third session
Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
Part 1: Surface Distortion
Project 3: Heating and fusing
Exercise 2: Using a heat gun

T1-MMT-P1-p3-e2 Using a heat gun – second session

I finished the first session using the heat gun on a high (see post 19-April-2015).

Sample p1-57

Sample p1-57


Sample p1-57 seems full of possibilities.
However…

Sample p1-58.
Starting a new day rather annoyed with myself, but determined to see it through. Last night I tried designing and making a 3D plastic support to shrink plastic over. I was tired, clumsy, hurried, lost my way, kept going, and created a montrosity nothing like what was in my head or on the plan.

Sample p1-58 Plan

Sample p1-58 Plan


Sample p1-58 Filament Frame

Sample p1-58 Filament Frame


Stubborn set in last night, and continues. Let’s see if I can get plastic on this thing. It occurs to me I don’t need to capture between two layers.
Sample p1-58a Before

Sample p1-58a Before


Not over-covered – maybe I’ll be able to layer. Plus using just a bit of kinetic sand.
Sample p1-58a

Sample p1-58a


Not sure what that is, but it doesn’t look promising.
Sample p1-58a Detail

Sample p1-58a Detail


Although at the detail level there is some piercing, and mysterious lumpy distortions. The opaque wrapping disguises and makes dull – although it makes me think of Christo’s work, particularly some packages I saw at AGNSW (http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/249.2011/). Apparently no-one knows what’s inside them. Masterpieces? Junk? Better than the wrapped trees, which just accentuated that they were long dead (http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/250.2011.a-b/).

Back on topic, what would cellophane do?

Sample p1-58b before

Sample p1-58b before


Sample p1-58b During

Sample p1-58b During


The cellophane was doing nothing, so I turned up the heat a bit – and my plastic filament armature softened and collapsed.
Sample p1-58b After - collapsed

Sample p1-58b After – collapsed


Poor little thing. The cellophane wasn’t attached at all, and I have a slumped mess.
If the cellophane wasn’t attached, is the carrier bag?
Sample p1-58b Bag detached

Sample p1-58b Bag detached


No! Just a little fiddling where things were curled around, and it separated. (I also stopped to shade the direct light from the window, so hopefully photos will improve).

Sample p1-59. Recycling the previous sample!
First, a new mould in kinetic sand.

Sample p1-59 Mould

Sample p1-59 Mould


The old form cut open and spread on.
Sample p1-59 Before

Sample p1-59 Before


Sample p1-59a. Initial result:
Sample p1-59a

Sample p1-59a


It softened and wriggled around and suddenly what was an awkward mistake has me intrigued. The outside is very textured, the inside less so, but not smooth.
Sample p1-59b.
Sample p1-59b Before

Sample p1-59b Before


I put on and scattered around some more bits.
Sample p1-59b After - on mould

Sample p1-59b After – on mould


Extra bits went on, I learnt to work on one area at a time, to be conscious of the force of the blowing, to press with tongs after a blast for shaping and to encourage connections.
I toòk it off the mould, realised there were some weak points and bad connections, and was able to improve them.
Sample p1-59b - Bowl turned down

Sample p1-59b – Bowl turned down


It’s a bit more crazy and fun on the outside than the side facing the mould. You could break it without any trouble if you wanted to – and probably when you didn’t want to too. But if I wanted to I could keep going, add more layers and more strength.
I can see lots of places to go with this – additional layers and strength; using an impression mould so the crazier bits are on the inside and more visible; preparing a loose mass of squiggles and placing on form to trace it (the thicker pieces of filament which either had not gone through the pen or went through quickly at similar diameter were the least successful in shaping and melding); preparing a relatively flat piece, then warming and shaping it freestyle…
It means any little piece of scrap filament can find a use.
However at this point I’ll move on.

Sample p1-60.

Sample p1-60 Before

Sample p1-60 Before


Some clear polythene folded over. It may look boring, but if it distorts interestingly there could be possibilities.
Sample p1-60 After

Sample p1-60 After


Definitely distortion, although not as much bonding of the layers as I was hoping for. Still, enough to continue.

Sample p1-61.

Sample p1-61 Before

Sample p1-61 Before


Feathers and rubber bands inside polythene.
Sample p1-61 After

Sample p1-61 After


Sample p1-61 Shadows

Sample p1-61 Shadows


Perhaps I tried to do too much with one little sample. Are there possibilities to exploit here? There are some coloured shadows, which could be interesting. It’s not speaking to me.

Sample p1-62. Would that light pink plastic that shrivelled under the iron do anything interesting (sample p1-52)?

Sample p1-62 Before

Sample p1-62 Before


Before – bit of a blurry action shot, as the afternoon breeze picks up.
Sample p1-62 After

Sample p1-62 After


Wow! Look at that cell structure!
Sample p1-62 Backlit

Sample p1-62 Backlit


Backlit. How nice is that???

Sample p1-63. I have some light white plastic, sold at a cheapy shop as “heavy duty table cover”. It’s a little heavier than the pink and has a slight texture. Will that act in a similar way?

Sample p1-63 Before

Sample p1-63 Before


Sample p1-63a After

Sample p1-63a After


Quite similar. This is exciting because the table covers come in a range of colours. They are also large and cheap.
It’s certainly soft enough to stitch into, although it might tear.
Sample p1-63b. On an impulse I cut it into a length.
Sample p1-63b Cut

Sample p1-63b Cut


And made a little chain of finger crochet.
Sample p1-63b Chained

Sample p1-63b Chained


Sample p1-63b Backlit

Sample p1-63b Backlit


More interesting in the photos than in life. It’s just so limp and drab.
I could heat it and see what happened next.
Sample p1-63c. Instead I decided to twist it
Sample p1-63c Twisted

Sample p1-63c Twisted


Sample p1-63d. And ply it back on itself.
Sample p1-63d

Sample p1-63d


The twist was a bit too soft perhaps, but it might make an interesting texture in a weaving, especially as one can play with colours.
Sample p1-63e. I took out the twist and did a new crochet chain.
Sample p1-63e

Sample p1-63e


Sample p1-63f. Then used the heatgun
Sample p1-63f

Sample p1-63f


Sample p1-63f Backlit

Sample p1-63f Backlit


Good shape. I like the irregularity that is also linear. It’s moderately flexible, a little crackly. You could probably stitch through it, or bits of it, but I think it wouldn’t be pleasant. For some reason I think of it in a coiled basket, but you wouldn’t want to compress the life out of it. I should use it as a printing tool the next time I have the paints or inks out.

Sample p1-64. I have no idea what kitchen wipes are made of, but wanted to try one.

Sample p1-64 Before

Sample p1-64 Before


Sample p1-64 During

Sample p1-64 During


During. Lots of movement, which you can control to an extent by where you direct the air.
Still pliable. Some holes forming, so I want to push further.
Sample p1-64 After

Sample p1-64 After


Sample p1-64 Detail

Sample p1-64 Detail


More shrinking and some holes forming. Still strong – didn’t tear with a sharp tug. Still pliable. It just doesn’t excite me. I think the pattern is too strong.

T1-MMT-P1-p3-e2 Using a heat gun – second session
Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
Part 1: Surface Distortion
Project 3: Heating and fusing
Exercise 2: Using a heat gun

T1-MMT-P1-p3-e2 Using a heat gun – first session

Starting a new exercise, creating surface distortions using a heat gun.

Sample p1-50. Started very simply, with some coloured carrier bag.

Sample p1-50 Before

Sample p1-50 Before


The table top is covered with loose left-over tiles from a bathroom renovation. They protect the surface and could also be useful in indicating scale.
I aimed at fairly steady heat, seeing how far I could go.
Sample p1-50 After

Sample p1-50 After


Quite a way.
It was difficult to keep the plastic straight, given it was in a hot breeze.

Sample p1-51. Looking for more control. Can I shape the plastic over a mould?
Kinetic sand, turned out from a plastic tub. I’m confident the heat won’t hurt it, or at least not cause it to act in an unstable way, having seen in a video a man use it as a mould for molten aluminium.
Two layers of carrier bag over, with a little more sand at the corners in an attempt to manage flipping up.

Sample p1-51 Before

Sample p1-51 Before


Sample p1-51a. I only nudged the corners once or twice – the shrinking of the plastic was generally strong enought to pull it in.
Sample p1-51a Turned out

Sample p1-51a Turned out


Sample p1-51b. After taking it off the mould I still had unshrunk areas at the corners, plus the layers hadn’t fused in the centre (the base of my new bowl).
I attempted some fine-tuning, freehand.
Sample p1-51b Fine-tuned

Sample p1-51b Fine-tuned


The corners are more integrated, but there wasn’t enough plastic left in the centre to support the extra shrinkage. The layers are now pretty well fused, but holes are appearing.
Can I push that?
Sample p1-51c. It doesn’t really fit the mould any more, but I put it back on to provide some resistance to shrinking, thinking that would encourage holes.
Sample p1-51c Back on mould

Sample p1-51 Back on mould


Sample p1-51c end

Sample p1-51c end


A couple more small holes, but it was mostly the existing ones getting bigger. Perhaps where the layers had already fused there was too much strength, and only the weak points responded.

Sample p1-52. Now looking to create holes, how about a single layer, with blobs of sand scattered to stop flipping and to force uneven shrinkage.

Sample p1-52 Before

Sample p1-52 Before


Sample p1-52 During

Sample p1-52 During


After the first round of heating. Some of the sand blew/slid around. You can tell I’m right-handed.
Sample p1-52a. Some more heating
Sample p1-52a Front

Sample p1-52a Front


Sample p1-52a Reverse

Sample p1-52a Reverse


After shaking the sand off you can see bubbles of undistorted plastic that had been covered. The weight of the sand dots possibly wasn’t enough to stop movement and force holes, but enough to give protection to areas.
How will it respond to heating?
Sample p1-52b. For no particular reason I decided to heat from the reverse side. Nothing much interesting so I did some more from the front.
Sample p1-52b

Sample p1-52b


Seriously uninteresting.

Sample p1-53. Similar idea, but “cheat” by cutting some starter holes.

Sample p1-53 Before

Sample p1-53 Before


Just a little sand in the corners to discourage flipping.
Sample p1-53 During

Sample p1-53 During


Part way through. Always the question of how far to take it, but I might as well keep going and see what happens.
Sample p1-53 After

Sample p1-53 After


I tried to be very conscious of the direction of blowing, working to lift up and “blow out” weak points. At times the plastic stuck slightly to the tiles, which challenged the plan, but I do have a piece of plastic that looks damaged but is actually quite strong.

Sample p1-54 A change of track, wanting to let go of control. I’ve already seen this US postal bag shrink (Sample p1-39). What about a larger piece, which includes some holes cut for the ties and a thicker seam area in the middle?

Sample p1-54 Before

Sample p1-54 Before


Sample p1-54 After

Sample p1-54 After


Lots of shrinkage and surface distortion.
Sample p1-54 Closeup

Sample p1-54 Closeup


Under the light there is a look of icy crystals.
Sample p1-54 Backlit

Sample p1-54 Backlit


Back-lit it looks like an island terrain.
It’s got a little flexibility – I suppose like the crumpled paper – but I wouldn’t want to try stitching through it.

Sample p1-55. A square of foam stuff, used for packing pieces of fruit (it might have been a sleeve for a nashi pear).

Sample p1-55 Before

Sample p1-55 Before


Sample p1-55 After

Sample p1-55 After


Sample p1-55 Backlit

Sample p1-55 Backlit


This changed very quickly, and there is a little discolouration in spots so I wouldn’t want to take it further. I also wouldn’t want to, as it is very nice like this. There is lots of distortion, lots of variation in the size of the grid, it will stretch and move, and is soft enough for easy stitching.

Sample p1-56. A square of bubble wrap.

Sample p1-56 Before

Sample p1-56 Before


Sample p1-56 After

Sample p1-56 After


Unexciting.

Sample p1-57. Some fragments of plastic filament on a layer of carrier bag. I thought everything would blow away, so I put another layer of bag on top and weighed it down.

Sample p1-57 Before - first layer

Sample p1-57 Before – first layer


Sample p1-57 Before - ready to go

Sample p1-57 Before – ready to go


Sample p1-57 During

Sample p1-57 During


Sand and plastic was sliding around, but there is some very interesting surface distortion going on.
Sample p1-57 After

Sample p1-57 After


Sample p1-57 Detail

Sample p1-57 Detail


Sample p1-57 Backlit

Sample p1-57 Backlit


Speechless!
Wonderful!
There’s contortion – trapped, struggling.
There’s sinister visceral wriggling.
There are hidden surprises, a party or fireworks. Or a machine that’s bursting apart. That last photo makes me think of a scroll of glyphs, a story of a journey.

Definitely ideas that could be explored further.

T1-MMT-P1-p3-e2 Using a heat gun – first session
Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
Part 1: Surface Distortion
Project 3: Heating and fusing
Exercise 2: Using a heat gun

T1-MMT-P1-p3-e1 Fusing plastic – third session

Sample p1-39. The plastic is from a US postal sack. Quite heavy. It looks like woven strips, but in a quick attempt I couldn’t pick it apart, so perhaps it is already fused in some way.

Sample_p1-39. Material

Sample p1-39 Material


Inclusions are plastic drinking straws, cut into little rings, tubes, slivers, and longer bits with the bend in them (accordion folds? linear crumpling?).
Sample_p1-39. Before

Sample p1-39 Before


The iron at my normal silk-to-wool setting had no apparent effect. At a higher setting the postal bag shrivelled up. There was no adhesion of bag to bag. Some of the straw bits and pieces adhered to a layer, but there wasn’t enough flexibility in the bag for the bendy bits to bend (plus they were ironed flat, which impacts bending).
Sample_p1-39. After

Sample p1-39 After


Sample p1-40. Continuing bendy idea, this time with carrier bag (with colour, but turned to back so not too strong, and clear polythene on top.
Sample_p1-40 Before

Sample p1-40 Before


Sample_p1-40 After

Sample p1-40 After


Sample_p1-40 After reverse

Sample p1-40 After – Reverse


Adehesion of layers was good, as expected from earlier samples. A festive, party look, and the colour showing through on the white reverse is quite good too.
When cooled I could get some bend and distortion with just a bit of force and determination.
Sample_p1-40 Bent

Sample p1-40 Bent


It didn’t seem to damage the lamination too much, but enough to show some interesting colour on the back.
Sample_p1-40 Bent reverse detail

Sample p1-40 Bent – Reverse detail


Sample p1-41. I had a roll of material, sold as shelf liner. The top is foil embossed in a grid, the back a thin sheet of plastic flexible foam of some kind???
Sample_p1-41

Sample p1-41


On the left the original material, centre with a light iron on the top only, right a longer iron on both sides. All pieces started the same size, and there is little if any shrinkage. I particularly like the texture in the centre -a space-age tree bark – but there is a lot of curling, which could make use difficult.
Sample p1-42. Plastic non-slip mat.
Sample_p1 42a

Sample p1-42a


On the left the original material. On the right after ironing both sides. No distortion or shrinkage, just flattening.
Sample p1-42b. I ironed the original piece above left, just up the centre, then held it stretched as it cooled.
Sample_p1 42b

Sample p1-42b


Some distortion where it was ironed (warm), and ruffling at the sides.
A new world of possibilities, introducing distortion while cooling.
Sample p1-43. Made a shape in the sand tray – a mound with a cross in the middle.
Four layers of carrier bag.
Sample p1-43 Shaped sand

Sample p1-43 Shaped sand


During this session Nola left a comment suggesting Kinetic Sand. Too late today, but on the agenda for Sometime Soon.
Sample p1-43

Sample p1-43


Definite shaping. I can push it flat, but it mostly springs back.
Sample p1-44a. Decided to try a simpler shape and thinner material. Three layers of polythene.
Sample p1-44a

Sample p1-44a


OK-ish, but very floppy. Hard to move quickly enough, and the sand is cold.
Sample p1-44b. Can I iron it while on the mould?
Sample p1-44b

Sample p1-44b


Nope – didn’t work.
I had been thinking of another version, with inclusions and lacey edges, but there isn’t enough of anything here to bother.
Sample p1-45. Lots of little bits, looking for a lacey effect.
Sample p1-45 before

Sample p1-45 Before


Sample p1-45 After

Sample p1-45 After


Lacey is an understatement. Very fragile – but it could be part of a wonderful textural base to something.
Sample p1-46. Perhaps something more dramatic- a single layer of black with colour bits on top.
Sample p1-46

Sample p1-46


Not what I was expecting. The thin layers have degraded badly and it is just dull.
Sample p1-46 detail

Sample p1-46 Detail


A detail shows the mix of texture and colour. The photo flatters it.
Sample p1-47. Back to white plastic and no base sheet. Included some non-slip stuff – no idea if that will adhere. Also many more pieces of white.
Sample p1-47 Before

Sample p1-47 Before


I was expecting not to like this, but I do.
Sample p1-47 After

Sample p1-47 After


Reasonably solid, interesting textures and layering.
Sample p1-48. In the past I’ve used disperse dyes on synthetic fabrics (dyes suitable for cellulose and protein fabrics, eg cottons and silks, won’t hold). You paint disperse dyes on paper, then when dry iron the paper on the fabric, and the colour transfers. Would that work on plastics?
I used four layers of white carrier bag, and strips of 3 colours of paper I’d painted years ago with the dyes.
Sample p1-48

Sample p1-48


On the left the plastic, on the right some more of the paper. (The strips I used are all curled up. I left them to cool on the plastic and they stuck. A quick re-warm fixed that.)
Good colour. The surface of the plastic is very smooth there – I think there was an embossing effect – yet another thing to experiment with.
Sample p1-48 Reverse

Sample p1-48 Reverse


On the other side the colour is fainter and textured – a weathered effect.
Being able to add colour really opens up possibilities.
Sample p1-49. On the last sample a corner got caught up before / as I ironed, giving a multiple layer effect. Possibilities?
Two flat layers of white carrier plastic, with three strips of linear crumpled plastic between.
Sample p1-49 Before

Sample p1-49 Before


Sample p1-49 After

Sample p1-49 After


Good texture, although it really needs the lighting to work. Flat on a surface is dreary.
There are so many more possibilities and leads to follow up here, but I’ve used up my allocated time and need to move on.

T1-MMT-P1-p3-e1 Fusing plastic – third session
Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
Part 1: Surface Distortion
Project 3: Heating and fusing
Exercise 1: Fusing plastic

T1-MMT-P1-p3-e1 Fusing plastic – second session

My previous session (8-April-2015) gave some basic familiarity with the idea of fusing layers of plastic to create a material suitable for stitching or other uses. Time to go a bit further.

Sample p1-25. Three layers of carrier bag, 1 layer fruit bag mesh, 1 layer clear polythene (perhaps – I really don’t know my plastics.) Very roughly 16 x 21 cm

Sample p1-25.

Sample p1-25.


Sample p1-25.

Sample p1-25.


Nice gridded texture. Polythene on front worked well – forms a seal, holds things in. I like the combination of bag pattern and mesh.
Minor distortion in mesh. Can I take advantage of that?

Sample p1-26. The same layer sequence, in an improvised anchoring system.

Sample p1-26.

Sample p1-26.


Sample p1-26.

Sample p1-26.


Sample p1-26.

Sample p1-26.


Some distortion of grid. Might be able to get more with an assistant to hold things.
Good “frill” effect at the end. Some distortion of the base – it will be interesting to see if the bond holds over time.
I can image a form of clothing -say a skirt, with frill and openness at the hemline.

Sample p1-27. Bubble wrap (quite small, thin bubbles) sandwiched between single sheets of carrier bag.

Sample p1-27.

Sample p1-27.


The bubble wrap has been hanging around a while and must have been more popped than I realised. I only heard one pop while ironing – thought it was more pressure than heat – but there is definitely a spacing in the pattern embossed on the surface. Could something be done with that?
The other side:
Sample p1-27.

Sample p1-27.


You might be able to see some cracking in the white of the plastic. It seems to be cosmetic only. Heat? Stretching as the bubble expanded?

Sample p1-28. I found some fresh bubble wrap and pierced some holes (dots of colour to make it clearer).

Sample p1-28.

Sample p1-28.


Hmm – did that without thinking which side will show best. The more bubbly side is up in the photo.
A single layer of bag either side – black so my dots wouldn’t show.
Sample p1-28.

Sample p1-28.


Not good definition on this side.
Sample p1-28.

Sample p1-28.


The photo is tricky, but there is definitely contrast in texture on the other side – unfortunately the writing is mirrored!
A closeup to show the contrast, which I think is very effective.
Sample p1-28.

Sample p1-28.

Sample p1-29. A different approach to texture. I have a plastic grid, which I’ll protect with baking paper. Then a rather crispy carrier bag with spots (to go with the square grid) and four layers of the standard carrier bag.

Sample p1-29.

Sample p1-29.


The flaw in the plan soon became obvious! I couldn’t iron both sides and keep the grid in place.
A metal grid would be a better idea, carrying the heat through.
As it was –
Sample p1-29.

Sample p1-29.


blah!

Sample p1-30. Going back to a previous idea.
This time a hessian grid – quite soft and open, from a garden supplies store. A thin pink plastic one side (I think it was a hotel laundry bag) and two layers of carrier bag on the other.

Sample p1-30.

Sample p1-30.


Interesting things happened while ironing!
Sample p1-30.

Sample p1-30.


Some nice embossing on the carrier bag side. I’d like to try distorting the grid of that open weave. The other side –
Sample p1-30.

Sample p1-30.


Basically no adhesion of the plastic, which distorted and went lacey in an intriguing way.

Sample p1-31. Following up the weave distortion idea, I cut a new piece of hessian and pulled it around.

Sample p1-31.

Sample p1-31.


I chose two layers of carrier bag on one side, one on the other to see if the embossing differs.
Sample p1-31.

Sample p1-31.


How disappointing!
Sample p1-31.

Sample p1-31.


Marginally less disappointing (a vanishingly small margin!)
Sample p1-31.

Sample p1-31.


Backlighting helps. Colour in the plastic could be good too.

Sample p1-32. Returning to that thin pink plastic, I decided to pre-shrink it. (I haven’t been keeping track of dimensions and shrinkage, as it seemed pretty uniform for everything else, but the cutting mat is shown here)

Sample p1-32.

Sample p1-32.


Sample p1-32.

Sample p1-32.


Not promising, but for the sake of the experiment I kept going, with a single layer of clear polythene each side.
Sample p1-32.

Sample p1-32.


Not easy to back light well, but this could actually have promise! Flat on the table it was very drab.

Sample p1-33. More trapping in polythene. A test of thicker materials some – game counters.

Sample p1-33.

Sample p1-33.


The day is getting old so I decided to push a bit harder – counters, feathers and rubber bands between single sheets of thin polythene.
Sample p1-33.

Sample p1-33.


It looks a bit like a bad shower curtain, but it survived!

Sample p1-34. For this I have to backtrack to work done at the beginning of the day, when I was collecting plastics together.
I wanted to make a woven mat of plastic filament to trap between plastic layers. Experimenting with short lengths I realised the filament was too inflexible and too set in a slight curve to manage. I tried pre-shaping parts, using the 3D pen. This is back to accordion pleats, introducing flexibility of a sort.

Sample p1-34a and b.

Sample p1-34a and b.


Initial positioning:
Sample p1-34c.

Sample p1-34c.


It might look a bit crazy, but I am an absolute believer in this. Not the detail, but the overall idea of using the knowledge and skills and techniques from one area and trying to apply them in another. I think that’s the way to develop one’s own work – bring all of your history to bear on the present, not to stifle things but to take them further, in your own direction.
Plus look at the surface distortion! Can I stabilise, perhaps add a surface skin to this?
I picked out the supports and wriggled things around.
Sample p1-34d.

Sample p1-34d.


Not flat, not hugely 3D. I love the way it’s hard to follow a line – a combination of order and chaos – but I also wonder about mixing colours.
Surely I can “trap” this somehow.
It intrigues me.
After consideration, I decided another colour would make the structure clearer.
Sample p1-34e.

Sample p1-34e.


Sample p1-34e.

Sample p1-34e.


At the end of the day I brought out this weaving and ironed it between 1 layer of white carrier bag and 1 layer clear polythene.
Sample p1-34f.

Sample p1-34f.


Another idea that “needs more development”. It stabilised things, but flattened them. No point in that!

(Sidetrack) Sample p1-35. Disappointed, it was time for something completely different.
I went back to the crumpling exercise, using baking paper.

Sample p1-35.

Sample p1-35.


Can I record that in plastic?
Sample p1-35.

Sample p1-35.


Not that way. The hot filament just skidded across the paper, not taking on any of the distortion.

Sidetrack Sample p1-36. Could I support the filament better? I filled a tray with damp sand and pressed the paper shape into it.

Sample p1-36.

Sample p1-36.


Sample p1-36.

Sample p1-36.


The hot filament still came out too quickly, even at the slowest setting, and didn’t settle into the shapes in the sand.
Sample p1-36.

Sample p1-36.


It was a plastic shape, but didn’t tell the story of the paper.

Sidetrack Sample p1-37. Another attempt in the sand tray. I tried to build up a base grid of contour lines, which later lines could attach to and stay in place.

Sample p1-37.

Sample p1-37.


Very approximate.
Sample p1-37.

Sample p1-37.


Not what I was looking for.

Total sidetrack. I needed to build skill with the 3D pen.
fuse_plastic_40
Lots of “not what I was looking for”.
Youtube had the answer. I had been extruding the hot filament constantly. It was going all over the place while still pliable and not holding shapes as I wanted. On the videos people just paused the stream briefly while a short section of filament cooled. A little more, then pause. and again. A lot more control.
I made myself a name plate.
fuse_plastic_41
All of this was build 3D, not flat and assembled. It was either attached to the worksurface or I was holding the work in my hand. I only worked on the flat when putting the letters together.
fuse_plastic_48
fuse_plastic_42
Not a thing of beauty, not well controlled – but with at least some control, and Proper (in my mind) 3D.

Sidetrack Sample p1-38. Back to crumpled paper.

Sample p1-38.

Sample p1-38.


Sample p1-38.

Sample p1-38.


The lines follow the contours of the paper. I am ridiculously pleased.
Sample p1-38.

Sample p1-38.


Sample p1-38.

Sample p1-38.


Sample p1-38.

Sample p1-38.


It’s wobbly and a bit frail, but it was what I was looking for.
Why am I so pleased?
Because I didn’t find it easy but I got there.
Because it’s a fairly accurate record. It goes back to my attraction to traces, memories, shadows.
Because I see it as a new form of sketchbook work (and I need to do more of that). I felt just as conscious and observant and absorbed by the shape as I would be if sketching on paper. I learnt more about the shape, examining it closely as I moved the pen around.
I like the thing itself. There’s a squiggly, lacey, delicate air about it. It almost looks beaded. The shape is interesting and the shadows cast add complexity.

T1-MMT-P1-p3-e1 Fusing plastic – second session
Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
Part 1: Surface Distortion
Project 3: Heating and fusing
Exercise 1: Fusing plastic

T1-MMT-P1-p3-e1 Initial exploration of fusing plastic

I started my exploration in fusing plastic in a well-ventilated (ie drafty) garage with iron, printing / ironing surface, baking paper, carrier bags, scissors and tongs – ready to make waste into sew-able plastic.
plastic_iron_01

Sample p1-21a. 6 layers, assorted bags, ironed both sides around 15 seconds.

Sample p1-21a.

Sample p1-21a.

Some distortion and – not quite bubbling, more not fusing flatly. Note to self – in future check dimensions and record shrinkage.
I had chosen a range of colours and patterns in the layers, and get good show-through both on a surface and back-lit.

Sample p1-21a.

Sample p1-21a.

Sample p1-21b. I tried to tear it. A little distortion at the edge where only 1 or 2 layers, but unable to tear (unlike a single layer that stretched and tore easily.) Very easy to cut. Some minor separation at edges where there were bubbles trapped.

Sample p1-21b.

Sample p1-21b.

Sample p1-21c. Tried creasing by hand. It didn’t hold, but some amalgamation of bubbles trapped.

Sample p1-21c.

Sample p1-21c.

Sample p1-21d. Tried creasing using iron. Was careful to limit time so fold didn’t fuse down. Got sharp crease, no additional fusing.

Sample p1-21d.

Sample p1-21d.

Sample p1-21e. Tried to fold and fuse down. Took 2 to 3 times longer than original fusing. Some loss / abrasion of colour. Surface is flatter – fewer or no air bubbles.

Sample p1-21e.

Sample p1-21e.

Sample p1-22. I started a new stack – wanted to avoid air bubbles so tried to iron a single layer briefly, with the idea of starting with totally flat sheets (with little air trapped when starting to fuse). I ironed a little longer. It didn’t really help – the single layer distorted.

Sample p1-22.

Sample p1-22.

Gave up that idea.
Sample p1-23a. Tried a new 6 layer stack, roughly 15.6 cmx 22cm.
Heated 2-3 times longer (twice each side), pressing down firmly.
End size was around 14.5cm x 21cm, so shrinkage of around 1 cm each way.
I still had bubbles. Material felt smoother to touch. I still got some delamination at edges when cutting (I picked at this to make it clearer).

Sample p1-23a.

Sample p1-23a.

Next I moved indoors to try sewing my new materials.

Sample p1-23b. First hand-sewing, using 20/2 silk and a thick novelty yarn.

Sample p1-23b.

Sample p1-23b.


Sample p1-23b.

Sample p1-23b.


The silk (towards the bottom) behaved nicely, with no fraying or sticking as it went through the material. The photo hasn’t picked it up, but the sheen and texture look quite good on the plastic – different, but not too foreign (full disclosure – this is about my favourite yarn, so I would say that).
I gathered a section at the right. It didn’t gather smoothly, and there was considerable delamination of the top layer of plastic (arrow at right of photo).

The novelty thread was harder to pull through. I tried pre-piercing with an awl, but it wasn’t thick enough to make a difference. The only real issue is arrowed on the left – an attempt at a french knot pulled through the material.

Sample p1-21f. Next I tried the sewing machine.

Sample p1-21f.

Sample p1-21f.


The machine had no trouble feeding the plastic material through. I started with long stitches, then moved to shorter. The plastic shows no signs of tearing where it is pierced. Zig-zag and novelty stitches also worked without problems.

On the right can be seen an area of free-machine stitching with the feed-dogs down. It was very easy to move the plastic around under the needle. The stiffness / body of the plastic helped it glide smoothly.

Sample p1-21g. Next were some quick experiments using the 3D printer pen.

Sample p1-21g.

Sample p1-21g.


The filament adhered quite well to the layered plastic and I was able to build up a doodle. If I pulled away too soon without breaking the filament cleanly it would pull at the base and tear the plastic (which was still soft).

Sample p1-21h. I tried a shape flat on the plastic base. It didn’t adhere, although marks can still be seen where the base was slightly melted.

Sample p1-21h.

Sample p1-21h.


It seemed that if I moved too slowly the filament built up and pushed away from the surface, causing a poor connection.

Sample p1-21i. I tried to shape the plastic material by drawing a line of filament on it, then bending the pliable area until it cooled.

Sample p1-21i.

Sample p1-21i.


I got partial adhesion, seen in the photograph, but since then more of the plastic has pulled away from the filament. I suspect the material was too heavy for a single line of filament to hold.

Sample p1-21j. Perhaps a line around the outside of a small shape would hold.

Sample p1-21j.

Sample p1-21j.


No.

Sample p1-21k. Perhaps a longer line up the middle of the shape.

Sample p1-21k.

Sample p1-21k.


No. Although I like the wiggly lines being created.

Sample p1-24. I tried the same shaping on a single layer of carrier bag plastic, thinking it would be light and flexible enough to be held by the filament.

Sample p1-24.

Sample p1-24.


The bag tended to melt and it didn’t hold.

Despite the lack of success I am still convinced that the 3D pen in combination with the plastic material has potential for shaping and distorting the surface. I just have to find the right mix of materials and technique.

I also find the plastic fusing much more interesting than I expected. It becomes quite a different material when fused in layers. The next step is to use a range of plastics to create different textures and surfaces, and to capture materials between the layers.

T1-MMT-P1-p3-e1 Initial exploration of fusing plastic
Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
Part 1: Surface Distortion
Project 3: Heating and fusing
Exercise 1: Fusing plastic


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The 3 brothers afterwards.

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