Archive for the '2.2 Wrapping' Category

T1-MMT-P2 Joining and Wrapping – Recording outcomes

Generally I record outcomes as I work through the exercises, however I have a few responses to exercise 3 as yet unposted, plus the course notes pose some specific questions.

When writing about exercise 3 Uneven wrapping (28-July-2015) I was a little distracted by the fact that the wrapping I produced didn’t fit the mold of dense wrapping in yarns seen in artists researched. I don’t feel I examined my samples on their own terms. There were snatches “I see the volume and the lines, and not so much the mess.” and “Lots of colour, texture and volume. There are odd aspects, true, but it’s got character!”.

I’ve now spent some more time with the samples, looking more at them and less at my expectations.

Watercolours, sample p2-74

Watercolours, sample p2-74

Sample p2-72 has complex if sparse wrapping. Space is captured and shaped. The viewer can look down through the bars of woven cable to a swollen volume that reaches forward. Light as well as space is filtered, captured, created.

Felt-tip pens, sample p2-74

Felt-tip pens, sample p2-74

A fist-full of felt tip pens records some of the unruly exuberance of the wrapping. Fluorescent colours glow stridently against the dark gray of the central column. Syncopated rhythms of curves coil up and around, at times reflecting, at times denying the underlying structure of the found objects.

A range of black markers, sample 92-74

A range of black markers, sample p2-74

Another fist-full, this time a range of black markers with different tips, finds the lines and textures of the black wrapping – sliced cable one side, fringed insect mesh the other – and the upright central core. There is variation in scale and texture, proportions altering as the viewer experiences the work in three dimensions.

Ink and bamboo pen, sample p2-74

Ink and bamboo pen, sample p2-74

An ink sketch flattens the space, emphasizing the variety and energy and structure of line in the work.

Felt tip pens, sample p2-76

Felt tip pens, sample p2-76

In the earlier presentation priority was given to the paper-wrapped element in sample p2-76. In this sketch the energy and complexity of the wrapped fan are examined with a fist of coloured pens. The squat, stable box has strong vertical lines on some faces, providing a foundation and upward push to the object. The shape of the fan on the top surface, inferred from the dark shadows around the blades, provides movement in what could be a static, solid block. From this base an irreverent spray of sharp, spiked lines thrusts upwards on the cheeky wings of a scrap of organza.

Pastel crayons, sample p2-78

Pastel crayons, sample p2-78

The colours and lines of sample p2-78 combined in a dynamic abstact design. In this sketch similar lines and colours have been layered. Some of the vibrancy of the original is lost as the chalky dust smears colours, but the energy and sense of purpose remains. It reminds me of the cable-stayed Anzac bridge, reaching towards the city.

The sample felt like a new approach to the yarn wrapping done when planning weaving designs – but more exciting, dynamic and with some of the interaction that is a core part of warp and weft. Could such sketches and wrapping become a part of my design process?
Sketch_20150731gA new version based on purples, red and blue was attempted. The result was leaden, until a few lines of yellow were added. Suddenly there was some life. Proportions need to be managed, but this feels like a quick and refreshing way to begin a colour investigation.

Next responses to specific questions raised in the course notes.

• Did you feel comfortable with the exercises?
I didn’t always feel comfortable – for example getting started with uneven wrapping (28-July-2015), when research and preliminary sketching felt at odds with the materials I was using.

I have become comfortable with the exploratory, questioning approach encouraged by the exercises. It provides a structure where I can feel comfortable pushing beyond my comfort zone.

Sample p2-18

Sample p2-18

• Were there particular materials and techniques you enjoyed working with?
I have developed some favourites among the less conventional materials. Insect mesh and corrugated cardboard have become staples. Crumpling paper keeps reappearing. The 3D pen only appeared in a few samples in this Part, but it was very effective when used.

Sample p2-57 detail

Sample p2-57 detail

Variants of weaving and braiding were used in samples p2-22, p2-27, p2-57, p2-74 and p2-75, and possible others. Wonderful techniques that I enjoy using.

• How did your various materials respond to the two techniques?

ExtendedJoinSample p2-35

ExtendedJoinSample p2-35

Sample p2-53

Sample p2-53

A material could look and behave very differently in different circumstances. Rows of paper clips formed interesting lines and shadows joining curves in sample p2-16f and were both functional and decorative in the extended joining sample. However wrapping a spoon in p2-53 paper clips were awkward and drab. A recycled notebook spiral was out of scale and awkward in p2-28, but fell beautifully across the shoulder and neck as part of a side cape in the extended join sample.

Sample p2-29

Sample p2-29

A range of hard and soft materials were used, sometimes in combination. Hard materials could pose difficulties when asked to be pliable. Stitching through metal and wood in p2-29 took a few attempts to develop a usable method.

• Were you able to achieve interesting textures and colours in your samples?

Sample p2-19

Sample p2-19

I found myself making more and more aesthetic decisions as the focus moved to techniques rather than materials. I particularly like the combination of indigo-dyed paper, orange corrugated cardboard and copper wire in p2-19. There is variety in texture and colour that comes together harmoniously.

Sample p2-24

Sample p2-24

I deliberately chose materials with clashing properties in p2-24, and the combination failed both functionally and aesthetically.

ExtendedJoinSample p2-33

ExtendedJoinSample p2-33

The same technique and some of the same materials were used in p2-33 – this time resulting in an interesting and successful combination of colour and texture.

• Which outcomes were successful? Which were less so – and why?

Sample p2-65

Sample p2-65

I think p2-65 was the single most successful sample in terms of a resolved final outcome. I could see that mounted on a wall as an artwork. There is movement and balance, structure, interest, line and form. There is a tension between the known and partially visible contents and the anonymous wrapping, with the twist of using a temporary packaging material as the element that transforms a beer jug into an artwork.

Sample p2-72 cSample p2-69The series of work around samples p2-69 and p2-72 are very successful in suggesting future areas of exploration. They trigger a very strong emotional response in me – I’m not sure why (yet?), but that makes them all the more intriguing.

There was a long sequence of experimental wrapping of a wooden spoon, the bulk of which was not very interesting. There was no spark, no revelation, no conversation or even argument between the materials used. I think that’s just part of the process – play and explore, a lot won’t work, just note it and move on.

Sample p2-77 Abandoned

Sample p2-77 Abandoned

Sample p2-77 was not successful, and was abandoned early in development. It was too big, too much. I started it because I was uncomfortable that my exploration had led me away from my linked research and I felt I was missing something. This sample was a too ambitious over-compensation.

• What are your thoughts on the artists, designers and makers you’ve researched in Part Two?
I have written specific posts about Christo and Jeanne-Claude (18-July-2015), Judith Scott (17-July-2015), Erin Manning (29-June-2015) and Eva Hesse (7-June-2015). I would have liked to write more about Sheila Hicks, but it would have covered much of the same territory as previous posts (8-January-2015 and 24-June-2012). All of these artists are so different and offer so much, I can’t give a meaningful summary. Follow the links given to see more.

More research has been documented on a pinterest page, www.pinterest.com/fibresofbeing/joining-and-wrapping/, in various sketchbook pages and within posts on specific exercises.

• How did the research you carried out inform your own work?
At times research informed my work very directly. For example my wrapping space sample (31-July-2015) was more a research exercise than anything, although I feel I put my own spin on the actual work done. A quick check shows I referenced eight artists, some working together, in that post. All were relevant from my point of view, and in each case I took one or two little nuggets in building up my narrative.

Generally I found the research very helpful. I used research on Christo and Jeanne-Claude to suggest possible work and in recording and evaluating my samples (22-July-2015). On occasion the research caused me difficulty, when it turned out not to be a good fit with the work I was doing (see 28-July-2015, when I had to “brain dump” the research before I could focus on the very different materials I had chosen).

Early in my OCA experience I was hesitant about the use and perceived potential dangers of research and “copying”, but now I feel it provides a wonderful non-limiting framework which enriches me and my own work.

T1-MMT-P2 Joining and Wrapping – Recording outcomes
Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
Part 2: Joining and wrapping
Recording outcomes

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

T1-MMT-P2-p2-e2 Wrapping with materials and threads

Sample p2-59
I started this exercise in the most basic way possible. Brown paper, twine. A very simple base combination.

Sample p2-59

Sample p2-59

The shape is asymmetrical and undefined. No hints are given, it’s very anonymous.

I expected this to be entirely without interest, but find it just a little intriguing. The “vertical” tie slants, responding to the slant in the shape and adding a dynamic element. I “know” that it sits stably on the surface, because I put it there, but looking at the photo those lines and a slight lifting at the bottom seem like it could be about to topple to the right. The horizontal sits low, curves up slightly, perhaps holding it back. Those loose ends ask us to untie and reveal the secret. It looks like a small harp, or … what?

Sample p2-60
The same brown paper was repeatedly crumpled (echos of assignment 1), and now conforms closely to the shape within, assisted by extra wrapping in red poly-string.

Sample p2-60

Sample p2-60

The secret is discovered. We have a jug, S-shaped handle to the left, a little over-extended and unbalanced, and pouring lip giving a rather nice curve upper right.

Sample p2-60 a

Sample p2-60 a

On the right is the shell of the wrapping after the contents are removed. To me there’s a sense of time passed, of the litter after the parade, the disregarded leftovers. Or perhaps of trying to hold on to something that has already gone. These are all thoughts after the fact, after some of my later samples.

Sample p2-61

Sample p2-61

Sample p2-61

Fruit mesh bags and back lighting.

A wrapping that disguises nothing, but I think brings a little colour and the nice quirk of the net around the fish.

The ungainly S-curve of sample p2-60 is revealed as an artificial excess of paper.

I have such happy memories of this jug, filled with beer and my parents entertaining friends on a sunny Sunday afternoon. The wrapping enhances the movement of the fish on their mission to slake our thirst. (note added: when I was a child the beer wasn’t for my thirst!)

Sample p2-62

Sample p2-62

Sample p2-62

Wrapped in a woven paper placemat and “horsehair” plastic threads the proportions of the jug are changed. It is taller, rather more sophisticated and less convivial in its elegant monochromatic wrapping. The shape is simplified.

Sample p2-62 detail

Sample p2-62 detail

I very much like the decorative effect of the knots as they sit a little open due to the stiffness of the threads, and the cool, clear lines and colours.

This is a lovely combination of materials, with strong horizontal and vertical elements that to me give a sense of stability and serenity.

Sample p2-63

Sample p2-63

Sample p2-63

Very thin plastic, held close to the shape with unobtrusive white wire-like thread, does nothing to enhance the enclosed object. It doesn’t take advantage of the jug’s own attributes, it doesn’t add mystery or intriguing properties. Perhaps there are some interesting tucks in the plastic and the variation in colour from the base is good, but I’m struggling.

Sample p2-64

Sample p2-64 - view 1

Sample p2-64 – view 1

Large scale bubble wrap and pink braided nylon bricklayers line. Focus comes on to the dynamic line of the thread, rather than the contents. For me this sample has the closest link to Christo’s comments about the lines of his wrapped magazines (see 18-July-2015).

I couldn’t stand the jug normally, so started experimenting with different angles – just looking at shapes, not constrained by the convention of the material inside.

Sample p2-64 - alternate views

Sample p2-64 – alternate views

The shape within is now less important than the texture and movement of the wrapping and thread.

Sample p2-65

Sample p2-65

Sample p2-65

Additional thread wrapped on the previous sample creates more interest and movement, especially with different orientations of the package. The overall shape, lines and proportions of this package, the colours and mix of textures, the layers of interest with focus on the exterior but the interior evident and contributing lines and form, combine in a successful whole.

Sample p2-66

Sample p2-66

Sample p2-66

This sample is disappointing. I intended it as a series, gradually adding to the wrapping and demonstrating the slow reveal of the shape of the jug. I took a long series of photos, both front and back lit. They weren’t interesting enough to process and present.

Sample p2-66 detail

Sample p2-66 detail

The wrapping material is thin white plastic treated with the heat gun (following sample p1-62 20-April-2015). The thread is a waxy synthetic. At a detail level it is an attractive combination.

Sample p2-7c Detail

Sample p2-7c Detail

With later reflection, I think pushing beyond the simple straight lines of single strands of thread would have been a better approach. Long looping lines of multiple threads, similar to p2-7 (11-June-2015) could have added interest and movement, and the proposed series would show the gradual engulfing of the wrapping in threads.

Sample p2-67

Sample p2-67

Sample p2-67

Sample p2-67 backlit

Sample p2-67 backlit

This sample in form is a near repeat of the first, sample p2-59. I changed to a thick polythene, thinking again of the magazine wrapping of Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

With the contents visible it is less dynamic than the earlier version.

When writing about Eva Hesse (7-June-2015) I noted the physical changes of her works as the materials aged over time. There is more information at http://www.tate.org.uk/research/publications/tate-papers/thoughts-on-replication-and-work-eva-hesse. I thought of this when watching some of the Christo and Jeanne-Claude videos, especially Christo handling his older magazine wrappings. How does the changing of the materials affect our viewing of the works?

If I left the jug wrapped in polythene for an extended period would the wrapping darken and obscure the contents more? Could I hasten the process with some mix of chemicals and special lights, and record the deterioration in a time-lapse? Would the wrapping sag or harden or crack, or the relationship with the jug change?

Sample p2-68

Sample p2-68

Sample p2-68

Thinking about changes of materials over time and the impact on both wrapping and contents, I decided to move to a less-precious-to-me mug for the wrapping contents. The once reflective red foil surface had been ruined in the dishwasher, and only tatters remained. In the thin white plastic tied with linen rug warp yarn the line of the damaged foil becomes a positive, adding interest and movement to the wrapped piece.

Sample p2-69

Sample p2-69

Sample p2-69

Sample p2-69 - view 2

Sample p2-69 – view 2

A heat gun was used to distress and shrink the plastic wrapping of the previous sample. This was basically the same process used to create the material used in wrapping sample p2-66, but the plastic was constrained by both the linen ties and the mug within.

Is it lace or scar tissue that resulted? The scorched linen threads suggest the level of trauma. Here a narrative is beginning to build, the series I was looking for earlier. The next sample continues the story, and to me is the most exciting and full of potential.

Sample p2-70

Sample p2-70 view 1

Sample p2-70 view 1

Sample p2-70 view 2

Sample p2-70 view 2

Here only the wrapping remains. The object is gone, although traces of the damaged red coating remain. There is a space, a memory, a shadow.

Without the mug, how much do we really know of it? That question reminds me of a work by Conrad Shawcross, Slow Arc Inside a Cube IV, seen recently in Light Show at the MCA (www.mca.com.au/exhibition/light-show/). Shawcross was inspired by the work of chemist Dorothy Hodgkin, mapping the molecular structure of insulin in a process she likened to “decoding the shape of a tree from the shadows its leaves cast on a wall” (quote and an image of Shawcross’s work at www.haywardlightshow.co.uk/artists/#conrad-shawcross). All very different materials, but it does suggest an interesting path to take my sample.

Other associations could be memory, or loss, or perhaps waste and the environment. I find this sample very engaging visually, and the general process of shrink-wrapping and capturing shapes and shadows full of potential. For now I’ll just enjoy the sequence.

Sample p2-71

Sample p2-71

Sample p2-71

The old mug, the thick polythene, and the yarn mix I liked in sample p2-65 combine. This is really just a preamble to the next sample, which I’ll show in stages.

Sample p2-72

Sample p2-72 a

Sample p2-72 a

Sample p2-72 b

Sample p2-72 b

Sample p2-72 c

Sample p2-72 c

Following on the idea of deterioration, change, absence, I took a hammer to my sample.

I like this sequence, and especially the final result, very much.

Sample p2-72 c backlit

Sample p2-72 c backlit

Once again there are ideas of loss and change, with an extra edge of violence or trauma. With the angle of the backlit view there is a sense of holding on to something that’s gone. I think there’s potential to create something powerful with this.

I need to do more research on artists working with similar ideas. A quick search found Shattered intimacy by Max Dupain (www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/279.1982/) and L’altra figura by Giulio Paolini (www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/349.1987.a-c/). Paolini’s work is the one I remembered and searched for, and the catalogue notes on the linked gallery page show some of the many themes that can be explored with breakage. I’ve set up a new pinterest board, www.pinterest.com/fibresofbeing/breakage-in-art/, and hope an opportunity will come up in this or a later course to go further with the last few samples and surrounding ideas.

Sketch 20150720

Sketch 20150720

Later edit to add: I did manage a little sketch at the end of the work session, but it was definitely an afterthought. It’s obviously not key in my process, given I initially forgot to include it in this post. This was trying to see line and value using Faber-Castell Pitt artist pens in shades of grey.

T1-MMT-P2-p2-e2 Wrapping with materials and threads
Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
Part 2: Joining and wrapping
Project 2: Wrapping
Exercise 2: Wrapping with materials and threads

T1-MMT-P2-p2-e1 Straight wrapping with threads

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.

Sample p2-37
As suggested in the course notes I started with a kitchen wooden spoon, and wound rug wool evenly around it.

Sample p2-37

Sample p2-37

Sample p2-37 detail

Sample p2-37 detail

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.

 
Sample p2-38

Sample p2-38

Sample p2-38

The same yarn, but I wanted to expose the spoon as well – the worn, washed wood.

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 p2-39

Sample p2-39

Sample p2-39

With this sample I wanted to change the apparent shape. The result is too obvious as an addition.  The lump of wrapping is alien, imposed. It looks like a gall on a branch, a sign of disease or intruders.
 
Sample p2-40

Sample p2-40

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).
 
Sample p2-41

Sample p2-41

Sample p2-41

Sample p2-41 b

Sample p2-41 b


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.
 
Sample p2-42

Sample p2-42 detail

Sample p2-42 detail


Sample p2-42

Sample p2-42

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.
 
Sample p2-43

Sample p2-43

Sample p2-43

This sample continues the idea of black lines partially obscuring the spoon – but “partial” much more complete. It’s another outing for the black fibreglass insect screening.

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.
 
Sample p2-44

Sample p2-44

Sample p2-44

Stripping some strands from the the edges, wrapping more loosely, with twisting to create more layers, has resulted in a much more interesting wrapping. The wrapping is the star with the spoon almost irrelevant.
 
Sample p2-45
Sample p2-45

Sample p2-45

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.
 
Sample p2-46
Sample p2-46

Sample p2-46

Here the mesh becomes a container for the spoon. Some volume is created, but in the end it is just a spoon.
 
Sample p2-47
Sample p2-47

Sample p2-47

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.
 
Sample p2-48
Sample p2-48

Sample p2-48


Sample p2-48 detail

Sample p2-48 detail

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.
 
Sample p2-49

Sample p2-49

Sample p2-49

Sample p2-47 has been repeated in an exaggerated way. The silver paper appears more controlled, managed, while the spoon is even less relevant.
 
Sample p2-50
Sample p2-50

Sample p2-50

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.
 
Sample p2-51
Sample p2-51

Sample p2-51

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.
 
Sample p2-52

Sample p2-52

Sample p2-52

Further exploring layers of wrapping, here the spoon is closely wrapped in orange tissue paper, loosely encircled in silver shreds, then nestled in insect mesh. When preparing this I thought a of baby bundled into a pram, warm, protected, virtually invisible.

The result in my eyes is surprisingly static.
 
Sample p2-53

Sample p2-53

Sample p2-53


Extended Join Sample

Extended Join Sample

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.

Dull.

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.
 
Sample p2-54

Sample p2-54

Sample p2-54

Adding an intervening layer of mesh helped a little. The clips are seen as a chain, wrapping.

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.
 
Sample p2-55

Sample p2-55

Sample p2-55

Instead I made some small changes to break up the exterior lines and tried suspending and back-lighting.

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?
 
Sample p2-56

Sample p2-56

Sample p2-56

Colour!

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.
 
Sample p2-57

Sample p2-57

Sample p2-57


Sample p2-57 detail

Sample p2-57 detail

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.

Tachi fittings

Tachi fittings

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.

 
Sample p2-58

Sample p2-58 a

Sample p2-58 a


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.

Sample p2-58 b

Sample p2-58 b


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.

Shi Jindian’s Beijing Jeep’s Shadow (2007)

Shi Jindian Beijing Jeep’s Shadow (2007)

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.

Sample p2-58 combination

Sample p2-58 combination

I played with different layouts of wrappings and spoon. This one shows the flexibility of the spiral. It’s rather nice to see its genesis and continued development into something quite different.

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


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Fabulous figure sculpting workshop with Kassandra Bossell!

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