Posts Tagged 'MMTp1-3d'

T1-MMT-P1-p6 Personal extension project overview

Some background: there was a period at the beginning of the year when I was between OCA courses, waiting for the new Mixed Media for Textiles (MMT) to be finalised. I had a high level outline and draft reading list, so I started reading and experimenting. In early March I took an evening class in 3D printing, with the idea it was bound to be useful in MMT at some point. I’ve continued experimentation based on that class, often closely entwined with the MMT exercises. Eventually I decided there was sufficient mass and relevance to present it as an extension project.

Referring back to the course Introduction to this Part:

  • I’ve used a range of ways to manipulate materials new to me to discover their creative potential.
  • I’ve expanded my knowledge and understanding of them, and have further ideas.
  • I’ve used the same working practices as with the formal exercises.
  • It’s not precisely surface distortion, where a previously flat surface is distorted. Instead with 3D printing I can directly create a distorted surface. As it happens this fits rather well with my textile interests, where I focus on creating fabrics with weaving and felting.

    I’ve even been able to extend (!) sketchbook work, drawing with a 3D pen.

    To see all blog posts which relate to this extension click here.

    Some samples with particular interest or potential:

    Sample p1-38

    Sample p1-38

    fuse_plastic_47Sample p1-38 (10-April) was in a sense a sketch exploring the contours of a crumpled paper exercise by tracing with a 3D pen.
    The resulting network of lines could be regarded as a new distorted surface, although a discontinuous one. sketch20150514-03In later sketchbook work I made a tracing of a different sample, then attempted to create a skin using rice paper. (16-May) The result for the plastic wasn’t exciting, but the paper cast had potential.

    Sidetrack p1-1 Result

    Sidetrack p1-1 Result

    My sample numbering system has fallen apart with the late addition of this extension. Not wanting to go back and renumber everything, “sidetrack p1-1” shows the control gained using kinetic sand as a mould. Again it could be argued that the bowl that results is not strictly a surface, however I think the human eye and mind will read it as such. There is a lot of potential here for both creating and embellishing distorted surfaces, although attachment to other materials remains a challenge.

    Sidetrack p1-3 Sideview

    Sidetrack p1-3 Sideview

    Sidetrack p1-3 (16-April) is more solid and introduces colour variety. There is definite potential here, although a thinner sample when tested proved quite brittle and broke up under only mild pressure.

    Polymorph plastic is a very exciting material. It worked well with embossing (one of the formal exercises I didn’t attempt), although printing from the result didn’t go entirely smoothly.

    Sidetrack p1-13 Ribs

    Sidetrack p1-13 Ribs

    Sidetrack p1-13 (21-April) shows a version of linear accordion pleats (project 1, exercise 1) created from plastic pellets. This sample also shows the strong colour than can be achieved using disperse dyes on the plastic.

    In a different sample adding glittery inclusions to the polymorph plastic also worked well. I ended that day’s work session with a list of more experiments I would like to make.

    Sample p1-130c

    Sample p1-130c

    3D software provides another way to create distorted surfaces. In sample p1-130 (9-May) the surface is virtual, but there is the potential to develop it and print it out as an object for its own sake, or as a mould to create further shapes in other materials.

    Sample p1-131dSample p1-131eNot all the virtual samples could be printed into physical form. Sample p131 views d and e would be challenging to produce. They do suggest possibilities in concealing and revealing meaning. Could one create a “forest” that reveals a text as you walk around it?

    Sample p1-132e

    Sample p1-132e

    Sample p1-132e (9-May) is pure fantasy – I don’t believe it could be printed and hold together as an object. It was created by a series of distortions of a plain virtual cube, to me a clear extension of the surface distortions of the course exercises.

    "Sketch" Photo 6

    “Sketch” Photo 6

    A final example of the potential available. This sample was included in a post on sketchbook work (16-May) and combines both polymorph plastic and drawing with the 3D pen. The base shape was formed from a flattened piece of melted plastic, and in terms of basic process is close to the crumpled paper exercises in project 1. There was very good adherence of the two forms of plastic. I wasn’t able to separate them in later manipulations.

    3dplastic_15There is a gap in what I am able to show here – a sample actually produced on a 3D printer. The one experiment I have, combining a lithophane drawing with felting (6-April), is an example of what not to do. The combination of materials and processes I chose whas not successful and there are no direct potential next steps from this. I remain convinced of the basic potential of combining 3D printing with textiles – but this particular attempt is a dead end.

    T1-MMT-P1-p6 Personal extension project overview
    Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
    Part 1: Surface Distortion
    Project 6: Personal extension

    T1-MMT-P1 Sketchbook – delayed

    I started this sequence of work 23rd April (dated by photos and Evernote), three weeks ago. Are my notes good enough to pick up the thread?

    It began with reviewing work to date. I decided to work with some of the samples in my sketchbook.

    First “rubbings” of a range of them, using rice paper and conte crayons.

    Photo 1

    Photo 1

    It started with the pink in the middle (from felt sample p1-68), which I thought was uninteresting, then got worse.

    Decided to treat it as background texture, and rubbed over with a paper towel to blend it in.
    Very little moved.

    Drew over with inktense pencils, based on sample p1-75.

    Photo 2

    Photo 2

    Then tried to move colour around with water.
    It didn’t look promising, so went to one side to dry.

    Next idea was to draw one of the samples in 3D. I really wanted to get the sense of all the movement and cells in the original sample (p1-62), but take advantage of the pen by adding some extra dimensionality. I traced over the general shape first (baking paper between), then embellished.

    Photo 3

    Photo 3

    Photo 4

    Photo 4

    I can see the relationship, but quite different too.

    Then I tried using the 3D pen on a piece of polymorph (part of sample p1-5, that reformed during a demo to a work colleague). I tried to play up to the accidental orchid reminiscent shape.

    Photo 5

    Photo 5

    Photo 6

    Photo 6

    The filament feels quite well attached, and it was quite straightforward to add a sketchy line tracing along one part of the edge, and a more lacey effect on the lip.

    What would happen if I remelt the polymorph?

    Photo 7

    Photo 7

    The polymorph softened, but the pink from the 3D pen was not affected at this temperature.

    I formed the familiar simple fold.

    Photo 8

    Photo 8

    The pink filament formed clumps.

    I worked to spread out the clumps.

    Photo 9

    Photo 9

    A resemblance to sample p1-75 suggested itself.

    Photo 10

    Photo 10

    The backlit view has a spiderly effect.

    Writing the above has been a good test of my current note-taking system. The ricepaper inktense drawing above has now dried and looks perhaps slightly improved, although still extremely boring. My intention before the long pause was to combine it with the “3D sketch” produced above.

    Photo 11

    Photo 11

    The drawing was torn and soaked in a bowl of diluted pva.

    Photo 11

    Photo 11

    The pieces layered onto to plastic sketch.

    Photo 12

    Photo 12

    The result was a soggy mess.

    Photo 13

    Photo 13

    I tried to turn it over, thinking to encase the plastic in paper – but of course the paper just fell off. No photos – I was too busy dealing with the mess.

    A couple of days later it was dry.

    Photo 14

    Photo 14

    It took some effort finding shadows to give any definition in the photo above. Patterning on the paper interacts with the shaping of the work in a deadening way.

    Photo 15

    Photo 15

    The view from the other side has the advantage of the plastic which provides a tiny bit of form, a path for the eye – but it’s marginal.

    Photo 16

    Photo 16

    Photo 17

    Photo 17

    The backlit views make the work more readable, but at the price of losing all the 3D aspects which first interested me.

    Photo 18

    Photo 18

    There was no adhesion between paper and plastic. The plastic is quite brittle, and in a couple of places the paper had caught around it. I was able to separate them with just a few breakages.
    I wonder if a series would work – make a single plastic item, mould over and break off repeatedly, with the cast paper forms capturing the gradual disintegration of the plastic.
    The paper cast is fairly firm. I think if cut in stripes they would hold shape, but the whole thing wouldn’t resist a rolling pin for long.
    Perhaps because the pva was well diluted, the paper retains a papery feel. In further experiments it might be interesting to write on it or colour it – perhaps some shading to emphasise the heights and valleys.

    Photo 19

    Photo 19

    I prefer the backlit view of the paper on its own, compared to Photo 16 above where the plastic was still in place. Photo 19 is a detail, but it’s cleaner and crisper.
    It could be interesting to follow a similar process but use writing on the original rice paper. Perhaps some text about a place or an event in a location, broken and layered over a relief “map” of that location. A hill that was the focus in a military campaign is the first rather obvious thought.
    Print photos on the paper? (don’t know how the printer would like this particular paper, or the paper behave with the printing ink).
    I just poked a pin through the paper form. One could stitch through it, although care would be needed in handling to avoid breaking down the form. Or maybe a collapsing shape could be part of the point.
    What about the crossing of the great dividing range? Use imagery on the paper to show the different views of the European explorers and the original inhabitants, views that break, merge, overlap… Maybe some text from reports – I wonder about the range of recognition / inclusion in newspaper or official reports of the interactions or involvement of aboriginal people. Mix it all together, stitch some lines showing various paths or views…

    Taking a step back from these ideas, I note that while I enjoy exploring the qualities of materials I often come back to wanting the results to mean something. A recent article on www.textileartist.org/ presents the work of Collette Paterson – www.textileartist.org/collette-paterson-oca-textiles-tutor/. Paterson is an OCA tutor, amongst many other work roles and ventures. Her work is strongly materials-led, within varying constraints of commercial briefs or desired outcome or product. She will sometimes follow the properties of material exploration, or select materials that have properties desired. All sorts of skills and techniques are used to create an innovative design. A commercial product. Do I have an artificial and probably snobbish and unhelpful divide in my mind? My initial reaction to Paterson’s work is “this is great, but not the path I want to take”. Why should I limit my paths (note the plural)?

    T1-MMT-P1 Sketchbook – delayed
    Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
    Part 1: Surface Distortion
    Sketchbook

    T1-MMT-P1-p6 Personal extension project: Autodesk 123D design

    Meshmaker (see 9-May-2015) seemed a good place to introduce computer-based design because it feels flexible and responds so directly to input. The various brushes and other tools are grouped under “Sculpt”.

    Autodesk 123D design (free download http://www.123dapp.com/design) feels more engineering like.

    Sample p1-133
    I started with some simple text – two dimensional.

    Sample p1-133a

    Sample p1-133a


    Next the text was selected, copied and pasted, and the new 2D text was moved above the original text.
    Sample p1-133b

    Sample p1-133b


    In the centre I’ve circled in red the controls that came up when moving – arrows allow me to move the text on x, y or z axis (which could be described as left/right, forward/back, up/down). There are also circular controls for tilting. Circled on the right is a place to type in the value you want – the precision I was talking about. On the left I’ve put an arrow to show where I’ve moved the new text upwards.

    Didn’t go as planned.
    Sample p1-133c

    Sample p1-133c


    Above I used extrude to go from 2 to 3 dimensions – but not the way I had in my mind.

    Sample p1-134
    Simpler solid shapes – a cube, and a cone that I have rotated.

    Sample p1-134a

    Sample p1-134a


    I used the Loft tool to join them together.
    Sample p1-134b

    Sample p1-134b


    I undid the Loft and sketched a new enclosed shape with Spline.
    Sample p1-134c

    Sample p1-134c


    Didn’t go as planned.

    Sample p1-135
    I have no clear idea of how I produced this. A range of new videos watched, walking away in frustration now and then, a cube swept along a spline curve, a corner tweaked, a boolean merge with a rectangular prism, and another edge (or possible vertex) tweaked. At least I now have an irregular, non-standard solid.

    Sample p1-135a

    Sample p1-135a


    Sample p1-135b

    Sample p1-135b


    Sample p1-135c

    Sample p1-135c


    I suspect this could almost be printed – although that lovely slit window thing would probably be a snag. Still, I have achieved a Something.
    Views a – c above are the same solid from different directions. View d below:
    Sample p1-135d

    Sample p1-135d


    A circular pattern of Somethings!
    Sample p1-135e

    Sample p1-135e


    Another perspective.
    Next turned upside down, lots of little tweaks, and a change of materials.
    Sample p1-135f

    Sample p1-135f


    I save in STL file format and opened it in Meshmixer.
    Sample p1-135g

    Sample p1-135g


    Wow! That looks different.
    But I haven’t been able to edit it. I think I’ll have to start simpler – another day.

    Overall I haven’t got as far as I’d hoped with this. Remembering my early days in other software – say when learning Gimp – I think I’ve made an OK start. No need to focus on the long road ahead πŸ™‚

    T1-MMT-P1-p6 Personal extension project: Autodesk 123D design
    Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
    Part 1: Surface Distortion
    Project 6: Personal extension: Autodesk 123D design

    T1-MMT-P1-p6 Personal extension project: 3D design and printing

    Throughout this Part of the course I’ve been doing little explorations with 3D printing, “drawing” and polymorph plastic. To me they all fit into Mixed Media and into Surface Distortion. Exploring some 3D design software reinforces this. It challenges me to think in three dimensions, to explore space. It could generate ideas that could be developed in many ways (like any sketchbook). The results may be able to be printed off and then incorporated directly in work or used as a mould.

    The first software I’m working in is Meshmaker (free download from http://www.123dapp.com/meshmixer). With a couple of classes with MadMat and a few youtube tutorials under my belt, time to explore.

    Sample p1-130
    I started with a flat Plane, and used an Inflate brush to create some ridge lines. The response reminded me strongly of the earlier work with crumpled paper.

    Sample p1-130a

    Sample p1-130a


    I can change viewpoint to see the result from different angles.
    Sample p1-130b

    Sample p1-130b


    It’s bigger on my screen – some detail has been lost creating the screenshot.
    I can zoom in.
    Sample p1-130c

    Sample p1-130c


    View c shows the triangles which make up the surface. More triangles will be added (like more creasing of the paper) if needed as the shape is pulled around, or if I add them with the Refine brush.
    I can remove extraneous details of printbed, grid and faceting.
    Sample p1-130d

    Sample p1-130d


    Adding colour makes it a bit clearer.
    Sample p1-130e

    Sample p1-130e


    You can see how shadows change as I view the object from different heights and directions.

    I crashed the program.

    Sample p1-130f

    Sample p1-130f


    Which had auto-saved my lovely edge distortions! I still haven’t figured out how to get holes in the fabric.

    The experimentation with different brushes and associated parameters got a little out of hand.

    Sample p1-130g

    Sample p1-130g


    Sample p1-130h

    Sample p1-130h

    Some strange, diseased coral perhaps.

    Sample p1-131
    I started with a simple cylinder solid, which I shaded with a brassy looking finish, just because I discovered how to.

    Sample p1-131a

    Sample p1-131a

    Made it hollow and generated some holes. (Now I’d stopped trying!)

    Sample p1-131b

    Sample p1-131b

    Cut off the top.

    Sample p1-131c

    Sample p1-131c

    Next I tried to emboss some writing (embossing is another of the standard exercises)…

    Sample p1-131d

    Sample p1-131d

    … and on changing view discovered things aren’t always as they seem!

    Sample p1-131e

    Sample p1-131e

    Some quick un-do’s, and another attempt.

    Sample p1-131f

    Sample p1-131f


    Better???

    Another go and it’s more what I originally planned…

    Sample p1-131g

    Sample p1-131g


    … and rather boring in comparison to the earlier surprises.

    Sample p1-131h

    Sample p1-131h


    A wobbly handle completes a dysfunctional mug.

    Sample p1-132

    Sample p1-132a

    Sample p1-132a


    A fresh start with a simple solid.
    Proportions are changed, and a mesh of tubes subtracted to create an open grid structure.
    Sample p1-132b

    Sample p1-132b


    The top surface is dragged in a spiral.
    Sample p1-132c

    Sample p1-132c


    I like the view from other angles – below and the side.
    Sample p1-132d

    Sample p1-132d


    I have an ongoing fascination with boundaries, the juxtaposition of order and chaos, the accommodations made at transition points.
    Wanting to make more dramatic and dimensional changes, I used the Volume, Spike brush with a large size.
    Sample p1-132e

    Sample p1-132e


    Sample p1-132f

    Sample p1-132f


    Sample p1-132g

    Sample p1-132g


    From a number of angles the result is reminiscent of a bird in flight, very dynamic (and totally by chance).
    Sample p1-132h

    Sample p1-132h


    It is very pleasing that underneath the structure – the dna? – is still evident.

    T1-MMT-P1-p6 Personal extension project: 3D design software
    Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
    Part 1: Surface Distortion
    Project 6: Personal extension: 3D design software

    T1-MMT-P1 – Stepping back for a wider view

    When busy exploring and producing samples I generally tend to think about possibilities in a very direct way. How can I incorporate this material in my future work? What does this effect suggest to me? Could I get this result in a textile? Lately I’ve noticed a few examples of less direct interpretations.

    http://www.theguardian.com/hp-sprout/video/shaping-design-felix-conran is an upbeat ad for the HP sprout workstation featuring young designer Felix Conran. Conran brings paper back into what could be a paper-free design process.
    He crumples the paper, scans it with the integrated hardware and software, refines with 3D-modelling software, prints out A and B side moulds on a 3D printer, then presses layers of laminate in it to create a desk tray. The paper crumpling is a direct match to course exercises, and the 3D-modelling and printing in my personal extension explorations.

    Hexagon, extruded, tweaked

    Hexagon, extruded, tweaked

    Japanese designer Tokujin Yoshioka used an accidental discovery in 3D-modelling software to create a range of seating for Issey Miyake’s stores (see http://www.dezeen.com/2015/04/23/tokujin-yoshioka-3d-software-hexagonal-forms-stools-issey-miyake-stores-milan-2015/. The image on the right is my variant, following the general steps of hexagon surface extruded and top rotated, drawn using 123D Design (free software from Autodesk). I think this shows the possibility of the playful, exploratory approach to surface distortion in the OCA course, using modelling software.

    tafe_01The street facade of the TAFE Institute in Railway Square Sydney may be a less successful child of paper folding or design software. It’s certainly currently less resolved. Peering through those faceted windows, the interior fitout seems pretty much complete.

    tafe_02At this stage the windows themselves seem a problem needing a solution – something more longterm than the roll of paper towels visible inside on the windowsill to the right. When/if they figure this out, there is promise of some interesting reflections of the mixed architecture in the area.

    tafe_03Wandering off topic, I can’t tell what is planned for the awning area. The old arch framing the entryway is still peeling paint and has nothing to do with the shiny new triangular geometry. Perhaps the whole area will be cladded, tucked neatly away.

    The examples above show possible indirect use of surface distortion play. They are all design exercises, rather than the more artistic, conceptual and thoughtful responses that draw me and to which I aspire.

    Ariana Boussard-Reifel’s work Between the Lines in one sense could be an extension of project 2, exercise 4, cutting holes. Instead it is a deeply meaningful and very relevant work. See art.arianaboussardreifel.com/Between-the-Lines and www.speakingvolumes.net/arianaboussardreifel.html. The work is a response to the racial segregation espoused by white seprematists, it is a plea for unification, for diversity, for the necessity of all to create a meaningful whole.

    I’ve mentioned Austin Kleon before in the context of course reading and his book Steal like an artist (15-January-2015). Kleon is poet who makes works by using permanent markers to redact newspaper articles (austinkleon.com/newspaperblackout/ and newspaperblackout.com/). It’s the everyday transformed and given new meaning – both words and space.

    I’ve tended to seen cutouts as revealing, showing what is underneath. They can also be concealing – not a window, but a void, meaning removed. Or transforming, creating new meaning. Some intriguing ideas. I hadn’t felt drawn to the cutting holes exercise, but now think I will make it my next exploration.

    Moving to a different but related current chain of thought – mixed media and specific disciplines. In the past textile people have agonised over art and craft and feeling excluded or disrepected by fine arts and galleries. Now there’s mixed media and old boundaries are vanishing. I attended a textiles symposium at UTS a couple of weeks back (the post on that is in progress). One speaker, in the UK until recently, spoke of the hoardes of fine arts students trying to get into textiles classes, or practically stalking the textile technicians to get info on processes and techniques. Cecilia Heffer, the organiser of the symposium and curator of the second Tamworth Textile Triennial (art.uts.edu.au/index.php/exhibitions/group-exchange-2nd-tamworth-textile-triennial/), was particularly interested in cross-disciplinary approaches and whether there is a textile way of thinking that brings something fresh and special to other disciplines. Daniel Widrig has spoken about designers blurring boundaries, borrowing tools and technologies (http://www.dezeen.com/2014/03/18/daniel-widrig-3d-printing-design-software-advances/). Alison Carlier has written about a “Drawing Attitude” that goes beyond graphite to be an approach to anything – like the body movements making lines in the air with hot glass (alisoncarlier.com/artwork/3255569_The_Drawing_Attitude_transcriptions_part.html).

    The old compartments have dissolved, anything goes. It’s increasingly rare to see longterm dedication, deep exploration of a particular sub-discipline. Artists watch a few videos on youtube, and with fresh eyes and a lack of expectations and traditional restrictions create new insights. Yet in this free-for-all there are still allegiances, adherences to a core. I like that idea. In the rush for the new, the exotic (so dependent on the individual’s background and experience), you can end up with a lot of noisy sameness, with fads and fashions.

    Kath Inglis  Mineral Nation (2014) PVC, silver

    Kath Inglis
    Mineral Nation
    (2014) PVC, silver

    Language can end up with a lot of sameness and loss of meaning in this race too. Heffer deliberately challenges the boundaries of “textile”, including for example carved pvc by Kath Inglis. I guess I’m ready to learn, but I don’t understand this push. It reminds me of the New Weave exhibition at Object Gallery last year (
    http://object.com.au/exhibitions-events/entry/new_weave/). I didn’t write about it at the time, because I was so disappointed. I wanted to see weave taken in new directions. I can see the link to say Jenni Kemarre Martiniello’s glass work that was shown, which referred to the shapes and lines of traditional woven fish baskets (see the video interview at the link given above). “Weave” is such a strong word, so many resonances and variations of meaning and metaphors in our language – yes, respond to that. But some works seemed included at random, and the titles and artists’ statements no help. Evolving, deepening, nuancing, responding … lots of ways to push boundaries. Broadening until nothing is differentiated, anything can be included – what’s the point? There’s no meaning left. Why don’t we just call everything “stuff”. A new exhibition: “Stuff, some but not all related to textiles by reason of material, process, technique, shape, intent, metaphor, artist background or way of thinking”.

    I’m ranting. Time to get back to work.

    T1-MMT-P1 – Stepping back for a wider view
    Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
    Part 1: Surface Distortion

    T1-MMT Polymorph sidetrack

    More sidetracking – Polymorph pellets

    Mat from madmat3dprinting.com.au sent me some polymorph pellets and flexible filament to try. I started with the polymorph pellets. These are thermoplastic that melts at around 60Β° C and can be moulded by hand.

    Sidetrack sample p1-5 Can I make a multi-coloured plastic lump, roll it out and shape or emboss it?

    Sidetrack p1-5 Materials

    Sidetrack p1-5 Materials


    Polymorph beads and tubs ready to go.
    Sidetrack p1-5 In dyed hot water

    Sidetrack p1-5 In dyed hot water


    Beads in tubs with hot water. Some drops of old silk dyes in a couple.
    Sidetrack p1-5 Result

    Sidetrack p1-5 Result


    Basically the colour was unsuccessful. The colour was squeezed out with the water. There is a slight trace of the pink visible, but I suspect that is more trace “foreign matter” remaining in the plastic (just as there are smears of dirt in the plain sample – the garage is partially open, so always dirty.)

    Sidetrack sample p1-6. Can I remelt and remould plastic no longer in beads?

    Sidetrack p1-6 Remelted in hot water

    Sidetrack p1-6 Remelted in hot water


    One part back in hot water. It went transparent, suggesting it had remelted.
    I quickly kneaded it and rolled it flat with a rolling pin, working quickly as it was already turning white. I pressed in a plastic shape (originally the side of a peg basket, I think)
    Sidetrack p1-6 Embossed

    Sidetrack p1-6 Embossed


    The embossing worked. I think my palm-print is in it – not visible, but the roughness can be felt. The plastic is slightly flexible.
    Sidetrack p1-6 Backlit

    Sidetrack p1-6 Backlit


    Backlit the pattern is very clear.

    Sidetrack sample p1-7.
    Can I print with it?

    Sidetrack p1-7

    Sidetrack p1-7


    I rolled on acrylic paint using a foam roller, and tried to print onto cartridge paper.

    The first two prints (on the left) weren’t successful. The first had too much water in the roller. Both the first two were on a hard surface.
    The third and fourth were printed on a softer surface and are more successful, but I think I can see the influence of my palm print.

    Sidetrack sample p1-8
    Can I clean the paint off and reuse the plastic?

    Sidetrack p1-8 Cleaned and re-embossed

    Sidetrack p1-8 Cleaned


    A toothbrush and cold water got rid of most of the paint. I might have got more with soap and warm (not hot!) water, but I wasn’t too fastidious – I’m curious as to how much colour sticks around after reuse.
    This time I remelted, kneaded and rolled, then back into the water for a soften. Then out, roll and emboss – pressing with the rolling pin rather than my hands.

    The plastic is beginning to look rather grubby and there are some bubbles in it. Air? Water? A reaction to impurities?

    Sidetrack p1-8 Prints

    Sidetrack p1-8 Prints


    On the left I pressed down by hand. On the right I tried to keep the pressure more even, by putting a piece of 3 or 4 mm perspex on top and pressing on that. Although not at all “clean” I rather like the one on the right – it seems to have some character.

    Sidetrack sample p1-9
    Can I use the original object and combine the prints?

    Sidetrack p1-9 Overprinted

    Sidetrack p1-9 Overprinted


    The first attempt, top right, I didn’t think about where I’d put the paint on the stamp. Quite a lively, interesting result. I like the unintended inclusion of the second underprint (the one to the left). It all seems to work together.

    Lower down is the second overprint. I thought much more about placement, and the underprinting was my favourite. I find the result a little dull. Too predictable?

    Sidetrack p1-9 Stocktake

    Sidetrack p1-9 Stocktake


    I now have a rather grubby stamp and two other pieces – one faintly pink, the other faintly yellow.

    Sidetrack sample p1-10 I want to try some inclusions, and make a lacey, fluttery shape.

    Sidetrack p1-10 Inclusions

    Sidetrack p1-10 Inclusions


    A rather amusing interlude later, and I have a flower-like shape firmly attached to some pvc pipe, and little bits of colourful foil all over my work area.
    Sidetrack p1-10 Top view

    Sidetrack p1-10 Top view


    The inclusions work quite nicely (although the leftovers are going into a secure bin as soon as I can track them down).

    I was trying to mould around the pipe and it was a nasty shock when it wouldn’t come loose. Still, this is very useful information. The molten pellets bond very firmly to pvc.

    Sidetrack p1-10 Backlit

    Sidetrack p1-10 Backlit


    Backlit looks good, and there is a clear sense of layers in the inclusions. I think this has a lot of promise – always being careful of the application (no hot water anywhere, and probably not any heat).

    Sidetrack sample p1-11. Can I colour the polymorph plastic using disperse dyes?
    I ironed the back of the relatively flat embossed piece with a paper of disperse dye – between baking paper to protect iron and surface.

    Sidetrack p1-11 Plastic still warm with disperse dye

    Sidetrack p1-11 Plastic still warm with disperse dye


    It looked great when still warm. Above it is still on the paper and the view is actually through the warm plastic to the back.
    Sidetrack p1-11 Dyed plastic

    Sidetrack p1-11 Dyed plastic


    Once cool the paper was removed with just a little patience. The baking paper hadn’t stuck at all when ironing.
    Sidetrack p1-11 Remelting plastic

    Sidetrack p1-11 Remelting plastic


    A little colour floated away in hot water, but most stayed.
    Sidetrack p1-11 Cool remoulded plastic

    Sidetrack p1-11 Cool remoulded plastic


    Strong colour remained in the moulded, cooled plastic!
    Sidetrack p1-11 Backlit - striations visible

    Sidetrack p1-11 Backlit – striations visible


    The backlit view shows striations where the colour isn’t completely mixed through. Rather a nice flower petal effect.

    Sidetrack sample p1-12. Will adding another colour lead to colour mixing?

    Sidetrack p1-12 More colour - still warm

    Sidetrack p1-12 More colour – still warm


    It’s hard to judge what’s happening with colour when the plastic is still warm and transparent.
    Sidetrack p1-12 Stuck paper

    Sidetrack p1-12 Stuck paper


    Patience failed, and some disperse dye paper was left stuck to the plastic.
    Sidetrack p1-12 Cleaned

    Sidetrack p1-12 Cleaned


    It was easy to rub off the paper in cold water.
    I had softened and partly flattened the plastic before ironing with the dye, but the surface was still rough and uptake of colour uneven.
    Sidetrack p1-12 Part mixed

    Sidetrack p1-12 Part mixed


    Part-mixed the plastic shows a lot of colour variation. Of particular interest are some thicker edge parts which remained pink and didn’t soften a lot when remelting. This suggests all sorts of possibilities for colour variation.
    Sidetrack p1-12 Result

    Sidetrack p1-12 Result


    The final, cooled result was a rich purple – the mix of the pink and dark blue dyes added.
    Being able to add strong colour like this really opens the polymorph to all sorts of applications, especially with the ease and flexibility of mixing colours.

    Sidetrack sample p1-13. I decided to return to earlier crumpling experiments with ribs – see for example sample p1-13 (30-March-2015). Very happy with the result.

    Sidetrack p1-13 Ribs

    Sidetrack p1-13 Ribs


    Sidetrack p1-13 Reverse

    Sidetrack p1-13 Reverse


    Sidetrack p1-13 Backlit

    Sidetrack p1-13 Backlit

    Unfortunately this session was cut short. Some ideas to continue with next time :
    * Adding powdered colour. Not my dyes – bad / hazardous to use in powdered form. Other pigments.
    * inclusions – How far can you go? What happens as it loses cohesion or structural integrity?
    * Apply heat in other ways than immersion in hot water? Can one work more precisely?
    * Tendency to catch to itself – avoid by wide / flat container
    * adherence to other plastics -especially ABS filament?
    * Can I write with 3D pen on to /from it?
    * how would it react to scraps of filament included in it?
    * would a stainless steel bar work better than a wooden rolling pin?
    * can one cut/ pierce the hardened plastic – hot needle; awl; various knives?
    * if it adheres to carrier plastic, can I smear it on to use as shaping support?
    * I wanted to get lacey effects, but it pulls more like toffee. Accept this and go for gothic? Fight it -say use tools (awl?) while moulding?

    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 toΓ²k 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


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