Thursday, 26 May 2011

Washers / Branding

"Print" left after using washer with a branding technique.

"Print" crumbling off after material was crumpled.

A washer before branding (top left), a washer after branding (top right) & branding "print".

After a slight break from the project as I was settling into my new home, (big thank you to Sara for her work on the project the last couple of weeks), I was excited to get back to experimenting with the last batch of items I received from Sara.

I mentioned before that I was eager to use the brass washers as tools for branding the wool - and I am glad I pressed on with this idea as the results are fantastic. Rather than a circular burn, as I had predicted, I was confronted with a silver coloured "print". There was obviously a coating on the washer that reacted with the heat of my torch and stuck to the surface of the wool - especially obvious as when the washer was first applied to the wool it stuck on to it - something I think would look great on a large scale piece: showing the washer still attached to the wool combined with the print. I like the idea of the washers falling off as the piece is worn, revealing the graphic print underneath. I am really excited about these results - much better than I had anticipated. I will have to try the technique out on a few other materials to see if there is a similar result. Unfortunately, the smell of singed wool was also a surprise to me, albeit an unpleasant one!! I may have to continue these experiments outside from now on!

I also did some smaller experiments just using the washers as protective elements, singeing the wool around it. This didn't prove as successful though I do like how the middle of the circle is darker than the surrounding singed material. I have discovered that, with textiles, it is hard to predict how the piece will look on a small scale. I suspect that the above singeing and even the branding "print" will look far better on larger areas of fabric, however the smell of the wool has put me off testing this out for the moment! Repetitive patterns really appeal to me for Re-worked as a whole. 

Altogether I am still really pleased with branding & especially the "print" so will continue to push this idea further & try to apply it to larger areas.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Experimenting with Ribbon

These are experiments based on Nicola's initial ideas when collecting the first lot of materials:

And compositional experiments with lengths of ribbon,silver chain and paper clips:

Both ideas combined:

I like the simplicity of these samples and the idea that each piece can be added to/have sections taken away. The pink ribbon allows for me to experiment with the softer spectrum of our materials and achieve a pretty and wearable outcome. I actually really like the silver against the pink. Being cleaner and reflective, it is a nice contrast against the grittier rusted pieces, whilst still sitting well within our collection. Although I will make similiar pieces to rust too.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Repetition and Interrupted Patterns

This post is long overdue! A few images from my initial compositional experiments after receiving the first parcel. These should be ready soon - simple in their foundations for where I hope to move next.

Experimenting with length of links and weight.

After my initial experiments with the rusted paper clips, and the immediacy in creating my own chains, it seemed sensible to use the clips again as a base. I like the idea of building up layers, almost like chain mail and embedding the rescued fastenings within the links: 

It is an extremely rudimentary way of producing jewellery but I do find the process interesting - hopefully once I can partake in a workshop under Nicola's guidance I'll be more adept at construction with metal.

Interrupting the constant stream of the very identifiable form of the paper clips, I find very appealing visually, though I do look forward to seeing the finished product once the paper clips are fully rusted. The idea of having to study the piece before being aware of the interruption of the lovely hooks and eyes will, I hope, draw attention to the questions we are posing with this project. And if these chains react in the same way as in previous experiments, I hope to produce rusty rubbings (as suggested by Nicola in a previous comment - see post here) from the lengths of clips. I imagine this piece, when finished, will shed if worn. A nice nod back towards the ideas expressed in Nicola's final year project and a literal prompt to being conscious of value as the piece reacts with the wearer's day to day surroundings.

So as not to tamper too much with the state in which the hooks and eyes are currently, (they are beautiful, having rusted slowly in their own time), I intend to lace the majority of them into the paper clip chains after the paper clips emerge from their induced rusting. I like the idea of a contrast between the naturally affected and the immediacy of the induced samples.

I have also been experimenting with the idea of softer constructed pieces - creating loose concertinas and ruffles by stapling the ribbons Nicola sourced.

More soon.