Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Challenge

As some of you know, my day job is for an agricultural company which means that at this branch its just me and 15 males, and I don’t think that any of them understand what it is that drives me to do what I do - mind you a lot of other females don't either! If I tell them I sew, I get asked to turn up trousers: if I say I embroider, they think I mean cross stitch charts and if I call myself an artist I get asked ‘can you draw then?’ As for mixed-media , I never mention that word – they just wouldn’t have a clue!
A couple of weeks ago I came across some packaging that I hadn’t seen before:
Its recycled corrugated cardboard. I picked it up to have a closer look, purely out of interest, when a big laugh went up ‘Bet you can’t make a pot (vessel) out of that’ Ho! Ho! Ho!
Always ripe for a challenge I thought I would show them, and this is what I came up with.
In this first drunken piece I wrapped cotton thread around some of the cardboard and then dunked it, first in Mustard Procion Dye then in Indigo Procion Dye.In this one I used acrylic paints – you know the colours by now – with a wash of Iridescent Gold over the top and when dry I wrapped a fancy knitting yarn around the cardboard in places. The lining is polyester velvet.And in this ‘quilt’ I pulped the cardboard to make sheets of paper:which I then covered with Coarse Pumice Gel:and acrylic paints, then wrapped each piece with some rusted wire:before attaching the pieces to this painted quilt I had previously dyed using the Caustic Soda method. I found a piece of scrim I had rust dyed and dipped it in watered down PVA glue before laying it on top of the quilt. If you remember, the ‘rust’ went a bit strange when I put on a layer of Polymer medium which the scrim covers up a treat. I then painted over the top of the scrim with a wash of acrylic paints.And this is the finished piece. Wonky photo, had to stand on the table to take it as nothing on the back to hang it up by. Close ups. :)For this piece I wanted to use some of the Tyvek rusted paper so the recycled cardboard paper was really just an afterthought.
I worked freehand machine embroidery in a circular motion to attach the Tyvek to a piece of rusted cotton velvet.I then used the heat gun to zap the Tyvek in places.Close ups.I painted the cardboard paper, stitched a piece of Tyvek on top and burnt through with a soldering iron before attaching them to the base fabric.And this is a cut off view of the finished piece – cut off because I haven’t finished the edges!Not bad for a days work, and were they impressed? What do you think? *LOL*

On one of the sheets of paper I made from the cardboard I laid down cotton threads and brushed on some Coarse Pumice Gel before coating all over with white emulsion paint. I then brushed on a layer of Black Quink Ink and used acrylic paint (Transparent Oxides) on the Gel surface. Bleach was then brushed over the top.
As a whole, the piece doesn’t look very exciting but sections of it, in the photos below, certainly show promise which I may be able to incorporate into other pieces of work.The same goes for the following pieces. They were leftovers from the fabric I created for the WOW article – Elizabethan Dressels. I used the soldering iron first and then I thought I would slosh some paint on to see what effect I came up with.Metallic Surfaces
This one I found also goes back some time – not a very good sample I’m afraid, the camera won’t show how glitzy it really looks.
It was worked on a sheet of plastic called ‘Texturite’. The blurb says:the material is firm and translucent. Specially treated to prevent tearing and puckering. Washable in cool water. Can be used with or without a hoop. Doesn’t stick to the needle or machine plate and will not blunt machine needles. Does not need to be dissolved away.For some reason I don’t think this technique ever really took off – maybe it coincided with the thicker water soluble becoming available as, if I recall, back then they were really flimsy – if you sneezed they would disintegrate.
I have googled without success for this product. I can’t seem to find a plastic that is the same thickness. If anyone knows if it is still available I would love to know. And would also love to be reminded of the lady who launched this – I know she made some terrific jewellery and beads using this method.
All you do is chop up snippets of glittery fabrics, silks, chiffons or metallics, then FME over the top. You can then add beads or handstitching. Simple but very effective. I took this photograph in the sun, (yes it did appear for a short while yesterday) hoping it would show the fabrics better.Close ups.I then laid a piece of fine black net on top and worked rows of straight stitch in a gold thread. I’m going to make something from this piece, will show & tell next week. I feel like I'm just about 'rusted & sludged' out and feel the need to make something colourful or glitzy for a change.
You know what its like when you’re doing something, you start wondering ‘what if’. I wondered what would happen if I used the same technique on Tyvek then heated it slowly from the back. I was hoping for a nice scrunchy texture.And this is what I got. Its a really nice surface and is still quite pliable and could be stitched into easily.I then tried another piece and this time I zapped it to within an inch of its life. I think I prefer the previous one.I do hope you enjoy some of the bits I put on this blog and they inspire you to ‘take it further’. In case you are interested Carol and I, under the auspices of Fibre in-Form, will be launching some online classes shortly showing you simple techniques for creating textured surfaces using mixed media, fabric and thread – I will keep you updated.

44 comments:

Vicki W said...

Wow! So much to take in! I don't know where to start - it's all fantastic. I love to see how you keep taking techniques further and further. Would you please take a photo of the guys when they see your vessels?

Artmom said...

These are AMAZING!! So many different materials and processes, wow! You are gifted!!! how I wish I could take a class (or 100) with you. I can not imagine the difference it would make in my own work, to learn how to free myself to experiment! I am BOLD compared to how I used to be, but not like you. I am inspired to be more brave - thanks! Deb

http://artmom-makingtimecount.blogspot.com/

Carol said...

Can't wait to see their faces either!!!! I can't wait for your classes, i might have to find a part of the pay rise to go towards a class! Love the quilt, you are a clever girl!

Shirley Anne Sherris said...

Hmm will have to get cracking with that pile of Tyvek.
Cheers

Carol said...

That will make those 'boys' eat their words, great results as always I have some of that Texturite, and did a course with the woman who sold it,we made brooches, thought it was Denise Huddlesston, but so long ago can't remember properly

Gina said...

As always so much to see and take in Lynda. Gorgeous colours, textures and surfaces.

Lise said...

I have to re-read everything tomorrow, this is amazing!! An online class would be great..It's difficult to find "bits and pieces" in Norway, but this year I'll visit the quiltshow in Birmingham (with a BIG suitcase) - hopefully it will be filled with stash.

Susan D said...

That will teach them to challenge you won't it. They'll either keep very quiet or find other things for you mess with.

hippopip said...

Great work and lots to inspire us all,I have not heard of Texturite But have done something similar by ironing snippets of material and threads between layers of clingfilm and then free machining on the top, I will put a picture on my blog

Doreen G said...

GULP---------------------I'm speechless.

Jackie said...

yummy yummy yum yum!
I hope they were impressed by the things you did with the cardboard.

katelnorth said...

wow - I love what you've done with the pulped paper pieces - fab.

Julie said...

I Love the quilt too! Lovely colours and textures. So many impressive things here today I shall have to come back for a longer look.

Joanna van said...

Wow! You have been busy! There is just so much in this one post to draw inspiration on for at least an entire year. You find such interesting materials.

Shirley Goodwin said...

And were your workmates impressed by a pile of burned cardboard? It amazes me how children, who spend so much time creating things, can turn into adults without an artistic thought in their heads. Anyway, WE love your stuff Lynda!

TracyB said...

You have been a busy girl!! First of all the first vessel, LOVE it, LOVE the colors. The piece you wrapped with the rusted wire--I laughed at myself, I thought the washers reminded me of olives.

The finished piece you mentioned the wonky photo--FABULOUS! Wished I could see this is person, would love to be able to feel it!!

Wonderful "stuff"!!

Morna said...

Fabulous! I love it. You could mount an entire showed themed off of this one challenge. And you should tell the boys: THAT'S what an artist does.

Morna said...

AND, I also love your first drunken piece - my, oh, my - the colors you achieved!

Penny said...

I really ,do love visiting your blog so many different ideas! Just need time to try some of them. thanks for the comment on my blog, I feel really pleased about getting MG's small piece, cant wait for it to arrive.

Ruth said...

Great stuff! I think the cardboard pieces are great whether the guys like them or not is irrelevant, isn't it? Like the glitzy Tyvek - looking forward to seeing more. Have a great week!

Judy said...

Hi! Lynda,

Your work mates may not be impressed but I am!

Pat said...

A day's work!!!It will take me week to take all this in.

neki desu said...

WOOHOO boys she doesn't really need you for a challenge :)
my favorite piece is the first vessel sort of dark side of the moon, maybe bcse i'm working with rust and indigo now.
the tyvek alligator skin looks exciting too.
can't wait for those classes. hope they're not in august though.

neki desu

Sue said...

You certainly showed them! I love the gold and indigo vessel especially, but all these experiments and creations are amazing. I'm awed by your level of output.

Sojourner Design said...

I just added your blog to Google Reader a few days ago and I'm so glad to have found you. What an inspiration your experimentation is! Thank you so much for sharing.

Diane

chrissythreads said...

You go girl! next time perhaps you could sew it into some trousers they might actually get it then but I wouldn't hold my breath!

Homeleightigger said...

WOW Lynda! My socks are well and truly knocked off and I am suffering from saggy jaw syndrome! I truly don't know what else to say - love the vessel and the quilt. Val

Carrie said...

wow - absolutely fantastic stuff - bring on the classes !!!! I cant believe this was all in a day's work.

Sandy said...

You showed them! These are wonderful pieces and experiments. Classes sound good.

ANNA said...

Awesome pot - I once used the same type of cardboard to make a bodice but that was left at an exhiition in Canada some time ago, awesome work - you should def. write a book!!

Cellostitcher said...

You must have lots and lots of energy. Fantastic work. I love the colours they look so rich.

Jacquelines blog said...

I bet the boys where speechless after seeing this?

Gail P said...

Everyone has aleady said all there is to say! Stellar, as usual! I can't take it all in either! I saved some of that packing paper too, but haven't a clue as to where it is! I was thinking a 3-D wall piece . . .
I know what you mean about people trying to figure out what it is that we do. I often just say that I do experimental art and shrug my shoulders as if to say, "end of topic."

sharon young said...

Well what a post, Lynda. Hmmm where do I start, with the quilt I think, brilliant, I love all the textures and the added pieces, which are the right colours, the close-up or the full size pic?
The vessels are excellent too. I do have a bit of this packing CB but I would never in a million years have thought of doing this with it, the difference between you creative brain and mine:-)
On-line classes, now that's something to look forward to.

Micki said...

As usual you Wow us all. Love everything you did (always do). I would like to see the guys' faces when you show them what you did. Yes, online classes!

Jen Crossley said...

Your work is truely inspiring those guys dont know what there missing
Jen

EmilyB said...

You never cease to amaze me, Linda.

Anonymous said...

Lynda - Texturite, I suspect from the packaging it might have come from Strata (Gwen Hedley). In which case I would suspect that Texturite is a name she gave to it. Renaming to avoid Trademarks, brand name infringements (no doubt licensing)etc etc its given another name, in which case you won't trace it under that name.

Lots of products have multiple names... and are far removed from their original purpose. It could be garden/car/building/healthcare/etc.
Bev

dogonart said...

facinating art work. thanks for so generously sharing, Will be keeping a watch on your blog.

Robin Mac said...

Wow, I am slackjawed in absolute awe at all your work, I have to keep coming back and back to your posts to learn all I can. Truly amazing - a book would be wonderful! those men don't know a good thing when they see it.
Cheers Robin

Linda said...

The circular stitched and zapped tyvek puts me in mind of leathery animal skin - something you might on a dinosaur.

Cindy In Carolina said...

I have some of that brown packaging stuff sitting in my office. I have been saving it for something.....just not sure what. It was just interesting, that's all. So now this gives me something to think about.


calex22001@yahoo.com

Carol said...

Tag! Your it! I nominated you for an award check my blog!

Textile Art Showcase said...

Wow - what fantastic work - superb effects. Really lovely.
I found your blog because I just googled Texturite as I am busy tidying the draws in my workroom and I came across the piece of paper with it's name on identical to yours. I was looking it up to see if I can get any more - I use to make machine embroidered brooches but I have had it a long time - do you know where I can buy some more?