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.