Sunday, January 20, 2008

More Tyvek

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I told Jacqueline how I had intended to have a play with Tyvek. I have had some in the workroom for some time but had never got around to using it. Then while at Ally Pally I bought this book: Contemporary Knitting for Textile Artists by Ruth Lee.
I have admired Ruth Lee’s work for some time. I bought her first book, this one…
..back in 1990 while taking a City & Guilds in Machine Knitting. A fabulous book that I have referred to time and time again.
The new book has, amongst other things, some interesting pieces of work using a combination of Tyvek and machine knitted wire.
I then read an interview with Ruth in the current issue of Workshop on the Web where she goes through some of the secrets of how she constructed the distressed down-at-heel shoes which feature in her ‘Hand Me Downs’ installation using Tyvek, machine knitted wire and machine stitching.
All really good stuff and well worth reading.

Although I had the Tyvek film, which melts very easily, as opposed to the sheets, I still decided to have a go at combining it with machine knitted wire.
I used Distress Inks to cover some Tyvek I had painted previously with acrylic paint.

And I used the same inks to cover a white piece of Tyvek and a piece of Lutrador.
With the Tyvek I splattered a few drops of the ink over the surface before dipping the brush in water and spreading it. I then took a piece of kitchen towel and rubbed at the ink so that I was left with light and dark patches.
This is how the kitchen towel looked when I had finished, destined for the bin at first, but then I decided to save it and use elsewhere. I used 0.20mm gauge wire with a metallic thread. The first one, copper coloured is knitted with a Maderia metallic thread.
This one, light gold, has one of those really cheap metallic threads knitted with it. In the photo you can see where the thread has broken and I have knitted with just the wire. Dark area is with thread, light area is without. In this sample the layers, from bottom to top, are Lutradur, book page, machine knitted wire, Tyvek. The Tyvek was cut into wide strips and laid on top of each other.
Using a polyester thread I machine stitched on top.
I then used the iron to melt the Tyvek. Notice how the horizontal strip appears darker than the vertical strips. Does anyone know why?

I used the heat gun on the reverse to melt the Lutradur.
This next sample is machine knitted wire sandwiched between Lutrador and Tyvek, machine stitched over the top and melted with the heat gun.

Here I have used one of the kitchen towels, once again sandwiched between Lutradur and Tyvek with machine stitching to hold the layers in place.

In this sample I have used Tyvek previously painted with acrylic paints as the base layer with machine knitted wire in the centre and an ink painted piece on top. Machine stitching with a polyester thread holds the layers in place.

Once again, the mix as above, but this time the base layer is a thicker Tyvek, easier to work with I think.

I wondered if Fibre in-Form foil would fuse to any of these surfaces without either an adhesive or melting the surface even further. I used a warm iron and found that the film did melt a little more but I think the sheets would withstand a bit extra heat. I also believe that I would have got a better result if I had used either the edge of the iron or the Clover mini iron.
These are the samples I foiled. The foil doesn't show up very well in these photos but there is a reasonable amount on there.

And then I wondered if maybe I could fuse the foil onto the surface while melting the Tyvek at the same time. And yes, it works. I seem to have been a bit heavy handed but once again this is the film – I think it would be better with the thicker sheets. This sample has a layer of Tyvek on each side with machine knitted wire in the middle. Machine stitching with polyester thread holds the layers in place.

I also decided to try Xpandaprint on top of Tyvek, melting one and expanding the other at the same time.
I placed a piece of previously painted Tyvek on to cotton velvet that had been coloured with Walnut Ink. A rayon thread was used for some freehand machine embroidery and Xpandaprint was dabbed on the surface. Once dry the surface was subjected to the heat gun.

The whole piece was then painted with household emulsion paint.
Painted with blue Quink writing ink.

Bleach was then lightly brushed on. This photo was taken just a few seconds after the bleach had been added.
And this one and the close up below were taken a couple of minutes later.

And finally, these photos were all taken some time later once the bleach had dried.

Definitely worth pursuing, but now I’m all out of Tyvek - so watch this space :)
I ought to add at this point that if you are melting Tyvek and/or Lutradur please make sure you take all sensible precautions with regards to health and safety.


Sandy said...

It's fun to see your experiments. They are very intereting. I'm crocheting wire to include in a piece. Sandy

Jacquelines blog said...

This is gorgeous Lynda, the challenge was only a joke, I didn't realize that it would take us to such a new and exiting area. That is what blogging is al about I guess, sharing with each other and finding new ways to approach something. It really pleases me that you where so inspired by the tyvec, you really find a new direction that will inspire more people. Please go on!
kind regards

Vicki W said...

Awesome! I really love the knitted wire blended in the layers.

Carol said...

Bloody hell Lynda, when do you sleep! You never just do one sample do you! These are so fab. i can't wait to see what you do with them. Your work is just going from strength to strength. The colours are just lovelt and the bleach and expanda print is particularly smashing.

Doreen G said...

Yikes Lynda you sure as hell know how to push the "what if" boundaries don't you.
Another excellent experiment.

Shirley Anne Sherris said...

Gosh - Not much else to add - I am just about to embark on the painted foil technique you shared with us. Wonder if I will ever catch up!!
I think I will start a book to jot down what and when so that I can find it again when I do want to try your techniques.
Many thanks and keep going.

sharon young said...

Hi Lynda
What a great combo, knitting and Tyvek!! The last of the knitted samples looks amazing!! You've really pushed the knit into the background, so it's more of an integral element than a dominating presence. Great stuff, wonder what you could make with it. I wonder if it would work as part of a corset, as the knitted wire would mould really well, sorry just musing!!

Kentish Maid said...

These are just amazing Lynda - I'm just speechless with your creativity and output. Your work is such an inspiration.

Julie said...

I'm echoing Carol! These pieces are fabulous tho. I particularly like the last pieces with the puff paint and tyvek. Because of the colour I can see them working with a seashore theme. Inspirational! Thank you, Lynda.

Ruth said...

These are great Lynda! You always do such wonderful experiments. What is the answer to your questions about the why of the colors showing differently? I'm stumped.

Susan said...

Brilliant...truly brilliant. I'm still in a fog about the blue ink but that doesn't much matter. Your post proves that tyvek has more possibilities than even I could have imagined. Thanks for sharing.

Carol said...

Another productive weekend with fabulous samples at the end of it,
wonderful textures

Pat said...

The last piece made me think of the coast too, my favourite piece is the kitchen towel sandwich. Amazing stuff, all of it.

Liz said...

You have done some amazing work here! Who knew how many ways we could use wire and Tyvek? Not to mention all your other variations. Now I'm itching to get into the studio. Keep up the good work!

Micki said...

I don't know what else to say that hasn't already been said. Tell the truth, you have had yourself cloned. That is the only way you could accomplish so much in such a short time. You are like the energizer bunny, just keep going and going and going.

Gina said...

Wonderful textures on that last blue piece Lynda. I don't know how you find the time to do so many samples - something I'm not very good at making myself do!

ANNA said...

As always fantastic and inspirational

Kim said...

The knitting book looks interesting - the rest just left me speechless... very cool.

neki desu said...

those wire knittings have me melting all over the place:) unable to pick a fave.
how timely this post, i just ordered wire from fibrecarfts a week ago.

neki desu

Becky Vigor said...

What amazing surfaces you have created, and I am always drawn to the rich colours you use. I like your knitted wire and can think of so many uses for it. Do you ever sell any of these things - the samples, the knitted wire etc?

Dianne said...

The gold pieces in the middle are my favourites - they have such a rich and lacy appearance.

Waltraud said...

They are all fantastic. Thanks for the tutorial!

Shirley Goodwin said...

So creative! I especially like the last piece.

Wil Opio Oguta said...

I love what you did with the tyvek! By the way I tagged you.

giuseppe said...

Hi there. I've been looking through a lot of your work on your blog (especially the tyvek posts). I like the idea of layering in your experiments.

I was wondering if you knew a way to prevent parts of the tyvek from buckling when applying the heat gun to it. I read that when the fabric is wet, the heat gun won't disturb it...I've used glue, a resist paste and water on my own experiments, but I find the heat gun dries these very quickly, so I end up losing my resist

zeelon fiber art said...

I like your blog very much and this is very interesting.

zeelon fiber art