Monday, September 30, 2013

Cell structure design experiments ...

Here's some more mixed paper ideas I've completed in between the other ones!

Ink on card whilst on frozen block (close-up section to the right)

Handmade paper dried on nylon mesh 
(close-up section to the right)

Above sheet with waxed flourescent crayon & black ink applied after (close-up section to the right)

Handmade paper with black ink layer, wax crayon then reapplied ink.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Cells: Step 2 - Adding backing layers & creating a final shape ...

I've cut away the excess backing paper & fabric to create a nucleus shape as well as cut some holes randomly around the edges - primarily to convey a cellular structure as well as form areas to hold stitching (I've decided to use stitching to continue with this 'cell sample').

To further create transparency for the nucleus (as well as a cellular  background), I've chosen to use a black nylon net - 2 pieces in my 'stashes' being the ideal size! By using 2 layers (with the nucleus sandwiched between as if 'in suspension'), I can also take advantage of the moire effect (later) for the stitching.

Close-up of the above, tacked into position with red thread.

To enable ease of stitching this 'nucleus', a further 'just right' piece of charcoal polyester chiffon was positioned underneath the sample. The size of it was now starting to generated an idea of a 'suspended transparent circular form'. With this in mind, I decided to put it into my large embroidery hoop (a) to tighten it (b) to enable hand stitching of the centre sandwiched plastic 'nucleus' - initially to decoratively attach it in place. (To see this final stage, click here.)

Before this next stage begins, I now need to investigate specific 'cell structure' so I'm off to the library to see if there are any books for reference.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Cells: Step 1 (contd) - Using hand made paper ...

Here's a few other designs I'm working on - all with a 'cell-like structure' theme. (Incidentally, these are all elements of design & techniques that I have wanted to experiment with for some time & I'm using any opportunity to include them in my work.)
  • Nucleus: After unpicking some alterations, I had a pile of threads in front of me (below left) & thought them perfect for adding to another handmade paper sample (below right). (I don't know what the scientific term is for each 'image' but in my eye they represented what I wanted them to be.) Placing the threads strategically in position, the result quickly became a 'cell structure' & I was reminded of 'petrie dishes' at school & wanted to also include this type of viewing medium within the design. As I also wanted to symbolise 'inspection & looking inwards', the idea of using clear plastic as an additional medium came to mind. I later glued this on the front of the work & another made paper group (with fabric backing) behind the pieces (this can be seen here)

  • Virus: I next came across 2 inked paper samples - again in colours I thought appropriate for my corresponding cellular forms. One paper (below left), I inked over & then ripped (to show the paper's under structure with its white edge) into short lengths. These were then stuck in positions on the other piece & finally positioned on a handmade white thicker textured card (also can be seen here).

  • Cell division: Another cellular form I wanted to experiment with is the one below left - dried glue on card which results in the cell-like structures appearing. After painting with ink, these are more visible & under certain lighting, show clearly (below right) in a different colour & somewhat reflective.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Cells: Step 1 - Using hand made paper ...

A great day in the studio yesterday has resulted in some wonderful designs for "Project:Cell" - an idea I have for a particular project (read more about this here) where I want to represent specific 'cells & their structures'. To do this I'm going to first work with a selection of paper & thought of initially looking in my existing 'store' to find if I already had something to use. (In the past, whenever I tried new techniques, I usually made extra or loads for later - then I've got it ready to hand!)

I soon came across  some handmade paper samples from a few years ago which at the time were unsuitable for something else. Looking at them now, I liked the way in which each piece (a total of 7, all in use below) had dried - its colouring, it texture & the resulting delicate & fragile nature of each piece. It symbolised the 'cells' I wanted to show & were ideally suited for "cell structure". After playing around with a few delicate 'bits' of this paper, here's the result:

Paper samples positioned on table
My working table is covered in white plastic & perfect as a 'plain canvas' to look at initial ideas. After placing them quickly down, their 'bitty' image was fitting together perfectly. I then thought about a background for them & rummaging in my paper's box, came across some woodchip wallpaper - also perfect for use as the 'hidden' wood chips were showing as 'cells' too. Using wallpaper paste, I glued them all in place (with a few minor changes) & as the paste is drying, I've noticed the paper is starting to crinkle & become more cell-like.
Same samples now on 'woodchip' paper
Watching the paper over the afternoon, I'm noticing the paper is becoming more 'cellular/knobbly' as the paste softens the paper - I'll have to wait until it's perfectly dry to see the final effect.
Close-up resembles 'cells'
For the rest of the afternoon, I've also worked on some other paper samples I found - these are also viewable at Project:Cell

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

40s Humpty (Pouffe) : Renovation update 3 ...

The 'Humpty' has now been laced with its outers:

First the lower panel was laced with a black Russia braid through the eyelets. Each side panel was then laced through its lower edge with an off-white cord (one for each edge & through further Russia braid), returning through the seams on the side's upright edges. These were left (to appear near the Humpty's upper corners) until the upper lacing was complete.

Another off-white cord was then laced through the upper rings & through the upper edge of the side panels (also through Russia braid) - each edge of the Humpty having a separate cord.

A central cord was tied around the Humpty's middle.

Ends & lacings were then adjusted to centralise all panels.

The loose ends were knotted on the upper corners, cords cut & ends frayed.