Continuation of the ‘homework’ that was agreed upon by Michelle and I.
Having previously dabbled with Heat Setting in Week 2 of Print/Dye workshop at Uni, Michelle thought it vital to pursue my initial interest within this incredibly creative process/technique, I couldn’t agree more!! Her work is so structurally beautiful, it is extremely hard to ‘resist’ the tactile and warming quality of the 3D nature of this process.
Taking Polyester fabric, I incorporated marbles to use as the shapes in which to secure with the resist, twine. I began the labour intensive process of securing the marbles with twine, utilising the Kamosage knot. I had around 25 marbles to start the process off, but realised I would need substantially more; an Amazon purchase was necessitated, but alas the delivery was damaged, hindering my process. Luckily on the day, Michelle had a smorgasbord of resist equipment/tools that she kindly offered me to finish the piece.
Although Michelle had no marbles to offer me, she did have glass nuggets, which gave a new shape/texture to the burgeoning natural form. Unbeknown to myself, the thread I had been using to secure the marbles was totally unfit for purpose, so I chose a stronger and more resilient thread. Cotton thread is simply to weak to use properly.
Only taken me 2hours to complete this exploratory sample!! A new found respect has strongly developed for the dedication shown/undertaken my Michelle. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process. The knowledge gained through repetition, and the feel of the fabric has been essential in understanding the basic principles of this highly therapeutic process. However, I have not sufficiently developed my abilities just yet; practice makes perfect.
Having bought some fabric from BUTTERFLY FABRICS on City Road, I wanted to create another little sample from the fabric. Not using any resist equipment other than the kamosage knot, I created the resist by my hands and thread only.
(Above) The pressure cooker was filled with a specific amount of water (Michelle gauged the amount of water required to allow for at least 20-30minutes of pressure cooking) and placed on the electric hob. Once enough time had passed for the fabric to set, the resist material was taken out to cool. I decided to wait until the fabric was completely dry, before removing the thread/resist equipment.
Although not terribly successful, the idea is very well presented. Heat will set a synthetic fibre/fabric to whatever shapes can be resisted by the fabric, the possibilities of shape and structure are endless!!
And after 65 minutes of removing the thread securing the marbles/glass nuggets, the final sample is F.A.B!!! I am so pleased with the result!!! What you put in, you get back.
A few problems that I ran into:
- Pull the knot tight, so to gain the fully formed sculptural 3D effect set within the fabric. However, trying to remove these tightly bound knots with embroidery scissor, can end up damaging the fabric (causing small holes).
- The cotton twine that I used initially to bind the marbles often snapped and weakened the knots, resulting in a less crisp and sculptural end resist result. USE A STRONG AND RESILIENT THREAD.
- Some of the glass nuggets were bound too closely together, and this can cause problems when removing the thread knots.
Knowing this information now will allow me to improve with each attempt. Eventually, I will attempt to utilise more difficult shapes, which in turn will result in better final samples.
I zoomed in with my iPad to demonstrate the magnificent detail (pattern within pattern) of my personal interpretation of a Whelk Egg Purse. This will definitely be one of my 6 Print/Dye samples.
This skill will be useful to me as a practitioner as it has given a new found respect for the dexterity needed for such fine motor skilled work. Most importantly, it has given me the confidence to attempt the more difficult creative techniques and processes I have always been terrified too attempt.