Sunday, June 22, 2014

Designing with laminated layers

I so enjoyed this section of work, wanted to do all 3 parts but for the time being I concentrated on section C, which uses continuous lines and wire to create shapes, as it seemed to follow on well from the previous chapter (and post).
I began by setting up a still life arrangement of glass bottles and vessels.  I had a couple of typically scientific pharmaceutical bottles from way back so I decided to go forward with this theme.  I didn't have too many bottles "in the flesh" to refer to, so I used some photos from the internet as drawing resources.

9.1: bottle sketches on my design board
 All the designs following have been created from these drawings and not from the internet photos.
With one continuous piece of wire I recreated the principle shapes within the bottle arrangements.

9.2: wire bottle shapes
To go along with my pharmaceutical theme I needed to include the details of wide glass stoppers, glass carrying handles of solvent bottles, and the outer ribbed surface that features on all medicine bottles used for external use eg. topical lotions,emulsions, etc.

The layers for laminating were made largely from white and coloured tissue papers, and from dyed organzas and muslin fabrics so that they had some translucency for layering purposes. I also printed some papers and fabrics with appropriate text eg. old pharmacy labels and prescription instructions via the computer.
The wire shapes were used to make rubbings using crayons and acted as resists in monoprinting.  Other monoprints prepared on tissue used cardboard resists of the shapes and lines drawn back in from the reverse (as in 9.3)

9.3: monoprint

I then began to laminate them in arrangements using torn strips of layers, and positive and negative cutouts of the bottle shapes.  They were all backed with muslin to allow for stitching later.  I started to use a PVA mixture to laminate but found I preferred the feel and the translucency achieved with waxes, so the following examples are all made with melted beeswax pellets and Dorland's wax medium (the latter because I had a supply unused from a mixed media workshop in the past).
I love the way the white tissue paper becomes so transparent - particularly effective when a partially monoprinted tissue is waxed and sections appear from layers underneath (9.4)

9.4: waxed monoprinted tissues and muslin
9.5: waxed monoprinted tissues and scrim
I then went back into a selection of the designs with free machine stitching using reverse cabling to emphasize the shapes.
Those wired paper bottles from last chapter made an appearance to add some dimension.
9.11: addition of wire bottle with paper pulp
The whole idea of layering made me think of shadowing effects that can be created in nunofelting (of course) with overlapped silks and melding of wools, so I tried a little piecing of prefelts in much the same way as the tissue paper layer here.

9.14: laid out prefelts and silks
And the resulting felt:
It needs stitching into, but basically not as much loss of distinction in the shapes as I thought might happen. I liked the outlines to the shapes that appeared from the underlying felt colour.  The shrinkage of the felt means that the script would need to be larger and more distinct to work but I think it could be worth pursuing with more change in texture or depth perhaps.


Els said...

Quite a study Helen !
So many different things to try ...
Love the felted piece, where you used the "positive and negative" cut outs ;-)

ferinn said...

These just get better and better,I love the way you used the text.

Max the Lobster said...

What a great set of images, absolutely wonderful.i think the lettering works on the felt; there had to be felt in there somewhere.

sharon young said...

I love this set of samples, they're so lively and the colours are really vibrant without being garish, I too was waiting for the felted version :-), it's fabulous. Your enjoyment really shines through this project.

jackie said...

Thanks for reading my blog.
Interesting ideas in your post. Coincidentally I have just been printing out some altered photos of bottles for a course I am joining next month.