Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Chap 2: Collect and Transform

 "A long time coming" is an understatement for this work but finally I'm making some record of the materials gathering exercise for Module 6 and the challenges of recycling.
To be truthful, I am not a fan of recycling man made materials like plastics in textiles so I found it extremely difficult initially to get into this module with enthusiasm. I decided to go with the focus in my Chap 1 cultural research  ie Indigenous Australian fibrecraft and concentrate on using plant fibre paper, bark and waste vegetation whenever possible.  Incidentally the Chap 1 research will follow in a later posting.

So my "shopping bag" of collected raw materials included:

2.1 paper sources
  • a variety of paper envelopes, wrappings, tissue paper, paper bags, photos
  • vegetation - fruit peelings, onion skins, egg shells, fallen eucalyptus leaves, bark, palm fibre and leaves, banana leaves, seeds, raffia
  • other miscellaneous - fruit bags, tea bags
and much as I detest tyvek I included some only because we had 6 large empty bags of swimming pool salt lying around the garage.

2.2 Tyvek bags
Here are some of my examples of basic stitched grounds that I made:

2.3 Momigami'd basic paper collages backed with pelmet vilene ready for later stitching and adhered with gel medium so that they could be painted easily.
Much of the Indigenous fibre work begins by making twine from stripped bark and branches so I felt compelled to 'twine' whatever I could recycle.

2.4 twine from momigami'd brown paper bags
2.5 more paper twine couched onto a backing of emulsion painted cotton with vilene backing.
Did I mention that twining is hard and takes forever? I suppose if your incentive for making it is to produce a fishing line so that you can eat I can appreciate why you'd spend hours doing this in the bush but phew....great respect...

2.6 cut and pieced stitched patchwork of water photos and those salt bags - some tucks and fragment of orange fruit net bag added for interest.
2.7 woven strips of palm leaf in net fruit bag
2.8.1 photo strips of vegetation behind a fence stitched on palm leaf with couched paper twine
2.8.2 This was the sample above after it began to dry out and I thought the twisting / curling added to it
2.9 Stitched ground of used teabags
2.10 Stitched ground of dried onion skins using water soluble fabric
2.11 Stitched ground of rafia strands using water soluble fabric (grid not apparent in photo)
2.12 cotton rag paper previously handmade by my daughter, eco- printed with eucalyptus leaves
The prints were done by sandwiching the fallen leaves in the paper sheets (previously soaked in a dilute vinegar solution and towel dried) and clamped together between 2 wooden blocks.  The clamped bundle was steamed over a pot of water for 1-2 hours containing a little alum as mordant.  Strictly speaking eucalyptus leaves are self-mordanting but I wanted to be sure of reasonable prints.

2.13 Stitched ground of eucalyptus leaves using watersoluble fabric, loosely woven with raffia fibre twine
2.14 Red gum bark pieced together with recycled linen thread using knotted insertion stitch

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