Saturday, August 29, 2015

Juggling the hanging

Spent this week pinning motifs, hanging up, re-pinning, rehanging, stitching, rehanging etc etc......
You can tell where the juggling reference came from, but at last I'm at about 80% completion and the stage where I'm leaving it on the wall in view while I "consider" it.

 I like the layering effect achieved as I wanted to give an impression of looking through vegetative growth and have (at present) hung the 2 mesh layers on the same perspex pole. But I'm feeling that the layers might be better separated slightly and hung on 2 poles eg 4cm apart, which would require fixing the poles in parallel like this bracketed to the wall or hung from the ceiling.  This would be achievable in a gallery on a flat wall, but the curving wall in the office might be too challenging and the hanging slightly proud of the wall present an impedance to passing foot traffic in the corridor.

Here are a few photos of the work to date:

11.32 Complete hanging
Details of the 'bark' area with additional whip stitching to give mottled texture as on the real tree

As I've said, the depth of the layers appeals to me and I've tried to photograph the effect you get looking along the length, almost between the layers.  What you don't get from the photos is the glinting from the shisha mirrors at different times of the day.

My next task will be to see how the piece looks against the blue wall of the company foyer....

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Sterculia motifs

I've made a start on the final hanging itself by felting a loose mesh of yarn, threads and wool roving strands.  Laid out like this it covered an area of 2.5 m by about 1.8m as I knew it would shrink considerably once felted, probably to about 60%.

 I used bark colours on the left gradually moving to greens then to yellow and reds of the flowers.


Once felted it had shrunk to about 1.3m by 1m.  I then made a second mesh to layer in front of the first to give it more depth, and added further wool with resists on the left to give the patchy appearance of the Sterculia tree bark (see photos 11.13 and 11.14 in previous post)

At the moment (photo 11.25) the 2 layers are hanging on a metal rod simply woven through the top but I'm thinking of removing the rather solid top edge and forming thinner loops out of the felt mesh itself which will attach on to a clear perspex rod.  The rod is sufficiently flexible that it could bend with the curvature of the office wall.

11.26 detail of mesh background
The bark felt looks a little flat compared to the rest of the mesh and so I will be free machining on the 'panels' to create some surface texture before I add motifs.
I've now made a variety of motifs to attach to the mesh - paisley pattern and stylised boat (company logo) in various colours of sheer fabrics (11.27)

11.27 sheer motifs
paisley pattern felt motifs, embroidered and encapsulating shisha mirrors (11.28)
11.28 shisha felted motifs
and the same motif shapes in thin translucent polymer featuring Hindi script (11.29).  These can all be stitched on the mesh
11.29  polymer clay motifs
The polymer clay sheet was created by spreading liquid polymer clay extremely thinly on to the printed newspaper, baked in an oven at 150 degrees C for about 15 minutes (slightly higher temp than normal to give the translucency). Once cooled the paper was removed from the back of the clay by soaking in water then rubbing vigorously to take the paper off.

11.30 soaking the sheet in water
11.31 Cutting out motifs
   The process is a little like paper lamination in which paper printed images are transferred on to sheer fabric.

I anticipate the challenge will be balancing the additional weight of these motifs on the mesh without too much distortion of the hanging occurring.  I don't necessarily want to add them evenly over the mesh as there will be a design focal point which might skew the hanging physically.  Stay tuned....