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....


Max the Lobster said...

Wow Helen you have been busy, its looking amazing can't wait to see more. Must investigate this polymer clay.

Els said...

Oh my Helen, so wonderful to see what steps you had to take !!!
hmmmm even the polymer clay-paper forms : great !