Monday, January 25, 2016

Beads galore - chapt 6

This chapter looks at making collections of beads - found and created by various means.
I began by 'finding' small items that could be described as beads in that they could be threaded or attached in some way to create or embellish a surface.
6.1: Found items (clockwise spiral from top left) - bread ties, cut negatives, leaf and round sequins, plastic press studs, curtain hooks, collar extenders, small pegs, plastic paperclip, decorative metal paperclips
6.2: Metal found items (l ti r) - washers, key, eyelets, magnetic bag clasp backs
6.3: Vegetation found items (l to r) - gumnuts, bark pods
Paper pulp beads
Made some paper pulp from discarded computer paper printouts using a hand blender and used this to prepare some beads.
6.4: Paper pulp beads
These beads were formed around a knitting needle - round, rods, and some separately -  'gumnut' and flat button shapes.  I tried to emboss the surface of the button shapes using a ridged grip (for opening bottles) and a pasta scoop as shown in 6.5
6.5 Paper pulp buttons detail
I left these to dry then painted them with metallic acrylics, gilding and wrapped some in threads.
6.6 painted pulp beads
6.7 painted pulp beads - detail
Shrink plastic beads
Next, I painted some shrink plastic (3 types - matte translucent, white gloss, and clear) ready for beads.

6.7 Flow acrylics on shrink plastic (from top to bottom) - matte translucent, white gloss, and clear
These pieces are obviously before any shrinking; each piece is about 7cm by 20cm.  I've put a piece of white paper behind the painted clear plastic to illustrate the transparency.  I painted both sides and the reverse side is shown below in 6.8.
6.8 Painted shrink plastic (reverse side shown in 6.7)
 I cut various shapes and sizes from these including the shapes from chapter 4 and here then used a heat gun to shrink them down by about 50%.
6.9 Shapes cut from painted shrink plastic (pre-shrinking)
6.10 Shrink plastic shapes after shrinking
I found that retaining the shape of some that were quite intricately cut was difficult when the heat gun tended to blow them away - maybe use the oven next time.  However I particularly liked the clear plastic motifs (shown on black in 6.11 to highlight the holes precut in them).
6.11 More shrink plastic 'beads' after shrinking
Toggle beads
Some rolled beads were made using various polyester sheer fabrics - 2 layers bonded together with vliesofix webbing.
6.12a Fabric toggle beads
The ends the fabric strips were stuck down using the tip of an iron.  These are about 2 to 2.5cm long.
6.12b fabric togggle beads in detail
Some of these were further decorated by wrapping in embroidered kunin felt and heat gunned (6.13), by burning with a soldering iron tip (6.14) and by wrapping in fine wire, rolling in puff paint, heating and surface painting with metallic acrylics (6.15).
6.13 fabric beads decorated with burnt felt
6.14 soldered fabric beads
6.15 wire wrapped and painted fabric beads
Stitching and Threading
I recycled some wooden beads from an op-shop bag and used them to embellished some jute string crochet in 6.16, photographed on pot permanganate dyed cotton.
6.16 embellished jute crochet
The same beads were threaded with other seed beads to mimic the wave patterns of indigenous painting (6.17).
6.17 threaded beads on raffia lace background
6.18 painted shrink beads attached
6.19: Painted shrink beads in shape off gumnuts thread through jute twine and interlaced with 'leaf lace' background from chapt 2.
Loom Weaving
I used a small commercial bead loom for this part as I'd not had much luck in the past with keeping the warp threads taut enough in my 'homemade' box and string efforts.  I was still not looking forward to it and as expected it took me hours to complete even a small length.  On retrospect, it would have been much easier had I not used cheap beads that were subtly irregular in size - note to self,  false economy!
6.20: bead weaving
6.21 Weaving on loom with design
I used seed beads and drew a pattern up based on my little boomerang shape
So here is my weaving (approx 2cm wide by 13.5cm long) photographed on a couple of related backgrounds.

1 comment:

Catherine said...

A lovely selection of beads Helen - I love the shrink plastic - I hadn't heard of that but it works really well.