Experiments and first cuts.

Over the last few weeks I've had a few ideas floating around which would need me to make more sculptural textiles. Which sounds good, but is actually a lot harder when I'm determined not to make works that resemble soft toys. My end goal is to make a body for the moths/bugs which would allow them to stand separately from the quilts (like the brooches) on a leg/body structure of resin/clay/concrete/wood/unknown. I've seen other artists working with resin and clay but I know very little about it; obviously the best way forward was to try it out. I'm a big fan of trial and error, you can plan all you like on paper but until you try to actually make something you have no real idea if it's going to work. This was more of a trial experiment but at least I've made a start!

I used a silicon baking tray as a mould, and poured a bottom layer of resin, which worked ok. Then I laid a few different types of textiles bits down and poured another layer on top. Has it worked? Kind of.

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The tiny portion of cotton/paint collage down the bottom of the pic was a fail. It didn't stay put as I poured the resin, and it's gone a funny yellow colour.

The gauze, tulle and threads are much more interesting. They've settled throughout the resin, rather than being flat which gives them a 3D and unsupported appearance; which is really tricky to get with textiles. Normally everything needs to be stitched to keep it in place, here you still get the threads and the texture without the stitching. You can see them perfectly clearly, if anything they're shinier and clearer. I can see this as a sculpture/construct made of lots of layers, with fabric and threads in each layer and passing through the layers.

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Unfortunately, I only have so many hours and a whole heap of work to do so I think this is probably the end of this experiment for the next little while, although James did point out that you can cast concrete the same way as you can cast resin...

On a more productive note, I've made the first cuts for the three bark quilts - layers one and two are done and I'm half way through layer three.

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I found a new grey fabric, it's Italian Wool and very pretty to work with, it's a little lighter than the 2nd layer of Yellow Box, and it has a silver sheen so it should stand up nicely with the other fabrics. I've also found a copper silk which will work with the copper organza, both of them are incredibly yummy and soooo hard to cut up, but worth it :)

I may also have taken over the lounge room again. That new studio cannot come quick enough.

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