Nina's Textile Trail 2

– Textiles 1: Mixed Media for Textiles

MMT Part 2 Joining & Wrapping Stage 1 Project 1 Joining Exercise 3


(Paper Learning Log Pages 19-22)

Exercise 3 Cut a shape to form a hole and fill with another material using a joining method to hold them in place


Front view against the light

In reality, this is a cumbersome and not very attractive melted wax crayon filling a hole in kraft paper.  Successful in that the hole is well filled but not attractive.  Initially tried grating/flaking wax (orange crayon), but once melted the shavings were insufficient to fill the hole.


Using a sizeable lump of crayon did the job but visually, a subtler use of wax and a more neutral colour would be preferable.

Employing a subtler use of wax and a more natural and neutral colour scheme, a torn hole in khadi paper is partially filled with pine needles.


Photographed hanging emphasises the torn waxed edges of the hole and the window of haphazard criss crossed pine needles.  I like the detail of the pine needs and the contrast of the white light almost shining through.


Photographed from the other side on paper shows how the wax has created an almost invisible join.

Using the same principle the following shows hydrangea petals filling a hole in abaca tissue, joined with beeswax.


This is also photographed against the light to illustrate the delicate beauty of the dry petals and the different tones produced by the overlapped areas.  It was more difficult to hold the petals in place with the beeswax on the light paper, perseverance was required to get enough wax to hold the join and allowing it to harden just enough to remove the protective layer of baking paper without pulling off the petals.


Front view – minimal use of wax


Back view – a little more wax to hold the petals

Enthused by the success of filling holes using wax as a joining medium, I tried to use wax to fill holes in its own right.


It just wouldn’t work…  The lokta tissue has taken the wax beautifully but I couldn’t get any to stay in the holes.  It just about worked on the following kraft paper:


delicate and aappealing, but not very reliable as a means of filling a hole.


Backing with tissue might help and I may try that later.

When contemplating ‘chemical’ joins, thinking of different possibilities, I wondered how effectively I could use soluble paper and fabrics and tried first to join dried hydrangea flowers together. Using aquabond (a lightweight soluble fabric with a self-adhesive surface on one side), the backing paper was removed and the petals stuck to the self-adhesive surface.  With no access to a sewing machine at the time the petals were loosely hand stitched.


Front view before dissolving fabric

With a soluble medium, the stitches usually form a network to hold everything together.  In this case, I hoped that the cellulose residue from the material would be sufficient if I dissolved it gently.


Rear view before dissolving

The reverse was sprayed with a fine mist of water which was gently rubbed into the petals to dissolve, leaving a reasonable coating of cellulose to hold the petals together:


Once dry, I was delighted with the result for a first attempt.  The petals hold together well, there has been a slight shrinkage with has given the stitches a looser look, adding movement, the thread complements the palette.  The ‘fabric’ is reasonably strong and has potential for moulding in the next assignment.  Some of the fragility of the petals is lost but further experimentation with different soluble products may produce a more transparent finish.


Developing this idea, using Romeo (a heavy duty film) in an embroidery hoop, petals were machined in place, aiming to create a lacy effect.

Adapting this exploration to act as a join which creates a gap, I added two different tones of 150gsm khadi paper and many more stitches.


Stitched, removed from hoop before cutting away excess film and dissolving


Reverse view before dissolving film


Reverse view when dry after dissolving film

Although generally pleased with the outcome, the film was too robust for the delicate petals and difficult to dissolve.  A lighter film might be better.  I almost forgot the machine stitches need to join up to create a network and if I’d planned ahead, would have torn a semi-circle into the lighter paper to create a circle of  petals.  Final result, photographed hung against the light:


Delighted with result which shows promise and potential for further development.



2 thoughts on “MMT Part 2 Joining & Wrapping Stage 1 Project 1 Joining Exercise 3

  1. This is beautiful. I can’t wait to get onto the exercise. Your post and work is inspiring.

  2. The torn waxed hole with pine needles is heart-stopping. So evocative, so much space to attach personal meaning.

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