(Paper Learning Log Pages 43-50)
EXERCISE 2 WRAPPING WITH MATERIAL & THREADS
A piece of crumpled white waxed tissue from Assignment 1 was wrapped around a small jug and bound with black embroidery thread and a finer machine thread.
Although the binding and small pleats in the paper are quite pleasing, the excess paper sprouting from the top of the wrapping was a distraction. The jug was re-wrapped with a smaller piece of softer white tissue paper.
The wrapping is quite effective but a bigger piece of tissue allowing more pleated texture, additional knotting and greater tension would increase interest. An identical jug was wrapped in a mesh bag, secured with cotton perle.
I prefer this to the first wrapping. The visual and actual texture of the bag is interesting, allowing the jug to show through the netting and the light bounce off the glazed surface. The green of the mesh and the light transform the jug into more of a primrose yellow and the complementary burgundy thread stands out. There is a little more interest in the knotted thread which is also bound around the neck and handle of the jug making the outline more visible.
Thinking about mesh-like fabric, jute scrim was used to wrap a third jug, bound with a warp thread of jute and some additional silk tussah. This is my favourite so far, as it allows the gentle curve of the spout and handle to be visible. The light reflecting off the glaze adds to the dynamic.
As a group, they complement one another:
In the bottom picture, the opaque tissue paper wrapped jug has been re-wrapped in cotton scrim, similar in style to the jute and green mesh, allowing a little more of the outline of the jug to show through.
A trio of green glass vases were wrapped in hand-dyed scrim. The outline of the glass is attractive behind the scrim and the light bouncing off the glass adds interest. The pattern created by the weave of the scrim is clearly visible as it curves around the bowl of the first vase and travels diagonally up the second. The third has been tied with a hand dyed silk thread emphasising the contours of the glass.
Re-wrapping the the first two above and adding thread, allowing the scrim to fall away to reveal the neck was effective, contrasting with the more mysterious smaller vase wrapped in navy scrim.
then revealing the neck of the third vase united them in another way.
Re-wrapped the same three vases, thinking about creating more texture through the tightness of the thread. The first wrapped in a silk and some plastic coated fishing line, the fabric was loosely pleated before winding around the vase which produced a different look. The second was wrapped in some linear crumpled tissue from Assignment 1 and then secured with raffia following the vertical lines of the tissue and emphasising the throat of the vase by wrapping around the neck. The third was wrapped in some vibrant packaging from tea bags and secured with black linen. There was something irresistible about the shiny copper packaging with the contrasting black text, the multiple crumples and light reflection provided an intricate texture.
EXERCISE 3 UNEVEN WRAPPING
In this exercise the instruction is to use found objects with protrusions or a combination of objects and thinking about the work of Judith Scott to wrap in an experimental and playful way, using the shape of the object to trigger ideas. The three small vases used in the last exercise were bound together and wrapping commenced. It was quite time consuming and mostly absorbing, although on a number of occasions I questioned my sanity as it seemed an unusual way to occupy a Friday evening. However I began to see the merit in thinking about the placement, composition, texture and colour and was prompted by the green cotton thread and gold cord to add some gold chenille yarn. It was a contrast in texture but not very interesting and I felt a complementary colour would add some zing and chose to work with red rug wool, an acrylic, hairy yarn. As I worked I thought about creating different textures with the direction of the winding or adding some criss-crossed weaving and constantly reviewed the colour until I felt I had an balanced and effective mix of green, gold and red. I think I enjoyed the challenge of trying to produce something visually pleasing but I’m not sure I would rush to repeat the exercise.
Continuing to think about working in a more experimental way, I revisited my naturally wrapped pieces blogged earlier (28th March) as a friend had questioned my comment ‘It was an easy activity for me and rewarding but perhaps not really challenging’. She suggested I asked myself why I felt that, that maybe the work hadn’t come from place of feeling and what might make it more challenging.
I considered it for a few days. I enjoyed wrapping the natural materials in the garden, it was a sunny afternoon, but I was thinking about my Dad, who recently died and how he loved to be outside, I tried not to think, my son and his girlfriend were in the garden too and I felt they were intruding on my space. So on reflection, although discerning with my choice of materials and aiming for a pleasing aesthetic, I wrapped ‘mechanically’ on the surface, trying not to engage with my feelings. I think I must have connected subconsciously as the samples were beautiful and appealing to me and did come from somewhere deep within that I didn’t or don’t want to examine. In addition on a lighter note, the materials are familiar to me, I love the palette and the textures, so in that way they are less challenging. To raise the game, I revisited them considering items that have less affinity with natural materials.
Looking through my father’s fly tying yarn ‘stash’, the neon threads were asking to be used. I started by adding the orange twine the top piece and as I worked dropped snippet of the yarn used onto sellotape which were enclosed with another piece of tape and used to wrap the aquilegia stems on the second sample. The sellotape trapping would have been even more successful on this piece had the threads been more randomly scattered rather than linear. As it appears small here, the wooden slice wrapped in raffia and chenille yarn looks effective. In practice, the chenille is a bit overpowering and the sample might be improved with a finer yarn. The birch twigs are quite effective, (there is a pink and orange yarn included with the green and yellow but its difficult to discern here) and to my surprise, the contorted hazel with wire is definitely an improvement on the previous sample, which must have needed more twigs.
Overall, this was successful, although still small, neat and careful, it was more challenging to work with brightly coloured synthetic materials and combine them with the muted tones and textures of the natural samples.
Using a bit of recycled string a softer combination of colour and a sellotape wrapping with snippets of sisal, dried grass, blue thread and the paler recycled string, the following is quite appealing too (although more so than appears in the photograph). I particularly like the colour combination.
Trying to be a little bolder, a handful of the remaining samples were wrapped together which was reasonably successful, inviting the eye in for a closer look.
and a bundle of twigs treated to a neon chenille outfit. I wrapped and re-wrapped this a number of times to achieve a pleasing outcome.
Resorting to my comfort zone, two small pebbles were wrapped in hand dyed silk noil yarn and a silk, cashmere, cotton mix.
I love the nubby texture of the noil yarn and the softness in the palm of my hand. I imaging a heavier pebble would be more satisfying, the weight of the stone contrasting with the softness of the fibre. The criss crossing of the other thread, the definition of the different fibres in the close up picture and the shininess of the polished pebble showing through is more effective than the left hand pebble. Again this would benefit from being a larger sample. It was inspired by a woven covered pebble by Alice Fox so I can’t take credit for the idea!
During research, I looked closely at one of Judith Scott’s pieces, square in shape, measuring 14in x 14in x 4in.
As blogged earlier “Judith Scott’s work pulled me in to examine the detail, layers and texture created with fibre and found objects. Her use of colour is quite striking and the more I look, the more I see. Fabulous surface texture is created by intricate combinations of wrapping, stitching, knotting, weaving of fine, medium, thick yarns, smooth, fluffy, coarse, used singly, in groups, horizontally, vertically, diagonally, revealing and concealing the layers beneath.”
So in an endeavour to create some of these features, I wrapped a 10cm square of black mount board. I started with brightly coloured variegated yarn and wrapped in all directions. Then stitched into the wrapping with a dark purple chenille to try and raise the edge, I resorted to herringbone and blanket stitch to get a bit of depth and added various wrappings and stitch to build up the sides. I had difficulty replicating the technique employed by Judith Scott which resulted in repeated triangles, trapezium and trapezoid, but ploughed on thinking about a circle of colour created in one of her other pieces and worked on revealing a circle of threads by creating the outline. Although I didn’t achieve the more geometric shapes I was aiming for, which I may sample on wrapped card if I can squeeze it into the weekend, I am pleased with the sample. It was more challenging than I expected to influence the direction of the yarn and create the areas of depth and shadow I was hoping for.
Lastly, I couldn’t resist trying out the following idea, inspired by Sheila Hicks. During this assignment, I have particularly enjoyed the properties and mesh effect of fruit net and jute yarn and began to imagine all the things I could enclose in net to produce different textures. My deadline is next week so I am running out of time and have only touched the surface, but think there is potential in exploring this concept. Changing the tension of the wrapping affects the texture, using a combination of natural and man-made materials, a variety of soft ‘packages’ were made, including polystyrene beads in a florists’ netting, squishy polystyrene pellets in a black fruit net, cream merino wool in jute scrim, orange merino wool tops in green fruit netting and brown packaging and bubble wrap in jute scrim.