After the welding I’ve continued to explore heat joining techniques – one reason for this is the advise of my tutor in her last feedback, another reason being curiosity and a third – the instantaneousness of it. Whilst there is control using the heat tool and the duck-billed fitting (I’m sure there’ s a technical name nevertheless…) there is still chance.
Melting the sail cloth bag material and fusing it with plastic bags:
This worked in that there was some effective bubbling and hole making and transformation of surfaces – and the pieces melded together.
I’d tried melting tulle by ironing it under greaseproof paper and seeing if it would affix to some more samples of oiled paper that I had created this afternoon – but this did nothing other than give a neat iron. Upping the stakes with the heat gun and torn strips of plastic bag:
The tulle was impacted by the heat gun twisted and tightening then tearing into burn holes, the paper just smoothed, the carrier bag shrunk and distorted but no surfaces melted together – so as a join this was unsuccessful.
I really wanted to join these papers as I had spent time choosing different paper sources and investigated the oiled paper further (again listening to my tutor’s last written feedback).
I considered rolling the plastic bags into balls and heat treating them to see what surface and joins they would make – the process was fascinating to watch as the plastic stretch and shrunk and warped and thickened then thinned under the heat. only the thicker plastic created a better effect, the very thing carriers just shrinking and then hardening. The thicker carriers has a kind of skin-like feel to it – I’m not sure whether I’m really comfortable with that resemblance – one of my best friends at school had an awful childhood accident and was burnt all down her right side – as she grew the burn became more and more taught and the skin stretched painfully – sadly this form is too reminiscent of her wound for me to pursue this sample.
I combined all the oiled papers and wondered how they could be join – the oiling affecting the adhesive quality of the surface. Stitching seemed the obvious solution, but rattling around in my head was the angels exhibition in the Lady Chapel of Rochester Cathedral that I saw a fortnight ago. I was thinking about the wired feathers and how they were leaf like, here were leaves of a book that needed joining, perhaps the consideration of phyllotaxis and feathers and leaves could combine into joining with a wired veined structure supporting the paper being sewn to the surface.
I chose the copper wire I had to hand and instinctively a red thread. The result of this is a very surgical capillary diagram feel. But held up to the light the translucence of the oil-paper created a very pleasing map of traces.
This is an investigation that still holds possible explorations – the wire gauge could be varied, the shape of the paper managed, layers stacked leaf like around a central twist of trunk.
I borrowed a soldering iron. I haven’t a clue what I am doing apart from melting and dripping the solder on the end of what looks like and smells like a burning screwdriver. I did manage to solder some wire that I recycled from inside a twist-tie. This worked fine and I had envisaged that I could melt some more solder and affix it to the paper. I don’t know whether this is normally a no-go or because the paper is oiled it’s a no go, but these delicious mercurial beads of solder ran across the surface like beads of rain. But they were free of the surface and even on drying remained separate to it. Another failed joining. But, not wishing to give up I wracked my brain for ways to fix the solder beads. I considered hairspray – but had none to had. Went back to the fail-safe glue gun and trailed this following the lines of beads like a map.
I would like somehow to be able to fix the silver wire and beads to the paper without necessitating a further adhesive really. I wonder if the solder would glue to fabric? I wonder if there is silver glue? I liked the beads since they reminded me of the beads of slag at the edge of the welding.
What am I taking from this?
I am drawn to a contrast of materials. I am drawn to a structural multi-directional surface. I am drawn to a surface that is textured with a network of lines and curves and little beads. I am curious about the interplay of stitch and wire, form and steel, long stitches and knots, traces and structure. It is the tension that these arouse that piques my curiosity.
This all needs to go into a dormant place in my conscious and sift deep down into the subconscious so I can move on to the wrapping which seems to be creeping in surreptitiously on the edges of these latest samples!