I took this part of the project to experiment with some of the techniques used by Carolyn Saxby to create texture and colour. I wanted to create circles and ovals to represent the pods of the seaweed and lines to represent netting and fishing rope.
Here are my observations and results of my textile concepts.
- Tyvek paper, acrylic paint, heated with a heat gun.
- Colour of paint stays true.
- Not absorbent so easy to keep adding layers or print on top.
- Stiff when heated and bubbled. Sewing machine needle will struggle to go through it.
- No real control over how the tyvek bubbles or twists with the heat gun. Heating small bits at a time give a little bit more control but not much. A soldering iron would give good control over melting but wont work to bubble up the surface.
2. Lutrador 100, acrylic paint, heat gun
- Really absorbent so paint soaks in- need quite a bit of paint to get good coverage.
- Paint keeps its true colour.
- Stiff but more pliable than the tyvek when heated and bubbled.
- Shouldn’t be difficult to stitch through with machine or by hand.
- Again, not much control over how it bubbles or melts with the heat gun. It melts through quicker than the tyvek. A soldering iron would give good control over melting but wont work to bubble up the surface.
3. Baby wipes, acrylic paint, acrylic inks, heat gun
- Absorbent (I used the wipes that I had been using for wiping up excess paint and ink)
- Keeps true colour
- Stiff and crinkly in places but overall remains soft and pliable.
- Easy to sew.
- Some control over melting holes as it takes a lot longer than the tyvek or lutrador. It doesn’t bubble up, just melts holes through it.
4. Bubble wrap, acrylic paints and inks, embossing powders
- Embossing powder on top of wet paint and heated worked very well, the powders formed a hard shell.
- Embossing powders on top of multi media gloss gel didn’t work as well as the plastic bubbles started melting before the powders.
- Paint and embossing powders flaky when dry
5. Poly satin, embossing powders, multi media gloss gel, fabric paint, lino cut
- Embossing powders adhered well to the lino print printed with fabric paint, but once the powders heated I lost the definition of the print.
- Thicker embossing powders adhered with the multi media gloss gel creates a thick texture with forms a barrier that stops the poly satin underneath it bubbling up with the heat. The fabric bubbles around it creating an interesting relief texture.
6. Poly satin, acrylic paints and inks, ceramic stucco, fine embossing powders, gilding wax
- Ceramic stucco applied to the fabric through a stencil and heat gunned dry, then painted with acrylic paint and inks then embossed.
- Fabric bubbles up around the stucco, the stucco creates a resist. Gives a bit more control as you know where the fabric is going to bubble, and it creates smaller bubbles because the gap between the stucco circles is smaller.
- Gilding wax rubbed over the top of the stucco then heated until it melts. Defines the texture and gives a shine to it.
7. Muslin, ceramic stucco, stencil, acrylic paints and inks, multi media gloss gel, clear and copper embossing powders, gilding wax on top and heated, piece of bubble wrap adhered with multi media gloss gel and heated.
- Muslin remains soft, circles are stiff.
- Clear embossing powder made the circles shiny.
- Some powders escaped from the circles onto the fabric where there was no gel, which created a beading effect which gave good texture.
8. Poly satin, fabric paint, ink sprays, multi media gloss gel, embossing powders. Printed with lino cut.
- Lino cut print definition was lost when heating the fabric. Tried without the embossing powders as before definition was lost with the use of the powders.
- Fabric remains soft and pliable even after heating and bubbling.
- Has a bit of a waxy feel, not sure if thats the paints as the other piece of poly satin doesnt feel waxy.
- Fabric paint became brighter once heat set.
- Embossing powder worked well on the poly satin, a good texture can be achieved.
9. Chiffon type fabric, ink sprays, ceramic stucco, gilding wax, bubble wrap.
- Ceramic stucco applied through stencil and then heated until dry. Creates a good firm circle.
- Sprayed with ink sprays as I felt that the paints would go straight through the fine fabric and be too thick.
- Gilding wax applied over the stucco and heated until melted, adds to the texture and gives a nice glossy finish. Be careful with heat gun, the fabric started to singe when heat was applied for too long in one area- danger of burning.
- Piece of bubble wrap, pre treated with paints and powders, adhered with multi media gloss gel and melted onto fabric.
10. Calico, acrylic paints and inks, ceramic stucco imprinted with bubble wrap, embossing powders.
- Ceramic stucco applied with a palette knife to the calico. Pressed bubble wrap into it to create circle texture. Heated to dry. The imprint remained but is quite faint. Maybe need to apply the stucco a bit thicker??
- Painted with acrylics and inks. Calico is very absorbent so sucked the colour in leaving it not as bright.
- Multi media gloss gel applied over the stucco, embossing powders added and heated. Good firm texture, feels rubbery.
11. White cotton sheeting, xpandaprint, fabric paint, luster rub ons.
- Xpandaprint applied easily with a paint brush but when heated the brush strokes were quite apparent.
- Applied xpandaprint through netting to create texture but when the netting was removed and the xpandaprint heated the texture was not visible.
- Applied xpandaprint through netting, left netting in place and heated. This worked well, you could see the netting in places but the netting did start to singe a bit.
- Used Lumiere fabric paint and luster rub ons on top of the heated xpandaprint but have to be very careful as the xpandaprint starts to come off.
12. Bubble wrap, xpandaprint, ink sprays, acrylic wax
- Gives a great crusty, bubbly effect, very tactile.
- Again, the xpandaprint is really delicate and trying to add paint over the top kept knocking bits off so I used ink sprays. Maybe mix the colour in with the xpandaprint before applying and heating?
- I added acrylic wax over the top which makes the xpandaprint a bit more stable.
13. Cheesecloth type fabric, xpandaprint applied with a round sponge, acrylic paints and inks, acrylic wax.
- I coloured some of the xpandaprint before applying and this worked well. It didn’t have any adverse effect when heated. Xpandaprint went on really well with the sponge (so no brush marks visible when heated).
- Acrylic wax over the top to make xpandaprint more stable. Has given it a rubbery feel on the cheesecloth, which it hasn’t on the bubble wrap.
- Looks a bit like salt crustaceans left by the sea.
14. Craft hessian, acrylic paint, xpandaprint
- The hessian sucked up the paint so need a lot.
- I applied the xpandaprint in lines to represent the white lines on the mussel shells
- Worked really well, the xpandaprint didn’t seem to bubble up as much so the effect was subtle.
- Edges of hessian started fraying as soon it was cut out.
15. Calico printed with acrylic painted bubble wrap and lino printed with fabric paint.
- Calico dulls the paint colour quite a lot. Even the fabric paint didn’t get much brighter.
- Easy to print onto.
16. Poly satin, lino cut, fabric paint
- Printed really smoothly
- Fabric paint got a lot brighter after heating
17. Tyvek, lutrador, polysatin, fantasy film, chocolate orange wrapper, fruit nets, strands of fishing rope
- Rolled strips of the above materials, around a knitting needle in layers and heated with heat gun until melted and fused.
- Good results- no control over how they turn out but that’s half the fun.
Playing with all these different techniques has opened me up to a whole new range of possibilities. I had never used xpandaprint or acrylic wax before, and only ever used embossing powders on some xmas cards I once made. I have learnt how different fabrics handle heating and or melting; how they handle different mediums and how different fabrics handle the same medium- the acrylic paint for example went on beautifully on some materials but on others it absorbed too quickly soaking up and dulling the colour. The xpandaprint with acrylic wax over the top felt rubbery on some fabrics but not on others. The fabric paints mostly got brighter once heat set but on the calico there was not much difference. When the gilding wax is heated it becomes a lot glossier and has a silky feel to it.
I especially liked the effects achieved with the xpandaprint, easy to use, great bubbly texture. The thicker you apply it the more it expands. It colours well with spray inks and although delicate once heated a coating of acrylic wax seems to make it more sturdy. Colouring the xpandaprint with acrylic paint before applying it didn’t alter how it worked when heated. The ceramic stucco gives a nice firm surface when set, a nice contrast to the softness of the fabric. I used texture paste on some later samples as I ran out of the stucco but the effect was not quite as firm, it was more rubbery and bendable.
I ended up with more circles and pods than lines but I can expand upon that theme further on.
My favorite results were the bubble wrap with xpandaprint and acrylic wax because of its crustiness and tactile feel and the tyvek beads as they really merge the pod shape of the seaweed with the plastic/fishing net waste found on the beach.