Experimenting with structures

Posted by Agnes Iley , Monday, July 23, 2012 8:02 AM

Working with paper and especially glue is never the most insimagepiring thing to me. So I started by cutting strips of paper and wove them in the most traditional way, interlacing them. So I made a solid rectangle, hardly revolutionary and this solid block of paper just didn’t do it for me. Maybe I needed to cut it again? Create a more open shape?

So I ended up with this, still not revolutionary, but a lot better than my starting point.

I found 2 fancy sheets of paper in my stash that had the same pattern, but in different colours. So what would happen if I cut them as duplicates, but with one paper rotated?

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(Can you tell this was the point I started to have fun?)

I really liked the result of this and I can see this effect in some way will come back in my textile work in the future.

Now it was time to ditch the glue!

imageI cut some strips of paper and warped a kid’s loom with chenille thread. Then I wove alternately with eyelash yarn and the paper strips. After taking the structure of the loom, there was a clear difference in tension, because of the variation in materials. And as I was playing around with it a bell shape was formed. (Well it’s Christmas after all).

For my next exercise I wanted to use some different materials. Now I must tell imageyou my husband is an avid cyclist and goes through an incredible amount of inner tubes. At some point I told him not to throw the old tubes away, but keep them for me. So I figured this was a good time to start using one of them. So I cut the tire open and made length way slits.

I really wanted to offset this hard, industrial looking material against something soft and delicate. So I got some fantasy yarn from my stash and a bit of vintage lace.

I also wanted to create a focal point, so experimented with making a narrow rubber tube that is covered with more fantasy yarn. I actually like this piece and I can see how with a bit of work this could make a great belt. If I was making a wearable piece I would stabilize the rubber first by bonding it to a canvas-type fabric and instead of tucking the edges under I would probably sew them in place.

For my last exercise something a little more colourful…

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This is a grid made with some cords, a little fabric and some fabric wrapped skewers (for stabilization). This little sample is mostly glued together of little bits and bobs I had laying about and some cords I made. I know it doesn’t look like much, but I had fun playing. And it gave me a few ideas for future samples. I do like the open and airy feel. And it made me think about the rather traditional quilt where you get a number of pictorial blocks set in a framework of borders. I think it would be interesting to try and create blocks but set them in an open framework of cords and fabric strips.

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