Photo 1 Trial sheets of paper. I added lots of snippets of dyed scrim and threads and tried getting different thicknesses of paper and making holes.
Now moving onto the real work of the chapter. I had been wondering what to use for frames that wouldn’t be too big - I have one small square wooden frame and of course lots of hoops, but wrapping circular objects sounds fiddly – and then had a eureka moment when I remembered there is a big wooden chest of Meccano in my bedroom. It is one of those things that is too big and heavy to carry up to the loft and it has been sitting there so long it has become invisible. As well as being convenient it fits in nicely with my theme.
Photo 2 This is buttonhole filling worked very loosely and dipped in the pulp – this is the only sample I cut off the frame. You can see there must have been a bit of colour in the pulp, I think this came off one of the fabric scraps you will see further down. I like the scrunchy feel of the paper on this.
Photo 3 This is the one that didn’t work very well – scrim stretched across a wooden frame and holes cut before being dipped in the pulp. The pulp didn’t want to stick at all in the middle and now it is dry, the edges are coming away too.
Photo 4 The first Meccano frame, this is just 4 flat bars braced with corner pieces. I wrapped threads and fabric around the frame and then stitched over to make a grid relating to the needlelace designs from the research. The centre is wrapped with a scrap of silk. All the fabric scraps used in this chapter are leftovers from the module 1 colour study.
I originally intended to cut the samples off the frames, but I like them as they are. The back of this one is interesting too and gives a different mood, Photo 5 below. I like the embossed effect of the threads.
Photo 6 Circles are easy when there are holes in the edge. I added a few random bits to this one, a broken chain link and rusty washers, and some buttonhole fillings when the paper had dried.
Photo 7 Again, the back is interesting. The depth of the frame means there is a space between the layers and the pulp stretches across adding extra patterns.
Photos 8 and 9 – Front and Back This is my favourite one. It is about 15cm tall. The frame is made from bars with right angled ends so there is a gap of about a centimetre between the front and the back; in places, the pulp has joined across the void. As before, wrapped with fabric and threads and buttonhole fillings added afterwards on both sides. On one side, I have draped a buttonhole bar – I was thinking of referencing the contrast in needllaces of the trailing designs over a rigid grid. I am not sure if it looks quite right at the moment with just one, so I may add some more.
I had all the samples grouped standing on edge on a windowsill to dry and thought it looked a lot like my photos of the old Sevalco plant (see this post from chapter 2), and also made me think of the pictures I found of lace in architecture. So for my resolved samples, I would like to use the idea of making a set of these frames using paper, silk paper and solubles to create the layers. I can experiment with the Meccano shapes to include additional layers, make them deeper (eg a cube or other 3d form) and set layers at an angle. I am mindful of not wanting to repeat what I did in module 1, so will be aiming for the layers to be more lacelike (and less like girders).
I started chapter 9 while waiting for these samples to dry, but I will post that next time when there is more to show.